There are many factors why former president Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves. I believe it was for economic reasons. Most Americans think that the reason Abraham Lincoln freed the slaves is because he was an abolitionist or because he was against slavery. The reason he freed the slaves was mainly for economic reasons. During the beginning of the civil war the north wasn’t looking so good. He tried to implement a policy of emancipation but was unsuccessful. He then started to think about a proclamation. Freeing slaves had some benefits.
Lincoln knew that the southern economy was based on slavery and abolishing slavery in the north would destroy the southern economy. Also, a proclamation would start the support for the war among northern abolitionists. The freed slaves could also be recruited into the union army for the desperate need for more soldiers because not very many people were being recruited. Because Lincoln knew that abolishing slavery in the north would kill the southern economy, it was just one reason why he enacted the emancipation proclamation.
If he enacted the emancipation in the north, many slaves would be trying to escape there. He knew that the southern economy was based on slavery so if the slaves left to the north side, there would be few to do all the labor and responsibilities. In fact, the slaves made up nearly a third of the southern population. In the North, the economy was based on factories and wages. The South had large plantations, which grew cotton and the plantation owners needed the slaves to pick the cotton.
Many southerners who did not own slaves even agreed that the southern economy would collapse without slaves because the slaves did most of the work. A lot of people thought the war was going to end quickly but they were wrong. Another reason president Lincoln enacted the emancipation proclamation was to encourage slaves to join the union army. Many of the northern slaves could be recruited into the union army because soldiers were already desperately needed to support the war. Not only slaves in the north would join, but also slaves who had escaped slavery from the south.
Only few people were in the union army so African-Americans who joined from the north side or south side would both help make the army strong and cripple the southern economy. Destroying the southern economy is exactly what Lincoln wanted to do in order to finish the war. The problem with the emancipation proclamation is that it didn’t even free all of the slaves when it was first enacted. The only slaves that were freed were the ones in the union states or the north. The constitution protected slavery by letting the states choose if they have slaves or not.
With that being said, the president had no power to free the slaves. As Commander–in-Chief of the armed forces, Lincoln had powers in wartime that he did not have in peacetime. He claimed the authority to liberate slaves in areas of the country in open rebellion and ordered the Union army to free all slaves in those areas. The emancipation proclamation only freed slaves in the states in rebellion against the United States. Many people don’t know the truth behind the reason why Lincoln freed the slaves and that is because they only know that he freed them because he was “against slavery”.
Abraham Lincoln wanted to win the war and he had to destroy the southern economy to do so. After he enacted the emancipation proclamation only few slaves were freed and two years later all slaves were freed. So Lincoln mainly freed the slaves for economic reasons. He also freed some slaves to help with the war. People mistake Lincoln as an abolitionist who just wanted to free slaves but what they don’t know is he just wanted to win the civil war. Once again, I believe Lincoln freed the slaves mostly for economic and war reasons.