Talk:Emancipation Proclamation

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The Frémont Emancipation[edit]

Someone needs to ad this, it probably forced lincoln's hand.

Refs to another section above[edit]

Executive Order or Not?[edit]

The Emancipation Proclamation was not an executive order in the legal sense , since its tenets did not apply to states north of the Mason Dixon line-- it applied only to the states of the Confederacy. In fact a few states in the Union were allowed to keep slaves even after the speech and presidential memo. The Emancipation Proclamation was limited in many ways. It applied only to states that had seceded from the Union, leaving slavery untouched in the loyal border states. It also expressly exempted parts of the Confederacy that had already come under Northern control. Most important, the freedom it promised depended upon Union military victory.

It should not be called an executive order, and readers should be aware of Lincoln being careful not to violate the Constitution at the time. Slavery did not end in this nation until the passage of the 13th Amendment

We go by the RS which say it was an Executive Order. It was an order to executive agencies of the US Government. Rjensen (talk) 22:30, 24 November 2014 (UTC)
Actually, we should not simply pick a particular source and adopt the POV which that sorce presents, if several sources of seeming topical reliability have differing POVs, we should fairly represent all significant viewpoints that have been published by reliable sources, per WP:DUE. As to sources -- I'm no historian but a little googling turned up
As I've asid, I'm not a historian. I don't know how reliable or how relatively prominent these sources might be. There are other sources out there [1]. At a quick count, there do seem to be more sources describing the EP as an EO than sources arguing otherwise. There is at least the Guelzo source arguing otherwise, though, and Allen C. Guelzo appears to be a seriously well qualified source. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:41, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
I agree with Wtmitchell, I came to the same conclusion ==more Exec Order ==after looking at the first few pages of listings at Google and also the law journals [ included in google scholar. Rjensen (talk) 07:28, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
It looks as if this mini-debate might be the result of recent events with regard to Immigration Reform. See: I don't see that it really matters (now or then) because Congressional and/or Judicial action could have/can overturned/overturn this use of executive power...if either or both of the two branches had sought/seek to actually reverse it. Lincoln acknowledged as much at the time, not claiming that the proclamation was completely within his authority, nor claiming that it could not be reversed later. No concerted action reversed this executive action (under the auspices of a war power) and this allowed the executive branch to act as the lightning rod...without suffering any real damage. I'm not an attorney though, so I don't necessarily appreciate the nuances of this matter. Red Harvest (talk) 10:57, 25 November 2014 (UTC)
Meh. Generally, looks like a "pinhead" (fake) Wikipedia dispute. The president (who is the "executive") published a "proclamation" in which he "ordered" Americans around - the end. No one but a moot court will ever litigate the EP. But yes, go with the sources. Alanscottwalker (talk) 17:15, 25 November 2014 (UTC)

The canard that the Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately free a single slave[edit]

There are reverts going on around the line "It is common to encounter a claim that the Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately free a single slave." This probably does need some cites, but the mistaken belief that nobody was freed immediately is so pervasive that there is no reason to start by erasing it. (Even Cliff Notes gets it wrong: "Did Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation actually free any slaves?") Tagging it for cites needed would have been the appropriate action. This might even benefit from some rewording depending on how cites are structured. Dispelling common myths would seem to be a proper role of an encyclopedia. Red Harvest (talk) 01:36, 19 February 2015 (UTC)

