On March 2, 1807, the United States banned the importation of slaves. The law took effect in 1808, although the slave trade actually continued for many decades—the law was never strictly enforced, and people already enslaved in the U.S. remained in servitude. Children born to enslaved mothers were also enslaved.

It wasn't until the Civil War ended in 1865 that slavery was completely abolished and slaves were free. By that time, roughly 12 million Africans had been shipped across the Atlantic Ocean to the Americas.

abolish
Verb

to wipe out or get rid of.

ban
Verb

to prohibit, or not allow.

Civil War
Noun

(1860-1865) American conflict between the Union (north) and Confederacy (south).

debate
Noun

instructional strategy that fosters the mastery of content and the development of critical thinking skills, empathy, and oral communication skills. The process of considering multiple viewpoints and arriving at a judgment. Applications range from an individual using debate to make a decision in his or her own mind to an individual or group using debate to convince others to agree with them.

decade
Noun

10 years.

slave
Noun

person who is owned by another person or group of people.

trade
Noun

buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.

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