Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics/Emancipation Proclamation


What effects did the Emancipation Proclamation have on the Civil War? Did the Conservatives react at all?

Most of the pro-slave faction of the US had already seceded and was at war with the federal government, so a large portion of potential critics were already out of the political picture when Lincoln issues the proclamation.

That said, a great many northerners, including the former commanding general of the Union army, George McClellan, felt deeply betrayed by Lincoln's Proclamation.  They believed that southerners had the right to own slaves and believed Lincoln's earlier statements that he would respect those rights, that he was merely demanding that the union remain united.  So many were upset by Lincoln's act.

That said, there was probably a larger number of people in the North who strongly supported Lincoln's Proclamation.  Many felt that slavery needed to end and that southerners had brought this on themselves by engaging in armed rebellion.

But one of the main reasons as far as the war effort went for the Proclamation was foreign.  Great Britain was a strong trading partner with the South.  Many were concerned that it might provide assistance to the south and perhaps even join the war.  However, Britain had also already outlawed slavery in all of its colonies.  By making the Civil War more clearly about ending slavery, Lincoln, made it much more difficult politically for Britain to support the South in the war.

I hope this helps!
- Mike  

Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question about U.S. Political history, Constitutional law, the legislative process, elections, etc. I enjoy Presidential and Congressional historical trivia, but can answer more substantive questions too.


Former Staff member for a Congressman and Senator. I also worked on about 10 Congressional and Presidential campaigns (only one that won). For a short time, I worked in the legal department of the Federal Election Commission.    I have a B.A. in Political Science.

Former LBJ Fellow (paid fellowship for Congressional Staff).
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary Society).

Washington Post
Washington Times

J.D. University of Michigan
B.A. George Washington University (Poli. Sci. major).

Awards and Honors
LBJ Fellow
Truman Scholar

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