In 1858, Abraham Lincoln stated, "I am not nor ever have been in favor of bringing about in anyway the social and political equality of the white and black races." A Careful examination of this quote and the circumstances surrounding the Emancipation Proclamation reveals that Lincoln was more concerned about destroying the South than he was about granting slaves freedom. Lincoln believed that the Federal Government had no right, under the US Constitution to outlaw slavery.
The South was constantly gaining sympathy from Britain and France by hawking its side of the war as a fight against a dictatorial government. Britain and France had both abolished slavery, so Lincoln decided it would be wise to promote the North’s side of the war as a moral fight against the institution. Luckily for Lincoln, the idea worked and the British and French did not aid the South.
Lincoln realized that freeing Southern slaves would bring a bigger black population to the Union’s side. Abolishing slavery in the South would diminish the South’s ability to sustain itself agriculturally and would hopefully send former slaves flocking to the North’s aid. Lincoln thought if he helped the black population, Southern blacks would ally and join the Union Army and help reinforce its manpower. This strategy was also successful. Several former slaves ended up fighting on the Northern side during the Civil War.
Although, the proclamation did not free all slaves. It did not even free all Southern slaves. The Emancipation only applied in certain parts of the South the Union had yet to conquer. Slavery continued in the Border States, which were those areas of the South that remained loyal toward the Union, and in those areas of the South the Union had already reclaimed.
Clearly, the Emancipation Proclamation was a step forward for the United States. Although it was limited, the abolition of slavery was obviously positively affected the union. Even after the Emancipation Proclamation many freed...