This is an audio version of the Wikipedia Article:
Abraham Lincoln and slavery
00:03:13 1 Early years
00:03:58 2 1840s–1850s
00:04:08 2.1 Legal and political
00:07:45 2.2 Letter to Joshua Speed
00:09:40 2.3 Lincoln–Douglas debates 1858
00:11:16 3 1860 Republican presidential nomination
00:12:27 4 As President-elect in 1860 and 1861
00:13:46 5 Presidency (1861–65)
00:13:57 5.1 Corwin amendment
00:14:54 5.2 Emancipation
00:28:57 5.3 Reconstruction
00:29:23 5.4 Thirteenth Amendment
00:30:35 5.5 Compensated emancipation: buy out the slave owners
00:32:03 5.6 Colonization
00:33:27 5.6.1 Bureau of Emigration
00:35:03 5.6.2 Chiriqui Improvement Company
00:36:53 5.6.3 Ile à Vache
00:37:48 5.6.4 British West Indies
00:40:47 5.7 Citizenship and limited suffrage
00:41:52 6 Views on African Americans
00:45:18 7 See also
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"The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing."
Abraham Lincoln's position on slavery is one of the most discussed topics in American history. Lincoln often expressed moral opposition to slavery in public and private. Initially, he attempted to bring about the eventual extinction of slavery by stopping its further expansion into any U.S. territory and by proposing compensated emancipation (an offer Congress applied to Washington, D.C.) in the early part of his presidency. Lincoln stood by the Republican Party's platform of 1860 stating that slavery should not be allowed to expand into any more U.S. territories. He worried that the extension of slavery in new western lands could block "free labor on free soil."As early as the 1850s, Lincoln had been politically attacked as an abolitionist. Howard Jones says that "in the prewar period, as well as into the first months of the American Civil War itself....Lincoln believed it prudent to administer a slow death to slavery through gradual emancipation and voluntary colonization rather than to follow the abolitionist and demanding an immediate end to slavery without compensation to owners." In 1863, Lincoln ordered the freedom of all slaves in the areas "in rebellion" (the Confederacy) and insisted on enforcement freeing millions of slaves, but he did not call for the immediate end of slavery everywhere in the U.S. until the proposed 13th Amendment became part of his party platform for the 1864 election.In 1842, Abraham Lincoln had married Mary Todd, who was a daughter of a slave-owning family from Kentucky. Lincoln returned to the political stage as a result of the 1854 Kansas–Nebraska Act and soon became a leading opponent of the "Slaveocracy"—the political power of the Southern slave owners. The Kansas–Nebraska Act, written to form the territories of Kansas and Nebraska, included language, designed by Stephen A. Douglas, which allowed the settlers to decide whether they would or would not accept slavery in their region. Lincoln was outraged by the repeal of the 1820 Missouri Compromise, which had outlawed slavery above the 36-30' parallel.
During the Civil War, Lincoln used the war powers of the presidency to issue the Emancipation Proclamation, in January 1863. (He had warned in September 1862 he would do so if the Confederate states did not return). It declared "all persons held as slaves within any State or designated part of a State, the people whereof shall then be in rebellion against the United States, shall be then, thenceforward, and forever free" but exempted border states and those areas of slave states not in rebellion and therefore beyond the reach of the constitutional war power to emancipate. It immediately changed the legal status of all slaves in the affected areas, and as soon as the Union Army arrived, it actually did liberate the slaves in that area. On the first day, it affected tens of thousands of slaves. But when the war ended, in April 1865, only about fifteen percent of the slaves had actually been freed. Full abolition was achieved later that year, with the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery everywhere in the United States.
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