The emancipation of African-American slaves in the 1863 during President Lincoln's administration represented the nation fulfilling the ideals and principles articulated in the Declaration of Independence of 1776.
The nation's journey to the Emancipation Proclamation was a long and difficult one. It involved the emergence of a northern abolition movement, an increasingly pro-slavery South, and bitter and costly Civil War. During the conflict, emancipation finally occurred due to the actions of African Americans, the Union military, and the brilliant leadership of Abraham Lincoln.
Questions to pose in a lecture and/or class discussion on Emancipation:
1. Why did the nation fail solve the issue of slavery during the era of the American Revolution?
2. How and why did views about bondage become more polarized in the North and South in the decades before the Civil War?
3. What role did African Americans play in the movement toward emancipation, both before and during the Civil War?
4. Assess Abraham Lincoln's leadership on the issue of emancipation. Why did he seemingly resist freeing the slaves in the early part of the Civil War? Why did he eventually embrace emancipation?