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When Did Slavery End

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Trading was something that humans had in them since the beginning of time. Trading was so powerful and frequent that it dominated every area of people’s life. Everyone was trading something, from food to guns. But one trading brought shame and darkness to humankind. Slave trading.

Slave Trade And Slavery

Atlantic Slave Trade was so massive that it directly affected 12.5 million people. That is the number of people that were shipped from Africa, from approximately 1526 to 1867. The Atlantic Slave Trade was the most costly in human life of all of the long-distance global migrations. The first slaves from Africa to the States sailed in 1526.

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Since that moment on, the number of slaves just continued growing and each year more people from Africa were forced to slavery. By 1820, nearly four Africans were shipped for every one European or American. All slaves were shipped via boats and these ships and their route were known as the ‘Middle Passage’.

The ‘Middle Passage’

The ‘Middle Passage’ refers to the terrible journey of enslaved Africans from the countries to the Americas. During this journey, sexes were kept separate, all the time naked, while men were chained for long periods. All in, the ‘Middle Passage’ was un-human, dangerous, and sorrowful for African slaves. Around 15% of enslaved people didn’t survive the Middle Passage. Their bodies of the dead were thrown overboard.

Slave Resistance

Up to 10% of slave ships experienced some form of violent resistance by enslaved people. Many committed suicide by jumping overboard, while others went on hunger strikes. Every form of rebellion was cruelly punished. These people lost not only their freedom in the horrors of the Middle Passage, but also their identities and diverse languages. They were given English or European names, and moreover, they were labeled as ‘enslaved’ or ‘black’ people. However, the late 18th century changed that.

End Of The Middle Passage

British abolitionists began inspecting slave ships and publicizing details of the Middle Passage. The public was outraged and the movement got massive support for their cause. In 1807 both the U.S. and Britain outlawed the slave trade. However, slavery wasn’t outlawed. Africans were imported to Brazil until 1831, while the Spanish continued importing African slaves to Cuba until 1867.

The Middle Passage had such a strong impact on modern history and people that it has been reimagined and referenced in dozens of different works of African film, literature, and culture in general.

When Did Slavery End?

In 1862, on September 22, Lincoln issued a preliminary emancipation proclamation. On January 1, 1863, he made it official – slaves will be free. However, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t officially ended slavery in America. That happened once the Civil War ended. In 1865, on December 18th, the 13th Amendment was adopted and slavery was officially abolished.

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The Legacy of Slavery

Former slaves received the rights of citizenship in the 14th Amendment and the right to vote in the 15th Amendment. Regardless of these rights, it wasn’t easy for former slaves to gain a hold in the post-war economy thanks to restrictive black codes and regressive contractual arrangements such as sharecropping.

Soon after, the rebirth of white supremacy happened – including the rise of racist organizations such as the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), especially in the south by 1877. But, almost one century later, resistance was born and bias and racism started to decrease in America. With that, the era of civil rights started and lead to the greatest social and political gains for African Americans since Reconstruction.

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