Another example Repeating incorrect statement on news page. Red Harvest (talk) 01:42, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
And online in the National Archives. NARA repetition of the claim Red Harvest (talk) 01:44, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
And of course the National Park Service website..."Although his famous proclamation did not immediately free a single slave".
I think even that cursory examination of online cites that pretty well settles the matter of it being a common statement, while the later wording and cites in the paragraph illustrate that it is false. A similar search will turn up cites tying the two together (avoiding synthesis accusations). Discussion of such an article can be found at Red Harvest (talk) 02:00, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
Citation needed tags, 9 times out of 10, don't get looked at. Not only was the claim uncited, but was strangely written and confused the prose - like I said in my original summary, why are you telling me something that isn't true? Better to remove it until it's properly expressed and cited. Thanks for doing the legwork and fixing it. Popcornduff (talk) 10:34, 19 February 2015 (UTC)
The "African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign" didn't actually persuade me that the EP immediately freed any slaves. A fugitive slave from the CSA escapes to the USA, and is in the USA when the when the EP was signed, so she was immediately freed? That doesn't really count. If the vast majority of sources say the EP didn't free any slaves then I think WP should stick with that. Brianbleakley (talk) 20:44, 13 April 2015 (UTC)
Indeed, there is a common myth, typically expressed in one or two sentences with no footnotes or scholarly apparatus, to the effect that the EPA did not immediately free the slaves--Or even to the effect that EP didn't free the slaves at all! What wiki uses are the reliable sources And in this case they have to provide suitable documentation. in my reading the RS are strongly in favor of the proposition that the EP freed the slaves, starting with tens of thousands on day one. It was an order to the U.S. Army to treat slaves is free, and every day the Army advanced, it treated slaves as free people. Rjensen (talk) 00:01, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
In the case of Port Royal and the Sea Islands, two of the five examples currently cited in the text, although the Afro-Americans living there might have undergone a theoretical change in legal status, it would be difficult to argue that they were enslaved until 1863. Since the Confederate landowners had long since fled, they were mostly farming on their own. The Emancipation Proclamation did perhaps legalize their military participation in the war. Rjensen, where do you locate these "tens of thousands"? And how are you defining "freed"? shalom, groupuscule (talk) 05:39, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
We often casually use the terms "slavery" and "freedom" in an informal sense. However here we are talking about a legal sense, as enforced by the US Government. "slavery" and "freedom" are legal statuses, which were changed on 1 January, 1863 and every day afterwards, in territory controlled by the U.S. government. Historically, an escaped slave remained legally a slave and could be recaptured and returned to his owner. This did happen early in the war. As far as I know, no historian has counted how many escaped slaves were thereby given their freedom -- but most historians think quite a few. Rjensen (talk) 06:06, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
It is disappointing that editors still cling to the silly absolute statement that not a single slave was immediately freed by the EP. Just looking at the map and comparing it to the restrictions it is obvious that the claim is bullocks. There are contemporary sources and secondary sources that disprove the notion, revealing it as a myth--a myth (spin) often perpetuated by those hostile to Lincoln's use of the EP. Hint: when you see an absolute stated like that, become skeptical, there is a high probability that it is incorrect even if innocently so. (This is something I taught and illustrated to my kids when they were still in elementary school.) While it is correct that the vast majority of the slaves were not freed immediately by the EP, it is folly to claim that none were. Red Harvest (talk) 07:33, 14 April 2015 (UTC)
It is not just folly, it is incorrect polemic - there is no reason for this article be in the business of polemic - In America, slaves were slaves until they died or were freed by the one with the claim to free them (escaped slaves were so disgusted and fearful at still being slaves they even fled the nation in which they were slaves). Lincoln made that claim and they were freed - as eye-witness accounts attest, and as people around the world reacted in horror, derision, or in awe. Alanscottwalker (talk) 18:53, 14 April 2015 (UTC)

Legal status[edit]

Is it correct that the "Proclamation only gave Lincoln the legal basis to free the slaves in the areas of the South that were still in rebellion". I see two problems with that statement. Firstly the proclamation did not give Lincoln the power to do anything, it stated that slaves covered by the proclamation were automatically emancipated. Furthermore I doubt that the proclamation had any legal status. It seems to have been beyond the powers of the president.Royalcourtier (talk) 02:59, 21 February 2015 (UTC)

The proclamation told the Army (And other government agencies) what to do with slaves. As for legal status, the Constitution gives the president power to make war. and throughout history that has included the power to seize enemy property. Rjensen (talk) 03:45, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
This proclamation came in a time of armed rebellion by slaveholders in designated places using their slaves to sustain the rebellion -- an act of war against the U.S. Enslaved populations accelerated a mass migration to Union lines throughout the South and Union generals stopped returning them to rebel enslavement for illegal purposes of rebellion. Congress passed enabling legislation enforcing the Proclamation and sustaining freed populations at army wage labor as teamsters, cooks and railroad repair crews, then it sent a proposed constitutional amendment to abolish slavery nationally to the states before Lincoln’s assassination. TheVirginiaHistorian (talk) 13:30, 21 February 2015 (UTC)
The original poster has simply expressed a personal opinion, not that of reliable sources, and generally at odds with them. Red Harvest (talk) 20:29, 21 February 2015 (UTC)