o Lincoln 's reputation as the great emancipator rests largely on his emancipation proclamation, an executive order which went into effect on January 1st, 1863. This order ostensibly freed all the slaves in territory currently rebelling against the United States, i.e. in areas where the US government had no authority to free slaves. This is rather like the United States announcing that, from here on out, North Korea would be ruled by Lady Gaga. Sure, it 's a great idea, but it 's not really your jurisdiction. In areas where the US did have the authority to free slaves--the border states and some of the areas of the Confederacy that had been effectively conquered and occupied by federal troops, those slaves were not freed. So Lincoln…show more content…
So Lincoln may also have issued the Proclamation in order to shift the focus of the war from Union to slavery to prevent the British from recognizing the Confederacy. Arguably, the Confederacy 's best chance to win the Civil War was to get some kind of foreign patron, and Britain was the likeliest choice as it was very dependent on Confederate textiles. But as you 'll remember from all those people going to Canada, Britain had already abolished slavery and it was the historic source of abolitionist sentiment, and so it was very shrewd of Lincoln to make the war about slavery. Off-topic, but if I may put on my world historian hat for a moment, thank you, Stan, the fact that the British did not recognize the South had profound effects on the whole world, because it meant that the British shifted their focus to Egypt and India as sources of cotton for their textile mills. All that noted, I think Lincoln does deserve some credit for freeing the slaves, for two reasons.
First, he pushed for the Thirteenth Amendment, which actually ended slavery in the United States, and perhaps more importantly, he continued the war to its conclusion and demanded that the end of slavery and the return of the southern states to the Union be conditions for