I have an essay due Thurs. and the way I see it (as of the moment...I'm still researching), I want to argue the negative. Here's the question
"I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races." How can this 1858 statement of Abraham Lincoln be reconciled with his 1862 Emancipation Proclamation.
The thing is, the E.P. alone did NOT give the two social and political equality. It was the constitutional amendments that followed that actually did that (and he was dead by then...). But I'm not sure if I'm allowed to say that because it doesn't relate directly to the E.P (or maybe it does...). Help?
Here's my train of thought (and PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong):
The E.P. had a political motive. Lincoln wanted Europe out of the war. Knowing that they(Euro) wouldn't fight against a country who is fighting to abolish slavery, Lincoln secured the absense of Europe in the war, aiding the North in their original plan of keeping the union together (outside help might've turned the tide for the S).
The E.P. also (eventually) secured the vote of the blacks who could easily turn any tide in any election because there are so many of them. The rad republicans know that if they keep the blacks voting, the blacks with vote for them, thus keeping them(rads) in power. Why should Lincoln go against them? The North is winning the war and everybody loves him. Why make more trouble? So, to me, it's not Lincoln who's giving equality to the blacks, it's the people that work with him.
So now I feel like I'm getting ahead of myself. But, if I can word this correctly: Lincoln's E.P. did not reconcile what he said. He was dead before most of the equality could get to the slaves. Sure, he may have started it, but I think he had larger motives than just giving equality to slaves. He, above all else, wanted to keep the Union together. With Europe's absense, the south has no where to turn for help.
Ugh, I can't get this out. If you are still reading, I applaud you. Bottom line: Lincoln's E.P.'s motive was NOT freeing the slaves. Maybe I'm just going crazy, but it's just all pointing towards political motives. 1 - free blacks equals more votes for rads (who are his party). 2 - Euro's absense in war hurts S. 3 - gains more support from the already anti-slavery people. 4 - hurts the S economically - the E.P. frees southern labor - helps the N defeat the S by hurting them economically (I feel like I'm sounding redundant).
I feel like I have enough information to argue my point, but I can't seem to eloquently put it together. And I don't even know if I'm heading in the right direction. Somebody help me...
Okay, maybe I'm not done yet. (I'm still just typing what's coming to my mind...if you can follow, great.) What person doesn't want to see their group succeed? Maybe Lincoln didn't personally want the blacks to be free, but for the better of his country, he sort of swayed that way. Freeing the blacks would give more power to his party. I mean, he didn't even mention any specific rights for blacks. If he really wanted them to have them, maybe he would have mentioned it? But then again, he wanted to keep to the middle ground.
How could his E.P. reconcile what he said? I mean, sure, it started it, but it didn't finish it. It took more than Lincoln to get the equality he speaks of. And even after the amendments, there was hardly any social equality. There were two blacks in the congress, so I guess you can say there was political equality (they had the right to vote). But then in comes the sharecropping and all the debt laws for the blacks and stuff.
Am I making this too hard? Maybe this is like the easiest question, but I'm making it so complicated.
Oh for heavens sake, somebody put me straight