Tag Archives: Slavery

The Emancipation Proclamation

emanprocPresident Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863. The proclamation declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The Emancipation Proclamation confirmed that the war for the Union must become a war for freedom. It added moral force to the Union cause and strengthened the Union both militarily and politically. The original of the Emancipation Proclamation , is in the National Archives in Washington, DC.
There is a common misconception among Americans that Abraham Lincoln freed the American slaves with the Emancipation Proclamation. Slaves were not immediately freed as a result of the Proclamation, as it only applied to rebelling states not under Union control. Also, the proclamation did not apply to parts of rebelling states already under Union control. The Proclamation did not cover the 800,000 slaves in the Union’s slave-holding border states of Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Maryland or Delaware. As the regions in the South that were under Confederate control ignored the Proclamation, slave ownership persisted until Union troops captured additional Southern territory. It was only with the adoption of the Thirteenth Amendment in 1865 that slavery was officially abolished in all of the United States.

Tomorrow, Lincoln’s Defense of the Emancipation Proclamation  Rita Bay

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Slavery in Modern Times

To conclude our month on a brief history of slavery, anyone who thinks slavery ended with the 13th Amendment is not paying attention. According to National Geographic article, there are more slaves today than were seized from Africa in four centuries of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. The modern commerce in humans rivals illegal drug trafficking in its global reach—and in the destruction of lives.  According to the latest State Department statistics, as many as 100,000 people in the United States are in bondage and perhaps 27 million people worldwide. Victims of human trafficking are vulnerable men, women or children coerced into servitude for sex or labor. They might be transported from Russia to Europe, from the Philippines to Dubai, or held in their hometown – don’t forget those in the United States.

In 2000, the United States enacted an anti-trafficking law and the United Nations adopted the Palermo Protocol. Both call for countries to criminalize trafficking, punish offenders and provide shelter to victims.  In its 2011 trafficking report, the State Department concluded that last year only 32 of 184 countries fully complied with the standards set by the American law. The number on the list of the worst violators rose to 23 from 13, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are on the list.  For more info on where slavery is prevalent and the type of slavery practiced. Graphic descriptions that may disturb: http://www.infoplease.com/spot/slavery1.html

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Viking Slavers in the West


The Viking Age of Scandinavian history began with the Lindisfarne raid on June 8, 793 and ended with the Norman Conquest of England in 1066. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle describes the as ‘the ravages of heathen men miserably destroyed God’s church on Lindisfarne, with plunder and with slaughter.’ While they carried away plunder, the less able monks were killed and the others were enslaved. Two years later, Vikings raided the monastery on Iona, and other monasteries along the coasts and rivers of northern Europe fell to the Vikings. 

 Vikings used the Norwegian Sea and Baltic Sea for sea routes to raid and eventually settled in the south. They established the Danelaw, which included Scandinavian York, the administrative centre of the remains of the Kingdom of Northumbria, parts of Mercia, and East Anglia. In Ireland, from the ninth to the twelfth century, Dublin became a major slave trading center. In 870A.D. Vikings besieged and captured Alt Clut in southern Scotland and sold the inhabitants in the Dublin slave markets. The Normans who eventually conquered England and the Viking overlords were descended from Danish and Norwegian Vikings who had invaded northern France and carved out a Duchy.

Not all Viking raids were successful. In 980 AD, the Anglo Saxon Chronicle records that Southampton “was ravaged by a force in ships, the town-dwellers, for the most part, were killed or enslaved.” The fate of captured Vikings was described earlier at an attack on Jarrow (794 AD): “. . . some of the ships were broken up in bad weather and many drowned. Some came alive to shore and were quickly killed at the river’s mouth.’

Tomorrow, The Vikings in Eastern Europe. Rita Bay

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