The American Revolution
Role of slaves and Native Americans in the RevolutionThousands of African slaves and the Native American involvement in the fight for independence against the British colonial masters. Most of them were actively involved in the forefront of the war. They refused to stand aside and took the side of the war that they felt had an upper arm in winning and of course the one that offered better terms of their freedom when the war is won. The war was spearheaded when the Native Americans started advocating for a fair treatment of the slave while at the same time advocating for liberty.
The colonial masters ignored the morality of black slaves. The talk about liberty did spread across America and gave thousands of enslave black a future expectations for a better life in case thy work together and win the war. This made thousands of the black take arms together with the native Americans against the British colonial masters fighting for their freedom. The British state lost its grip on colonizing them, and they too began to recruit African slaves to fight on their side with the promise of freedom. During the war, the blacks were scattered in the integrated regimes. They were given roles as waiters, artisans, Wagoner and even cooks. They were some units entirely made of the blacks with a white commanding officer, and they waged war against the British.
An example is the 1778’s Rhode Island’s Black Battalion that was established when the state realized they needed more in their forces if they were to emerge victorious in the war (Franklin et al.,. 2004). Being true to their word, the formed legislature set the black Americans free after the war was won and did compensate their masters for their worth. In some areas, the black slaves served in the war as navy, with an example of Virginia where the total number of the black navy was noted to be 150. Some of the black Americans served as sailors, gunners and in the continental navy during the fight for independence.
While a good number of the black served in the routine tasks as cooks and sailor, some like James Lafayette was acknowledged for their expertise as spies.2. Describe slavery and Native American situation before and after the Revolution.Slavery took root in American as early as the beginning of the 17th century. By the early 1800 slavery in America was a thriving venture that the British enforced. This was hugely noted in the southern regions of the United States. Among the many reasons for taking slaves, among the primary ones was the invention and the use of cotton gin. The African slaves and Native American were forced to work in cotton plantations. This cotton gin enabled the colonialists to plant a variety of cotton crops as in made cotton processing process much faster. Majority of the slaves worked in these cotton plantations especially in the southern regions of United States.
This southern region had an ideal climatic condition for the growth of cotton. The slaves working in these plantations were forced to work, primarily removing the cotton seeds from the cotton fiber and carrying them to industries to be processed. Other than working on the cotton plantation, some of the African-American slaves also did work in agricultural firms. They helped in growing tobacco, corn, hemp and rearing of livestock. Some African-American slaves also did work in southern cities. They were strained and gained certain skills such as waiters and cleaners. However, some slaves did put aside enough money and bought their freedom from their masters.The masters involved the slaves in heavy physical duties. For the slaves their days began early at dusk working in plantations, then a two hours lunch break, and continued working till late in the evening. Free white farmers also did experience long working hours, but unlike the enslaved Africans and Americans they were in control of their schedule of working (Taylor 2007). The African American slaves had no such privileges, and at all time they worked under close supervision from their enslavers.
Failure to adhere to working rules resulted in heavy punishment mostly in the form of physical violence or death.After the declaration of independence, the United States declared free of Britain’s colonial rule. This also marked the end of slavery for the African American slaves in all the states of America. By the year 1804, the Northern states ganged together to vote on the abolishment of any form of slavery within its states. The change, however, was not immediate but a gradual process. The United States come up with a set deadline of which all slaves would be free. They were also laws set that would release individuals when they end certain work period or reached a certain age. This declaration of a slavery-free state in the states did leave some African American slaves bonded in servitude. However, most of the freed slaves began shaping their lives. Most change their former names that the enslaved had given them. Most of them did sort out educational opportunities. They also provided for their physical and spiritual needs by founding institutions (Countryman 2003).
They formed communities that acted as a social support provider to them, a place where they would grow their culture. Some activist Africans also joined societies that spearheaded in freeing the remaining slaves that were still under captivity. President Thomas Jefferson also recognized the effort the African slaves had put in the fight for the nation’s freedom. He later proposed in a letter that a group of slaves is deported to West Africa, their homeland to a Freetown that had earlier been built by English abolitionist organizations (Morgan 2003).
Explain Revolutions effect on slavery and Native AmericanImmediately after The American revolution, the white still did hold some of the African Americans as slaves, but they did recognize their rights. Though not very effective but the situation was much better than before where the slaves would receive corporal punishment for mere mistakes. There was also the abolition of slave trade in the United States where the importation of slaves from West Africa was banned. The United States gained independence, and there was an effective and progressive effort made towards the abolition of slavery. There were movements both in the northern and southern states that aimed at freeing some African Americans who were still under slavery.
Many of those still under slavery used this movement as a ticket to gain their freedoms (Waldstreicher 2004). The free black population then grew rapidly. The growing numbers of the free black population started gaining a position and recognition. They developed institutions to fight for equality. However, not in every region that all went as expected. There was some form of legal modification that promoted cold slavery, especially in the lower southern states.
For instance in Virginia, despite the efforts aimed at freeing all the slaves, the new adopted legal was made it impossible to fully declare the Africans that were working under the colonial masters as free men in 1792. The northern states initiated a process through which slavery will be gradually phased out of their states for an extended period. This was to give the colonial masters a chance to cope up with the changed state of affair, give them time to put their thing in order, mostly through the creation of employment of African American population in a more civilized term, where both parties sign a contract of agreement as free citizens.
A different situation was rising in the northern states, racism. Despite the milestones they had made in the eradication of slavery in their states, racism found its way in the minds of the Native Americans. A prime example is in Massachusetts law that prohibited any form of marriage between white and the Indians, Blacks or people who were of mixed races.
- Countryman, E., 2003. The American Revolution. Hill and Wang.
- Franklin, S., Adams, S., George III, K., Jefferson, T., Paine, T., Washington, G., Adams, A., Adams, J., Caswell, W., Warren, M.O. and Armistead, J., 2004.
- The American Revolution. The nineteenth century is.Morgan, E.S., 2003.
- American slavery, American freedom. WW Norton & Company.Taylor, A., 2007.
- The divided ground: Indians, settlers, and the northern borderland of the American Revolution. Vintage.Waldstreicher, D., 2004.
- Runaway America: Benjamin Franklin, Slavery, and the American Revolution. Macmillan.