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A War for Freedom: Slavery and the Emancipation Proclamation.

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Freund, Heather
University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Oshkosh Scholar, Volume 1, 2006
May 2006
United States. -- President (1861-1865 : Lincoln) -- Emancipation Proclamation.; Slaves -- Emancipation -- United States.; United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865 -- African Americans.; United States -- Race relations -- History -- 19th century.; American Civil War.; Slavery -- America -- History -- 19th century.
This paper examines the real effects of the Emancipation Proclamation, as it technically freed no slaves. It explores the events and legislation that led up the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation as well as the reactions to and effects of the proclamation's release. This paper delves into the role of slave in the Civil War, both as "contraband" and soldiers, and the conflict that resulted from these roles. The research ultimately enters the debate on who freed the slaves. Some historians argue that the slaves freed themselves, while other argue that they were freed by the Civil War and President Lincoln. Based on primary and secondary source research, the paper combines these two ideas into an independent judgment on this question, concluding that slaves provided the pressure to force Lincoln's hand, but the act of emancipation was still ultimately issued by Lincoln, so he should be credited with freeing the slaves.
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