Emancipation Proclamtion how it was good

Essay by sk8er_sean1A, May 2004

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The Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 helped preserve the Union. At the time it did not call for the destruction of slavery, but rather to give the Union one more advantage over the South. Giving black slaves freedom from their rebel masters helped the Union physically and morally.

The Union believed the war would be easily won. However, the South had many experienced leaders and soldiers from the Mexico-American War. The North began to worry and in Document 4, a letter to President Lincoln, Horace Greeley expressed his disappointment on how Lincoln was treating the South and his reactions towards the rebels' slaves, and what he felt should be done. "Why theses traitors should be treated with tenderness by you, to the prejudice of the dearest rights of loyal men, we cannot conceive."(4. Greeley, 279) He felt slavery was the main reason for this war, causing the Union to suffer, so it needed to be destroyed.

"...that whatever strengthens or fortifies Slavery in the Border States strengthens also treason, and drives home the wedge intended to divide the Union...that the rebellion, if crushed out tomorrow, would be renewed within a year if Slavery were left in full vigor..." (4. Greeley, 279) If the Union won the war, and slavery was not abolished, the same battles would begin again in later years. In Document 5, a reply to Horace Greeley's letter, Lincoln explained that "My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery."(5. Lincoln on Emancipation, 280) Lincoln dislike slavery, but his duty was not to destroy it, but to unite the North and South as one nation once again. If letting slavery exist helped united the country, Lincoln would let it be so, or vise versa. "What I...