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Emancipation Proclamation for Kids

 

This page describes the Emancipation Proclamation

 

Home >> United States History >> Civil War >> Causes and Effects >> Emancipation Proclamation

 

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Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

 

Emancipation Proclamation Activities on MrNussbaum.com

 
I Remember Where I was…. (NEW) – Students must relate to the enormity and magnitude of Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation by writing about (in their opinion) the most impactful new event in their own lives.
Slavery from Multiple Perspectives – This chart will help students analyze the institution of slavery in its meaning and implications from five different perspectives
Emancipation Proclamation Online Reading Comprehension – This activity features a reading passage and ten multipple-choice questions that students complete online. Immediate feedback is given. Perfect for ages 10 and up.
Emancipation Proclamation Paragraph Paramedics – Students must read a passage about the Emancipation Proclamation, find the misspellings or incorrect words, and replace them with the correct words. Perfect for grades 9 +
 

The Emancipation Proclamation

 

On September 17, 1862, 75,000 Union troops under the command of George McClellan, clashed with about 40,000 Confederate troops under the command of Robert E. Lee at Sharpsburg, Maryland. The horrible battle, which was the bloodiest day in American history, became known as the Battle of Antietam because of the creek (Antietam Creek) that ran through the battle site. The landmark battle was not a military victory for either side, but rather a moral and tactical victory for the North. Lee’s exhausted Army of Northern Virginia was forced to retreat to the Virginia side of the Potomac River. General McClellan, however, failed to order pursuit of the fleeing Confederates, which ultimately allowed them to regroup.

Despite the inconclusive nature of the battle, president Abraham Lincoln declared the battle a significant victory of the Union. Lincoln’s victorious assertion was important for Northern morale because of significant defeats in Virginia, and increasing criticism from “Copperheads,” Democrats who favored peaceful negotiations with the South. Furthermore, the Battle of Antietam provided an opportunity for president Lincoln to free all slaves still subjugated in the South. Five days after the battle, on September 22, 1862, Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation which freed all slaves in “enemy territory” as of January 1, 1863. The announcement was hailed by abolitionists (people who opposed slavery). However, it is important to note that the new law did not free slaves being held in the border states of Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. Lincoln was concerned that the issuance of a universal emancipation of all slaves would persuade those states to secede from the Union and join the Confederacy.