In my capacity as a teacher and a historical performer I often ask people What they know about the Emancipation Proclamation. The answers are varied but usually people have an incomplete understanding of the famous document. Most people children and adults alike will say it freed the slaves. They think all the slaves were freed but of course it’s much more complicated than that. While watching Allen Guelzo’s excellent presentation it opened up many realities of the great document . It was not well received at all by anyone North or South except of course by the slaves who were freed. Guelzo points out that many people thought it was a legal sham, that Lincolnused it to promote himself as the great crusader for freedom. Others claimed Lincoln’s heart was not in it that it was a propaganda ploy ,that’s why it was so plain and boring very unLincoln like writing , a document of disappointment ,not freedom. Many questions arose Why was the document so bland?, Why did Lincoln wait two years into the civil war to issue it?, What were his real motives? The simplified answers are Lincoln was not pushed reluctantly by zealous abolitionist toward Emmancipation , in fact he was working on a way to do just that since the beginning of the war. It was not a sentimental trick in fact it cost the Republicans 31 seats in the elections . It was not a political device. Guelzo said Lincoln felt to save the Union was to Emancipate the slaves and to Free the slaves was in fact to save the Union. Allen Guezo’s presentation was very eye opening to me and it gives me some great insight and wisdom to pass along to my students and adults that I present to.