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Late 18th to 19th century

Start of the abolition of slavery

France (1794 then 1848), the United Kingdom (1833), the Ottoman Empire (1847), the United States (1865), etc. After having been abolished by the Constitution in 1794, slavery in the French colonies was reintroduced by Napoleon in 1802 under the pressure from sugar cane producers in the West Indies. It is not until 1848, 15 years after the United Kingdom, that Victor Schoelcher got the French government to sign a decree abolishing slavery for good in France. In the United States, the election of Abraham Lincoln, a supporter of the abolition, led the country into a bloody civil war, the « American Civil War », in 1861. It ended with the victory of the Northern States over the Southern States and a law abolishing slavery in 1865. From an economic perspective, the abolition of slavery marks a fundamental change in labour relations. The worker is no longer the property of a master, but a free employee who supplies labour to his employer in exchange for payment.

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