Words nearby Emancipation Proclamation
MORE ABOUT EMANCIPATION PROCLAMATION
What was the Emancipation Proclamation?
The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued by US President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War that ordered the freeing of enslaved peoples in Confederate states not yet captured by Union forces.
How is Emancipation Proclamation pronounced?
[ ih-man-suh–pey-shuhn prok-luh–mey-shuhn ]
What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?
After signing a preliminary order on September 22, 1862, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, two years into the Civil War.
During those first two years, ending slavery had not been a primary goal of the Civil War. Union leaders primarily wanted to stop slavery from expanding into the Western states. In fact, many Northerners opposed emancipation, especially in border states such as Kentucky that allowed slavery.
As the war went on, however, Lincoln came to see the importance of emancipation, or the act of freeing enslaved people, as a tactic to end the conflict. In 1862, after a symbolic Union victory, Lincoln threatened to declare the freedom of enslaved people in the Confederate states if those states didn’t return to the Union. When the Confederacy didn’t respond, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation. It declared that any enslaved people in states designated as rebelling against the Union would be free from that moment onward. It also permitted formerly enslaved people to join the US army, and meant that when an enslaved person in the affected territories escaped the Confederate government’s control, they were automatically freed.
The Emancipation Proclamation didn’t immediately end all slavery in the US. In Union border states and in Confederate territories captured by the Union, slavery remained “as if this proclamation had not been issued,” according to the January 1 proclamation. Also, at the time, the Confederacy, of course, had rejected Lincoln’s authority over them, so the Union would have to win to enforce the order.
Nevertheless, the Emancipation Proclamation boosted the Union army’s ranks by allowing Black soldiers to join. It also helped to turn public perception of the Civil War from a fight for unification into a fight for freedom, a moral cause that deterred foreign powers from supporting the Confederacy.
With the Emancipation Proclamation as its forerunner, the Thirteenth Amendment, which formally abolished slavery across the United States, was ratified on December 9, 1865, after the Civil War ended.
The end of slavery in the U.S. is often celebrated on the holiday known as Juneteenth, which commemorates the anniversary of the day (June 19, 1865) on which enslaved African Americans in Texas became some of the last enslaved people in the U.S. to be informed that slavery had been abolished.
Examples of Emancipation Proclamation
“From the veranda, Lincoln would have been able to see fresh graves being dug at the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery. He wrote several drafts of the Emancipation Proclamation in the cottage’s study.”
—Gillian Brockell, Washington Post, May 15, 2017
This content is not meant to be a formal definition of this term. Rather, it is an informal summary that seeks to provide supplemental information and context important to know or keep in mind about the term’s history, meaning, and usage.
How to use Emancipation Proclamation in a sentence
However, just as the Declaration of Independence did not free a single American, the Emancipation Proclamation established the basis upon which a war would be fought and freedom won.Reconsidering Abraham Lincoln’s Legacy Is All Well and Good—But You Can't Argue with Results|Edward Steers Jr.|April 15, 2021|Time
Sherman and Stanton asked Frazier what he understood about slavery and Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.40 acres and a mule: How the first reparations for slavery ended in betrayal|DeNeen L. Brown|April 15, 2021|Washington Post
During the 1960s, civil rights leaders looked to Lincoln as a representative of a promise of the Emancipation Proclamation still unfulfilled a century after the abolition of slavery, when full racial equality had yet to be achieved.Politicians Quote Abraham Lincoln a Lot. Historians Say They Don't Always Do His Words Justice|Olivia B. Waxman|February 11, 2021|Time
It would be a half-century after Posey’s death before President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation would change that equation for those like him.George Washington’s 1795 Thanksgiving celebrated liberty. But the chef behind the feast had none.|Ramin Ganeshram|November 19, 2020|Washington Post
But from the anguish of soulless industrial lagers rises the emancipation of artisan brewing.House of the Witch: The Renegade Craft Brewers of Panama|Jeff Campagna|November 30, 2014|DAILY BEAST
The Copperheads, a group of Midwestern Democrats, made the accusation—and far worse—against President Lincoln during Emancipation.
The Emancipation Proclamation, as Nancy Pelosi reminds us, was an executive action.
Education for everyone, land sharing, emancipation of women, and equal rights for black Cubans.
Mayor Bill de Blasio sent a proclamation and two commissioners to read it.
Quickly following this the King issued in 1632 another proclamation regulating the retailing of tobacco.
A proclamation was issued by government to establish a manufactory for white paper in England.The Every Day Book of History and Chronology|Joel Munsell
I rejoice in being able to say that the general tendency of the speeches was towards universal Emancipation, mental and physical.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
The policy thus initiated found final expression in the famous Proclamation of 1763, in the early months of Grenville's ministry.The Eve of the Revolution|Carl Becker
After the formal proclamation was issued the function terminated with a banquet given to 200 insurgent notabilities.The Philippine Islands|John Foreman