The Great Emancipator? Emancipated What?

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#61
Just looking over the document and wondering if any of you have new ideas on what the Emancipation actually did besides tell the world the war is now about slavery. From what I can see it did not free Edited Plus it did not include border states or counties in Union controll. Just looking for some other ideas you may have.

A PROCLAMATION
I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-In-Chief ...as a fit and necessary war measure for supressing said rebellion ...do, publicly (proclaim)...

And I further declare and make known that such persons of suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States to garrison forts, positions, stations, and other places, and to man vessels of all sorts in said service. ...
In December of 1863, Lincoln issues his Annual Message to Congress, and states:

The preliminary emancipation proclamation, issued in September (1862), was running its assigned period to the beginning of the new year. A month later the final proclamation came, including the announcement that colored men of suitable condition would be received into the war service.​
The policy of emancipation, and of employing black soldiers, gave to the future a new aspect, about which hope, and fear, and doubt contended in uncertain conflict.
...​
Of those who were slaves at the beginning of the rebellion, full one hundred thousand are now in the United States military service, about one-half of which number actually bear arms in the ranks; thus giving the double advantage of taking so much labor from the insurgent cause, and supplying the places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men. So far as tested, it is difficult to say they are not as good soldiers as any. No servile insurrection, or tendency to violence or cruelty, has marked the measures of emancipation and arming the blacks.​
These measures have been much discussed in foreign countries, and contemporary with such discussion the tone of public sentiment there is much improved. At home the same measures have been fully discussed, supported, criticised, and denounced, and the annual elections following are highly encouraging to those whose official duty it is to bear the country through this great trial. Thus we have the new reckoning.​

It is vital to understand that the EP was also a black enlistment proclamation. You don't need a PhD to figure this out: as noted above, Lincoln says that persons covered by the EP who are of "suitable condition will be received into the armed service of the United States."

In his December 1863 Annual address to the Congress, Lincoln talks of his "policy of emancipation, and of employing black soldiers." Lincoln makes it clear: it was indeed the policy of the US to seek emancipation and black enlistment. This policy, says Lincoln, gives to the United States "the double advantage of taking so much labor from the insurgent cause, and supplying the places which otherwise must be filled with so many white men."

Lincoln understands that if African Americans will aid the US cause, it must be on their own terms. Thus, in a letter to northerners and Union people, Lincoln says in August 1863:

I thought that in your struggle for the Union, to whatever extent the negroes should cease helping the enemy, to that extent it weakened the enemy in his resistence to you. Do you think differently? I thought that whatever negroes can be got to do as soldiers, leaves just so much less for white soldiers to do, in saving the Union. Does it appear otherwise to you?​
But negroes, like other people, act upon motives. Why should they do any thing for us, if we will do nothing for them? If they stake their lives for us, they must be prompted by the strongest motive--even the promise of freedom. And the promise being made, must be kept.

The EP is essentially a contract with African Americans, and Abraham Lincoln is The Great Negotiator. The deal that the US makes with African Americans is: if you will join us in this battle for our own separate interests; if you will stake you lives for our cause; the United States promise that you will have your freedom. That promise was kept even upon Lincoln's death, with the 13th Amendment.

- Alan
 
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#62
Totally agree with that assessment of emancipation being a process. It can even be further extended back to the 18th century Northwest Ordinance which outlawed slavery within its boundaries, and the Constitutional clause eliminating the importation of slaves in I think 1807.
I don't want to take us off-topic. But the emancipation process unfolds in two waves:
• first, northern states end slavery, mostly via gradual emancipation, starting during the American Revolution and continuing thereafter
• second, emancipation occurs in southern states during and after the Civil War

- Alan
 

wbull1

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#64
Of course, you can take any individual step in a process and ask - Now just what did that accomplish by itself. The answer to that will be - not much as long as you ignore what preceded and followed. What single battle won the Civil War? None, by itself.
 

major bill

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#65
Some forum members see Lincoln as "The Great Emancipator" other forum members do not see it that way. I am guessing this views were pretty well set long ago. I have some doubts that any thread on Civil War Talk Forum will change many minds.
 
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#66
Some forum members see Lincoln as "The Great Emancipator" other forum members do not see it that way. I am guessing this views were pretty well set long ago. I have some doubts that any thread on Civil War Talk Forum will change many minds.
That is true. What we can do is provide evidence about what Lincoln said; and ask people to provide evidence to corroborate their own views. So, we can challenge conclusions that are based on a lack of evidence, even if people persists in holding views that have no objective support.

- Alan
 



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