Reply To: Emancipation Proclamation


Professors Gutzman and McClanahan, thanks for the responses. For a man who was never a “committed abolitionist” and said in his first inaugural address that he didn’t intend to interfere with the institution of slavery, my real question is why was it that he decided to issue the EP at all? As a “war measure” do you think he did it to damage the southern economy further, to provoke a slave uprising, to gain European support for the north, etc.? Or did he decide in the middle of the war that, with how horribly things were going, he should take this as an opportunity to end slavery once and for all? If this was the case then why would he free slaves in only rebel states?