Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States, played a critical role in ending slavery in the US. Despite the controversies that surrounded his tenure in the highest office in the land, his U-turn and support for a legislative amendment to the constitution are still regarded as some of his greatest achievements. During the mid-19th century, people of color faced massive challenges in the South due to slavery and other forms of racial discrimination. In this regard, the 13th amendment approved by President Lincoln provided for freedom and equality of all citizens including the duly convicted blacks subject to their jurisdiction. Therefore, ratification of the 13th amendment provided Abraham Lincoln with an avenue for establishing a permanent solution to the US regarding slavery.
Lincoln and his allies believed that amending the constitution to end slavery was imperative towards ensuring long-lasting peace after the Civil War. As illustrated in the video, Lincoln argued that emancipation that was being suggested would undermine the morale of Confederacy thereby weakening military (Spielberg). It should be noted that neither the slave owners nor the slaves themselves supported colonization. In this regard, slavery would disintegrate the South thereby creating a weaker nation (Shi 482). By this time, the US needed more soldiers to strengthen the military. The Civil War and immense ramifications that without the federal government being in total control of the situation, they would have destroyed the nation. Lincoln and his allies acknowledged this fact and positioned themselves at the center of controversy to oppose slavery. When they needed more soldiers, over 200,000 black men enlisted for the positions. In this regard, ensuring a constitutional amendment to end slavery would ensure over lasting peace after the war.
The 13th amendment was critical to the slaves, the people of color, and the northern whites since it would set the next chapter for the US regarding the mandate of all the people who lived within the jurisdiction. Following the amendment, America's liberators enshrined the importance of equality and liberty by enforcing equality and end of slavery which had been conspicuously omitted by America's founding fathers. In this regard, the amendment through the emancipation proclamation abolished slavery that created the eventual understanding for the blacks and whites. As demonstrated in the film, some whites advocated for slavery claiming that God created people unequal (Spielberg). However, the amendment was critical to ensuring that peace and tranquility thrived in both the North and the South even after the Civil War.
The passing of the 13th amendment did not take place overnight. A handle of activities took place since autumn of 1863. Lincoln made slavery a moral and ideological issue by December of 1863 following his emancipation proclamation. By 1864 when Congress was reopening, Lincoln had convinced many allies regarding the importance of passing the amendment. In this regard, Congress reconvened, and the emboldened Republicans put the amendment at the top of their agenda. Lincoln played a central role in the process by involving himself toward the legislative process where he invited various individuals in his office to discuss the amendment. On January 31, 1865, the House of Representatives passed the amendment as proposed thereby outlawing chattel slavery as well as involuntary servitude.
As demonstrated in the video, the whites were pragmatic towards equality as they envisioned the blacks based on their skin color as opposed to their equal ability as human beings. Just like in the class readings where white people, especially from the North, opposed the amendment, the film demonstrates the whites are opposing equality arguing that God did not create people equally. Besides, the film demonstrates people using race for political gains. This demonstrates that slavery as portrayed in the film and the class readings were not only an ideological and moral question but also a political one (Michael and Shi 212). However, America was divided regarding the interests of the slaves and the rights of the people of color.
Conclusively, it is evident that Lincoln propagated the 13th amendment that spearheaded ending of the slavery and thus promoting equality in the US. Before the Civil War, various states were notorious in promoting harsh laws towards the blacks. However, the lawmakers in the US agreed that the 13th Constitutional amendment that banned slavery was the most permanent solution that was needed to abolish slavery and racial discrimination. However, this amendment did not take place overnight. A series of events including a commitment to emancipation took place to ensure that the motion was pursued. Although the Democrats supported the move, it was critical to persuading the Republicans who formed the majority government to support the motion. In this regard, the discussion shows that the 13th amendment was imperative not only to blacks but also to the whites.
Michael Fellman Tindall and Shi, Ch. 14. This Terrible War: The civil war and its aftermath. "Abraham Lincoln and Jefferson Davis ch.14". Pearson, 2007.
Shi, David E. America: The Essential Learning Edition. S.l. Norton, 2017.
Spielberg, Steven. "Lincoln." IMDb, 2012, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0443272/
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