Northup, Solomon. Twelve Years a slave (New York: Penguin Books, 2012). (461)


Medford, Edna Greene. “Lincoln and the Constitutional Dilemma of Emancipation.”



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Medford, Edna Greene. “Lincoln and the Constitutional Dilemma of Emancipation.” OAH Magazine of History (2007): 1-3. (3)
An act which, socially, has come to represent political necessity more than equal humanity, the Emancipation has grown to represent the whole of Abraham Lincoln’s presidency. In Edna Medford’s piece, “Lincoln and the Constitutional Dilemma of Emancipation”, she discusses the position which Lincoln took on slavery, no matter which, would “pose… considerable danger to the goal of the war – preservation of the Union”.48 An acknowledgement only briefly mentioned in Lincoln’s legendary Emancipation Proclamation – explaining the abolishment of slavery and the announcement of individuals under the hand of slavery free “as a fit and necessary war measure for suppressing said rebellion”.49 Though “the Constitution did not expressly give the president authority to free slaves”, as Medford points out, Lincoln declared that because of such authority granted during times of war he was capable and responsible for making such a statement.50 Surely invoking a sour taste in Southerners mouths at the time, the Emancipation Proclamation remained intact and Lincoln fought for it – “The promise [of freedom] being made, must be kept” – though fear circulated, as he was sure his decree would be challenged and the separation of he Union would become inevitable.51 Because of the watered down historical “acuteness” which the educational system feeds individuals, one would normally look at the Emancipation Proclamation as a decree which was created to put an end to what would be known as “America’s shame” for reasons based on mere humanism. Instead though it was a politically savvy move on the part of a president to attempt to control a nation and keep all sides, perhaps not happy, but intact. This action, though, should come to no surprise, as the world deals with issues of this moral-ineptitude all the time; creating ethical fairy takes to place on to acts and legislature which make economic and political sense.




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