JSTOR: Viewing Subject: History

The idea that slavery was wrong in the Enlightenment ideology of the American Revolution itself, with about half of the American colonies abolishing slavery during that era, and the Constitution anticipated the abolition of the slave trade in 1808 -- a delay singled out, apparently as a reproach, by Barack Obama.

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The controversy, argued with fury and recrimination, dominated the early years of American politics, resulting in a terrible Civil War in which more than 600,000 Americans died -- in contrast to the sum of about 400,000 African slaves that had been imported into the 13 American colonies in the first place.


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