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Emancipation and the End of Slavery

Joel M. Sipress
Series Editors: Joel M. Sipress and David J. Voelker

Publication Date - 15 July 2019

ISBN: 9780190057077

156 pages
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Encourage your students to participate in a contested, evidence-based discourse about the human past


Embracing an argument-based model for teaching history, the Debating American History series encourages students to participate in a contested, evidence-based discourse about the human past. Each book poses a question that historians debate--How democratic was the U.S. Constitution? or Why did civil war erupt in the United States in 1861?--and provides abundant primary sources so that students can make their own efforts at interpreting the evidence. They can then use that analysis to construct answers to the big question that frames the debate and argue in support of their position.

Emancipation and the End of Slavery poses this big question: How and why did emancipation become a goal of the Union war effort?


  • Organized around a big question about which historians themselves disagree: How and why did emancipation become a goal of the Union war effort?
  • Exposes students to rival positions about which they must make informed judgments
  • Asks students to judge the relative merits of rival positions on the basis of historical evidence
  • Requires students to develop their own positions, for which they must argue on the basis of historical evidence
  • Offers an alternative to the "coverage model" that has dominated History classrooms since the late nineteenth century, and which has consistently fallen short of its own goals since its inception
  • Concise and flexible format allows for inclusion in a variety of classroom settings
  • Each title in the series is edited by Joel M. Sipress and David J. Voelker, award-winning teachers who have published and lectured extensively on reform in the teaching of History
  • The enhanced ebook offers short video clips, flashcards, animated maps, interactive timelines, and additional primary sources

About the Author(s)

Joel M. Sipress received his PhD in US History from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is a Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin-Superior, where he teaches US and Latin American History. He serves as coeditor of the Debating American History series with David J. Voelker.


"The advantage that Debating American History has over other projects and texts currently available is that it brings a very clear and focused organization to the notion of classroom debate. The terms of each debate are clear. The books introduce students to historiography and primary sources. Most of all, the project re-envisions the way that US history should be taught. No other textbook or set of teaching materials does what these books do when taken together as the sum of their parts."--Ian Hartman, University of Alaska

"Debating American History repositions the discipline of history as one that is rooted in discovery, investigation, and interpretation."--Ingrid Dineen-Wimberly, University of California, Santa Barbara

"Debating American History is an excellent replacement for a 'big assignment' in a course. Offering a way to add discussion to a class, it is also a perfect 'active learning' assignment, in a convenient package."--Gene Rhea Tucker, Temple College

"'Who freed the slaves?' is one of the hottest and most significant questions in the field, and this Debating American History volume does a great job of translating the complexities of the historiography for uninformed readers."--Luke Harlow, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

"The authors identify major questions about emancipation and present different perspectives on it in clear and lucid prose. The questions raised and differing arguments presented demand that students see emancipation as neither inevitable nor easily explained but, rather, as a historical problem deserving investigation and debate."--Daniel Vivian, University of Louisville

Table of Contents

    List of Maps and Figures
    About the Author
    I. The Big Question
    II. Timeline
    III. Historians' Conversations
    Position #1: A Growing Tide of Freedom: The African American Role in Emancipation
    Position #2: The Cautious Abolitionist: Abraham Lincoln and the End of Slavery
    Position #3: "Decisive and Extreme Measures Must Be Adopted": Emancipation and Total War
    IV. Debating the Question
    A. Lincoln and Slavery
    Dan Stone and Abraham Lincoln, "Protest in Illinois Legislature on Slavery" (1837)
    Abraham Lincoln to Mary Speed (1841)
    Abraham Lincoln, "Speech at Peoria, Illinois" (1854)
    Abraham Lincoln to Joshua F. Speed (1855)
    Abraham Lincoln, "Fragment Against Slavery" (1858)
    B. Slavery and the Secession Crisis
    Abraham Lincoln to William Kellogg (1860)
    Abraham Lincoln to Alexander Stephens (1860)
    Abraham Lincoln to James T. Hale (1861)
    Abraham Lincoln to William H. Seward (1861)
    Abraham Lincoln, "First Inaugural Address" (1861)
    Joint Congressional Resolution on War Aims (1861)
    C. The "Contraband" Issue
    Correspondence Between Benjamin Butler, Winfield Scott, and Simon Cameron (1861)
    Correspondence Between Benjamin Butler and Simon Cameron (1861)
    First Confiscation Act (1861)
    Major George E. Waring to General Henry W. Halleck (1861)
    Testimony of Samuel Elliot (1873)
    Susie King Taylor, Excerpt from Reminiscences of My Life in Camp (1902)
    John Boston to Elizabeth Boston (1862)
    Exchange Between General Ormsby M. Mitchel and Edwin M. Stanton (1862)
    An Act to Make an Additional Article of War (1862)
    D. Frémont's Proclamation
    Frémont's Proclamation and Lincoln's Response (1861)
    Lincoln to Orville H. Browning (1861)
    Frederick Douglass, "General Frémont's Proclamation to the Rebels of Missouri" (1861)
    E. Gradual Emancipation
    Abraham Lincoln, "Annual Message to Congress" (1861)
    Abraham Lincoln, "Message to Congress" (1862)
    J.W. Crisfield, "Memorandum of an Interview Between the President and Some Border Slave-State Representatives" (1862)
    F. The Emancipation Proclamation
    Abraham Lincoln, "Proclamation Revoking General Hunter's Order of Military Emancipation" (1862)
    Gideon Welles, Excerpt from "The History of Emancipation" (1872)
    Second Confiscation Act (1862)
    Abraham Lincoln to Horace Greeley (1862)
    Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation and Final Emancipation Proclamation (1862-1863)
    Frederick Douglass, "Men of Color, to Arms!" (1863)
    Abraham Lincoln to Salmon P. Chase (1863)
    Abraham Lincoln to Albert G. Hodges (1864)
    F. B. Carpenter, Excerpt from Six Months in the White House (1866)
    Abraham Lincoln to Charles D. Robinson (1864)
    G. African American Spirituals
    "We'll Soon Be Free
    "Many Thousand Go"
    "Go Down Moses"/"Father Abraham"
    V. Additional Resources

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