Why was the Emancipation Proclamation important?


Quick Answer

The Emancipation Proclamation was important because it helped to set free all the slaves in the Confederate states. The proclamation only applied to states that had withdrawn from the Union, thus allowing slavery in the loyal border states and parts of the Confederacy that were under the control of the North. The Emancipation Proclamation was issued by President Abraham Lincoln on July 1, 1863, during the bloody Civil War in the United States.

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Full Answer

In 1862, many republicans came to believe that the war against slave owners was a war against slavery, so they put pressure on Lincoln to proclaim the policy. This was against Lincoln's opinion, but he had no other option, since failing to act against slavery could make him lose half of the Union constituency. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation after the triumphant Battle of Antietam. He had tried to persuade the border states to accept the emancipation with compensation from the federal government, but they rejected the offer.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately free slaves, it won the hearts of millions of African-Americans and transformed the war into a war of freedom. The proclamation allowed freed slaves to be recruited as Union soldiers, and more than 180,000 African-Americans joined the Union army.

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