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British Slave Emancipation$
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Green William A.

Print publication date: 1993

Print ISBN-13: 9780198202783

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198202783.001.0001

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Forming a Free Society

Forming a Free Society

(p.162) (p.163) Chapter 6 Forming a Free Society
British Slave Emancipation

William A. Green

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the abolition of apprenticeship and the introduction of measures that would limit the authority of colonial oligarchs and initiate the uprooting of slavery codes. Faced by the crisis and humiliation due to the early abolishment of the apprenticeship system, including the failure of the government to overhaul the legal machinery of the colonies, the government exasperatedly rushed in, forming new laws and new constitutions that would allow the slaves freedom. Upon the abolition of the apprenticeship, the West Indian legislatures dismantled the slavery codes and introduced new legislation for every aspect of colonial life. The acts of vagrancy and contract laws by the colonial oligarchs were given boundaries and restraints, the freedmen were allowed to purchase lands, free villages emerged, and the liberty of the freedmen was finally given priority.

Keywords:   apprenticeship, laws, constitutions, slaves, freedom, West Indian legislatures, slavery codes, freedmen

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