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Slavery in the United States was a labor system that depended upon captive Africans who were held by their owners as legal property in a state of permanent bondage.
Most enslaved individuals in Alabama were born into enslavement in other states and brought into the area as part of the South's internal slave trade.
The defense of slavery played a significant role in Alabama's secession from the Union in 1861.
The collapse of the Confederate States of America and the end of the American Civil War (1861-1865) resulted in the emancipation of the state's enslaved population.
The majority of slaves in Alabama, however, labored on modest farms, and the typical Alabama slaveholder owned fewer than five slaves.
During the antebellum period, the position of overseer developed into a professional trade dominated by non-slaveholding whites.
Auctions were themselves traumatic and degrading events, as people being sold were put on display before an audience of white men and sold to the highest bidder.
Slavery expanded along with commercial agriculture to satisfy shortages of cheap controllable field workers.
A small number of slaves worked in Alabama's rising industrial sector.
Textile manufacturers such as the Hobbs brothers used slave labor in their Limestone County factory.
Most of Alabama's antebellum-era settlers originated from areas such as eastern Georgia and western South Carolina.