Introduction: Phantoms of Freedom | Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery | North Carolina Scholarship Online (2024)

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Joseph P. Reidy

Joseph P. Reidy

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1–22

  • Published:

    March 2019

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Reidy, Joseph P., 'Introduction: Phantoms of Freedom', Illusions of Emancipation: The Pursuit of Freedom and Equality in the Twilight of Slavery (Chapel Hill, NC, 2019; online edn, North Carolina Scholarship Online, 23 Jan. 2020), https://doi.org/10.5149/northcarolina/9781469648361.003.0001, accessed 10 July 2024.

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Abstract

The book explores the complex ways that slavery ended over the course of the Civil War, focusing particularly on the actions and experiences of black Americans, both enslaved and free in the North as well as the South. It emphasizes the elusive nature of freedom and the many obstacles in its winding path. Time moved erratically, and even space took on unforeseeably new characteristics in the turmoil of war. At bottom, the emancipation struggle involved a contest over the complex relationships that linked individuals to families, neighborhoods, and ultimately the nation, the resolution of which had implications that reached far beyond enslaved people and enslavers. The Union's victory over the Confederacy and the ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment ended slavery, but its baleful effects have hung like a cloud over succeeding generations right into the twenty-first century.

Keywords: slavery, time, space, emancipation, families, neighborhoods, nation, Union's victory over the Confederacy, Thirteenth Amendment

Subject

Civil War and Reconstruction US History

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