Also, all persons engaged in the military and naval service were ordered to obey and enforce the article of war and the sections of the confiscation act before mentioned. On January 1, 1863, another proclamation was issued by the President of the United States declaring the emancipation to be absolute within the Confederate States, with the exception of a few districts. The closing words of the proclamation were these:
And upon this act, sincerely believed to be an act of justice, warranted by the Constitution upon military necessity, I invoke the considerate judgment of mankind and the gracious favor of Almighty God.Let us test the existence of the military necessity here spoken of by a few facts. The white male population of the Northern states was then 13,690,364. The white male population of the Confederate States was 5,449,463. The number of troops which the United States had called into the field exceeded one million men. The number of troops which the Confederate government had then in the field was less than four hundred thousand men. The United States government had a navy which was only third in rank in the world. The Confederate government had a navy which at that time consisted of a single small ship on the ocean. The people of the United States had a commerce afloat all over the world. The people of the Confederate States had not a single port open to commerce. The people of the United States were the rivals of the greatest nations in all kinds of manufactures. The people of the Confederate States had few manufactures, and those were of articles of inferior importance. The government of the United States possessed the treasury of a union of eighty years with its vast resources. The Confederate States had to create a treasury by the development of financial resources. The ambassadors and representatives of the former were welcomed at every court in the world. The representatives of the latter were not recognized anywhere. Thus the consummation of the original antislavery purposes was verbally reached; even that achievement was attended with disunion, bloodshed, and war. In the words of the Declaration of Independence:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that, whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends [life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness], it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. . . . When a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.