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The Emancipation Proclamation Research Paper

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Updated: Sep 5th, 2019


The Emancipation Proclamation is a historic event in the US, which remains an object of great criticism to date. Abraham Lincoln supported freedom for slaves in America, but he slurred the process, which made his intentions questionable. Arguably, Lincoln never had humanitarian intentions when calling for abolition of slavery.

Lincoln wanted to strengthen ties with the Great Britain because he never wanted the Great Britain to see the confederate as a charitable institution. In his 1859 speech at Cincinnati, it was obvious that Abraham Lincoln only intended to save the confederacy between America and the Great Britain.

Freeing slaves would only be an end to the means because most people referred to Lincoln as the president of the whites. The Emancipation Proclamation and the end of the Civil War remain the greatest accomplishments of Abraham Lincoln as a president of the US in the 1860s. Each president in the US and other countries often leaves a legacy and the competition to leave one always places much pressure on them.

For instance, President Obama’s Healthcare policy received much criticism, but he insisted on the long-term policy because he has a legacy to protect. It explains the commitment Lincoln displayed when leading the Emancipation Proclamation even as the outcomes rarely aimed at freeing slaves completely. The Emancipation Proclamation was not to end slavery as many had believed, but it was only the beginning of a very long struggle for equality and survival.

The Emancipation Proclamation

“Gone with the Wind” is a re-enactment of the events that took place in the streets of Atlanta after the American President declared their freedom. Each of them received a mule and forty acres of land in the storyline that measures up to the joy that they had after the Emancipation Proclamation.1 Abraham Lincoln died of melancholy, he lost his first son at the toddling age, and his entire family had problems.

Largely, the events of his life affected the way Lincoln dealt with issues in America. When Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation document, the slaves felt happy, but it never assured them that slavery would end completely. Critics of the Emancipation Proclamation mention that America had a reputation to keep, and the history of enslaving people would automatically interfere with its position in the confederacy.

The UK would withdraw relations with the US if Lincoln supported slavery and became the president of the whites. Lincoln’s campaign agenda was to emancipate the slaves in America. However, he developed reluctance to achieve an objective that was a principal factor throughout the campaigning period.

Many Americans expected the president to announce the emancipation, but it came much later. Some delays in the signing of the emancipation document included opposition from the Republicans including the spin-doctor techniques Lincoln had to use in order to gain the greatest support from the single victory vote in the Congress.


The Emancipation Proclamation refers to the long awaited freedom from slavery for the blacks and the African Americans in the US. From the late 16th century, the slave trade in 1750 and the plantation slavery in the 1800s, slavery was a vice that the society needed to curb.

By 1750, European states had trafficked about 80,000 child slaves to various colonial powers to work for them in their farms.2 The intention of using minors and denying them education was to prevent any form of oppression. In the US, prominent personalities including Frederick Douglass and Equiano Olaudah faced cruelty from James Barbot Jr. among other slave owners while crossing the Congo River.

In America, the case was slightly different because most slaves escaped from Europe and they knew how to read and write. The need for freedom from the ex-slaves and empowerment of the slaves in South and Central America became a necessity. States such as Peru and Bolivia worked together to abolish slave trade, but the American president displayed little enthusiasm to end slavery in the Southern and Northern states.

Southern and Central states of the Americas waited for the emancipation after Lincoln openly discussed the matter in the 1859 campaign. Arguably, most states already discarded slave trade by the 1950s and America remained expectant that Abraham Lincoln would make a similar move through his political campaign that focused on the emancipation of slavery.

The Emancipation Proclamation came later in history as a document that formally mentioned that the US would stop slavery. Met with many expectations, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863 – four years after he mentioned that he intended to do the same through the Cincinnati speech.

During the same year, America engaged in the Civil War to ensure that the British stopped colonizing parts of North and Southern America. Maryland, Kentucky, and Delaware among other states considered non-rebellious were not part of the emancipation project.3 In essence, they never bordered plantation slavery dominated regions, and they experienced little or no effects of slavery.

