Emancipation proclamation

Essay by Anonymous UserCollege, UndergraduateA+, November 1996

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The Emancipation Proclamation was a historic document which led to the end of slavery in the United States. President Abraham Lincoln issued the Proclamation on Jan. 1, 1863, during the Civil War. It declared freedom for all slaves in the areas of the Confederacy that were still in rebellion against the Union. The Proclamation also provided for the use of blacks in the Union army and navy. As a result, it greatly influenced the North's victory in the war.

When President Lincoln called for union volunteers to go to war against the Confederacy, it was only made up of seven states - South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. The call to arms meant that every state had to choose a side. On April 17, 1861, Virginia became the eighth state to join the Confederacy. Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina soon followed Virginia into the Confederacy. By May 20, 1861, eleven states had left the Union and joined the Confederacy.

The counties in northwestern Virginia didn't follow the rest of the states into the Confederacy. In 1863, these counties were admitted into the Union as the state of West Virginia. This was an important area to the North, it helped to keep open lines of communication between the states of the Northeast and the Mississippi River. The border states - Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri - were also important to the Union. Maryland was especially important to the Union. If they joined the Confederacy, the Union capital at Washington, D.C., would be cut off from the northern states. Maryland ended up staying with the Union after the bloodshed there. The other border states - Delaware, Kentucky, and Missouri - also decided in favor of the Union. In 1863, after West Virginia joined the Union, a total of 24...