It was not the intention of Lincoln to abolish slavery at the start of the civil war, but circumstances changed along the way. Slavery became a major war issue. As a result, Lincoln and most of his generals became committed to abolishing slavery in the United States. Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address contributed immensely to recognizing equality among all humans, redefinition of the country, and transforming American history to abolish slavery. The Gettysburg was one of the greatest speeches written by Abraham Lincoln as a tribute to more than 7,000 fallen Union soldiers at the Gettysburg cemetery. It was meant to remind people about fighting for freedom for all people. This essay explains Lincoln’s practical and idealistic views concerning the end of the Civil War.
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Lincoln played a critical role in ending the Civil War because of the issuing preliminary Proclamation in 1862 that took effect in 1863 (Lincoln, 1863). The Proclamation ordered the freeing of slaves in places that were rebelling against the United States. As Commander in Chief, Lincoln ordered the military to enforce freedom and allow some slaves to serve as soldiers. Indeed, after Lincoln signed the Proclamation, he was in a dilemma based on his affirmation; lines 25-30 of the Emancipation Proclamation state, “he had never felt more certain that I was doing right” (Lincoln, 1863). However, he had the power to proclaim such an order as Commander in Chief of the armed forces. Such orders paved the way for abolishing slavery in the United States.
Lincoln could not enforce emancipation; however, it was a critical milestone for the US government to abolish slavery. About 2,000 African Americans were involved in the war. It prompted Lincoln to change his character to give the war a different face by recognizing equality among all people. In essence, it was the right time for aligning the nation’s policies with one of the promises anchored in the Declaration of Independence that in lines 10-20 of the Emancipation Proclamation state “…all men are created equal…” (Lincoln, 1863). The proclamation of this war was meant to save the Union from slavery.
Besides, Lincoln’s practical and idealistic views concerning the end of the Civil War were expressed in the Gettysburg Address as stated in lines 10-20 of Gettysburg Address Lincoln’s hope for the nation was “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” (Lincoln, 1863). It implies that the war underwent evolution to preserve the country that gave “new birth of freedom” (Lincoln, 1863). Lincoln tried to align the nation’s policies to advocate for equality for all people regardless of their origin. Even though the Civil War continued for some years, the Emancipation Proclamation prevailed, and champions of the war surrendered in 1865 (Lincoln, 1863). Therefore, Lincoln’s efforts aimed at ending the civil war.
In conclusion, the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address showed great sympathy for slaves and ensured that they were set free. The Emancipation Proclamation became a crucial act demonstrated by the Lincoln administration in 1865. Lincoln’s actions portrayed him as the “Great Emancipator” because he used powers vested upon him to call for justice. Not only was it a military necessity, but also the abolition of slavery to bring justice for all. Hence, the fight against the civil war made Lincoln use the Emancipation Proclamation and Gettysburg Address to end the Civil War.
Lincoln, A. (1863). The Emancipation Proclamation. Web.
Lincoln, A. (1863). The Gettysburg Address. Web.
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