29 November 2012
At the end of the Revolutionary war against Great Britain, the United States of America was created as an independent country. Thus began the roots of an entirely new American identity. Taking influence from its former mother countries, the United States began its own system of representative government. Furthermore, the American identity, shaped in the early years of 1775 to 1830, incorporated the ideals of agrarian farming, laissez-faire economic standpoint and capitalism. Religion, though not a main influence on the government, also continued to the shaping of this identity. While this largely benefited American citizens, another group in the United States was affected in other ways. African slaves and their American-born children were ignored by the Constitution, but the contradictory nature of the new American identity both led to greater freedom and more widespread bondages. Slaves and freedmen alike suffered under, exploited, and coped with the aspects of agrarian farming and agriculture in general, capitalism, and Christianity in America.
The American Revolution began the contradictory nature of the American identity as it applied to slaves. The event that began the independence of the American personality also triggered the first opportunities for freedom for Black Americans. For example, in Virginia 1775, Lord Dunmore, British governor, declared that all slaves, as well as indentured servants, were free, provided they were the property of rebelling colonists, and should report to fight for Britain. Additionally, blacks fought for the opposite side. An example of this occurred in Vermont in the early days of the war. Black soldiers fought bravely against the British with Ethan Allen’s Green Mountain Men. This event caused Vermont to ban slavery. Another piece of evidence supporting black participation in the Constitutional Army is in Paul Cuffe’s petition and equality under the law. It is significant to note that...