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Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation

            Abraham Lincoln never believed in equality for blacks. He said, "I am not, nor have I ever been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political quality of the white and black races." Despite this, Lincoln wrote one of the most important liberating documents, the Emancipation Proclamation, which freed slaves in areas fighting against the Union. These two actions can be reconciled because for Abraham Lincoln, the Emancipation Proclamation was created out of political necessity, not for moral reasons. Lincoln's primary goal as president was to maintain the unity of the United States. Lincoln realized that the only way to preserve the Union was to abolish slavery.in the south, however he did not want to give them the same rights as whites. This distinction is extremely important as to why Lincoln was able to write the Emancipation Proclamation without contradicting his own beliefs. .
             Lincoln believed that slavery was wrong, but was in no sense an abolitionist. Part of this was because Lincoln never had the power until the Civil War to ban slavery. His plan was to restrict slavery to the South, where it would most likely die out. When the Civil War started, Lincoln did his best to keep slavery out of the war, explicitly stating that he had no intention of ending slavery. However, as the war went on, it soon became clear that in order to truly unite America again, he needed to change the idea behind the war, and declare slavery illegal. By freeing the slaves, Lincoln also gained the support of the Radical Republicans, which allowed him to be re-elected in 1864.
             The timing of the issuing of the Emancipation Proclamation was a strategic move that helped to ensure the defeat of the South. Lincoln issued it at a time when the Confederates were looking to France and Great Britain for aid in the Civil War. The Proclamation, however, helped to deter France and Great Britain from aiding the South because it redefined the intent of the war.

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