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Act of JusticeLincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the Law of War$
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Burrus M. Carnahan

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780813124636

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813124636.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM KENTUCKY SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.kentucky.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright The University Press of Kentucky, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in KSO for personal use.date: 19 September 2021

A Radical Recognition of Freedom

A Radical Recognition of Freedom

(p.139) 10 A Radical Recognition of Freedom
Act of Justice

Burrus M. Carnahan

University Press of Kentucky

This chapter discusses one question frequently raised by critics of Abraham Lincoln: why did he wait so long to free the slaves of the Confederacy? It states that the unspoken assumptions of these critics are that any emancipation proclamation, even an unconstitutional one, was better than none at all, and that the president would have acted on that basis if he truly hated slavery. However, what is significant is that the decision of Lincoln to recognize the freedom of an oppressed people, to offer them assistance in securing that freedom, and to ask for their aid against a common enemy, has remained an important diplomatic weapon in the continuing struggle for human liberty.

Keywords:   critics, Abraham Lincoln, slaves, Confederacy, emancipation proclamation, slavery, freedom, diplomatic weapon, human liberty

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