Why Today’s Republicans Might Have Voted Against the Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth Amendment

The Emancipation Proclamation (January 1, 1863) was issued as an executive order by President Lincoln during the course of the Civil War. It applied to 3.1 million of the 4 million slaves, but did not actually free most slaves because most were in states controlled by slaveholders. Also it did not apply to four slave-holding states that had not seceded from the Union. The order did not compensate slaveholders for the loss of their “property,” nor did it give citizenship to the freed slaves. In other words, it was a temporary and partial measure.

Lincoln knew this well, and he pressed for passage of the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution (April 4, 1864) which completed the abolition of slavery in the United States. The vote in the Senate was 38 to 6. The vote in the House of Representatives was 119 to 56.

Why today’s Republicans might have voted against these measures:

  • This promotes class warfare
  • It will lead to higher unemployment by punishing our job creators
  • We should promote the success of our leaders and not the incompetence of the working class
  • The States should decide about slavery for themselves.
  • We don’t need more of Big Government telling us what to do.
  • This amounts to a tax on success
  • Our Constitution has nothing against slavery and we should leave it alone
  • People who want us to be like the European countries ought to move there
  • This is just another step toward Socialism
  • If we don’t control these people, one of them might become President someday

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