After Slavery: Emancipation and Its Discontents

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Howard Temperley
Psychology Press, 2000 - Social Science - 310 pages
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The abolition of slavery is arguably the greatest humanitarian achievement of all time. It ended an institution that had existed throughout history and taken many different forms. It was all the more remarkable for the speed with which it occurred. In the case of Western chattel slavery it was accomplished in little more than a century - which is to say between the launching of the first British anti-slavery campaign in 1788 and the ending of Brazilian slavery in 1888. In Asia and Africa, where Western ideas of liberty were viewed with suspicion and slavery was deeply rooted in the culture, emancipation took longer and in some places is still not fully complete. But, wherever it happened, the transition from slavery to freedom met with strong resistance, not only from former owners but also from other groups that saw their interests threatened. This book describes the difficulties ex-slaves faced as they sought to build new lives for themselves as free men and women.

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