Abraham Lincoln and the Road to Emancipation, 1861-1865; Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment

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Author: Patience Essah
Date: Feb. 2003
From: Journal of Southern History(Vol. 69, Issue 1)
Publisher: Southern Historical Association
Document Type: Book review
Length: 855 words

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By William K. Klingaman. (New York: Viking, 2001. Pp. 344. $25.95, ISBN 0-670-86754-3.)

Final Freedom: The Civil War, the Abolition of Slavery, and the Thirteenth Amendment. By Michael Vorenberg. Cambridge Historical Studies in American Law and Society. (New York and other cities: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Pp. xviii, 305. $29.95, ISBN 0-521-65267-7.)

The Thirteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1865, removed the last legal barrier to freedom for millions of slaves. However, the path to the formal ending of slavery was tortuous: from the institution's appearance in seventeenth-century Jamestown to the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, the nation vigorously debated the status of slaves and slavery's impact on American society, economy, and politics. By 1861, having failed to reach an acceptable agreement on the question of slavery, the nation imploded into a four-year-long civil war. Faced with heavy Union losses and the destructive nature of the war, Abraham Lincoln, an antislavery proponent, gradually adopted slave emancipation as the most prudent means of ending the conflict between North and South, bringing an end to the war, and thus paving the way to a reunited nation. Lincoln's role in the destruction of the institution of slavery during the Civil War and afterward lies at the center of William K. Klingaman's Abraham Lincoln and...

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A97909082