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What was the number of slaves freed when the Emancipation Proclamation officially went into effect? why were they freed |

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The Emancipation Proclamation never went into 'effect', it was a speech delievered by Lincoln intended to attach a moral dynamic to the war. Lincoln wrote the speech long before it was given. He purposely waited for a union victory before giving the speech so that it's moral purpose would be fostered by the victory. It gave the army a great moral boost, which by all accounts it needed. The speech stated that all persons in bondage in the states of rebellion were free however, the speech had no legal bearing on the staus of slaves. The Congress is the only branch of government that had the power to free the slaves. Slavery was abolished by the Congressional ratification of the 13th Amendment in 1865. Most Civil War research concludes that while some slaves were leaving plantations it was not due to the speech but because the power of the plantation owners was so fractured by the war to stop them. Although some researchers offer estimates most historians agree that it is impossible to offer a count.

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