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Abstract

In June of 1833, the British Parliament passed an act to abolish slavery within the imperial system. While this was the beginning of a profound legal revolution in the British West Indies, it was a logical result of a series of reforms by Parliament in response to a relentless drive by abolitionist forces and a corresponding loss of political influence by the West Indian planters. The planters were able only to salvage a cash payment as compensation for their loss of property and a period of adjustment euphemistically called "apprenticeship."

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