On Jan. 1, 1863, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln declared free all slaves residing in territory in rebellion against the federal government.
This Emancipation Proclamation actually freed few people. It did not apply to slaves in border states fighting on the Union side; nor did it affect slaves in southern areas already under Union control. Eventually, the states in rebellion did not act on Lincoln’s order. But the proclamation did show Americans, that the civil war was now being fought to end slavery. Lincoln had been reluctant to come to this position. A believer in white supremacy, he initially viewed the war only in terms of preserving the Union.
As pressure for abolition mounted in Congress and the country, however, Lincoln became more sympathetic to the idea. On Sept. 22, 1862, he issued a preliminary proclamation announcing that emancipation would become effective on Jan. 1, 1863, in those states still in rebellion. Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in America, this was achieved by the 13TH Amendment to the Constitution on Dec. 18, 1865. In March of 1864, Lincoln granted Ulysses S.
Grant commandment of all union forces. Grant’sfirst actions were to implant a scorched earth policy on the South. Upon the policy, Grant’s troops burned farm land, plantation homes, and cities to destroy the enemy’s food, shelter, and supplies to break the South’s will to fight.
The scorched earth policy was very brutal, yet very effective. The scorched earth policy has been used many times since in modern wars and quarrels. The definition of scorched earth policy: A reaction to a takeover attempt that involves liquidating valuable assets and assuming liabilities in an effort to make the proposed takeover unattractive to the acquiring company. In the United States the practice rose at the end of the Civil War out of the plantation system.