|The Causes and Effects of the Emancipation Proclamation
History tells a story of events – these events can serve as causes of other events, effects from the previous event, or both. As readers of history, it is important to not only know the events that take place but also to understand the causal relationships that link the events together.
Directions: In each of the italicized paragraphs that follow, the authors have set up a variety of cause-and effect relationships. Your job is to:
Correctly identify these relationships (the causes and the effects), and then answer the questions that follow.
In the first paragraph, this has been done for you.
In the paragraphs that follow, you’ll have to identify the missing parts of the relationship and then answer the related question.
In the first few paragraphs, the causes have been written in bold; as you go forward, they are written in regular font.
Text adapted from Joyce Appleby, Alan Brinkley, Albert S. Broussard, James M. McPherson and Donald A. Ritchie, Discovering Our Past: The American Journey: To World War I, California Series (New York: McGraw Hill Glencoe, 592-5; Emma J. Lapsansky-Werner, Peter B.Levy, Randy Roberts, and Alan Taylor, United States History (Upper Saddle River, N.J.: Pearson Prentice Hall, 2008), pp. 367-70.
PARAGRAPH ONE (1)
From the start of the war, the Northerners’ main goal was to preserve the Union, not to end slavery. Although the events of the war would also ultimately impact their decision making, Lincoln and other Republican leaders often insisted that they would act only to prevent the expansion of slavery into new states in the West. Lincoln was also concerned that the Border States, home to many slave-owners, might secede from the Union if the Union abolished slavery. However, there were also military reasons to end slavery. Since slaves provided the main labor force of the South, and raised food and dug trenches for the army, freeing the slaves would hurt the Confederate war effort.
Cause: if the Union abolished slavery
Effect: “the Border States…might secede from the Union”
Cause: expansion of slavery into new states in the West.
Effect: Lincoln and other Republican leaders…would act only to prevent the expansion
Effect: “would hurt the Confederate war effort.”
Cause: Since slaves provided the main labor force of the South, and raised food and dug trenches for the army, freeing the slaves
1. Explain how freeing the slaves could both help and hurt the Union’s chances of winning the war.
PARAGRAPH TWO (2)
By 1863, 100,000 slaves had fled to the Union army. In response, the Union army declared these escapees contraband, or captured war supplies, and protected their freedom. Lincoln, abolitionists, and “contrabands” wanted to enlist black soldiers to fight for the Union, but under the existing laws black men could not join the army.
Cause: By 1863, 100,000 slaves had
fled to the Union
2. What were “contrabands”, and how did they pose a threat to the Confederacy?
PARAGRAPH THREE (3)
On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It stated that all slaves in the states controlled by the Confederacy were free. Since the emancipation did not apply to slaves in the Border States or in Union-held areas, not one slave was actually set free by the proclamation. However, the Border States were pleased and remained in the Union. Abolitionists, “contrabands”, and slaves were overjoyed at the decision, although some thought it did not go far enough.
Cause: On January 1, 1863, President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation.
Effect: “not one slave was actually set free by the Proclamation.”
3. If “not one slave was actually set free,” why do you believe that “Border States were pleased” and “Abolitionists, ‘contrabands,’ and slaves were overjoyed” when Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation?
PARAGRAPH FOUR (4)
After the Emancipation Proclamation, the reason the Union was fighting the war changed to include bringing freedom to the slaves. Wherever the Union armies approached, slaves freed themselves by fleeing to the Union lines. By the end of the war, more than 500,000 slaves were free. The Emancipation Proclamation also announced that black men could enlist in the Union army. Therefore, black regiments formed, and more than 180,000 black soldiers and sailors fought for the Union.
Cause: After the Emancipation
Effect: “slaves freed themselves by fleeing to the Union lines. By the end of the war, more than 500,000 slaves were free.”
Effect/Cause: “black regiments formed”
4. How did the Emancipation Proclamation empower [give more power to] slaves?
PARAGRAPH FIVE (5)
Union victory led to the passage of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865, freeing all people everywhere in the United States from slavery.
Cause: Union victory
4. Since the Emancipation Proclamation was officially issued in January 1863, why did leaders feel they also
needed the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865?