Congress in July 1862 moved to free the slaves by passing the Second Confiscation Act. The goal was to weaken the rebellion, which was led and controlled by slave owners. This did not abolish the legal institution of slavery (the 13th Amendment did that), but it shows Lincoln had the support of Congress in liberating the slaves owned by rebels. Lincoln implemented the new law by his "Emancipation Proclamation."
Lincoln is well known for ending slavery in the United States. In 1861–62, Lincoln made it clear that the North was fighting the war to preserve the Union and abolish slavery. Freeing the slaves became, in late 1862, a war measure to weaken the rebellion by destroying the economic base of its leadership class. Abolitionists criticized Lincoln for his slowness, but on August 22, 1862, Lincoln explained:I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was". ... My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that.
The Emancipation Proclamation, announced on September 22 and put in effect January 1, 1863, freed slaves in territories not under Union control. As Union armies advanced south, more slaves were liberated until all of them in Confederate hands were freed (over three million). Lincoln later said: "I never, in my life, felt more certain that I was doing right, than I do in signing this paper". The proclamation made abolishing slavery in the rebel states an official war goal. Lincoln then threw his energies into passage of the 13th Amendment to permanently abolish slavery throughout the nation.
Lincoln had for some time been working on plans to set up colonies for the newly freed slaves. He remarked upon colonization favorably in the Emancipation Proclamation, but all attempts at such a massive undertaking failed. As Frederick Douglass observed, Lincoln was, "The first great man that I talked with in the United States freely who in no single instance reminded me of the difference between himself and myself, of the difference of color".
Read more about this topic: Presidency Of Abraham Lincoln
Other articles related to "proclamation, emancipation proclamation, emancipation":
... The commander-in-chief wished to release a proclamation that would free the slaves in the southern states, but was afraid to do so for fear that the Union's border states ... If he issued the proclamation prematurely, it would appear as a last cry for help to both the country and the world ... Lincoln needed a military victory so that could announce the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation ...
... American life continued to be deeply unfair towards blacks, cynicism towards Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation increased ... Du Bois, James Baldwin and Julius Lester, described the proclamation as essentially worthless ... that Lincoln was a white supremacist who issued the Emancipation Proclamation in lieu of the real racial reforms for which radical abolitionists pushed ...
... On September 22, 1862, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that as of January 1, 1863, all slaves in the rebellion states would be free ... The proclamation presaged an end to slavery ...
... Many, however, were against the emancipation proclamation and sided with the northern Democrats ... increase in strength brought on by the emancipation proclamation ... with fresh reminders of precisely why they must keep up the fight” Conversely, the emancipation changed what Union soldiers were fighting for dramatically ...
Famous quotes containing the words emancipation proclamation, proclamation and/or emancipation:
“When Abraham Lincoln penned the immortal emancipation proclamation he did not stop to inquire whether every man and every woman in Southern slavery did or did not want to be free. Whether women do or do not wish to vote does not affect the question of their right to do so.”
—Mary E. Haggart, U.S. suffragist. As quoted in History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 4, ch. 3, by Susan B. Anthony and Ida Husted Harper (1902)
“The Presidents proclamation took the breath out of me this morning. He is in the hands of the Phillistines [sic] ...”
—Elizabeth Blair Lee (1818?)
“... women learned one important lessonnamely, that it is impossible for the best of men to understand womens feelings or the humiliation of their position. When they asked us to be silent on our question during the War, and labor for the emancipation of the slave, we did so, and gave five years to his emancipation and enfranchisement.... I was convinced, at the time, that it was the true policy. I am now equally sure that it was a blunder.”
—Elizabeth Cady Stanton (18151902)