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Slavery Ends

The thirteenth amendment to the Constitution of the United States was ratified on today’s date in 1865, ending slavery throughout the United States.  (The Emancipation Proclamation had only ended slavery in territory controlled by the Confederacy as of January 1, 1863.)

Hundreds of thousands died and billions of dollars in wealth and property perished in order to make this possible.

It was worth it.

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  • Jbird

    “It was worth it”- amen. It is self-evident to me, Despite being a son of Virgina raised in a house with portraits of Lee and Jackson on the wall, No one should regret the outcome of the Civil War- only that it was necessary. America certainly paid a heavy price for her sins. My great regret is that no American William Wilberforce ever emerged.

  • Steve

    I agree that ending slavery is good. But at a
    cost of over 600,000 dead, billions in cost,
    and the devastation of the South, including
    the rape and pillaging done by the Union Armies? Why was the rest of the world,
    particularly England, able to end slavery
    without so much as a hangnail? It couldn’t be
    due to a power-hungry, tyrannical president
    that refused to abide by the Constitution
    could it?

  • Rob

    My grandmother’s grandfather spent time in Andersonville and was crippled in the Civil War, and from what I’ve read he agreed with you. I don’t. The whole thing seems like a long episode of stupidity on both sides – it should have and could have been avoided.

  • Walter

    We regret the loss of life but not the outcome – a stronger, united country free of slavery.

    Unfortunately one of the reasons for the war is being revived and intensified in modern US politics. Not race, but how much power should go to the federal government and what issues should instead be handled at the local/state level.

  • Leonard shepherd

    Thank God,I will be forever grateful for the men and woman that did his bidding.

  • Mrs. Davis

    Along with slavery and more importantly the South lost the Jeffersonian vision of the country as detailed in the post above.

  • Jason

    Ending slavery wasn’t the main reason behind the Civil War.

  • Kansas Scott

    Yes, it was certainly worth it. It doesn’t mean that blunder-headed steps and missteps weren’t taken by people on all sides of the issue but it does mean that one man owning another is and remains wrong.

    Let me take this as another opportunity to state how much I miss your daily “The Long Recall.” I know it was a great deal of work but it helped put the daily actions of real people now long gone in a much more human perspective than dry and judgmental history usually allows.

    Given the number of aspiring and intelligent young people who probably want to be interns for you, wouldn’t it be possible to put some of them to work again on that project? (Irony noted in urging the greater use of free interns in a post originally condemning slavery, but it IS different, sort of).

  • Hunter Wallace

    “It was worth it.”

    That depends on your perspective.

    If you lived in Atlanta, Richmond, Columbia, or Charleston, you witnessed the literal annihilation of civilization. Similarly, if you were a White Southerner, you saw 1 out of every 4 White Southern males of military age murdered by the United States government for defending their homes.

    The War Between the States created a generation of orphans and widows. There was mass starvation in the South after the war.

    The entire infrastructure of the South was destroyed and the region was plunged into a level of poverty which didn’t recede for a hundred years.

    Was it worth it? Before the war, black slaves picked the cotton. After the war, everyone who survived (black or white) picked cotton until the 1930s.

  • Hunter Wallace

    “My grandmother’s grandfather spent time in Andersonville and was crippled in the Civil War, and from what I’ve read he agreed with you.”

    13 percent of Confederate POWs died in Northern prisons. 11 percent of Union POWs died in the South. That ought to tell you something.

  • Hunter Wallace

    “America certainly paid a heavy price for her sins.”

    Slavery was legal in Massachusetts for 200 years. Texas and Florida were not admitted to the Union until 1845. Even Alabama was still barely passed the frontier stage in 1860.

    That is the typical Yankee worldview. The Yankees who imported all the slaves here on their ships (and many of those who wound up in Latin America) absolve from slavery at the precise moment when they rid themselves of the institution.

    Funny how the Northern states didn’t feel it necessary to punish themselves.

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