Lecture 16: Meanings of Emancipation & Total War 

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This lecture focuses on the process of emancipation after the passage of the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The Proclamation, Professor Blight suggests, had four immediate effects: it made the Union army an army of emancipation; it encouraged slaves to strike against slavery; it committed the US to a policy of emancipation in the eyes of Europe; and it allowed African Americans to enlist in the Union Army. In the end, ten percent of Union soldiers would be African American. A number of factors, Professor Blight suggests, combined to influence the timing of emancipation in particular areas of the South, including geography, the nature of the slave society, and the proximity of the Union army.

Reading assignment:

William Gienapp, Civil War and Reconstruction: A Documentary Collection, part 2, pp. 165-178 and pp. 261-280

Michael P. Johnson, Abraham Lincoln, Slavery, and the Civil War, parts 7-8, pp. 179-263