Significance Of The Emancipation Proclamation

947 Words 4 Pages
The Civil War (1861-1865) between the Union and the Confederacy is perhaps one of the most significant wars in the history of the United States. In fact, the war would ultimately decide the fate of the Union and whether or not the United States would move together as one. With this important war, came an equally important document: The Emancipation Proclamation. The Emancipation Proclamation was developed in the third year of the Civil War to end slavery in all of the Confederate states for the foreseeable future. This document did accomplish its goal, with the exception of the slave-holding border states and few Union states, to eliminate slavery in the United States. More important than the specific elements of this revolutionary document …show more content…
First and most obvious, was the effects that the proclamation had on blacks. The document allowed for the freedom and release of all enslaved African Americans in the Confederacy, which had a huge positive impact on the Southern black population (History 1). Southern blacks were freed and flocked North to either find refuge or, a more popular choice, to join the Union army and help defeat the South (UNC 1). As William Link and James Broomall lay out in their book “Rethinking American Emancipation: Legacies of Slavery and the Quest for Black Freedom”, the Emancipation Proclamation offered southern blacks their first taste of true freedom and helped launch the movement for equality which they would soon receive (Link & Broomall 14-15). The significance of this document did not only concern the blacks of the South however. The Emancipation Proclamation brought severe punishments onto the whites of the South. The document itself did not aim to punish them, but the freedom of their slaves proved as such. During the Civil War, the South was a laggard in comparison to the North when it came to industrialization. Their economy was still strongly based on agriculture and was heavily reliant on slave labor (NPS 1). As a result, the plantation owning whites of the South suffered astounding economic losses when the Emancipation proclamation freed their slave laborers. Although the Emancipation Proclamation is famous for helping abolish slavery completely in the Unites States, its significance extends to the efforts in the Civil War, European international relations, and both the blacks and whites of the South. The document will always be renowned for its pathway towards the Thirteenth Amendment and the illegality of slavery for

Related Documents