World History (Ms. Sue)
posted by Anonymous .
What was Lincoln's reasons for not emancipating slaves when the war began?
My answer: Lincoln did not believe he had the power under the Constitution to abolish slavery where it already existed. Nor did he want to anger the four slave states that remained in the Union. He knew that most Northern Democrats, and many Republicans, opposed emancipation. Lincoln also did not want the issue of slavery to divide the nation any further than it already had. And although he disliked slavery, the president's fist priority was the preserve the Union.