On January 1st, 1863, President Lincoln proclaimed to the Nation, and the world the emancipation of all slaves in the United States. Although this is not exactly what it called for, the proclamation demanded humanitarian and equal treatment of slaves.
Lincoln set forth this proclamation as Commander in Chief of the United States Armed forces, thus avoiding any congressional distractions or constitutional ties. This act, he proclaimed , was "a fit an necessary war measure."
The Emancipation of slaves,
served several purposes to the Union, all positive. First and foremost, it gave the Union a reason to fight, thus boosting the moral of the soldiers, and it gave the people a better trust in the cause they were so strongly supporting. In addition to these, it convinced the anti-slavery European countries into supporting the Union, and not recognizing the Confederacy.
Although good in intentions, this beautiful proclamation was largely unfelt by the slaves in the south not occupied by northern troops. In all northern occupied states, and territories, slaves were now free, and in the south, they flocked to the Union for protection and freedom.