What was the Emancipation Proclamation and why was it important? How did it affect the Southern states' ability to fight in the Civil War? How did the proclamation change the lives of black slaves in the South? When President Abraham Lincoln created the Emancipation Proclamation in 1862, it had far-reaching effects on the course of the Civil War and U.S. history. Using an inquiry-based approach, primary sources, and quick-reference infographics, readers will discover how the Emancipation Proclamation helped end slavery and led to historic changes in the United States and in the lives of all U.S. citizens.