The Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation
In this video, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation is discussed. The Emancipation Proclamation declared that slaves still in areas that were currently in rebellion to the U.S. would be immediately freed. This was necessary because there were still United States Federal fugitive slave laws on the books, which left Northern army commanders as felons if they did not immediately return any African slaves that found their way to union lines or were in regions currently under union control. The proclamation did not free the slaves in border states that permitted slavery but did not secede and join the confederacy (places like Kentucky and Tennessee). The proclamation did not outlaw slavery outright, nor did it make freed slaves citizens of the U.S. This proclamation helped keep the British from helping the South as Britain had already abolished slavery and did not want to be seen as merely helping to maintain slavery in the South. This proclamation also helped change the war from merely seeking to keep the union together, to also being about ending slavery.
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Last updated: 03/23/2018
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