On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. Although, not able to be fully enforced in practice it was seen as symbolic and a strategic war move.
What it did:
- It declared all enslaved people free in the states not loyal to the Union.
- It was a turning point for the war. Up until this point the war had been fought for multiple reasons, it now declared the abolishment of slavery was the primary issue.
- It allowed African Americans to join the military, which was pivotal for the Union’s success.
- It did not free enslaved people in the border states that had not seceded from the Union.
- The only way to enforce it was to have a Union military presence in that state, which many states did not.
California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin
Border States (maintained slavery, but did not secede from the Union):
Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, and West Virginia
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia