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Slavery and the American Revolution - Research Paper Example

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Slavery and the American Revolution First name, last name Subject Professor Submission Date Slavery and the American Revolution Slaves, mainly from the African continent and some others from the Caribbean began to arrive in the United States from the early 1700s…
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Download file to see previous pages There were however major regional variations in the numbers of slaves held in the United States. In the northern states, the slave population was very low at only 2 percent but the further south you got the larger the slave population got such that around the Chesapeake Bay it was about 40 percent slave. Further south, in South Carolina, slaves were so many that they outnumbered the white population by two to one. Slaves were an invaluable form of labor on the rice, tobacco and cotton farms especially as they were hardy and survived the vagaries of malaria and other diseases. Slaves thus formed the major labor resource for the southern farmers (Smitha, 2002). Especially in the south, there was a lot of integration of the populations of the white farmer families. There were large numbers of intermarriages between the white slave owners and their African slaves, as well as a lot of fathering of inter-racial children by the white slave masters. This lead to a large population of mixed race Americans that were usually considered part of the slave class. By the time of the American Revolution, the slave population had therefore grown to such a number that they were a real and present factor in the American Revolution war (Smitha, 2002). ...
All in all over 100,000 African Americans escaped, died or were killed while serving the various armies that fought in the revolution war (PBS, n.d.). During the war the African American slaves fought on both sides of the divide, albeit for different motivations, reasons and reward. The Southern states Patriots, who were always worried about the numbers of the slaves and African Americans, were initially more reluctant to allow the slaves to be armed and fight alongside their forces, reckoning that they would rather face the colonialists than run the risk of a revolt by their slaves if they were armed and put into active military combat. General Washington at first forbade the recruitment of the black slaves into the Patriot army, worried by the impact that would have on their attitudes, the moral of his other fighting men and their ability to fight and be part of the military outfit. However, as the war wore on and they Patriots found that they needed more and more manpower, they reluctantly startedrecruiting the slaves and other blacks who had been freedinto their fold, though none ever rose up any ranks in the military hierarchy. Thus the Patriots had within their ranks a small minority of slaves in their ranks but it was never more than 5 per cent or so (National Park Service, 2008). The colonialists and Loyalists were more pragmatic in their approach to the use of slaves as part of their combat troops in the war. They saw the opportunity to deplete the Patriot military ranks by actively recruiting the slaves from their Patriot owners. The effect and impact of this was twofold – it swelled the ranks of the Loyalist troops while at the same time reducing the manual labor available for the southern Patriot farmers. The British governor of Virginia, ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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