African Slaves And Negroes Role In Revolutionary America

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African slaves and Negroes played an important role in Revolutionary America because they actively pursued their freedom in many forms such as letters, petitions and taking up arms for the British/Loyalists or Patriots during the war. Whites fighting for their freedom from Great Britain gave slaves and free Negroes a perfect opportunity to use the American Revolution to their advantage to fight with or against their oppressors for their own freedom. The conditions and lack of independence that came along with the title of being black made it extremely difficult to voice their opinions and stand up for their freedom but some overcame this challenge. Although hardships were still to come in the aftermath of the war, African slaves and free…show more content…
Slaves were looking for a way to escape their living conditions and taking up arms for the opposing side was a way to get around their oppressors. Lord Dunmore finally accepted the idea of allowing slaves to fight for the British/Loyalists side. He wrote his proclamation on November 7, 1775, which was published approximately eight days later. This proclamation “offered freedom to any Patriot’s slave who would fight for the king” but only if the slaves could runaway from their masters and make it to the Loyalist side. Fighting for the king brought hope to many slaves and their quest for freedom. Dunmore states in his proclamation, “I do in Virtue of the Power and Authority to me given, by His Majesty, determine to execute martial law…and I do hereby further declare all indentured Servants, Negroes, or others, free that are able and willing to bear Arms, they joining His Majesty’s Troops as soon as may be…” Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation declared slaves that were able and willing to bare arms, a chance to pursue their greatest request, being free from their oppressors and a chance to live a normal life like that of white Americans. Whites feared that a massive slave revolt was in the near future, which encouraged them to press on with their hopes of a Revolution against Great…show more content…
Blacks took this offer and came to the defense of the British/Loyalists not because they were on the Loyalists side but because they were fighting for a purpose and that purpose being their freedom. “A majority of those who reached British lines ended up worse off than before. Many were killed in battle, and hundreds died of disease.” Although blacks were killed and endured harsh conditions while bearing arms with the British/Loyalists, they actively pursued their freedom and died with pride. The Patriots however did not like the idea of blacks fighting for the opposing side, so they offered the chance for blacks to join their army but not until two years later when they were desperate for troops. The Patriots in exchange for their service promised slaves freedom in the Revolution. With freedom being the main goal of blacks living in America, some were not opposed to fight with their oppressors. They wanted to have the same privileges as their white oppressors, which show that by fighting on both sides of the war, they were not in favor of either side; blacks just wanted their

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