Copperhead Democrats were strongly opposed to the proclamation; this particular wing of the Democrats was opposed to the war in the first place and was agitating for a middle ground between the slave states. Proclamation would immediately become a major debate in the campaigns to the 1862 elections. There was however the clique that supported Lincoln in his venture to salvage the union. His support among the Democrats would continue to build especially amongst the abolitionists. This would spread further into some supporters of the Republican Party and would lead to his reelection.
The proclamation emerged as a tricky venture that was threatening to divide Lincoln’s support initially but eventually it would witness a soaring support (Guelzo 19). To understand the effect of emancipation proclamation, it is important to look at the objectives and inspirations behind the American Civil War, the war that had prompted the issuing of the executive order in the first place . The American Civil War was a bloody conflict pitting the union, led by President Abraham Lincoln against the confederate states of America.
Majority of states comprising the union were Free states and were coalescing their support around Abraham Lincoln. They were largely drawn from the Republican Party that was clearly opposed to any further expansion of slavery. The confederates comprising the southern slave states had earlier declared their intention to secede from the union, a move that had had been condemned by the union. Hostilities had been mounted towards the early 1861 (Ewan 34). The most important point to note here is that the main cause of the civil war was the differences that arose in the union over the stand in slavery .
Northern states were predominantly anti-slavery and were pushing for the federal control of slavery. The southern states had been gripped by an increasing fear of how the federal government was being controlled. The northern states were also decrying the same only this time their concern was on the entrenchment of the slave states’ control in the federal government. The period between the early 1850s and the start of the civil war was characterized by an intense debate on the morality and the economic benefits of slavery.
It has to be understood that there existed a strong attachment to slavery to the southern states as it formed the backbone against which the economy thrived. The southern states relied on agricultural plantations for their economic upkeep. The cotton and sugar plantations were in dire need of cheap and readily available labor; slaves were a better source for this. To most southerners, slavery was an integral part of their livelihood and hence was not expendable. Emancipation Proclamation was also to be revered as it was seen to be setting an unacceptable pace towards racial equality.
The northern states were relying on indentured servants and were rapidly industrializing and hence urgently required skilled labor which the slaves could not provide. They were forming the basis of modern society that had no place for slavery. The studies conducted on slavery and scholarly debate on the viability of slavery in the north had been put into disrepute. There was a growing influx of slaves from the south to the north. A bid to outlaw slavery was seen as an encroachment into the individual state rights by the federal government.
With the civil war having kicked off, the issuing of the emancipation proclamation was a boost to the union. The focus of the war was shifted towards the emancipation process (Guelzo 24). Another key impact of the Emancipation Proclamation is its single handed effort to avert imminent international intervention. The union had grown considerably concerned over the possible intervention of Britain and France who were likely to be in support of the confederate. Eventually these two nations did not enter into the civil war.
This intervention was real and could have taken place. Though slavery was recognized as repugnant later on, Britain and France were ready to turn a blind eye to this. The confederate had employed a perfect strategy as they sought to embargo the shipment of essential exports such as cotton to England in the bid to have Britain intervene on their behalf and hence averting a possible economic depression. This cotton diplomacy as it was referred did not work out right as Britain managed to get surplus supplies from the likes of Egypt and India.