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By Martin KellyDecember 14, 2010
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Two years after Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, the 13th Amendment was created. This Amendment to the Constitution abolished slavery throughout the entire United States and not just areas under Union control.
The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in the states in rebellion against the United States. It did not free the slaves in the areas under Union control. Those were the border states and they kept their slaves until the 13th Amendment.
Lincoln said that the Emancipation Proclamation was the only thing he would be remebered for, testament to his belief that the war’s meaning and its cause was slavery. The only const amendment during the civil war barred slavery. Even the South Carolina ordinance of secession (acknowledged as the south declaration of independence) was a diatribe about slave-holders rights and bitterly complained about Lincoln being anti-slavery. The revisionist history that tries to downplay slavery as the cause of the war is ridiculous. The dred scott decision that enraged the north and was cheered by the south was about slavery, popular sovereignty was about slavery, The Lincoln-Douglas debates were only noteworthy for its focus on slavery; the very creation of The Republican Party was to oppose slavery, otherwise Lincoln and other would have just remained in the Whig party etc etc
Revisionist history is a relative term It wasn’t too long ago that the assertion that slavery had been the paramount issue in causing the Civil War was itself the revisionist school of historiography. The “outrage” in the north at the Taney courts decision in Dred Scott was in part a reaction to the application of the Fugitive Slave Act which many regarded as an egregious violation of,ironically, state sovereignty.
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