Slavery Only Involved Southern States
Slavery Did Not Contribute to U.S. Capitalism
Slaves Were Treated Better Than White Factory Workers
Slavery Began In Africa
The Irish Were Slaves Too
The Emancipation Proclamation Freed Every Slave
This myth is widely accepted, even by African Americans. The Proclamation was an 1863 executive order from president Abraham Lincoln. Its purpose was to hurt the Southern war effort. The order applied to areas fighting against the Union. Blacks held in states that weren’t part of the Confederacy were out of luck. The order motivated escaped slaves to seek safety behind Union lines. Some would volunteer to help Union forces.
Slavery Was Relatively Benign
Abraham Lincoln Was Strongly Opposed to Slavery
On the subject of slavery, our 16th president was a conflicted man. Like most Americans of his era, Mr. Lincoln felt blacks were inferior to whites. But he did recognize slavery as the cruel, evil institution it was. Lincoln favored voluntary relocation of blacks after the war. The “great emancipator” wasn’t motivated by hatred of slavery. His Emancipation Proclamation was an attempt to help save the union.
African Americans Fought and Died For The ConfederacyThis one should be easy to debunk. Claims of Black Confederate soldiers come from dubious sources. The pro-Confederate group, Sons of Confederate Veterans is the main culprit in this. Their writings on the Civil War are often cited as a trusted source. It’s in that movement’s best interests to downplay slavery. They like to pretend its not the main cause of the Civil War. This is part of an effort not to seem racist. Unfortunately, this bogus claim has even made it into history textbooks.
Now it is true the South became desperate for soldiers near the end of the war. At that point the Confederate government did allow the recruitment of free black men. But there is no evidence that black soldiers ever saw combat on the Confederate side.