The Emancipation Proclamation 1863

The Emancipation Proclamation 1863

The Emancipation Proclamation 1863
The Emancipation Proclamation – An 1890 lithograph depicting the historic proclamation.

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, as the country entered its third year of deadly civil war. “All people kept as slaves” within the insurgent states “are, and henceforth shall be free,” the declaration said.

Despite its broad language, the Emancipation Proclamation had significant limitations. It only applied to states that had seceded from the US, leaving slavery in the loyal border states unaffected. It also specifically omitted areas of the Confederacy (the Southern separatist states) that had already been taken over by the North. Above all, the independence it guaranteed was contingent on Union (US) military success.

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