April 13, 2010

Liberal Myths and History: Emancipation Proclamation

the-matrix   We are fighting a narrative.  The narrative is not some concrete list or document.  These people do not have to have meetings.  There are no official decoder rings.  The narrative is set in motion by those in the media and those in power.  They all come from the same schools, work in the same industries, move in the same circle, and share the same worldview.  The narrative is based on several foundational beliefs, which are generally untrue. Sometimes the narrative is subtle, sometimes it is not.  We have all felt the narrative’s presence, we have all spoken about it, but the first time I discovered that someone called it what it was and gave it a real name was in a novel I read by Stephen Hunter.  I recommend all of his books, strictly great entertainment, but in this case he hit upon a very significant sociological/cultural truth: There is no vast conspiracy of the left, it is just a set of beliefs that grew out of a framework constructed, primarily in our schools by leftists and communist sympathizers. Our history has largely been subverted and suborned for political gain.

So here is my attempt to fight the narrative one myth, lie, and misrepresentation at a time.

emancipation-proclamationThe narrative:  Abraham Lincoln Freed the Slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation ending the South’s Policy of Slavery. North=Good/South=Bad.

Caveat: I, in no way, shape, or form think slavery was anything other than an abomination.  it was a shameful practice.  I am a Pro-Liberty/ Pro-Freedom kind of guy.  The thought of anyone owning another person is anathema to me.  This is why I rail so hard against the involuntary servitude to the Federal Government.  This is why I speak so loudly against people selling themselves into slavery with government ‘entitlements’.


The graphic below depicts the states that had slaves and the states that did not as of 1860.  DE, MD, DC, VA, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, TN, KY, MO, AR, LA, and TX were states that allowed slavery.  Notice that Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC are included.


The map below depicts the Union and the Confederates States, as well as the Slave States that stayed in the Union after the start of the war.  Virginia split into Virginia  and West Virginia.  But notice that West Virginia, although a Union state, was still a Slave State, along with DE, MD, KY, MO, and Washington DC. Slaves in the District of Columbia were not freed until April 16, 1862; well after the start of the war,  and their owners were compensated for their loss by the Federal Government.

Union and Confederate States

So what about the Emancipation Proclamation? 

The Emancipation Proclamation is not one document, it is actually two executive orders. The first one, issued September 22, 1862, declared the freedom of all slaves in any state of the Confederate States of America that did not return to Union control by January 1, 1863. Had any slave state ended its secession attempt before January 1, 1863, it could have kept slavery, at least temporarily. The Proclamation only gave Lincoln the legal basis to free the slaves in the areas of the South that were still in rebellion.

That is Interesting, isn’t it?  If they had rejoined the union they could have kept their slaves. Seems like this might not have been the altruistic move we were lead to believe.  Seems like slavery might have been used as leverage.

These orders were a (mostly) political move on the part of Lincoln similar to a diplomatic sanction, or trade embargo that we use today to force our political will on other nations.   The second order, issued January 1, 1863, named ten specific states where slaves would be freed. Although implicitly granted authority to do so by Congress, Lincoln used his powers as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy, "as a necessary war measure" as the basis of the proclamation, rather than the equivalent of a statute enacted by Congress or a constitutional amendment.


Because, Lincoln had previously declared in peacetime that he had no constitutional authority to free the slaves. Even used as a war power, emancipation was a risky political act. Public opinion as a whole was against it, and it was a controversial decision even in the North.  Secretary of State William H. Seward commented,

"We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free."

It is very important to note that while the Proclamation had freed most slaves as a war measure, it had not made slavery illegal. Several former slave states had already passed legislation prohibiting slavery; however, in a few states, slavery continued to be legal, and to exist, until December 18, 1865, when the Thirteenth Amendment was enacted.

More to follow…


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