World History

Did the Emancipation Proclamation influence the Civil War?
Answered by Discovery Channel
  • Discovery Channel

    Discovery Channel

  1. President Abraham Lincoln's goal in drafting the Emancipation Proclamation was to abolish slavery. The document caused shockwaves that were felt throughout the Confederacy and the Union and even in Europe, possibly affecting the outcome of the Civil War. Before the document was signed, the Union Army was having trouble overcoming the Confederacy. Confederate soldiers were motivated by what they felt was a just cause - - protecting state rights. When the proclamation was issued, it changed the focus of the war to slavery. This affected Confederate troop morale; wealthy plantation owners could buy their way out of fighting in the Confederate Army, so most Confederate soldiers were poor men who didn't own slaves. The men became less motivated. The Emancipation Proclamation also allowed freed slaves to enlist in the Union Army. When the Confederate's position on slavery became the war's focus, European allies - - who had abandoned slavery years before - - withdrew their support.

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