The Real Reason For Emancipation

 

By: Tiffany Henry

 

As a child in school, teachers taught that Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation and freed the slaves. This proclamation supposedly brought freedom to the slaves in the South. The Emancipation Proclamation according to the story was an executive order signed in 1863 by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation granted freedom of all slaves in those areas of the rebellious Confederate States of America that had not already returned to Union control.

It was not a law passed by Congress but rather a presidential order signed by Lincoln the "Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy" under Article II, section 2 of the United States Constitution. The facts are that it affected only those slaves that had already escaped to the Union side.  As the Union armies marched into the South, in the territory they were able to control amd brimg under Union dominion, slaves received their freedom.  Thousands of slaves joined the Northern Army because they know that with a northern victory came freedom.  Hundreds of thousands were freed each day until an estimated at 4 million were free, by the summer of 1865. Slavery continued to exist in the border states until the entire institution was finally wiped out by the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment on December 6, 1865.

            If you look at the facts with a bit more care the truth is that the proclamation freed no one since it specifically exempted all the areas that at the time were occupied by federal armies. Hundreds of books paint Lincoln as the tall, kind, and highly mannered humanitarian.  An image that is not supported by the facts.  When Lincoln became President his agenda had no plans for freeing the slaves but rather  to help enact the Whig Party’s agenda of protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare subsidies for railroad and canal-building corporations, and a government monopolization of the nation’s money supply. Nowhere in his statements, speeches, or declaration did Linclon show any sign that he wanted to help the four million slaves who lived in the South, including the shadow of the White House where he took up residency once he won the election.

The facts are unmistakenly clear, President Lincoln began to think about giving freedom to slaves three years into the War when it was evident that the North was about to loose.  The War that the North believe would end in a couple of days at most a week or so streched out to weeks, months and years.  According to a recent article in the Smiththonian Magazine Lincoln “determined” to free the slaves because his army faltered and his cabinet was constantly bickering.

The facts, although often hiden in the foot notes of history text, clearly reveal that, had it not been for African-American slaves, tens of thousands of them, who took up arms and supported the Northern Army, the North would not have won the Civil War. You can glorify Grant, Sherman and a slew of other Civil War Generals and Heroes of the Union Army, but at the end of the day slavery was abolished, not by these venerated White male protagonist but rather by African American slaves who would no longer live with the iron shakels of slavery wrapped around them. 

It may be difficult to eradicate the many myths that have mushroomed around Abraham Linclon and his venerated spot in the pantheon of American Presidents, but before we elevate him to saint hood lets get the facts straight.