Abraham Lincoln And The Struggle For Union And Emancipation - Bridgewater Raritan High School; APUSH 1 - DBQ

698 words - 3 pages

President Abraham Lincoln faced an incredible challenge during his time as
Commander-in-Chief of the United States: reuniting the Union. Lincoln’s sole purpose in
fighting the Civil War was to mend the break between the North and the South. Fortunately,
Lincoln realized he had to accommodate changes to the war plan if it helped him achieve his
ultimate goal. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, establishing
the abolition of slavery one of the Union’s war aims (OI). Lincoln freed the slaves to weaken the
South, strengthen the North’s government, and bolster the Union army, supplementing the
preservation the Union.
President Lincoln claimed that if he could save the Union without freeing any slave, he
would do it (OI). Deep into the war, Lincoln realized that emancipating the slaves would provide
the North an economic and political advantage. The agricultural South depended on slaves so
much; their entire economy would collapse without it (OI). By issuing the Emancipation
Proclamation, Lincoln hoped that slaves on Southern plantations would revolt, usurping the
Southern labor supply (Document B). In the Civil War, this small economic difference tipped the
scale in favor of the Union. By removing the South’s primary methods of production, the South
lacked the reinforcement necessary to effectively fight the war, consequently breaking the
backbone of rebellion, unlike like any other advantage (Document D). Another way Lincoln
weakened the South by freeing the slaves, was stripping the South of all foreign help. Lincoln
believed that Emancipation would turn the international popular opinion in favor of the Union
and its new anti-slavery cause (Document B). The emancipation of slaves was a strong political
move in denying the Confederacy political and financial support from France or Britain. This
evidence indicates, Lincoln commitment to the primary purpose of the war: reuniting the Union;
however he strives to achieve this by emancipating the slaves, and weakening the South.
Issuing the Emancipation Proclamation also strengthened the Union government in many
ways. It instilled nationalism in the hearts of many Americans, as evidenced by Albert And...

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