Article

Emancipation

Roderick McDonald and Michelle Craig McDonald

in Atlantic History

ISBN: 9780199730414
Published online May 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199730414-0019
Emancipation

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The process of emancipation in the Atlantic world spanned most of the 19th century and took a variety of forms. Some, such as Haiti’s 1804 declaration of immediate emancipation and the United States’ Emancipation Proclamation and Thirteenth Amendment, followed long, violent conflicts. Other nations, such as Britain, attempted a more gradual transition to freedom in an effort to prepare both former slaves and slave owners for new social and economic systems. Thereafter, France and Denmark (in 1848), Holland (1863), Puerto Rico (1873), and Cuba (1886) all abolished slavery through combinations of international pressure, religious and moral petitioning, legislative action, and violent confrontations, as did many of the newly independent nations of Latin America. In 1888 Brazil became the last nation in the Americas to abolish slavery, though in many ways the process of emancipation itself had just begun. Post-emancipation scholarship starts at abolition and asks not only what factors contributed to slavery’s demise, but also how subsequent freedoms, or denials of freedom, can be measured politically, socially, culturally, and economically. These studies have moved beyond the first few decades of freedom to explore how emancipation experiences contributed to contemporary ideas about liberty and equality, as well as ongoing problems with racial conflict and violence.

Article.  8813 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas ; European History ; African History ; History ; Regional and National History

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