Asked in US Civil WarHistory of the United StatesAbraham LincolnEmancipation Proclamation
What was the Emancipation Proclamation?
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.