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A Radical Recognition of Freedom

A Radical Recognition of Freedom

Chapter:
(p.139) 10 A Radical Recognition of Freedom
Source:
Act of Justice
Author(s):
Burrus M. Carnahan
Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813124636.003.0011

This chapter discusses one question frequently raised by critics of Abraham Lincoln: why did he wait so long to free the slaves of the Confederacy? It states that the unspoken assumptions of these critics are that any emancipation proclamation, even an unconstitutional one, was better than none at all, and that the president would have acted on that basis if he truly hated slavery. However, what is significant is that the decision of Lincoln to recognize the freedom of an oppressed people, to offer them assistance in securing that freedom, and to ask for their aid against a common enemy, has remained an important diplomatic weapon in the continuing struggle for human liberty.

Keywords:   critics, Abraham Lincoln, slaves, Confederacy, emancipation proclamation, slavery, freedom, diplomatic weapon, human liberty

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