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The Significance of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation for America

What were Lincoln’s motives in deciding for general emancipation? The emancipation itself changed the nature of the war. It reflected a fundamental change in Lincoln’s own thinking about the relationship of slavery to the war as well as the future place of blacks in American life.

Date & Time

Monday
Jan. 28, 2013
4:00pm – 5:30pm ET

Location

5th Floor, Woodrow Wilson Center
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Overview

What were Lincoln’s motives in deciding for general emancipation? The emancipation itself changed the nature of the war. It reflected a fundamental change in Lincoln’s own thinking about the relationship of slavery to the war as well as the future place of blacks in American life. The point is not that Lincoln freed four million slaves with a stroke of the pen, but that the Proclamation was a key moment in the complex and prolonged historical process that led to the end of slavery in the United States, with consequences to the present. 

Eric Foner is DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University and a Past President of the American Historical Association. His books include Reconstruction: America's Unfinished Revolution, 1863-1877 (1988) and The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery (2010). 

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Speaker

Eric Foner

DeWitt Clinton Professor of History at Columbia University
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Hosted By

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

History and Public Policy Program

The History and Public Policy Program makes public the primary source record of 20th and 21st century international history from repositories around the world, facilitates scholarship based on those records, and uses these materials to provide context for classroom, public, and policy debates on global affairs.  Read more

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