When did slavery end in America? At the time of the Revolutionary War in the United States, the ideas of human rights and liberty started to spread. However, the Constitution did not bring any new rights when it comes to slaves. In fact, the U.S. Constitution protected the slave owners’ rights. Let us learn more about this important part of the American history.
When Did Slavery End in the United States?
♦ The slavery was first abolished in Rhode Island, in 1774. After this, some other states abolished slavery, too. These states were Vermont, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey and New York.
♦ In some states, slavery never existed. These states were Michigan, Maine, Ohio, Wisconsin, Kansas, Indiana, California, Oregon and Illinois.
♦ In 1808, the law banned importation of slaves. However, the states continued selling slaves within their borders. The southern and the northern states confronted because of the slavery issue. The northern countries needed human power for work in industry that was growing. These states believed that freed slaves could actually come to work in these factories.
♦ The anti-slavery policy was first established in 1831 in New York. However, this was far from over! In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Law came to existence. This law was very cruel. According to this law, any individual who appeared to be a runaway slave would be immediately arrested. If anyone came with some sort of proof regarding the ownership, he/she could have the slave (or suspected slave) to himself/herself.
♦ If anyone helped a slave by giving him foods, shelter or some other kind of help, that person could be immediately arrested and sentenced to a 6-month time in prison, plus he had to pay a 1 000 USD fine. As you can imagine, anyone could have been suspected and prosecuted. This resulted in more fear and inhumanity.
♦ It was 1854 when the Kansas-Nebraska bill was introduced to the Senate. According to this, the people who lived within the territories of these two states could make their own decisions about whether to have slaves or not. This was just another step towards slavery abolition. This process was rather long and difficult.
♦ In 1865, the Thirteenth Amendment was issued, abolishing slavery.
♦ Slavery can be defined as a system in which human beings are treated in the same way as things and other property, and they are literally forced to perform certain tasks. These people can become slaves by birth, capture or purchase. They cannot leave and they cannot refuse to work. Today, we do not have this kind of slavery (at least it is not legal), but there are many instances of something that can be defined as a modern type of slavery. These activities are illegal and very harsh punishments are created for people involved in these criminal activities. However, this is still a problem to deal with. Modern-day slaves are used for various purposes. Efforts are being made in order to stop these illegal and inhumane activities.