The Emancipation Proclamation By Horace Greeley

2014 Words9 Pages
The Emancipation Proclamation is centered on the concept of freeing the slaves; however, the proclamation did not actually free any slaves but had a greater goal of preserving the Union through European alliance. The Emancipation Proclamation did not free slaves in Union controlled lands but instead freed the slaves where the federal government had no real power. At his inauguration, Lincoln even stated that he has “no lawful right [to] interfere with the institution of slavery in the states where it [already] exists.” Furthermore, Lincoln revealed, in a letter to Horace Greeley that slavery is not even a primary focus of his political agenda when he stated “my paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and it is not either to save or destroy slavery.” This letter also emphasizes Lincoln’s chief interest during the American Civil War – to maintain the Union. Therefore, Lincoln himself indicated that the Emancipation Proclamation’s purpose was to preserve the Union by successfully aiding in closing the door to European intervention in the South.
This fear of European intervention was the result of ties between the South and the economy in Europe. In the early stages of the Civil War, the European superpowers sympathized with the Confederacy and the Union feared they might even intervene and bring about Southern independence. Southern leaders believed that recognition and assistance from European countries would help the Confederacy win the war. While the
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