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p. 906. Emancipationlocked

  • Allen C. Guelzo

Abstract

‘Emancipation’ explains how Lincoln responded to the secessionist crisis. The Confederates had seceded in order to avoid being coerced into emancipation. Presidents had no constitutional power to overturn any state's slavery statutes merely by proclamation, and there was always the chance that any direct movement against slavery in the border states might fuel the secession fire and push the border states into the hands of the Confederates. Lincoln turned to the idea of a military-style proclamation of emancipation, based on his war powers as commander in chief. His proclamation was released as a presidential order, to become effective on January 1, 1863.

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