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Did Abraham Lincoln Free the Slaves?
Taking Sides/Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in American History.
Historians have long debated over the issue "Did Abraham Lincoln free the Slaves" or did the slaves free themselves from slavery by engaging in a dramatic movement of self-liberation.This debate can be seen in the writings of James M. McPherson from "Drawn with the Sword: Reflection on the American Civil War" and in Vincent Harding from "There Is a River: The Black Struggle for Freedom in American."McPherson believes Lincoln was the great emancipator of the slaves through his endless pursuit to abolish slavery, his political leader ship, and the use of the Union Army to act as a liberator of the slaves.Harding on the other hand maintains that Lincoln refused to use the issue of ending slavery as a war aim in the beginning and then issued the Emancipation Proclamation only when it fit it to who his own needs.Harding also states that after the Emancipation Proclamation was issued it failed to free any slaves and that it was the slaves who freed themselves by joining in !
a dramatic movement of self-liberation.
McPherson has cited a few examples to reaffirm his belief that Lincoln was the great emancipator of the slaves.Lincoln's political career was based on the opposition of the expansion of slavery.This theme was Lincoln'sfirst step towards ending slavery.From the time of Lincoln's return to politics up to the time Lincoln was elected President, Lincoln gave several speeches were the central issue was slavery.McPherson states, "Lincoln denounced slavery as a monstrous injustice, an unqualified evil to the Negro, to the White man, to the soil and to the state."
McPherson has stated that Lincoln was a man of principle and would not compromise his beliefs or his principles.On different occasions Seward tried to compel Lincoln into compromising…

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