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U.S. Was Not the "Only Country" to End Slavery

Suzy Woltmann Suzy Woltmann
1st August 2020
U.S. Was Not the "Only Country" to End Slavery
The U.S. was actually one of the later countries to abolish slavery (Getty Images).

The Claim

The U.S. was the only country to abolish slavery. 

Emerging story

In late July 2020, likely in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, users on social media began posting a claim that “America,” “whites,” and “the West” ended slavery.

Misbar’s Analysis

Misbar’s investigation found that the U.S. actually abolished slavery much later than other countries. England abolished slavery in its colonies in 1833. France abolished slavery in 1848. Mexico abolished slavery in 1829.

However, the U.S. did not abolish slavery until the passing of the 13th Amendment in 1865. The 1863 Emancipation Proclamation freed enslaved people in states that were not part of the Union. 

Part of the claim being circulated is that “white people were slaves, too.” This is false. Some white immigrants came to the U.S. as indentured servants, but they were not enslaved. 

Studies show that most Americans do not know the full story of slavery. 

Since the U.S. was not the only country to abolish slavery, nor the first, the claim is false.

Misbar’s Classification


Misbar’s Sources

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