Lois Leveen


July 22, 2012

Emancipation Proclamation Smack Down

For those of you interested in flexing your history geek brain cells:
150 years ago this week, Lincoln shared a draft of the Emancipation Proclamation with his cabinet.

Historians are still arguing about it.

Here's an article from The National Review about why, even though it led to the freedom of millions of people, the Emancipation Proclamation isn't more broadly celebrated (like, say, the Declaration of Independence is).

Here's a response to that article, arguing that the analysis is inherently too conservative.

Note that they both believe we should commemorate the end of slavery. They're just unable to agree on how particular dates or documents should figure in. That's how contentious this stuff still is for Americans.

For those of you wishing you'd gotten a nice Emancipation Proclamation anniversary celebration going, you've still got time: the September is the 150th anniversary of the EP being publicly announced, and January will be the anniversary of it going into effect.
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