Originally Posted by Barca
Are there any successful politicians who aren't somewhat Machiavellian?
Who knows what he was thinking. The EP may have been the first step, but it was not enough in itself to end slavery.
I don't believe Lincoln used Machiavellian tactics or strategy as it's normally defined. Actually, Lincoln telegraphed his intentions. In his first inaugural address Lincoln announced exactly were he stood, the same with the EP and in his second inaugural address when he announced a soft touch towards reconstruction (With malice towards none, with charity for all....).
As to the EP being the first step towards ending slavery I believe there had already been two congressional bills passed that began the process of ending slavery. The First Confiscation Act of 1861 made freed slaves the property of the US Government and The Second Confiscation Act of 1862 declared as free those slaves belonging to persons in rebellion.
There was also the Militia Act of 1862 which authorized state militias to enlist Blacks. All these acts paved the way for Lincoln's EP having not only executive authority but also legal authority.
IMO, The Militia Act of 1862 made it much easier for the 13th Amendment to be passed. When you have ex-slaves fighting and dying for freedom it places them in the moral high ground.