Lincoln received opposition from radical republicans who established that the emancipation was a personal project that could end slavery, but not the animosity of racism. Today, Negroes still live with whites in America and other parts of the world, but the issue of racism still arises in political, legal, and social settings.

Lincoln’s Intentions

Saving the Union

The US valued its relationship with the UK and the Great Britain at large. The Great Britain remains very important to the history of the Americas even after the colonization process. It was until the end of the Boston Tea Party that Britain stopped exporting tea from India to America.

About the same period, many slaves worked on the plantations of British masters in America, but European countries already abolished slave trade. In order to be part of the confederacy and enjoy good relations with the union, a country had to stop slave trade.

In the Cincinnati speech, Lincoln mentioned that his intentions were to save the union, and if it would come through ending slave trade, then it was his obligation to maintain the international relations between the Great Britain and America.4 Critics including members of the radical republic group insinuated that Lincoln never had charitable intentions when freeing slaves.

Instead, he wanted the Great Britain to see his generosity, and human nature by freeing the enslaved people. When the president signed the emancipation document, he mentioned that he wanted to create an environment of fairness and communal justice. On the other hand, his campaign speech was clear about his intentions after the emancipation.

Ending the Civil War

Frederick Douglass an American rhetoric once described Lincoln as the white man’s president. Douglass among other activists never expected the president to disassociate himself from the black suffrage. However, he knew that Lincoln would never allow his personal issues including family problems to interfere with his official duties.

As such, when he meant the emancipation, definitely Lincoln would do the same. The beginning of the Civil War equally coincided with his speech when he first mentioned the emancipation of plantation slavery, which would lead to the end of the black suffrage.

After Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation document, the Civil War in America ended. In essence, the union would later restore its relationship, and it would be irrelevant for the Britons to continue dominating their colonies in North America.5 On the night of the celebrations just before Lincoln and his wife set out to watch a film together, the president died.

He never lived to witness the celebrations of the freed slaves in Atlanta. The Civil War ended, and it was obvious that the emancipation process achieved its objective.

Economic Losses

When the Emancipation Proclamation occurred, it became obvious that other countries within the union had to stop the vice. England among other beneficiaries of slavery built their economies from the trafficked black population from Mali and Ghana among other parts of West Africa. In addition, the British found markets for their expensive products in South, Central, and North America.

It took a long time for slavery to end in North America, but its conclusion in South America meant that Britain lost a great share of market for its tea and cotton from India. South America was equally an excellent transit zone for the British to access markets in North and Central America. When the Emancipation Proclamation occurred, Lincoln mentioned that the need to stay within the union was very important for America.

It meant that freedom for slaves was not particularly of interest to him. The ability of the UK and the larger Great Britain to see America as human and charitable would automatically increase trade and foreign relations interest in the country.6 As such, the involved countries would not benefit from slavery over the short-term, but relationships with the West remained significant for future economic growth.

European countries including England Portugal, and France would not stand being the only countries that support slavery even if plantation slavery was the main source of economic growth.

Establishment of Trade Ties

The union shared close political and economic relationships. Europe became an inventor while America became an innovator that made the products and services reach out to people globally. It explains the reason why most people link the industrial revolution and the end of slavery to America even though the two first took place in Europe.

Critics of the Emancipation Proclamation mentioned that trade ties within the union were strong forces of the abolition of slavery. As such, Lincoln designed the Emancipation Proclamation because other European countries gained from the transition in the past. Lincoln feared that the states with the highest number of slaves would rebel against the union, which would interfere with trade relations within the union.

If there was need to free laves, then Lincoln only had to apply the principles of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The best technique would be to identify the origins of the slaves and return them to their countries. It was impossible for the great grandchildren of the real slaves in Europe to trace their origins except for the ones that decided to go back to Liberia to start a new life altogether.

