From Wikipedia's "List of Common Misconceptions"
According to Time magazine, there is a common misconception among Americans that Abraham Lincoln freed the American slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation of January 1863. Flagging fortunes in the spring and summer of 1862 brought the threat of European intervention on behalf of the Confederacy. Lincoln argued that turning a fight to crush rebellion into a crusade against slavery would not only end the European threat, as no Continental power would want to be seen supporting slavery, but would also sway abolitionists into supporting the administration. Slaves were not immediately freed as a result of the Proclamation, as it only applied to rebelling states not under Union control. Additionally, the proclamation did not apply to parts of rebelling states already under Union control. The Proclamation did not cover the 800,000 slaves in the Union's slave-holding border states of Missouri, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland or Delaware. As the regions in the South that were under Confederate control ignored the Proclamation, slave ownership persisted until Union troops captured further Southern territory. It was only with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 that slavery was officially abolished in all of the United States.
Lincoln was still a hell of a president, one of the best in American history. But the mythology and reality of the American Civil War differ slightly.
Great piece of history for all Americans to learn about. Slavery was disgusting but the Emancipation Proclamation was a total political play. Jeff and Michael Shaara wrote a fantastic trilogy about the war that I would encourage everyone to read.
When bad people are alive, you can oppose them. But as soon as they are gone, they're not your enemies any more. They're just people who once were, but now are not. Memories.
The quote - there are no enemies in death - comes from "Lone Wolf and Cub," a favorite serious of mine. You can see me reviewing a bit of it at the entry "Rule an Empire, Fistful of Rice."
After some mortal enemies is vanquished, the protagonist gives them a respectful burial. When asked why, he explains that there are no enemies in death.
It's easy to get caught up in cheering for one side of history, but your feelings don't affect what's already happened. And strong feelings can easily blind you from figuring out what really happened.
It may not always be possible, but it would be good for you if you can become dispassionate in analyzing long dead eras.
A lot of people, hopefully not you, are living lives of glamorized, self inflicted, slavery. I've debated writing about this for a while, because of the connotation, but it's something I think about constantly. Sometimes I see someone working and I realize that they don't have the freedom to spend their days according to their own discretion. I try to empathize and imagine what it might be like, and as a result I feel a twinge of panic. It's unfathomable.
Time is all we have. If you're in a job that you don't enjoy, and you're not consistently saving up money, you are wasting your time. I don't care if you have a Porsche or a Schwinn, a penthouse or a room in a subleased apartment on the fringes of town. You can say that life is short, or you can say that it's long, but either way, it's finite. Today's the last day just like today that you have.
There's no conspiracy in play, trying to turn people into slaves. It's simpler than that: people take the path of least responsibility, and thus put the control of their lives into other people's hands. Why do so many people give up the best hours of the best days of their lives? Because it takes no thought. Everyone else gets a full time job, so why not?