The most famous document in America’s history is the Emancipation Proclamation it was issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation helped free slaves in the rebellious territories and it united both the Union and Confederate states. Lincoln first writes it on July 1862 but makes it official on January 1, 1863.
The document contained many paradox and irony. The Emancipation Proclamation endorsed the idea that the Civil War wasn’t just about the slave rights and federalism but ending slavery. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued during the Civil War which showed other countries that the United States were going work on ending the war. The Emancipation Proclamation was successful thing that Lincoln used his president’s executive war power, it cultivated much more than expected.
According to the National Archives during 1792 African Americans were not allowed to join the U.S. army or navy. Abolitionist like Frederick Douglass argued that blacks should be enlisted in the army because they might help the North win the war. Abraham Lincoln feared that the enlistment of blacks would cause the border states to secede.
By the end of the war, over 200,000 African-Americans would serve in the Union army and navy. The Emancipation Proclamation led to many things such as; ending slavery, given rights to African American, equal pay, and the end of the war. Background In Abraham Lincoln inaugural address he claims that he will not abolish slavery to get some of the South’s votes “I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so, and I have no inclination to do something .” In his speech he makes a statement to the slave states that he will not get involved with the whole issue of slavery. The Abolitionist like Frederick Douglass and William Lloyd Garrison were supporting Lincoln to pitch in the issue of slavery. Abraham Lincoln knew that freeing the slaves in the South would affect the confederacy fighting in the war. The slaves in the South worked in the fields to grow food for the soldiers, they also worked in the iron and lead mines and lastly they help aid the injured soldiers.
Lincoln knew that the Emancipation Proclamation would have a huge impact in the South and he also doesn’t really agree with the idea of slavery. He thought that if the slaves in the South were free they would join the Union Army. Furthermore, Lincoln didn’t want Europe to help out the South, and wanted the moral of the war to be about slavery.
Lincoln’s cabinet feared releasing the Emancipation Proclamation during the summer of 1862 because the Union Army have been losing most of their battles, so they thought it would be a desperate move. They persuaded him to wait till the next Union victory which was Antietam in September 17, 1862. People in Lincoln administration thought the border states would secede because the document states that all slaves in the rebellious territories be free. Both the North and the South had different opinions about the Emancipation Proclamation. The Northern states as union fortunes sagged, military commanders, politicians and many members of the body politic and generals all supported the Emancipation Proclamation but they were worried about what it might cause.The republicans disagreed about the issue of slavery, radicals such as Thaddeus Stevens, Charles Sumner and Benjamin Wade wanted to use the war to abolish slavery.
During the 1800s majority of slaves lived and worked on cotton plantations. Cotton was by far the leading cash crop in the South. Slaves also raised rice, corn, sugarcane, and tobacco. Many plantations raised several different kinds of crops. After the Emancipation Proclamation the slaves in the rebellious territories were free and the South suffered because it cut off southern planters from the markets in the North, overseas sale of cotton was difficult.
The war was mostly fought on Southern soil which wrecked the economy. Both enslaved and freed African American were so happy for a step forward to freedom. According to Lincoln Cottage, Frederick Douglass described the scene he had witnessed on January 1, 1863, “The scene was wild and grand. Joy and gladness exhausted all forms of expression, from shouts of praise to joys and tears.” The Emancipation Proclamation gave all African Americans enslaved and free hope that one day change was going to come. Course of Events There was not equal pay amongst white and black soldiers. Black soldiers were paid ten dollars per month and three dollars were taken away for clothing which left them with seven dollars per month. White soldiers were receiving thirteen dollars solid with no reduction for clothing.
In the summer 1864 congress passed the enrollment act law which gave equal pay to the black soldiers. According to African American Registry Private Sylvester Ray of the 2nd U.S. Colored Cavalry was recommended for trial because he refused to accept pay inferior to that of white soldiers. First Lieutenant Edwin Hughes of the 2nd U.
S. Colored Cavalry recorded private Ray as stating,” None of us will sign again for seven dollars a month”. The blacks were treated poorly by other soldiers on the Union who were white. White Americans thought black adults as children, lacking in mental ability and discipline. Slavery had stripped black men of their manhood, making them dependent and irresponsible. Those stereotypes made them think that blacks would never be able to trained to fight like a soldier.
^ Lincoln decided that any blacks enlisting into the army were to be used only as laborers and not trained as combat soldiers. The blacks were talked down on. Not many people believed that they were capable of doing the things white soldiers do. Black soldiers were not able to have the same type of weapons as the white soldiers. Abolitionist like John Brown wanted to prove that African Americans should have weapons too. John Brown and his sons attacked the Harper’s Ferry to steal the weapons, they hoped that others would join their raids. His action got him sentenced to death, he and six of his followers were hanged.
Many white settlers were afraid that if they handed Africans who were enslaved weapons, it will be used towards their previous owners. They thought it wouldn’t be safe for them in the Union. Massachusetts was one of the first states to enlist black soldiers. The 54th Massachusetts was led by white soldiers like Colonel Robert Shaw, which is the son of wealthy abolitionist. During their first battle it caused the death of many troops. They were not paid equally but it proved that they can fight in the battles.
Some black units like 54th Massachusetts infantry refused to receive unequal payments. Which led to Lincoln’s administration and Congress to give them equal pay and earn respect. The black soldiers inspired other black men to enlist in the war. Through the black soldiers courage and sacrifice they pushed African American to fight for their equality. Influence: Blacks were still very humble and happy to fight for there side of the war. Most Union officers reported that black men made good soldiers who were highly motivated, did not get drunk, and obeyed their officers.
Even though African Americans were discriminated against they were pleased to fight in the war or be in the army. They were assigned highly difficult jobs like digging trenches and transporting water etc. They managed to stay happy even they performed non-combat jobs. Also, it inspired other young black boys to join the Army. Conclusion The Emancipation Proclamation influenced the enlistment of so many African Americans soldiers. The document freed the slaves in the rebellious territories which gave so many enslaved Africans hope that one day they will be freed too.
Even though African Americans were treated poorly and wasn’t given equal right they managed to prove others like the white settlers wrong. Abolitionist like Frederick Douglass and John Brown played a big role during the war because they inspired other Africans to join the Army and fight for what they believe in. Without the Emancipation Proclamation many would be suffering and the might still be going on till this day.
Majority of people appreciated Abraham Lincoln and many people noticed how much he had accomplished as a president which induced his presidency an extra 4 years.