Popular Emancipation Proclamation Responses

Civil War. But we’re going to look at something a bit different. Today of course, President Abraham Lincoln is seen as one of our greatest presidents, as one who reunited the country and, through the Emancipation Proclamation, eventually helped end slavery. But did you know that, during the Civil War, at times Lincoln was deeply unpopular among many citizens of the North? So that’s what we want to look at in this discussion. Using your textbook, answer this question: what were THREE reasons why some citizens of the North opposed President Lincoln and what he was doing? And what were these Lincoln opponents -called–some gave them a specific name. Include at least two quotations from your Open Stax textbook to support your answer.

With reply to two classmate

After Lincoln issued his famous Emancipation Proclamation, abolitionists of the North were
thrilled. However, “other Northerners… hated the new goal of emancipation and found the idea
of freed formerly enslaved people repugnant” (Corbett 395). These Northerners also had
economic fears with the abolition of slavery like fearing the idea they would be “competing with
emancipated people for scarce jobs” (Corbett 395). Lastly, the reaction to the Emancipation
Proclamation and enlistment of African American soldiers offended “many White people in the
North… since they still believed in racial inequality” (Corbett 402). An extra point is that there
were people in the North that “contested Lincoln’s treatment of Confederate states and
proposed harsher punishments” or also known as a section of northern Republicans called
radical republicans. These Lincoln opponents were called “Copperheads, a term that many
antiwar Democrats accepted” (Corbett 402).
For most African Americans, Abraham Lincoln is considered the best president because
he proclaimed the independence of slaves in America. Despite his status as the best
president, many of his northern compatriots were against him because of his way of
leading. Some called the radicals resulting from the division of the republican party,
thought that he was not strong enough in character and had a hard time making
decisions. For them he gave too much power to black people that they saw inferior the
white man. “Those who found him timid and indecisive, and favored extending full rights
to African Americans, as well as completely refashioning the South after its defeat, earned
the name Radicals.” (chapter15; section15.4)
Also, he was considered a dictator, untrustworthy and a suspect leader by some of the
democrat’s northerners for his ruling. In March 1863 when President Lincoln signs the
Habeas Corpus Suspension Act, some of the northerners saw this as an act of the
dictature. Because this gave him the power to detain definitively any person that has
sympathy to the confederate without giving them any reason. “Despite the military
successes for the Union army in 1863, in 1864, Lincoln’s status among many Northern
voters plummeted. Citing the suspension of the writ of habeas corpus, many saw him as a
dictator, bent on grabbing power while senselessly and uncaringly drafting more young
men into combat. Arguably, his greatest liability,” (chapter15; section15.4)

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