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US Civil War
History of the United States
Abraham Lincoln
Emancipation Proclamation

What was the Emancipation Proclamation?

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April 14, 2011 3:36PM

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It was a set of two executive orders, issued by President Lincoln, which freed the slaves in the rebel states and guaranteed the enforcement of their emancipation. It only applied to slaves in rebel-held areas. The passage of the 13th, 14th and 15th Amendments after the war would permanently end slavery in America. The proclamation was effective in making sure that England and France would not support the south (and look pro-slavery), and in helping bankrupt rich southern landowners.
The Proclamation was the answer to Lincoln's growing fear that Britain would grant recognition to the Confederacy, in the light of Lee's triumphant campaign in Virginia, and send military aid.

By turning the war into an official crusade against slavery, he made it ethically impossible for free nations abroad to help the South, as it would make them look pro-slavery.