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Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation


Presidents Buchanan, Lincoln, and Johnson believed that the Constitution protected the institution of slavery. Lincoln came to the conclusion that, in order to preserve the Constitution and the Union it created, he must apply a new understanding of the principles on which the nation was built. The time had come to bring the nation’s policies in line with the of the Declaration of Independence that “…all men are created equal…” In this lesson, students will analyze Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery and the Constitution as evidenced in the Emancipation Proclamation.


Students will:

  • Trace the development of Lincoln’s decision to issue the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Analyze the Proclamation’s significance as a turning point in the development of the nation.
  • Evaluate Lincoln’s understanding of the Emancipation y Proclamation as “an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution, upon military necessity.”