Due to military necessity, rising anti-slavery sentiment in the North, and the self-emancipation of many individuals fleeing servitude as Union forces marched through the South, abolition became a goal only later. However, it was not until the 13th Amendment was ratified in 1866 that the institution finally was deemed illegal by the United States government.
In Congress, Northern lawmakers pushed for prohibition on the sale of alcohol. They also played a role in abolishing slavery. The Compromise of 1877 granted African Americans civil rights but not full citizenship. The 14th Amendment was passed in 1868 to protect those rights.
The 15th Amendment was passed in 1870 to prohibit discrimination based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. This amendment was meant to ensure that blacks would not be denied the right to vote because of their former status as slaves. Of course, this amendment had no effect on laws that prevented black people from voting; they continued to be denied this right until 1965 when Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and South Carolina barred blacks from voting in federal elections.
Even before the Civil War, some northern legislators had begun to oppose slavery. After the war began, more groups came forward against slavery, including churches, newspapers, and organizations such as the Underground Railroad.
The decree authorized the recruitment of African soldiers into the Union military services. Nearly 200,000 African Americans eventually fought for the North. By declaring eradication of slavery a Union aim, the declaration discouraged assistance on the Confederate side by anti-slavery foreign governments like as England. It also encouraged slaves to escape to Union-controlled areas.
Ending slavery was important because it went against the entire foundation of the Southern economy which was based on human exploitation. Slavery provided slave owners with an unlimited supply of cheap labor which they could hire out to farmers or use in other ways. Without slavery, the economic situation for southern states would have been very difficult if not impossible.
Slavery also had many negative effects on black people themselves. They were often treated brutally by their masters and often killed by them when they tried to escape. The life expectancy of slaves was much lower than that of whites - about half that of Europeans at the time. This is why slavery has been called the "original sin" of American history- it has never been accepted by any nation or society in America or anywhere else in the world.
Ending slavery was important because it went against the entire foundation of the South's economy which was based on human exploitation. Slave owners used slaves as a source of cheap labor which they could hire out to farmers or use in other ways.
To the chagrin of the most extreme abolitionists in the North, President Abraham Lincoln did not declare abolition of slavery a priority of the Union military effort at the start of the Civil War. He believed that doing so would push border slave states still loyal to the Union into the Confederacy and infuriate more conservative northerners. Abolition was certainly on his mind but he did not want to appear eager for conflict.
Lincoln's reluctance to issue an immediate emancipation order reflects both his pragmatism and his belief that slavery could be abolished without resorting to war. As president, he knew that fighting a civil war would be difficult and costly for all involved. Removing the foundation of the Confederate economy would be no easy task; indeed, it might very well destroy it altogether.
In addition, Lincoln was wary of giving anti-slavery radicals the impression that he was willing to sacrifice black Americans to achieve what he saw as a greater good for the country as a whole. In his view, the best way to protect the rights of freed blacks while avoiding violence against southern whites was by passing legislation that would gradually abolish slavery throughout the Union.
Lincoln preferred to let the growing hostility toward slavery among northern people force the South's hand. If the confederacy continued to resist federal efforts to end slavery, then perhaps war would be their only option. However, even if slavery were to be destroyed within the union, this would not have necessarily led to black freedom.
Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not abolish slavery in the United States, it won the hearts and minds of millions of Americans and dramatically changed the nature of the conflict. Every advance of federal forces after January 1, 1863, increased the area of liberty. In total, more than 12 million slaves were freed by the end of the war.
Slavery was the major motivator for secession, particularly Southern political leaders' opposition to northern antislavery political organizations' attempts to halt the development of slavery into western territories. Slave life in the South altered radically when Union soldiers acquired control of huge swaths of country. In addition to war damage, the return of slaves from plantations to their former homes inside the southern border created a problem for planters. The presence of black people reduced wages, as they were only paid what a slave owner deemed appropriate. This means that if a person refused to work for less than a dollar a day, they would be put down an additional notch on the chain gang.
In the North, abolitionists used military action to prevent the trade in human beings, providing yet another reason for the South to secede. Abolitionists believed that in order to be fair, all men should have the same rights and freedoms; including the right not to be enslaved.
Because the government of the United States did not intend to interfere with slavery in the states where it existed, many people felt that by breaking away from the union they could keep slavery alive. Although the Confederacy was successful in its fight against the United States, it was doomed to fail because there were simply not enough slaves in the south to support such an endeavor.
Slavery was a source of contention between the North and the South. Slavery, according to abolitionists, was unfair and should be eliminated quickly. Many Northerners who opposed slavery took a more moderate stance. Slavery was opposed by certain Northern workers and immigrants because it constituted a financial threat to them. In the South, slavery was supported by landowners who saw it as a way to make money. The existence of slavery divided the country into two groups: those who had slaves and those who didn't.
After the American Revolution, when the country was still young, slavery was not only allowed but actually encouraged by some Southern leaders. This behavior caused resentment among people in the North who believed that slavery was not part of their culture or economy. In 1808, Congress passed a law called the Missouri Compromise which established a border between the free states and the slave states. This agreement is what can be considered the beginning of the end for slavery in the United States.
Through most of U.S. history, there were almost constant attempts to abolish slavery. However, it would not be until after the Civil War that slavery would be completely abolished in the United States.