US Civil War
History of the United States

Why did slavery end in the US?

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2016-11-19 09:25:55

Because the North won - having issued the Emacipation

Proclamation (chiefly to keep out the British, rather than for pure

Abolitionist sentiment), resulting in the liberation of many slaves

by the Union armies. It turned out to be a wartime measure that

could not have been rescinded afterwards.

The common misconception is that it ended (in the US) when Abraham

Lincoln Signed and approved the emancipation Proclamation.

This is, however, wrong. The Emancipation Proclamation only

officially ended slavery for slaves in "rebellious" states... i.e.

just those that denied that the government of which Lincoln was

president had any power over them.

It did have one immediate effect: the Union Army stopped

treating captured slaves as "contraband enemy property" and began

immediately freeing them. However, slavery didn't officially end in

the US as a whole until December 6, 1865, when Georgia ratified the

13th Amendment pushing it over the requirement of ratification by

at least 3/4 of the states and making it a part of the US


It also might be noted that while the 13th amendment freed

slaves in general, it expressly permits involuntary servitude as

punishment for crimes. Slavery in that sense is technically still

constitutional under US law, though it's since been abolished by

all states individually with the last being Alabama in 1927.

It is still endemic in many parts of the world.

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