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Who freed the slaves?

BingMag Explains who freed the slaves

The slaves in the United States were freed by President Abraham Lincoln through the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued on January 1, 1863. However, it is important to note that the actual enforcement and implementation of the proclamation took time and varied across different parts of the country. The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified on December 6, 1865, officially abolished slavery throughout the entire country.

The emancipation of slaves was a complex and multifaceted process that involved various individuals, events, and factors. While it is impossible to attribute the freedom of slaves to a single person or group, there were several key figures and events that played significant roles in the abolition of slavery.

One of the most prominent figures in the fight against slavery was Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States. Lincoln's presidency coincided with one of the most tumultuous periods in American history, the Civil War. Although Lincoln did not initially set out to abolish slavery, he recognized the moral and political implications of the institution and believed that it was incompatible with the principles of the United States. In 1862, he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, which declared that all slaves in Confederate-held territory were to be set free. While this proclamation did not immediately free all slaves, it marked a significant turning point in the fight against slavery and laid the groundwork for its eventual abolition.

However, it is important to note that the Emancipation Proclamation did not free all slaves in the United States. It only applied to those held in Confederate states that were in rebellion against the Union. Slavery continued to exist in the border states that remained loyal to the Union, such as Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky, and Missouri. The complete abolition of slavery required the passage of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, which was ratified in December 1865, several months after the end of the Civil War. This amendment abolished slavery and involuntary servitude throughout the entire country.

Beyond Lincoln, there were numerous abolitionists, activists, and enslaved individuals themselves who played crucial roles in the fight for freedom. Figures like Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, and William Lloyd Garrison dedicated their lives to advocating for the rights and liberation of enslaved people. They used their voices, writings, and actions to raise awareness about the horrors of slavery and to push for its abolition.

The efforts of enslaved individuals themselves cannot be overlooked in the struggle for freedom. Many slaves resisted their bondage through acts of rebellion, escape, and sabotage. The Underground Railroad, a network of secret routes and safe houses, facilitated the escape of thousands of slaves to free states and Canada. Harriet Tubman, an escaped slave herself, became one of the most famous conductors of the Underground Railroad, leading numerous enslaved individuals to freedom.

Furthermore, the international context also played a role in the emancipation of slaves. The transatlantic slave trade had faced increasing opposition from abolitionist movements in Europe and the Americas for decades. The British Empire, for example, abolished the slave trade in 1807 and slavery itself in 1833. The actions of these countries and the pressure they exerted on the United States and other nations contributed to the eventual abolition of slavery.

In conclusion, the freedom of slaves was not the result of the actions of a single person or group, but rather a collective effort involving numerous individuals, events, and factors. Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation and the subsequent ratification of the 13th Amendment were pivotal moments in the abolition of slavery in the United States. However, the tireless work of abolitionists, the resistance of enslaved individuals, and the international context all played significant roles in the ultimate liberation of millions of people from the shackles of slavery.

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