Fath Ruffins on slavery's decline at the end of the Revolutionary War
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Q: What is the significance of slavery's decline at the end of the war -- first, its effect on a large number of black people, and then on the country.
A: In New England, there is a greater hope, and ultimately there is gradual abolition, and there is the abolition of the slave trade, which reduces, dramatically reduces the number of Africans who are coming to the United States, but particularly to New England, because more of the pirate trade is really going to the South at that time.
One of the key aspects, I would say, at the end of the Revolutionary War era is that the divide in the country between the North, which largely has no slavery, and the South, which largely is a slavocracy, you can begin to see that fissure start and widen. That's one of the significant outcomes of the Revolutionary era.
Fath Davis Ruffins
Scholar and Researcher
The Smithsonian Institute
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