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After SlaveryRace, Labor, and Citizenship in the Reconstruction South$
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Bruce E. Baker and Brian Kelly

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780813044774

Published to Florida Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.5744/florida/9780813044774.001.0001

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Slave and Citizen in the Modern World

Slave and Citizen in the Modern World

Rethinking Emancipation in the Twenty-First Century

Chapter:
(p.16) 1 Slave and Citizen in the Modern World
Source:
After Slavery
Author(s):

Thomas C. Holt

Publisher:
University Press of Florida
DOI:10.5744/florida/9780813044774.003.0002

This essay considers the global dimensions of citizenship, freedom, and emancipation, comparing the emancipations of the nineteenth century to contemporary discussions about citizenship, nation, and modern forms of forced labor. Fundamental questions about labor, freedom, and citizenship posed by the Age of Revolution and the end of chattel slavery remain unanswered: reckoning with them requires rigorous re-examination of the conceptual frames within which empirical questions are posed. Freedpeople in the nineteenth century entered a new world of nation-states in which questions about their citizenship status were sharply posed. The creation of global relations of labor and consumption is constitutive of the advent of modernity, creating the problem of people who are non-citizens in their place of labor. Key concerns with the effects of modern globalization can be traced back to ambiguities in the meaning of “freedom” after slave emancipation.

Keywords:   slavery, emancipation, globalization, sweatshops, race, immigration, freedom, modernity, citizenship, inequality

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