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The Negro in the American Revolution - Essay Example

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Summary
The Black Americans turned the War for Independence into their own struggle for independence. Some slaves got freedom having escaped from their masters, while others fought on one or another side they considered to be the best chance for liberty. Black Patriots struggled for the Americans, and Black Loyalists joined the British side…
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The Negro in the American Revolution
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The Negro in the American Revolution

Download file to see previous pages... In the northern states slavery was completely abolished by 1840.
Very often we witness the change in treatment of historical events by official history, presented in the school and university textbooks. This is quite natural and understandable as histories are written by people, who are inevitably influenced by their background, political or cultural preferences. But witnessing such changes with so different approaches and learning the events we just can't but seek witnesses' memories to be able to make conclusions ourselves. For some time the position of Black people in the Revolutionary War was explained as their wish to help, however it was not so.
The Negro's role in the Revolution can best be understood by realizing that his major allegiance was not to place nor to his people, but to a principle. Whoever invoked the image of liberty, be he American or British, could count on a ready response from the Blacks
Published in 1961, "The Negro in the American Revolution" remains the most inclusive chronicle of the many roles performed by African Americans during the American Revolution. For the first time Quarles addresses the diplomatic reverberations which were the result of the British evacuation of African Americans shortly before the war. Benjamin Quarles's initial concern in his book is to attract more attention to the Negro as an overlooked participator during the revolution period. Quarles supposed that the American Negroes saw and understand the independence movement through their own longing for liberty, and were induced to action not by allegiance to a definite banner or place, but rather by a newly aroused expectation of personal independence and private "unalienable rights". Quarles says that it was reasonable, that a Negro became closer to the side that gave the best promise of liberty, even when it was made by the British, exactly the nation that the white colonists were revolting against under wail of enslavement. With the help of comprehensive research and many specific examples to portray the feelings and emotions of Negroes as a whole, Quarles proves this thesis with success. The Negro's significant role in the Revolutionary War originates from the inevitable fact that both sides needed black manpower. And both sides proposed the Negro his liberty as a reward.
The author of this valuable book does not pay much attention to the outstanding sense of the Revolutionary period reality and shows us the state of America's society. In the Revolutionary war the American Black People were participators and symbols. They took active part in the battle actions and were active behind the lines; in their hopes and in the gains they inscribed within the war period, they embodied the aim of that liberty in the name of which the fight was waged. According to the author, "the Negro's role in the Revolution can best be understood by realizing that his major loyalty was not to a place nor to a people, but to a principle. Insofar as he had freedom of choice, he was likely to join the side that made him the quickest and best offer in terms of those "unalienable rights" of which Mr. Jefferson had spoken. Whoever invoked the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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