Slave state

Slave state

A slave state was a U.S. state in which slavery of African Americans was legal. Slavery was one of the causes of the American Civil War and was abolished by the Thirteenth Amendment of the United States Constitution in 1865.


The 15 slave states at the time of the Civil War were Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia (including West Virginia which hadn't separated from Virginia at that time). (The District of Columbia also had slavery prior to the Civil War.) Though not states, slavery was practiced in the Nebraska Territory and in the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) as early as the 1850s. The last northern state to abolish slavery was New Jersey in 1804, although the laws of that state retained slaves over a certain age as "apprentices for life" until the 13th Amendment, in 1865.

Eleven of these states declared their secession in 1860 and 1861 to form the Confederate States of America; Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland and Missouri did not leave the Union. West Virginia joined the Union as a slave state in 1863 after seceding from Virginia.

Original status

Prior to the American Revolution, all of the British North American colonies had slavery, but the Revolutionary War gave impetus to a general antislavery sentiment. The Northwest Territory, now known as the Midwest, was organized under the Northwest Ordinance with a prohibition on slavery in 1787. Massachusetts accepted that its 1780 Constitution effectively abolished slavery, and several other northern statutes required gradual emancipation.

Northern slave states

End of slave states

Maryland and the pro-Union government of Missouri abolished slavery during the Civil War.The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, ratified December 6, 1865, abolished slavery throughout the United States, ending the distinction. Ratification of the 13th Amendment was a condition of the return of local rule to those states that had seceded

ee also

* Free state (United States)
* Border states (Civil War)


* [ Don E. Fehrenbacher and Ward M. Mcafee; "The Slaveholding Republic: An Account of the United States Government's Relations to Slavery" (2002)]

External links

* [ Slavery in the North]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Slave State — Slave′ State n. amh. any of the 15 Southern states that permitted slavery before the Civil War • Etymology: 1800–10, amer …   From formal English to slang

  • slave state — n. any of the states in which slavery was legal before the Civil War: Ala., Ark., Del., Fla., Ga., Ky., La., Md., Miss., Mo., N.C., S.C., Tenn., Tex., & Va …   English World dictionary

  • slave state — noun any of the southern states in which slavery was legal prior to the American Civil War • Ant: ↑free state • Hypernyms: ↑American state • Part Holonyms: ↑Confederacy, ↑Confederate States, ↑Confederate States of America, ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • slave state — 1. any state, nation, etc., where slavery is legal or officially condoned. 2. Slave States, U.S. Hist. the states that permitted slavery between 1820 and 1860: Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland,… …   Universalium

  • slave state — noun Date: 1809 1. a state of the United States in which slavery was legal until the Civil War 2. a nation subjected to totalitarian rule …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • slave state — noun historical any of the Southern states of the US in which slavery was legal before the Civil War …   English new terms dictionary

  • slave state — /ˈsleɪv steɪt/ (say slayv stayt) noun any of the states of the southern US in which domestic slavery was practised and advocated up to the Civil War …   Australian English dictionary

  • Slave Trade Compromise and Fugitive Slave Clause — The Framers debated over the extent to which slavery would be included, permitted, or prohibited in the United States Constitution. In the end, they created a document of compromise that represented the interests of the nation as they knew it and …   Wikipedia

  • slave — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ escaped, fugitive, runaway ▪ emancipated, freed ▪ former ▪ the son of former slaves …   Collocations dictionary

  • state — I n. government 1) to establish, found, set up a state 2) to govern, rule a state 3) a buffer; client; garrison; independent; police; puppet; secular; sovereign; welfare state 4) a member state (the member states of the UN) condition 5) a… …   Combinatory dictionary

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