In the Emancipation Proclamation, one of the major documents in US history, Abraham Lincoln addressed the need to end slavery. Firstly, he presented a position on the inadmissibility of the suppression of people’s freedom. Further, he used his powers to convey the significance of the Proclamation: “I, Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, by virtue of the power in me vested as Commander-in-Chief…” (“Transcript of the Proclamation,” para. 6).
Further, he presented a list of interested parties, in particular, the states in which the terms of the document were to be implemented. In addition, President offered his individual visions of what a free society should look like: “I recommend to them that, in all cases when allowed, they labor faithfully for reasonable wages” (“Transcript of the Proclamation,” para. 9). Finally, Lincoln presented the time and place for the signing of the Proclamation.
Specific phrases of the Proclamation were aimed to influence the public and create an effect of pathos. For example, Lincoln’s mentions of the Lord in several places of the document indicate that it was associated with sincere beliefs about the importance of the topic raised. Moreover, the brevity of the last paragraphs of the Proclamation speaks of the inviolability and firmness of the decision made. Lincoln used imperative phrases to convey clear commitments to people: “And I hereby enjoin upon the people so declared to be free…” (“Transcript of the Proclamation,” para. 9). Therefore, the Proclamation has clearly defined contexts of unconditional authority.
The recognition of the Emancipation Proclamation as a binding law for execution is observed in the context of a detailed assessment of the current situation in the country. Lincoln listed all states, without exception, in which the provisions of the new act were to enter into force. He did this in order to exclude an ambiguous interpretation and clearly defined his position. Thus, Abraham Lincoln’s authority and his powers allowed him to go down in history as the liberator of the country’s slave population.
Transcript of the Proclamation. (2017). National Archives. Web.