Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address
Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address gave Lincoln’s practical and idealistic views regarding ending the Civil War. The Emancipation Proclamation brought forth a permanent way to abolish slavery in the United States. Lincoln viewed that if slavery if ended then the confederate army would lack the free labour they get from slaves and hence deprive the southern of food and economic support, which would make them weak and their defeat would end the civil war. To support his ideology he delivered the Gettysburg address, which is one of the most famous speeches to ever been issued. Both the Emancipation Proclamation and the Gettysburg Address brought a sense of security and hope to the people of the union.
In his address, Lincoln emphasizes what the nation stands for and also shows the greatness of the United States. In the first line of his speech Lincoln explains how the forefathers created a new country founded on liberty and the dedication to the assertion that “all men are created equal”. At the point of Lincoln’s delivery of this speech, many citizens wanted to the nation to go back to the principles that were the foundation of the country. With Lincoln’s infamous quoting of the Declaration of Independence, he was promising to ensure the principle of equality, which the country was founded on remain. In line 9, which is the last line, Lincoln tries to make another point about the end of the civil war by ascertaining that all those that are dead their death is not in vain as their death have shall liberate the nation and bring freedom to the enslaved people as well as maintain the principle of government by the people for the people. Lincoln promises the union that the death of soldiers on the battlefield will not be in vain and sends a beacon of hope to American citizens asserting that the United States is still a country for the people and that will remain.
Similarly, the Emancipation Proclamation promised to commit to abolishing slavery and Lincoln promised that the Civil War forever change the United States. The Proclamation changed the war focus from fighting to unionize to fighting to end slavery as a way to cripple the Confederacy army who were using slaves in the war efforts. In line 5 of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln declared the end of slavery using the power invested in him as the president and instructed the Executive arm of government, which included the military and the naval authorities to recognize and maintain the freedom of the freed slaves. Therefore, the Proclamation served as a firm demonstration of the executive war powers of the president. However, Lincoln and his allies in Congress knew that emancipation had no constitutional basis after the end of the war and therefore, they began to work on enacting a Constitutional amendment that would abolish slavery. The 13th Amendment was passed by both houses of Congress in January 1865 and its ratification that December. Therefore, Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for the complete abolishment of slavery in America.
Importantly, in line 7 of the Emancipation Proclamation, Lincoln permitted African Americans to serve in the Union Army, which allowed them to fight for their freedom. By the time the war ended, more than 200,000 black Americans had served in the Union army and navy as part of the United States Colored Troops (USCT).
In conclusion, in the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln conveyed a message of security, hope, and determination by speaking about the foundation of the nation and its importance in ending the Civil war. In the Emancipation Proclamation Lincoln declared abolishment of slavery as a means to end the civil war.
Transcript of the proclamation. (2017, May 5). Retrieved from https://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured-documents/emancipation-proclamation/transcript.html
National Geographic Society. (2020, March 13). Gettysburg Address. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/gettysburg-address/