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Emancipation Proclamation

Civics, History, and Government

Emancipation Proclamation
Emancipation Proclamation

The Emancipation Proclamation freed the slaves in most Southern states.

It didn't free slaves in the border states of Kentucky, Missouri, Maryland, Delaware, and West Virginia, or in southern states under Union control.

The proclamation is an executive order with two parts and was issued by Abraham Lincoln in 1862 and 1863.

It was one of the most important things that Lincoln did.

Here is a quote from the Proclamation:

And by virtue of the power and for the purpose aforesaid, I do order and declare that all persons held as slaves within said designated States and parts of States are, and henceforward shall be, free; and that the Executive Government of the United States, including the military and naval authorities thereof, will recognize and maintain the freedom of said persons.

About four million (4,000,000) slaves were freed.

Freedmen Emancipation Drawing
Freedmen Emancipation Drawing

When his family was declared free, Booker T. Washington recalls his mother "leaned over and kissed her children, while tears of joy ran down her cheeks."

Many African American men joined the Union forces and fought in the Civil War.

The proclamation gained international support for the Union forces, especially from Great Britain and France. Both of these countries had already abolished slavery.

Slavery wasn't completely abolished until 1865 when the 13th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified.


1. Juneteenth is a June 19th holiday that celebrates the Emancipation Proclamation. It started in Texas and is honored by fourteen states.

2. Abolitionists are people who fight against slavery.

3. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican.

4. Even after the slaves were freed, most African American southerners remained poor agricultural workers.

5. In both the North and the South, African Americans suffered from segregation, lack of education, and political disenfranchisement.

Quiz Questions

1. What did the Emancipation Proclamation do?

2. What year was the Emancipation written?

3. What was one important thing that Abraham Lincoln did?

4. How many slaves were set free by the Emancipation Proclamation?

5. Name one problem that led to the civil war.

ESL Worksheets and Activities

Civics Test PowerPoint, Citzenship Questions 1-50

Civics Test PowerPoint, Citizenship Questions 51-100