The years 1775 to 1830 held many changes for African Americans. Both free and enslaved African Americans reacted to the ever changing world around them. More and more slaves were being granted manumission and yet slavery expanded immensely. Many African Americans gained freedom from slavery as a result of the American Revolution, however slavery continued to expand due to protections for the constitution, the increasing production of cotton, westward expansion and the American perception of slaves. Free African Americans responded by petitioning the government, trying to appeal to both white and black publics, and organizing themselves both politically and socially, while enslaved African Americans responded by either purchasing their freedom or emancipating themselves and, if they were not able to do either, turning to rebellion.
The American revolution was a major influence on the freeing of slaves from 1775 to 1830. It instilled the concept of liberty into all the residents of America. African Americans were for the most part in total favor of the war. They saw it as a chance to fight not only for the independence of America, but for their freedom as well. They thought that by showing loyalty to America, they could free themselves. Paul Cuffe’s Petition in 1780 is an example of African American support of the Revolutionary war. (Doc. B) On the other hand, there was the Dunmore proclamation. This proclamation made by Lord Dunmore of Virginia in 1775 promised freedom to slaves who left their patriot masters in order to serve the royal army. (Doc. A) Though unsuccessful in terms of military tactics, the proclamation managed to free about 300 slaves in 1776. This proclamation- a direct result of the Revolutionary war- contributed to the freeing of slaves. At the same time slaves were gaining freedom, the institution of slavery was expanding faster than ever. The invention of the cotton gin by Eli Whitney in 1793 called for more manual labor. Now that sifting...
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