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Lincoln And The Economy Essay

1132 words - 5 pages

Leslie Rogers
Book Review
The Emancipation Proclamation: Three Views (Social, Political, Iconographic)

Historian James McPherson was known to call the Emancipation Proclamation the second Revolution of the United States. This not only set slaves free but it took a step towards ending the unjustified bondage of man in America. Lincoln may never have known the true impact of his actions or the legacy he left behind but he changed a nation and a world. After reading most of this book and feedback from others would have read much more into the subject I have a different view of the political game that had to be played in order for everything to work out. In the book ...view middle of the document...

I support these claims in that I believe Lincoln to be great statistician and humanitarian. This slows both, he knows that the Union and Confederates would view his action of freeing slaves as a weak and desperate move to turns the tides of war. In order to prevent this, timing was of the essence. I think Lincoln’s true mission at this point was to win the war. Though if he could do something good at the same time then by all means he will do it.
I can almost feel the way he was thinking in that time. He thought that slavery was an injustice to man and needed to be dealt with in a very careful way. Then he is in this civil war with states dependent on slaves for their industry and economic value. The war is going south (pun intended) and he needs a strategy. This is a chance for him to kill two birds with one stone because if he doesn’t do it now then there may not be a Union to free the slaves in the future. Winning the war is the problem and freeing the slaves and redefining the effort of the war was the key. This would provide him with numerous advantages while with proper timing have little negative effects. One of the more positive effects for Lincoln and the union was the negative economic effect the proclamation had on the confederate states. The major industry in the south was cotton so much so that the Confederacy issued cotton backed bonds to fund much of the war. These bonds were also sold as a type of future in that you could transfer the bond into physical bales of cotton. The back bone of the cotton industry was the slave industry used to for the mass production. Once the emancipation proclamation was issued and encouraged the slaves to leave the south for union and take up arms against the confederates the cotton industry took a hit. This in turn dropped the demand and value and return the bond produced. After the down fall of Atlanta the cotton bond was no longer a reliable source of funding. It is not clear that Lincoln could foresee this outcome but being the great statistician he was I believe he clearly saw this effect.
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