RE: What major changes did President Lincoln make during the American Civil War?
President Abraham Lincoln enacted several major changes during the American Civil War that had a profound impact on the United States both during and after the war. Here are some of the key policies and changes: 1. Emancipation Proclamation (1862): Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in September 1862, after the Union victory at the Battle of Antietam. This declared that all slaves in Confederate-held territory were to be set free. This did not free all slaves immediately since it only applied in areas outside Union control, but its symbolic impact was immeasurable. It transformed the Union’s war aim from preserving the Union to ending slavery. 2. Suspension of Habeas Corpus (1861): Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus during the Civil War, a measure he saw as necessary to maintain order and keep the border states in the Union. This allowed for the arrest and indefinite detention without trial of anyone suspected of being a Confederate sympathizer. 3. The Homestead Act of 1862: This law granted 160 acres of public land to settlers for a small fee, provided they improve the land by building a dwelling and cultivating crops. This encouraged Western expansion and is considered an early form of government social welfare. 4. Establishment of the Freedmen's Bureau (1865): In the year of his assassination, Lincoln organized the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands—commonly called the Freedmen's Bureau—to assist freed slaves and poor whites in the South in the aftermath of the U.S. Civil War. 5. National Banking Acts of 1863 and 1864: These pieces of legislation created a system of nationally chartered banks, and provided for a system of new bank notes backed up by government bonds. 6. The Morill Act of 1862: This act granted each state 30,000 acres of federal land for every member of Congress representing the state. The lands were then to be sold and the funds used to establish colleges to teach agriculture and mechanical arts, leading to the foundation of many state-run universities. These measures were incredibly transformative and impactful, not only helping to shape the outcome of the Civil War but also paving the way for a new era in United States history. Lincoln's policies directly led to the abolition of slavery, supported the preservation of the Union, bolstered economic growth, and promoted higher education and homesteading rights.