On January 1, 1863, after three years of a brutal Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation (freeing Confederate slaves) that was drafted on September 22, 1862. Before the Proclamation, the North was in the war to reunite the states. But after the Proclamation, the war became a fight against slavery. This historic document helped strengthen the North’s war effort, and was a critical component of their victory.
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