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Race Relations in the Early Republic - Essay Example

When fighting the British, wealthy military men had esteemed and fought alongside the soldiers of other races in the attempt to win liberty for the American colonies. When the revolutionary war was won, the colonists insisted that any person who was ready to work hard would have a fair chance of living a good life in the new nation. Moreover, even though this was the position assumed by the young American government, it was not supported by actual facts. In truth, Black Americans and Native Americans were still perceived as slaves and savages. Some esteemed American statesmen even considered Native Americans to be more human than African Americans, as evidenced by Thomas Jefferson’s letter to the Marquis de Chastellux, where the Jefferson stated that “North American Indians had an intelligence that could be compared with that of Whites if it was sufficiently developed, but that the Black man had not even come close to achieving that state” (Hewitt and Lawson 251). ...
This only intensified the American society’s belief that slavery, though reprehensible in some way, was an important system that served a purpose in the society. The writings of Meriwether Lewis, who was appointed by President Thomas Jefferson to lead a historical expedition, show that American Indian tribes also did not fare well under the rule of the colonists. Lewis’ journal shows that the government patronized American Indian tribes and coerced them into signing away their lands. In one entry, Lewis states, “the American

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Indian tribes would only decimate each other if they were given guns” (Hewitt and Lawson 252). Lewis often made speeches and supplied fake certificates to American Indian chieftains to solicit their support in using their land. Indeed, it could be said that the only fault of the American Indians was to be too trusting. It would seem that American Indians escaped the fate of Black slaves in America only to be decimated in large numbers with the support of the government. It is a well known fact that numerous tribes were wiped out from diseases brought by the colonists, as well as through wars for their land. Black slaves, however, survived this fate for the most part, but lived lives that were unbearable. There were numerous resistance attempts staged by slaves in the 1800s. One of the most famous was started by a slave named Gabriel, who was the property of some Thomas Henry Prosser. Gabriel’s brother, Solomon, would later testify that Gabriel’s only objective was “to attack the institution of slavery in all the states where it was practiced and nothing more” (Hewitt and Lawson 253). Solomon would be executed soon after giving his testimony. However, the desperation of the freed


Name Professor Module Date History and Political Science: Race Relations in the Early Republic How did race relations in the United States change between 1785 and 1817 as slavery expanded along with white Americans' movement into new western territories? Most of the Revolutionary leaders living in America between 1785 and 1817 tried to present themselves as people who had anti-slavery attitudes…
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