Freed slaves were sources of employment in the union countries and markets for finished products, and the emancipation, therefore, would strengthen trade relations between America, the Great Britain, and other European states.7 In 1861, South America displayed great interest in ending slavery in 1861 because of America’s need to portray control over its national boundary and to manage its commercial resources internally.

In the beginning of the 19th century, America started to invest in the railroad, coal, and transportation business and the markets around Europe would equally benefit from the emancipation process.

Strengthening the Confederate Army

The Emancipation Proclamation seemed like a partial move towards abolition of slavery. Lincoln felt that the Federal Government never wanted to interfere with states that remained very loyal to slavery. End of slavery would strengthen relations in the union, which was very important for the confederate army.

In order to keep the army strong and sound, the countries under the union had to share similar governance principles, which had to begin by abolition of slavery.

Criticism of the Emancipation Proclamation

After the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln, it became evident that the Emancipation Proclamation was not what the society anticipated. President Andrew Johnson assumed office in August 1865, and most efforts he made aimed at restoring the relationship between the US and the union.

Issues of black suffrage ended while strengthening the confederate army became a priority for the federal government.

The Emancipation Promulgation and Poverty

The ratification of the US constitution signified by its 13th amendment led to the abolition of slavery in 1865. Clearly, the Emancipation Proclamation never ended slavery, but completely served the interests of the union. By January 1, 1863, Negroes went to the streets to celebrate the emancipation, but the death of Abraham Lincoln lowered their expectations of the emancipation process.8 For two years, Negroes operated as partial slaves to the American Federal Government.

Since the Federal Government leased the plantations to the Britons in North America, Negroes from South Carolina and other slavery loyalists lacked employment opportunities. Lincoln approved a congressional principle that allowed the confederate proprietors to acquire property through the Confiscation Act passed in July 1862. The slaves that labored in the plantations for several years would not benefit from their toil.

Instead, the heirs to the farmlands acquired their property. It was an exercise to help reinforce the relationship within the union, and many people began questioning the importance of rewarding the masters instead of the slaves. The value of property also appreciated after 1863, making it difficult for blacks to acquire land.

The appreciation explains why Negro-dominated states still rely on various poverty reduction policies such as the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TAFNF) and Social security fund.9 Black suffrage and its link to poverty are still major problems in different states in America including Louisiana and Missouri because the society feels that the white population enjoys numerous privileges.

Such remains evident in the administration of justice and the employment sector. Most blacks have to work in the causal laboring sector while whites have opportunities in the formal sector that proves less strenuous, but pays well.

The Recommendations of the Promulgation Emancipation

The Emancipation Proclamation never gave a directive to the plans the federal government had with the ex-slaves. Joblessness and provision of lands to masters from North America saw the slaves move towards the North in search of employment opportunities in the plantations.

From a critical perspective, lack of hope and empowerment of masters from the North made the ex-slaves subject to the new landowners. Slaves had to live in pitiable neighborhoods commonly referred to as slums. Exposure to diseases and crime remains a problem in ghettos to date not only in America, but also in other parts of the world.10 When slaves moved into the Northern states, President Andrew Johnson realized that ratification of various clauses in the constitution would help in the restoration of the dignity of the ex-slaves.

The emancipation displayed ethical faults from a universal perspective because it largely aimed at benefiting the US and countries in the Great Britain. Cotton, tobacco, and rice in Virginia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Georgia, Kentucky, Alabama, and North Carolina among other cash crops in America would benefit South America and the confederate.

The industrial revolution plans were equally underway, and it meant that the government never planned to create any employment opportunities for the slaves after the emancipation.

Slavery Culture

In most cases, it becomes very easy to deal with a vice physically, but the emotional trauma remains very difficult to erase. Among other origins of racism and marginalization based on ethnicity, the emancipation contribution was a major contributor to divisions based on race. In South America, the emancipation led to enrichment of the heirs of European plantation masters.

