For my school work last week I had to do research on the Emancipation Proclamation. I had never really considered researching the Emancipation Proclamation before, so I learned something new during this research. When most people think of the Civil War they remember a war that was fought over states rights, but is that really true? Did the Emancipation Proclamation get signed on January 1, 1863? Did President Abraham Lincoln really care about the slaves? When I looked up the Emancipation Proclamation I found answers to questions I didn’t even know, and I would like to share them today.
1. Did Abraham Lincoln care about the slaves?
From my research, I have concluded that Abraham Lincoln didn’t really care about the slaves. According to History.com, Lincoln said in 1861 during his inaugural address that he has, “no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with slavery in the States where it exists.” He said this a little less than two months after the Civil War started. So at the beginning of the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln could care less about the slaves, what he was focused on was winning the war.
2. Was the Civil War all about states rights?
Based on my research, the Civil War was fought over the owning of slaves. When the war was going badly for the Union, Lincoln had to come up with a solution. Lincoln realized that the Confederate side was using slaves to help fight the war, and when slaves started running to the Union side for safety, Lincoln had to figure out what to do. So Lincoln enacted two laws:
1.) one law freed slaves who are engaged in the rebellion against the United states, and
2.) another law said the president had the power to use freed slaves in the army even as soldiers.
This, of course, freed the slaves that were involved in helping the Confederate side, and Lincoln had the power to make the freed slaves soldiers for the Union army. So the freed slaves were not entirely free. By this time, Lincoln wanted the Emancipation Proclamation to free all slaves in Confederate states, so he talked it over with his cabinet. According to History.com, Lincoln quoted that it has now become “a military necessity…. We must free the slaves or ourselves be subdued.” But Secretary of State William H. Seward told Lincoln to wait until a major Union military victory was done. So Lincoln waited until the Battle of Antietam, then on January 1, 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation took effect.
This is Secretary of State William H. Seward.
3. When did Abraham Lincoln issue the Emancipation Proclamation?
I found out that Lincoln first said that the Confederate states had to free their slaves from September 22, 1862, to January 1, 1863. But of course, the Confederate states said no, so Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation was actually declared on September 22, 1862.
What I have told you today are things I have learned recently myself, and I find this information to be a big part of American history and should be taught. America can celebrate their meaningless holidays like Halloween and Valentines Day, why do we celebrate these holidays. Halloween is basically all about candy, and you should show your love for someone every day of the year, not just one day. My family will celebrate something that shaped how we live today.