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Free «Race in Pre-American Revolutionary Period» Essay Sample

During the 18th century, many Americans enjoyed a lot of liberty compared to other people in the rest of the world. They could pay low taxes and boycott paying for imports. In the American Revolution, slaves were not affected in any way by the tea taxes or the stamp duties. However, the black population was the main race used in the revolution (in mobilization of revolutionary groups), uprising and slavery.

It is worth noting that in particular, the duties and taxes imposed did not affect the black population and the slaves. Nevertheless, it is quite evident that this population had suffered from oppression since the days of the Founding Fathers. To emphasize this point, Gary Nash (1990), one of the successful historians, states:

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Even as the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s and 1970s created an intense interest in the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century roots of America’s race problem, many historians continued to deny that the Founding Fathers could have done anything about slavery.

There is no any convincing explanation that could justify slavery and oppression of the black community. It is surprising how many people could encourage it, claiming that it was in the best interest of the new nation. At this point, Nash (1990) explains, “In offering a political explanation for the failure of the revolutionary generation to abolish slavery, historians of our era have usually cited the fragility of the new nation.” This is a clear indicator of the leaders’ uncertainty to abolish slavery within the Southern States because of the fear that it would destroy the union that was being established during and after the war.

When the neighborhoods of the black community experienced social upheaval, they got a chance to flee. According to estimates by Thomas Jefferson, thirty thousand slaves had run away when the British invaded Virginia in 1781. Some of the slaves teamed with the black regiment of Virginia’s governor, Lord Dunmore. He promised them freedom in exchange of disobedience to their masters. Consequently, some of the slaves and blacks were recruited to join guerilla bands fighting the patriots. In search of freedom, many of them succumbed to diseases, malnutrition and battle wounds. Towards the end of the American Revolution, many black loyalists were exiled to Jamaica and others to Florida. This explains the origin of the black community in America, as they came from people who were slaves during the revolution.

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They were either liberated by state law; even though, others rebelled or ran away and managed to stay in America. The population of the African Americans increased during the nineteenth century. While this population entirely consisted of diverse racial origins before the war started, many blacks can now appreciate the role played by free men. In addition, the black population reminds the whites that the color of a skin cannot dictate abilities or freedom of a person.

During the American Revolution, slave rebellions supported the theory of Governor Robert, which states that any emergency dividing the white people could enable the slaves to rebel.  A white man in New York heard slaves teaming up in order to get gun powders for an insurgence plot. In Georgia, slaves initiated a revolution in December 1774 killing four whites. They were later captured and burned to death. Few slaves, with little education, managed to create a written challenge to the bondage hypocrisy between wars for freedom. In Massachusetts, a group of black people petitioned the State Assembly and Boston’s governor in 1773. This petition conveyed gratitude for the attempts of slavery abolishment saying that the people of Boston seemed actuated by principles of justice. In 1775, the African American population from Bristol and Worcester appealed through the Committees of Correspondence in support of getting their freedom.

 
 
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In their response, the Worcester County Convention passed a resolution stating that any enslavement of the human race had been abolished. Some white and black abolitionists kept wider appeals that addressed the general public and state assemblies. In Virginia, the black population signed up with the British army so that they could achieve freedom. This attempt saw more than five thousand black people serve in colonial militias and involved in revolutionary battles. Crispus Attucks, a black man, was among the five colonists who were shot dead in the Boston Massacre. In Bunker Hill, black soldiers were among people who fought at the first main revolutionary clash. Salem Poor from Massachusetts was among them.

Poor was a slave who acquired his freedom in 1769 through a lot of struggle. Other fourteen officers in the same regime with him petitioned in the Massachusetts General Court, mentioning Poor as one of the bravest soldiers who had traits of an experienced officer. Even though there were more than four thousand colonists who fought at Bunker Hill, Poor was the only one whose existing records indicated that he was acknowledged for his extraordinary services. When the war came to an end, one white person wrote a biography remembering his terror when the Bunker Hill hostilities started. He saw bodies of soldiers lying on the Boston Common. In the bibliography, he notes that one of the things that sadly impressed him was a Negro’s wounded body with blood running down. Although in great pain, the Negro was saying that he did not care about the wounds. His main concern was liberation. In 1775, Continental Generals informed the Congress that there were Negroes in various regiments in Massachusetts. Slave commanders, like George Washington, demonstrated fears.  Due to the determination of representatives from South Carolina, an area with a lot of slaves, the black population was barred from joining the Continental Army. When times became tougher for the colonists after fighting for a year, the Continental Congress re-evaluated the situation. Washington agreed, allowing some Northern states to plead black people.

Additionally, in 1776, Washington reauthorized mobilization of blacks who had experience in military. In 1777, as the situation of Continental Army became devastating due to their disappearances from nasty encampments during winter, mobilization was extended to cover all the black population. When the British Military shifted its operations in the black territory in late 1778, states the Upper South unwillingly accepted the black population. Wood (1991) stated, “The army and navy of Virginia were full of African Americans and slaves served as alternatives for their masters in North Carolina and Delaware.” Authorization of slave mobilization was done in Maryland, and the black populations were also recruited.  

In conclusion, the white population in the states of Lower South firmly opposed the mobilization of the black population who were working in the rice swamps. Even when the Congress offered 1,000 dollars for every slave they mobilized in 1779, South Carolina and Georgia went on to refuse. They tried to reimburse more than twice the 400 dollars they presented to slave owners in Rhode Island.  A large population of the blacks still remains poor, but the stories of success are termed as powerful symbols for the whole black community.The white population questioned racial equality and black population’s ability to gain success, but in the end, the fight abolished slavery and created equal opportunities to some extent. When the revolution took place, South Carolina and Georgia tightened their dependence on slave labor and strong resistance to any kind of mobilization. When hundreds of mulattoes fled the revolution in Haiti for America, the black population did not settle in the Lower South until 1790s.

 
   

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