Steven S. Berizzi: Lincoln Took a Gamble with Emancipation

Roundup: Talking About History

Steven S. Berizzi is a professor of history and political science at Norwalk Community College.

One hundred fifty years ago Sunday, during the Civil War's generally discouraging second year, President Abraham Lincoln held what might have been the most important cabinet meeting in history.

The fighting had begun in April 1861, and what had been expected to be a short conflict was now 15 months old. By the summer of 1862, the Union had enjoyed some success in the western theater of the war, but, in the eastern theater that was centered in Virginia, General Robert E. Lee had frustrated much larger federal forces, so no end to the conflict was in sight....

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