This chapter summarizes the book's main themes and presents some final thoughts. This book tells the story of emancipation's very real consequences in the North and the ensuing conflicts between African Americans and whites, as well as between black men and women over the meaning of citizenship. It reveals that the history of slavery, emancipation, and Reconstruction was national in scope. Just as American slavery defined the meaning of freedom for all Americans, so the destruction of American slavery reverberated across the nation and shaped the historical experience of what race was understood to mean for all Americans.
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