When did slavery start and end?

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mkoren | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

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Slavery started in our country when the first settlers came to North America.  It ended when the 13th amendment was added to the Constitution in 1865. The very first settlers had slaves with them.  As more and more people came to the Americas, more slaves also arrived.  Many people began to farm, especially in the South. Since farming was such a major job in the South, the large farm owners (plantation owners) wanted a cheap source of labor.  The demand for slaves really increased significantly with the invention of the cotton gin. With this device, cotton could be grown anywhere in the South.  Cotton was in high demand in Europe, so more slaves were being used in the South.

Eventually, people began to speak against having slavery in our country.  This became a big issue in the mid-1800s.  As the country began to divide over the slavery issue, the United States moved closer to war. While slavery wasn’t the only cause of the Civil War, it was one of the most important causes. When the Civil War ended with a Union victory, the 13th amendment was added to the Constitution. This amendment banned slavery in 1865.

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shiney1's profile pic

shiney1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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Slave trade histories refer to transatlantic trading patterns which were established as early as the mid-17th century.

In 1808, Parliament passed the Slave Trade Act of 1807, which outlawed the slave trade, but not slavery itself. In England, slavery was actually abolished in April 2010. Yes that's right. 2010. 

Section 71 of the Coroners and Justice Act 2009 introduces a new offence of holding someone in slavery or servitude, or requiring a person to perform forced or compulsory labour. The offence will apply to anyone holding a person in such circumstances and the maximum penalty is 14 years imprisonment. The offence must be interpreted in accordance with Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It came into force on 6 April 2010.

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