2 years ago #1
Fresh Member
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"IF" the emancipation proclamation freed slaves,what was the purpose of the 13th amendment?

"IF, the 13th amendment freed slaves ,what was the purpose of the war?


2 years ago #2
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Welcome and thank you for your questions.

The Emancipation Proclamation declared free only those slaves living in States not under Union control, so it was a mute point for Southern slaves. Even William Seward, President Lincoln’s secretary of state noted, "We show our symapthy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in ***** where we can set them free." And the “Times” in England agreed, "Where he had no power, Mr. Lincoln will set the N egroes free; where he retains power he will consider them as slaves.”

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not contain the brilliant rhetoric of a work such as the Gettysburg Address, I’m still fascinated by President Lincoln's wording, and in particular the last two paragraphs of the E.P. These few sentences suggest very clearly that the slaves should rise up against their owners and fight for the Union army, and the emphasis of the E.P. is on "military necessity" rather than on a "moral cause." If the E.P. had been created to address the immorality of slavery, why did it take President Lincoln almost two years to issue the Proclamation?

It's interesting to note that the preliminary proclamation was issued a few days after the Union victory at Antietam, and prior to this, I think it might have otherwise looked like a desperate act on the part of the President. After Antietam the E.P. was a great morale booster to the Union army.

The intent of the E.P. was clear - to deprive the South of a significant proportion of their work force, to strengthen the Union army, and to capitalize on existing hostilities.

The Thirteenth Amendment, passed by the House of Representatives in December 1865, abolished slavery once and for all, everywhere in the United States.

In my opinion the superficial purpose of the war was to drag the erring South back into the Union. And one has to ask why was the Federal government so determined to keep the Union intact? If you follow the ‘money trail’ it leads to some very interesting conclusions as to who/what was to gain by declaring war on the South.

Most wars are about money and the American Civil War was no different. But the greed that was spawned by the government and capitalists at this particular time, and against their own countrymen, was nothing short of astounding.

2 years ago #3
Ron S.
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The Emancipation Proclamation was basically a strategic weapon for the Union. For many years I had thought that the EP was the single greatest thing President Lincoln performed. I was programmed with this thought from growing up in the North and the way more liberal thinking teachers presented the ACW. It has only been through self study of the American Civil War that many a truth comes out.

While Washington DC was celebrating the ET four Union States; Maryland, Delaware, Missouri, and Kentucky still retained their rights to own slaves. Although you would be hard pressed to find any public school teacher, to make the point that there were indeed “Slave States” in the union during the war. The very thought of there being “Slave States” in the union hinders the teachings that the War was “all” about slavery. Owners of slaves in these states actually had the option if drafted to send one of their slaves to fill their service obligation.

Like any law coming out of Washington today or yesterday there are always exemptions to the law. Besides the four afore mentioned states these areas also were exempted from the EP; Tennessee (for the most part under Union Control), 48 Counties in what would become West Virginia, the Union Controlled Tidewater Region of Virginia, New Orleans, and thirteen parishes in Louisiana. All the Southern states that were in Rebellion had a deadline of January 1, 1863 to rejoin the Union. Had any of the States rejoined the Union by that date slavery would had remained legal in those states.

Slaves were also freed in those areas in which the Union Army advanced through or occupied. The Army itself freed upwards to 4 million slaves. On 1 January 1863 slaves were notified of their free status in Hilton Head SC, and Port Royal SC which immediately spawned celebrations by the former slaves. General Sherman on his march to the see recruited former slaves to his pioneer brigade to help build roads and bridges for the Union Army.

With Slaves being freed by the EP this actually took a load off of Union Field Commanders. Previously slaves were considered war contraband and in many case confiscated by the Army. This would require the field commander to provide security, feed, shelter, and provide medical treatment to the slaves much the someway one would take care of a contraband donkey. With ET in effect freed blacks were basically left on their own to provide for themselves. Many a slave ended up back in slavery after the Army moved through as not protection was provided for the freed slaves. Many voluntarily stayed on with their masters as they had no means in which to support themselves.

The EP also made it hard for those European Countries to support the Confederacy. It was right after this that Great Britain clamped down on selling “merchant” ships to the CSA Navy that GB knew would be converted to Raiders.

2 years ago #4
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Actually there were only 3.94 million slaves in all states in 1860.

Lincoln's stated purpose for the war was to "preserve the Union". He wrote a letter to the NY Tribune in response to an abolition editorial in the paper by Horace Greeley:

I would save the Union. I would save it the shortest way under the Constitution. The sooner the national authority can be restored; the nearer the Union will be "the Union as it was." If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union; and what I forbear, I forbear because I do not believe it would help to save the Union. I shall do less whenever I shall believe what I am doing hurts the cause, and I shall do more whenever I shall believe doing more will help the cause. I shall try to correct errors when shown to be errors; and I shall adopt new views so fast as they shall appear to be true views.

I have here stated my purpose according to my view of official duty; and I intend no modification of my oft-expressed personal wish that all men everywhere could be free.

Two months later Lincoln would issue the Emancipation Proclamation. Which, by the way, freed absolutely no slaves, its sole purpose was to transform the war from a war to "preserve the Union", to being a war to free the slaves.

And though the EP alluded to freed slaves joining the US Army, regulations prevented the enlistment of former slaves in the US Colored Troops....though this regulation was never followed.
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