It gave former slave owners $300 per enslaved person set free.
The act also provided for an emigration incentive of $100 – around $2,683 in 2021 dollars – if the former enslaved person agreed to permanently leave the United States.
In contrast,“ Craemer wrote, "the formerly enslaved received nothing if they decided to stay in the United States.”
As a professor of political science who studies the relationship between democracy, citizenship and justice, Bernd Reiter has examined how Germany dealt with the horrors of the Holocaust.
Instead of seeking to erase the Holocaust from its history, the German government has paid since the end of World War II the equivalent of $7 billion for Israel and $1 billion for the World Jewish Congress, an international federation of Jewish communities and organizations.
“The German government has worked hard to ensure remembrance, penance, recompense and justice,” Reiter wrote. “The United States, in contrast, has no official policy of atoning for slavery.”
Editor’s note: This story is a roundup of articles from The Conversation’s archives.