an announcement made in the US by President Abraham Lincoln which ordered the end of slavery (=the practice of owning people as property)in the Confederate States (=the southern states of the US)from January 1st 1863. The Proclamation was made during the Civil War. Soon after the war, slavery was completely ended by the "13th Amendment" to the US Constitution.
Definition from the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English Advanced Learner's Dictionary.
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