Emancipation Proclamation Worksheets

All About These 15 Worksheets

Students go through a profound exploration of one of the most significant moments in American history with this comprehensive series of 15 worksheets on the Emancipation Proclamation. This collection is designed to immerse them in the historical context, significance, and lasting impact of this groundbreaking executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln. Through engaging activities and thought-provoking exercises, students will gain a deeper understanding of the Emancipation Proclamation, its role in the abolition of slavery, and its implications for the United States and the Civil War. Through these worksheets, students will:

  • Explore the historical context leading up to the proclamation, including the institution of slavery, the outbreak of the Civil War, and President Lincoln’s evolving views on emancipation;
  • Explain the effects and the impact of the Emancipation Proclamation  on Confederate States, Union States, Union Army, and Black Americans;
  • Develop their vocabulary skills on related terminologies such as the words abstain, rebellion, warrant, and more, by defining them using their own words;
  • Find rhetorical devices that were used in the text;
  • Demonstrate their knowledge by answering multiple choice questions, writing prompts, fill in the blanks exercises, and true or false questions;
  • And reflect on the legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation and its impact on the struggle for racial equality in the United States.

Embarking on this series of worksheets will transport students back to the transformative period of the Emancipation Proclamation, fostering a deep understanding of the complexities, challenges, and significance of this historic moment. Through a wide variety of activities, students will develop critical thinking skills, historical empathy, and a greater appreciation for the ongoing struggle for equality and justice. Overall, this series aims to inspire students to explore the legacy of the Emancipation Proclamation, reflect on the progress made since its issuance, and consider the continued work needed to create a more inclusive and equitable society.

What Was the Emancipation Proclamation?

The Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued by President Abraham Lincoln during the American Civil War on January 1, 1863. The proclamation declared that all enslaved people in the Confederate states that were still in rebellion against the United States were to be set free. It should be noted that the Emancipation Proclamation did not immediately free all enslaved people in the United States, as it only applied to the Confederate states and not to the border states that remained loyal to the Union or areas within the Confederacy that were already under Union control.

The Emancipation Proclamation had several significant effects. First, it redefined the purpose of the Civil War, making the abolition of slavery an explicit goal of the Union’s war effort, in addition to preserving the United States as a unified nation. This shift helped to prevent foreign powers, particularly Great Britain and France, from intervening in the conflict on behalf of the Confederacy, as both countries had already abolished slavery and would not want to support a cause that was now explicitly tied to its continuation.

Second, the proclamation had a profound impact on the enslaved population in the Confederate states, inspiring many to escape and seek refuge behind Union lines. As the Union army advanced into Confederate territory, these formerly enslaved individuals often assisted the Union war effort by providing valuable intelligence, labor, and even military service.

Finally, the Emancipation Proclamation paved the way for the eventual abolition of slavery throughout the United States with the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution in 1865. The proclamation was a crucial step in the long struggle for civil rights and equality in the United States, marking an important milestone in the fight against slavery and racial injustice.