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History Unplugged Podcast

with Scott Rank

The History of Slavery, Part 5: The Road to Abolition

00:00 01:14:41
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Slavery died a long death in the Western World. Abolitionists began mobilizing in the 1700s (chief among them Quakers and other Protestant sects) but the movement took decades of activism, bookmaking, and even armed resistance to succeed.

In the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, America dealt with the contradiction of being founded on liberty and justice for all…while treating four million humans as literal property for no other reason than their skin color. Strange situations emerged, such as Thomas Jefferson forcefully arguing for universal, innate rights while most likely fathering six children with his slave Sally Hemings.

In this episode we will explore:

Whether emancipation was the result of religions movements, the Enlightenment, all of these things, or none of them; why the first thing emancipated slaves did was look for lost family members (They posted descriptions of family members in newspapers. Most looked in vain and continued to post until World War One); how slaves reacted to the very first day of emancipation.
August 02, 2018
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Meet Your Host
Scott Rank is the host of the History Unplugged Podcast and a PhD in history who specialized in the Ottoman Empire and modern Turkey. Before going down the academic route he worked as a journalist in Istanbul. He has written 12 history books on topics ranging from lost Bronze Age civilizations to the Age of Discovery. Some of his books include The Age of Illumination: Science, Technology, and Reason in the Middle Ages and History’s 9 Most Insane Rulers.. Learn more about him by going to
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