::Abraham Lincoln and slavery


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Abraham Lincoln

President of the United States

First Term

Second Term

Assassination and legacy

Abraham Lincoln 1862 signature.svg

President of the United States


Abraham Lincoln's position on slavery is one of the central issues in American history.

Lincoln often expressed moral opposition to slavery in public and private.<ref name="Striner 2006 2–4">{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=book }} </ref> Initially, he expected to bring about the eventual extinction of slavery by stopping its further expansion into any U.S. territory, and by proposing compensated emancipation (an offer Congress applied to Washington, D.C.) in his early presidency. Lincoln stood by the Republican Party platform in 1860, which stated that slavery should not be allowed to expand into any more territories. Lincoln believed that the extension of slavery in the South, Mid-west, and Western lands would inhibit "free labor on free soil". In the 1850s, Lincoln was politically attacked as an abolitionist, but he did not consider himself one; he did not call for the immediate end of slavery everywhere in the U.S. until the proposed 13th Amendment became part of his party platform for the 1864 election.<ref>Foner (1970), Free Soil, Free Labor</ref>

In 1842, Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, who was a daughter of a slave-owning family from Kentucky.<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}{{ safesubst:#invoke:Unsubst||date=__DATE__ |$B= {{#invoke:Category handler|main}}{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}[dead link] }}</ref> Lincoln returned to the political stage as a result of the 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act and soon became a leading opponent of the "Slaveocracy"—that is the political power of the southern slave owners. The 1854 Kansas-Nebraska Act, written to form the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, included language, designed by Stephen A. Douglas,<ref>{{#invoke:citation/CS1|citation |CitationClass=web }}</ref> which allowed the settlers to decide whether they would or would not accept slavery in their region. Lincoln saw this as a repeal of the 1820 Missouri Compromise which had outlawed slavery above the 36-30' parallel.

During the American Civil War, Lincoln used the war powers of the presidency to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared "all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free" but exempted border states and those areas of slave states already under Union control. As a practical matter, at first the Proclamation could only be enforced to free those slaves who had already escaped to the Union side. However, millions more were freed as more areas of the South came under Union control. Lincoln pursued various plans to colonize free blacks outside the United States, but none of these had a major effect.

<b>Abraham Lincoln and slavery sections</b>
Intro  Early years  1840s - 1850s  1860 Republican presidential nomination  As President-elect in 1860 and 1861  Presidency (1861-65)  Views on African Americans  See also  References  Further reading  External links  

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