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To understand the reason behind the continued slavery during the revolutionary era, three main scholars have interpreted the role of slavery during the Revolutionary era.
Slaves were used by the Americans to buy their independence. According to Morgan, the Americans needed assistance from other nations, and they needed independence. Tobacco was the only the only product that was of value and hence feasible as a tool of assistance purchase. The production of tobacco was labor intensive and thus the reliance on slavery for production. The product was then used to shape the foreign relation of America and other states, especially France. In fact, the support granted by France to America is referred to as “King Tobacco Diplomacy” by historians, so as to act as a reminder of the role of slavery, through the production of tobacco, in the acquisition of American Independence during the revolutionary era2. From this interpretation, it can be coined that slavery was a necessary evil that the Americans used to gain their independence despite having the theme of the Revolution as equality and liberty.
In a much direct manner, the slaves enhanced the acquisition of American independence by serving in the Continental army. According to Spalding, prior to the American Founding, there were over 500,000 slaves, who were mainly concentrated in the five southern states, making up 40 percent of the entire population. The major American founders, such as George Washington, were slave owners. During the era of the Revolution, there was an inadequately trained army and hence the slaves were inducted into the army so as to help in fighting for the independence of America. This happened immediately after Washington started commanding the Continental army in 1775. Together with Alexander Hamilton, Washington’s plan was to use this induction as a way to grant the slaves their freedom in the long
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