This essay answers the question: What are some of the reasons President Lincoln chose to declare all slaves free in the middle of the Civil War.

Essay by theman1High School, 12th gradeA, October 2004

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As the Civil War was beginning Lincoln and many other people in power specifically wanted to preserve the Union. At least when asked it was said the war was to preserve the Union. Lincoln made this view very clear when he said if I could save the union with ought freeing any slaves I would ,and if I could save the union by freeing all the slaves I would. This original statement was due to a couple of factors. One of the biggest factors was the Border States. The Border States were the states between the seceded Southern states and the Northern states staying in the Union. In a sense these states though having slavery were undecided on whether to join the Confederacy or stay in the Union. These states included Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia (which seceded from Virginia due to numerous reasons), Maryland, and Delaware. These states were important because they contained a white population equal to around half of the population of the entire Confederacy.

Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri would almost double the manufacturing capabilities of the South and increase nearly half of its supply of horses and mules. The Ohio River a strategic advantage for either side flowed along the Northern border of Kentucky and West Virginia. For all these reasons and more it was necessary to keep these states at all costs. Since these places held slaves it was necessary not to cite that as a major reason for the war. An Antislavery declaration would have driven the Border States to the Confederacy. Also the area that is now Illinois, southern Ohio, and, Indiana was settled largely by proslavery southerners. Slavery also had an effect on the war in the west. Many Cherokees owned slaves and felt they should join the Confederacy in the South...