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Emancipation and the Laws of War

Emancipation Proclamation

Emancipation Proclamation

New Haven, Connecticut
Monday, May 27, 2013

Historians James Oakes and John Witt discuss their new prize-winning books about the process of Emancipation during the Civil War. Professor Oakes argues that contrary to conventional narratives, the destruction of slavery was a Republican goal from the beginning of the war. John Witt discusses the world’s first pamphlet style “laws of war” code written by Lincoln advisor and legal scholar Francis Lieber in 1862 and 1863. Witt argues that the “Lieber Code” was written to help justify emancipation as a military necessity, and that the code has been a source for international laws of war ever since. This Yale University discussion is moderated by Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition director David Blight. 

Updated: Tuesday, May 28, 2013 at 9:48am (ET)

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