This chapter summarizes the preceding discussions and presents some final thoughts. It argues that the development of the slave trade and the establishment of American slavery cannot be separated from the development of modern society, its creeds and its institutions. The hallmarks of modern society—representative democracy, civil society, and individual interests—all bear the responsibility for slavery. In helping to expand slavery, freedom has incurred a debt. Freedom’s role in helping to end the slave trade and slavery partially satisfies that debt.
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