Influence of Abraham Lincoln on Slavery

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18th May 2020 History Reference this

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INFLUENCE OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN ON SLAVERY

Lincoln has been the most important person in terms of eradicating the concept of slavery from America. Slavery is referred to a condition when individuals especially the blacks are owned by the others. Lincoln by passing the Emancipation Proclamation ordered the freedom of all the slaves in ten states of America. This essay revolves around the importance of Abraham Lincoln in terms of abolishing and eradicating slavery for creating a progressive country free from regressive culture.

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Slavery had been a very complicated issue in the times of Abraham Lincoln. Prior to the times of Lincoln slavery have been predominant in ancient history of Greeks, Romans, Aztecs and others. The slaves from the ancient times have been greatly tortured and abused with dehumanising languages. The Boston massacre occurred on 5th March 1770. The Boston Massacre has been very important in terms of taking the first attack on the aristocrats. Crispus Attacks who had been a slave escaped and organised direct led war of revolution.[1] This attack on the aristocrats had been the very first attack which shook the aristocrats from within.

In 1619 slavery first started in America as a Dutch ship brought 20 slaves from the continent of Africa to the British colonies of Virginia. The 17th century flourished the concept of slavery to the North American states as huge amount of labour force had been gathered. The African slaves had been cheaper and had an increased ability to work. The British and the colonies of North America started to use vast amount of slaves in the colonies of Virginia, Maryland and Georgia[2]. Apart from being household slaves they were mainly used in rice, tobacco and indigo plantations. But this huge problem which has been a social curse came to an end after the revolutionary war of America and the formation of the United States of America. Few legal and political issues have also been experienced by the crowd in terms of sexual abuse of the slaves[3]. On 22nd September Lincoln issued Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and the on the first day of the next year Lincoln made an official end to slavery[4]. After this Proclamation some three million black slaves had been freed from the rebel states. This was a very important and just decision taken by the great Abraham Lincoln for which he is often called as one of the best president of America.

Abraham Lincoln had a great charisma and the power to turn and transform the regressive cultures of the society. Abraham Lincoln had been the most essential and important person in American history for his contribution in abolishing slavery[5]. He possessed a certain charisma and speaking power which could attract an increased amount of people[6]. Lincoln had been the most important prophet of America in terms of infusing motivation and morality in the people of America for creating an empowered state and a democratic government, “of the people, by the people and for the people”. Lincoln had a certain policy of performing “Pragmatic politics”[7]. That had been very important in the course of time. The peculiar institution of slavery has been very problematic for the slaves as they were the main victims of these sufferings. It is evident that the growing division of ideologies ultimately sparked the civil war which had been very important in terms of highlighting the problem of slavery.[8] Douglas remarked “if the men of this great nation want slavery then let them have it”. On the other hand Lincoln exclaimed that “until each and every man is free, we are all slaves”. This statement of Lincoln acted as a great catalyst in terms of boosting the civil war. The south reached a breaking point when Lincoln became the president.

Abraham Lincoln’s long term goal has been to fight and eradicate the societal curse of slavery. Lincoln very carefully framed the war as the sustainability of the state and not abolition of slavery. Lincoln had a clear idea that neither Northerners, nor the residents of border slave states will consider abolition of slavery important for war aim[9]. By the mid 1862 thousands of slaves fled to join the Northern army and Lincoln generated the idea of complete abolition of the slaves as a military strategy. At the end of 1862 most of the rebellions were convinced and motivated in terms of the issue of slavery itself. The war had been painful for the people but Lincoln found no ways other than the war as it totally secured the freedom of the slaves. In July 1862 the enactment of two laws had been observed. On 17th July, a second Confiscation Act 1862 had been passed by Lincoln which referred to the freedom of slaves who wish to fight the war in favour of the United States. A militia act had also been issued empowered by the president which referred to the use of free slaves in the army even as soldiers it they find the slaves fit for fighting the war[10].

