Someone has to say it!

The civil war in this country was not started to end slavery. It was started to stop the southern states from seceding from the Union. It was also started because the industrial north wanted continued inexpensive access to raw and processed materials such as cotton to feed the manufacturing might of the north.

President Lincoln suffered major losses over an 18 month period on the battlefield and a loss of support by some in the north for his efforts to keep the southern states in the Union. In September of 1862 he had the Emancipation Proclamation drafted

The Emancipation Proclamation was designed to free some slaves in the south but no mention of slaves in the north was effective January 1, 1863, almost three years into the civil war. I should note that the Proclamation applied to only those southern states that had in fact seceded from the Union. Some people ignore the fact that some southern states initially did not actually secede from the Union but joined in the fighting to show solidarity with fellow southerners.

Lincoln saw two positives that could come from the proclamation; first it would give a moral base for northern soldiers and their officers and political leaders to prosecute the war. Secondly it would offer slaves the opportunity to serve in the Union Army. The latter actually resulted by the end of the war in 200,000 plus slaves joining the army. According to written reports, diaries and such of black soldiers they hoped that the success of the Union Army would offer full freedom from slavery for all the slaves in the south and maybe in the north as well. It should also be noted in the letters and diaries of Union officers and soldiers that many refused to follow the directives in the Proclamation because they felt it was in conflict with our Constitution.

As the war preceded the moral issue gained strength with the north because they needed to justify to their constituents the huge loss of men to death, capture and wounds. Voters could and would vote against those who did not have a real justification for the war. By the end of the war the press was posturing the efforts of the north and Lincoln as an decision to free slaves. Little was written of the northern industrial complexes needs.

President Lincoln who started the war without consideration of freeing slaves eventually found it a rallying point for the Union in light of the severe losses the Union Army had suffered. It is kind of like Obama in 2008 being in favor of marriage between a man and a woman as guided by Jesus Christ and in 2012 he was in favor of same sex marriage. It was not a moral decision it was a practical political decision.

The reasons I bring these facts up is because the press is using the Confederate Battle Flag issue in South Carolina as the rallying cry for the Union’s war to end slavery. It is just not true,

The truth is the motivation for the Emancipation Proclamation was a practical decision to give cover to the Union for an unexpected long war with major loss of life. It was decades before further efforts were made to truly free slaves and provide civil rights.

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