Blacks, Mulattoes, African Americans, and Indians among others faced segregation based on color. The cultured people underwent a similar oppression as women in South America. Even after the emancipation, the Negroes could not vote, get formal employment, or go back to their countries of origin, which they never knew. Slaves who followed their masters to the North never had an option because it was the only way of survival.

Such levels of subordination resulted in extreme oppression that caused the animosity between the whites and the blacks among other marginalized races. The justice system characterized by constant life imprisonment of black over the whites signifies that the emancipation project also created animosity between the two races.

Marginalized races including the Hispanics, Mexicans, African Americans, and the Indo Asians among others largely depend on outsourcing and casual employment for survival.11 Such as the effects of the Emancipation Proclamation that had a poor deployment plan in the name of ending slavery and black suffrage.


In sum, the Emancipation Proclamation was not the end slavery as many had believed, but was only the beginning of a very long struggle for equality and survival. In each type of administration, faults and success stories emerge.

Lincoln had the best intentions for the union, but the way he made the confederate work disadvantaged the black slaves. Slaves began the struggle to find employment in plantations in North America. In addition, they strived to gain political representation through voting as some began tracing their origins.

The troubles for the slaves are continuing even though the thirteenth amendment of the constitution lessened their troubles. As such, the Emancipation Proclamation had political benefits for America, but little concern for the slaves.


Blair, W. and Karen Y. Lincolns Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered. Charlotte, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2009.

Carnahan, B. Act of Justice: Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War. Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2007.

Clark, C., Nancy H., Joshua B., and David J. Who Built America? – To 1877: Working People and the Nation’s History (3rd ed.). Boston, US: Bedford/Saint Martin’s, 2007.

Equiano, O. , 1789: The African Slave captives. Web.

Ford, C. Lincoln, S, and the Emancipation P. Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishers, 2004.

Guelzo, A. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004.

Holzer, H. Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012.

Magness, P. Colonization after Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement. St. Louis, Missouri: University of Missouri, 2011.

Majerol, V. . Web.

Neocosmos, M. “Can a Human Rights Culture Enable Emancipation? Clearing Some Theoretical Ground for the Renewal of a Critical Sociology.” South African Review of Sociology 37.2 (2006): 356-379.

Woodworth, S. The Great Struggle: America’s Civil War. New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011.


1 Michael Neocosmos, “Can a Human Rights Culture Enable Emancipation? Clearing Some Theoretical Ground for the Renewal of a Critical Sociology,” South African Review of Sociology 37.2 (2006): 365.

2 Christopher Clark, Nancy Hewitt, Joshua Brown, and David Jaffee, Who Built America? – To 1877: Working People and the Nation’s History (3rd ed.) (Boston, US: Bedford/Saint Martin’s, 2007), 49.

3 Veronica Majerol, The Emancipation Proclamation.

4 Phillip Magness, Colonization after Emancipation: Lincoln and the Movement for Black Resettlement (St. Louis, Missouri: University of Missouri, 2011), 37.

5 Harold Holzer, Emancipating Lincoln: The Proclamation in Text, Context, and Memory (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2012), 91.

6 William Blair and Karen Younger, Lincolns Proclamation: Emancipation Reconsidered (Charlotte, North Carolina: University of North Carolina Press, 2009), 84.

7 Olaudah Equiano, The interesting narrative of the life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavas Vassa, the Africa, 1789: The African Slave captive.

8 Burrus Carnahan, Act of Justice: Lincolns Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War (Lexington: The University Press of Kentucky, 2007), 125.

9 Steven Woodworth, The Great Struggle: America’s Civil War (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2011), 50.

10 Carin Ford, Lincoln, Slavery, and the Emancipation Proclamation (Berkeley Heights: Enslow Publishers, 2004), 103.

11 Allen Guelzo, Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation: The End of Slavery in America (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2004), 62.

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