There has been much debate about Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. The argument is “Did Abraham Lincoln Free the Slaves”? There has been many questions as to what was the real reason for the American Civil War. Were the Slaves already in their own process of self-emancipation? Abraham Lincoln had much courage to fight for the people’s rights and slavery was keeping people from being free.
The North and the South had very different economic views. Slavery was all over the states and Lincoln understood the role slavery played in the war. The South wanted to strengthen, perpetuate and extend slavery and the North wanted to restrict the territorial enlargement of it. Allen C. Guelzo argues yes to Lincoln freeing the slaves. Guelzo portrays “Lincolon as a president deeply committed to ending slavery”. Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation put together with the Thirteenth Amendment laid a “firm foundation” to ending the slave system in the South. The Emancipation Proclamation was history in the making, its movement was to abolish slavery within three years. Yet as Guelzo expressed “it was best known for what it did not do”. Richard Hofstadter a historian from Columbia University stated the Lincoln” was, as always, thinking primarily of the free white worker” and was “never much troubled about the Negro.” Lincoln was and Enlightenment politician and believed in universal natural rights. It was said that the Enlightenment’s political virtues for Lincoln was “prudence”. Lincoln’s practice of politics involved the rule of prudence and as stated “obeying the dictates of prudence”. Lincoln stated that the management of the war would be “done consistently with the prudence.. which ought always to regulate the public service.” This was Lincoln’s strategy for the emancipation. Guelzo states that prudence demanded a means to an end. The means being his oath to uphold the Constitution and his near-religious reverence for the rule of law, and the ends which is the elimination of slavery. Lincoln took on a big challenge and gambled by releasing the Emancipation Proclamation. The Proclamation was an “emergency measure” a substitute for the permanent plan that would free the slaves. It limited emancipation only to certain states or parts of the states. Lincoln had the authority to free slaves.
Vincent Harding had a different view of the freedom movement. The blacks wanted desperately to be free, and when the war broke out they were convinced that it had to destroy slavery. The blacks depended much on God and they claimed that God was providing a way out of the darkness of slavery. God gave them hope. Many slaves were running away to labor sabotage and volunteering to serve in the Union armies. It was stated in this article that the Anglo-African from the North, believed that in aiding the Federal government in any way they can they would be aiding to secure their own liberty. Harding states that the Civil War created the context for self-liberating black movement which was already developed before the war. The slaves would continue to rebel from the system of slavery and many followed. Large numbers of black fugitives broke free from Virginia and the Carolinas and moved toward Richmond. The Union-held Fortress Monroe was a “freedom fort” for the fugitives and their families. Many blacks and their children were running to freedom and no matter the obstacle they would continue. They assembled at North folk, Hampton, Alexandria and Washington and others fled north to Tennessee, Kentucky, Arkansas, and Missouri. This was a black movement toward “a new history, a new life, a new beginning”. Their movement did not dramatic they kept it quiet. The commander in chief of