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Slavery ends on New Years' Day

The GOP's Emancipation Proclamation took effect on New Year's Day 1863
January 1, 2008
By Michael Zak

On New Year's Day in 1863, the Republican Party's Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. While Republicans rejoiced, Democrat politicians and newspapers denounced President Abraham Lincoln (R-IL) for freeing slaves. Demonstrating their depravity, New York's Gov. Horatio Seymour, who would be the 1868 Democrat presidential nominee, denounced the Emancipation Proclamation as "a proposal for the butchery of women and children." The Louisville Daily Democrat called it "an outrage of all constitutional law, all human justice, all Christian feeling."
Acting on authority granted by the Republican-majority 37th Congress to seize rebel "property," President Lincoln had issued the proclamation two months before, to the dismay of the Democrats. Effective at yearend, all slaves in Confederate-controlled territory would be "forever free."
Ill-informed critics of President Lincoln fault him for not freeing slaves in areas under U.S. control, but the federal government lacked the necessary authority. Within three years, the Republican-majority 38th Congress followed up the Emancipation Proclamation with the 13th Amendment, banning slavery throughout the nation.
Republicans today would benefit tremendously from appreciating the true heritage of our Grand Old Party.
This Republican heritage article and others are available on the Grand Old Partisan blog each day celebrating 154 years of Republican heroes and heroics.
Michael Zak is a popular speaker to Republican organizations around the country. His e-mail address is Grand_Old_Partisan@hotmail.com. For more information, see www.republicanbasics.com.

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