Lincoln measured a more dramatic measure and issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. The cabinet agreed this proclamation except the Secretary of the state. Lincoln had been ordered to withhold the Proclamation and wait until major union military victory as it could provide more support to the Proclamation. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation after a month of the qualified union victory in Antietam Battle. Firstly Lincoln tried to persuade the Border States for the acceptance of gradual emancipation which provided compensation to the slave owners but they refused to take the offer and the result was the war. It must be noted that a huge number of 180,000 slaves enrolled themselves in the Union Army and 10,000 personals enrolled themselves in the navy. Lincoln basically transformed the basic institution of the south by destroying it[11]. After the war the party committed to eradicate slavery to its full form by abolishing slavery from its roots. On April 8, 1864 the Republican Senate passed the Thirteenth Amendment in the constitution which established the total freedom of the slaves. By December 18th of 1865 three quarters of the state granted the approval of this amendment which forever after established the freedom of slave “neither slavery nor involuntary servitude … shall exist within the United States.”.

Thus it can be concluded that Lincoln had been the most important person in establishing the freedom of slavery. Lincoln had been successful because of his immense labour and struggle for the complete eradication of slavery. The issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation had been very important which firstly developed the sense of positive judgement for the slaves which had been very important. The thirteenth amendment of the United States had also been very important for the complete abolition and eradication of the complex problem of slavery which the society had been facing from a long time.

Notes

  • Alexander, Graham. “Abraham Lincoln and the Triumph of an Antislavery Nationalism.” Journal of Abraham Lincoln Studies 28.2 (2017), pp. 1-27.
  • Araujo, Ana Lucia. Shadows of the Slave Past: Memory, Heritage, and Slavery. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.
  • Crofts, Daniel. Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union. UNC Press Books, 2016.
  • Finkelman, Paul. Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.
  • Foner, Eric. “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” The Chautauqua Journal 2, 34, no. 1, 2018.
  • Goethals, George, and Scott  Allison. “Kings and charisma, Lincoln and leadership: An evolutionary perspective.” In Conceptions of leadership, 12, no.3, 2014.
  • Pieters, Christian Rudolph De Wet. “Reconstruction in the Southern US and South Africa.” PhD diss., Johannesburg: University of Johannesburg, 2014.
  • Quist, John. “Lincoln’s Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union by Louis P. Masur.” The Journal of the Civil War Era 4, 16, no. 2, 2014.
  • Rogers, Joel Augustus. Africa’s Gift to America: The Afro-American in the Making and Saving of the United States. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2014.
  • Rutherglen, George. “The Constitution and Slavery Overseas.” Seattle UL Rev: California, 2015.
  • Storer, Braden. “Slavery in the Name of Tolerance: Whether an International Legal Obligation Exists to Criminalize Prostitution.” Neb. L. Rev.2016.

[1] Rogers, Joel Augustus. Africa’s Gift to America: The Afro-American in the Making and Saving of the United States. Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, 2014.

[2] Finkelman, Paul. Slavery and the Founders: Race and Liberty in the Age of Jefferson. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014.

[3] Storer, Braden. “Slavery in the Name of Tolerance: Whether an International Legal Obligation Exists to Criminalize Prostitution.” Neb. L. Rev.2016.

[4] Pieters, Christian Rudolph De Wet. Reconstruction in the Southern US and South Africa. PhD diss., Johannesburg: University of Johannesburg, 2014.

 

[5] Goethals, George, and Scott Allison. “Kings and charisma, Lincoln and leadership: An evolutionary perspective.” Conceptions of Leadership 12.3 (2014).

[6] Rutherglen, George. “The Constitution and Slavery Overseas.” Seattle UL Rev: California, 2015

[7] Foner, Eric. “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.” The Chautauqua Journal 2, 34, no. 1, 2018.

[8] Quist, John. “Lincoln’s Hundred Days: The Emancipation Proclamation and the War for the Union by Louis P. Masur.” The Journal of the Civil War Era 4, 16, no. 2, 2014.

[9] Ibid.

[10] Crofts, Daniel. Lincoln and the Politics of Slavery: The Other Thirteenth Amendment and the Struggle to Save the Union. Chapel Hill: UNC Press Books, 2016.

[11] Alexander, Graham. “Abraham Lincoln and the Triumph of an Antislavery Nationalism.” Journal of Abraham Lincoln Studies 28.2 (2017), pp. 1-27.

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