Sesquicentennial Comparisons: Black Slavery in America and Ottoman Turkey

January 1, 2013 marks the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of President Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, which set the United States firmly on the path toward the abolition of slavery. Frederick Douglass, in his autobiography, Life and Times, described how, in his view, Lincoln's proclamation morphed the Civil War beyond a struggle to preserve the Union, into a transcendent war against slavery: The first of January, 1863, was a memorable day in the progress of American liberty and civilization. It was the turning-point in the conflict between freedom and slavery. A death blow was then given to the slaveholding rebellion During a January 13, 1865 speech in New York City, Douglass had elaborated: The abolition of slavery is the comprehensive and logical object of the war, for it includes everything else which the struggle involves. It is a war for the Union, a war for the Constitution, I admit; but it is logically such a war only in the sense that the greater includes...(Read Full Article)

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