Negash 1Siena NegashAP US History Period 4Mr. RustigianJanuary 9, 2018Who Freed the Slaves? Slavery first began in the United States in 1619 when the first African slaves were shipped to Jamestown. The purpose for their arrival was to aid in the production of profitable crops like tobacco. However, as the years went on, their purpose expanded. It wasn’t until the 1830s that the abolition movement began. It was a consequence of the Second Great Awakening. Abolitionists were led to see that slavery was a product of personal sin and that emancipation was the price of repentance. The result was the Civil War. There were four big contributors to the abolition of slavery; African Americans, the US Army and Navy, the US Congress, and President Abraham Lincoln. African Americans were the ones who pushed the emancipation of slavery throughout the nation. The US Army and Navy enforced the laws and acts that were being created during the Civil War. The US Congress accepted and passed the new laws that were being created. President Abraham Lincoln was the brains in the group. He was the one who proposed all the acts that were put into effect during the war. African Americans contributed the least to the abolition of slavery, however, they certainly had the most amount of effort. A series of African American abolitionists sweeped the nation. A few of these abolitionists include Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, and Sojourner Truth. Frederick Douglass is known as the father of the civil rights movement. He was an orator, author, human rights and women’s rights activist, abolitionist, and more. Douglass was a consultant to President Lincoln. He helped convince him that slaves should serve in the Union Negash 2forces. He also convinced him that the abolition of slavery should be a goal of the war. Harriet Tubman was the slave who escaped and lead other slaves through the Underground Railroad. However, she didn’t stop there. She also worked for the Union army as a nurse, a cook, and a spy. She was helpful because she knew the land well due to the experience of leading slaves through the Underground Railroad. Tubman also enlisted a group of former slaves to hunt for rebel camps and report any movement of the Confederate troops. Sojourner Truth was an African American abolitionist and a Women’s Rights Activist. Much like Tubman, she helped recruit black soldiers for the Union Army. In 1861, Union General Winfield Scott created the Anaconda Plan in order to defeat the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War. There were three main steps in this plan. The first step was to blockade all Eastern and Southern ports in the Confederate states. This blockade hindered international support for the South. The second step was to Divide the South by taking control of the Mississippi River. The third step was to take control of the Tennessee Valley and march through Georgia to the coast. During that same year, the Port Royal Experiment occurred. The Union liberated the Sea Islands off the coast of South Carolina and Port Royal, their main harbor. These islands were plantations of slave labor. The Navy captured the islands during the first year of the war. White planters deserted their plantations. These plantations were soon taken over by freed slaves who began farming on self-surveyed areas. This was an experiment to see how well slaves would do on their own. They thought that the slaves weren’t capable of taking care of themselves, however, they were wrong. Instead, the slaves thrived. This experiment was advocated by Lincoln. General Benjamin Butler was appointed General by President Abraham Lincoln on May 16, 1861. At the beginning of the war, he and the 8th Massachusetts protected Washington DC in case Maryland seceded. They were one of the first troops to do that. General Negash 3Benjamin Butler was also one of the first to identify slaves who ran away into Union lines as “contraband of war”, in spite of the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. In 1861, the US Congress passed the first Confiscation Act. This act proclaimed that slaves should be considered free if they were used for revolutionary purposes and supported the effort of the Confederate military. In July 1862, Congress passed the second Confiscation Act. This Act set forth to free the slaves of people that aided and supported the insurrection. It also authorized the president to employ African Americans as soldiers. The Militia Act of 1862 was also passed on that same day. This Act permitted African Americans for participate as war laborers and soldiers. A few years later, in January 1865, the US Congress passed the 13th Amendment. This amendment abolished slavery. “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.” The US Congress contributed to the war by raising an army and funding it. In July 1861, Congress passed the first of Salmon Chase’s proposals. This proposal enabled the Treasury to borrow about $250 million for the war effort by providing bonds and notes. In 1863, Congress allowed Lincoln to suspend the writ of habeas corpus in response to the Civil War. This was done for public safety. As a result, political prisoners were released. Abraham Lincoln contributed the most to the abolition of slavery. This is because he brought everyone together and instigated this movement. Abraham Lincoln began his public career declaring that he was against the expansion of slavery, however, he didn’t call for immediate emancipation. At the start of the Civil War, Lincoln claimed that the war was for the protection of the Union rather than the abolition of slavery. He knew that if he admitted that the war was for the abolition of slavery, neither the Northerners nor the inhabitants of the border Negash 4slave states would support it. However, by 1862, Lincoln claimed that the abolition of slavery was the motive for the war. Not too long after, on September 9, 1862, Lincoln proposed the Emancipation Proclamation. After the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam, Lincoln declared his aim to use his war power to distribute an executive order that would free all slaves in the Confederacy. This proclamation was later to be passed by Congress. Due to the proclamation applying only to slaves still under Confederate control, the immediate effect was limited. The Emancipation Proclamation was an important turning point in the war. It transformed the fight to preserve the nation into a battle for human freedom. On November 19, 1863, Lincoln presented the Gettysburg Address. In this address, Lincoln advocated the Declaration of Independence. Lincoln also emphasized that the war was to both fight to preserve the Union and being equality to all of its citizens. “…conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” On March 4, 1865 (one month before his assassination), Lincoln presented the Second Inaugural Address. In this speech, Lincoln reflected on the causes and meaning of the war. He explained that the Civil War was a divine punishment for the sin of slavery. After centuries, slavery ended. However, it wasn’t the Emancipation Proclamation that ended it. It just gave African Americans hope. Slavery wasn’t fully abolished until the 13th Amendment was passed, marking the end of slavery. African Americans, the US Navy and Military, the US Congress, and Abraham Lincoln saw to it. However, Lincoln did not get to witness their success due to his assassination. By 1870, slavery was abolished. However, most were not treated any better.
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