Emancipation question

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Posted by Brett Zamir ( on June 30, 2002 at 11:10:23:

Would anyone be able to add insight to the historical context of the following quotation?

"The first proclamation of emancipation for the blacks was made by the whites of America. How they fought and sacrificed until they freed the blacks! Then it spread to other places. The blacks of Africa were in complete bondage, but your emancipation led to their freedom also--that is, the European states emulated the Americans, and the emancipation proclamation became universal. It was for your sake that the whites of America made such an effort. Were it not for this effort, universal emancipation would not have been proclaimed." ('Abdu'l-Baha, Promulgation of Universal Peace)

Now obviously great sacrifices were made by whites in fighting for emancipation (whatever the cynics may attribute to their motives--why the North would benefit from keeping the South down by limiting slaves is beyond me). However, I am unclear as to its influence on European states.

Now the passage above may indicate that the European states only emulated the Americans in the African colonies, having some influence there on slavery or freedoms--though colonization did not end in Africa until after World War II (and economically continues--recalling 'Abdu'l-Baha's attributed encouragement to ending economic slavery). However, it seems that most European powers had ended slavery at home before America had done so, and even in their colonies as far as I am aware, with perhaps a few exceptions.

Perhaps this has something to do with the translation. Does anyone know if this passage has been revised?

What I was wondering was how exactly America's actions may have led to such action on the part of Europeans and where those effects took place.

thanks much,

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