Presentation on theme: "Slaves, Loyalists, and Native Americans in the American Revolution"— Presentation transcript:
1 Slaves, Loyalists, and Native Americans in the American Revolution
2 During the seventeenth and increasingly in the eighteenth century, British colonists in America charged Great Britain with violating the ideals of rule of law, self government, and, ultimately, equality of rights. Yet the colonists themselves violated these ideals in their treatment of blacks, Native Americans, and even poorer classes of white settlers. Assess the validity of this view.Analyze the extent to which the American Revolution represented a radical alteration in American political ideas and institutions. Confine your answer to the period 1775 to 1800.
3 I. The Rhetoric and Reality of the Revolution: Slavery A. John Locke and SlaveryRev. against slavery, tyranny, oppression, for libertyEnslavement of whites to ParliamentProperty rights are the foundation of all other rightsA slave “has no political rights because he has no property ”Taxation w/out representation threatens rights of property: if they can take a little, they can take it allInherent conflict liberty and property
4 B. Freedom with the “Enslavers” 7 Nov. 1775: VA Royal Gov. Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation: freedom to slaves of rebel masters who join British armyAttempt to keep whites Loyal in fact alienates many: fear that if British win, they would free all the slavesDisrupt economyApprox. 800 slaves join Ethiopian RegimentEstimated that 10,000 blacks fought for the crown (esp. South, but some in North)
5 C. Enslaved by the FreeSamuel Johnson: “How is it that we hear the loudest yelps for liberty among the drivers of negroes?”Abigail Adams: “it always appeared a most iniquitous scheme to me to fight ourselves for what we are daily robbing and plundering from those who have as good a right to freedom as we have.”
6 Some Revolutionaries freed their slaves in response to rhetoric All the northern states began to emancipate their slaves by 1785 in reaction to RevolutionSouth Carolina and others: if emancipation part of Revolution side with the KingDeep South least enthusiastic RevolutionariesTo keep Revolution together, Continental Congress side steps issue
7 D. You Say You Want a Revolution: Blacks in the Continental Army Fear of slave insurrection Continental Congress restricts blacks from Continental ArmyLimited # whites join in South protect homesSouthern whites refused to fight alongside blacksGeneral Philip Schuyler: “Is it consistent with the Sons of Freedom to trust their all to be defended by slaves?”
8 Failures of Continental Congress: Army constantly undermanned Could only request troops “I won’t till they do” Bounties: land, money, slavesOpposition to blacks serving fell approx. 5,000 served
9 1) Pass as free gain freedom 2) Substitution Economic hardships of going to warNational Guard in Iraq3) Masters’ land + money bounties4) Free blacks’ bounties economics and acceptanceLargely failedBlacks were joining while white enlistment fell: more patriotic?
10 E. The Revolution and International Slavery All States and Continental Association took action against slave tradeHurt British merchantsRevolution and rhetoric brought anti-slavery fragments together into a movement raises issues of slavery and race largely ignored before1775 Philadelphia Anti-Slavery SocietyRevolution French Rev. and 1804 Haitian Revolution; 1834 British abolition of slavery in empire
11 A. Lukewarm Counter-Revolutionaries II. Loyalists / ToriesA. Lukewarm Counter-RevolutionariesNot a coherent group: 1) no inter-colonial organization, 2) lacked imagination: thought B wrong, Am going too farEsp. concerned mobs and popularization politics (unworthy)
12 B. Who Were They? 60,000-100,000 émigrés (Canada, Britain) But not all fled impossible estimate24/1,000 émigrés (French Rev 5/1,000)Confiscation of property v. high30,000-50,000 served in B armiesConcentrations: NY, Penna., NJ, Carolinas, GeorgiaVery few NE + VA
13 All strata society, esp. those cut off from dominant group 1) royal or proprietary officials2) Anglican officials and laymen (except VA, esp. NE)3) Overseas merchants (but also many Patriot)4) Farmers (largest # in colonies)A) tenant farmers (NY: Loyal, VA: Patriot)B) sellers to B army
14 Ethnic/Religious Germans in PA remain quiet Highland Scots in CarolinasDutchAnglicans in NEBackcountry Carolinas: exploited by coastal eliteBUT: Scotch-Irish in PA ardent Patriots: despise the English
15 C. “Most Wanton and Unnatural Rebellion” Loyalists lost most of property left behind: confiscation billsIssue in 1783 Treaty of ParisNo purge (unless convicted of treason)Counter-argument: If British were planning to enslave colonists, why was Canada just as free (if not more so) than US?
16 III. A Rock and a Hard Place: Indians in the Revolution Revolution disaster for Indians sided w/ British overrun by AmericansBut Rev. irrelevant: would have been anyway (even those who sided w/ Am pushed out and killed)
17 A. Choosing Sides200,000 Indians east of Miss. during AR most want to remain neutralBritish had repaired relations w/Indians (Superintendents for Indian Affairs) tend side w/B2nd Cont. Congress, 1775: “a family quarrel between us and Old England” I should remain neutral most did
18 B. Indians in the WarSome (Shawnee and Cherokee) take advantage attack frontier settlementsLose forced to cede landsReference in Dec. of Ind.: “merciless savages”Stockbridge (NE) and Oneidas (NY) side w/Am
19 Mary and Joseph Brant (widow of Indian superintendent + brother) Try convince Iroquois join B: Senecas, Cayugas, Mohawks join B in 1777Oneidas (converted during Great Awakening) and Tuscaroras join AOthers splitDisunity disaster + Am destroy homelands: Iroquois forced to move West look for food, resettle in Canada
20 C. Treaty of ParisB abandons I allies in Peace lands West to Miss. ceded to AmericansInitially Americans seek to exterminate IndiansPolicy changed under Washington administration
21 IV. ConclusionDespite the limitations of applying “all men are created equal” during Revolution itself, the language of the Revolution was eventually opened up to include minorities and as rallying cry for Civil Rights Movements.And Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam after WWIICanadians (after War of 1812) become ardent (if concerned) American allies.