Emancipation Proclamation the Period Leading Essay

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Douglas on the other hand accused Lincoln of double speech between the North and the South. He puts him to task on how he would vote if a state like New Mexico would want to join the Union yet they were ready to recognize the Union with or without necessarily recognizing and endorsing slavery, and commented that Lincoln would not be committal to such issues.

On his part, Douglas believes that each state had a right just like the nation to manage it domestic affairs without external influence and one of these is the issue of slavery, that each state must be given the chance to decide whether slavery is good for their state or not, actually he advocated for the autonomy of each state to decide their internal matters independently without external influences, he said "We have enough objects of charity at home, and it is our duty to take care of our own poor, and our own suffering, before we go abroad to intermeddle with other people's business," (National Park Service, (2007).

Douglas further elaborated that his stand was in line with the constitution that was in place at that time and he spoke in accordance to the constitution and was defining the right of each state under the constitution and not of moral or religious rights, a stand that Lincoln did not agree with. Indeed he viewed the slaveholding states to be as civilized and as good in conscious as the free states and that they were not accountable to the free states but to God.

The major issue that made it hard for Lincoln to achieve his goal of absolute freedom for all the slaves by the time of the proclamation was the severity of the civil war and the predominance of the slavery in the Southern states. In order for the South to let go of the slaves, it was necessary for the North to absolutely win the war and the majority of confederate members to concede ground on the slavery issue which was not and easy thing.

Lincoln therefore chose to move from his initial stand of freedom for all slaves during his campaigns and debate with Douglas to a point of accepting the proclamation of the emancipation of slaves in the free states and those that allowed and agreed to let go of slavery, and giving room for the confederate states to hold on to their slaves, which was Lincoln in the presidency seat during the war time. This was purely on political grounds since he wanted to gain support from the North and the South as well in order to make it for the presidency and only came to sign the proclamation as a wartime measure (Spartacus Educational, 2011).

Apparently, the emancipation debate took a political standpoint rather than the constitutional or the moral stand that it should have been given in light of the human rights and the constitutional intention. Both Lincoln and Douglas were playing politics as both were trying to use the same issue to win votes from both the North and South. This is seen practically when Lincoln finally gets to presidency and refuses to immediately push for the declaration of the proclamation and only does so during his second term and when there was pressure on him more and more confederate states began relinquishing their slaves (at times in chagrin of Lincolns intention like the Missouri case) and pressure from various areas and people is when he drafted the proclamation and announced it.


National Archives & Records Administration, (2011). The Emancipation Proclamation January

1, 1863. Retrieved June 13, 2011 from http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_documents/emancipation_proclamation/transcript.html

National Park Service, (2007). Sixth Debate: Quincy, Illinois. Retrieved June 13, 2011 from http://www.nps.gov/liho/historyculture/debate6.htm

Our Documents, (2011). 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery (1865).

Retrieved June 13, 2011 from http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?flash=true&doc=40

Spartacus Educational, (2011). Emancipation Proclamation. Retrieved June 13, 2011 from http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USASproclamation.htm[continue]

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