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Slavery And The American Revolution Essay

790 words - 3 pages

The American Revolution caused changes in America other than the formation of an independent nation. Not only was there great change in political structure, aspects of social culture, especially slavery, were influenced by the revolution as well. The ideology of the revolution caused a positive step forward by emancipating slaves in both the North and the South. However, a technological breakthrough not only halted the social progression that could have resulted in the South, but even reversed it. This Revolutionary Era began with the circulation of ideas about protecting the rights of man by separating from British authority.During the period leading up to the American Revolution, many people were concerned with ideas of liberty, republicanism, and human equality. They could not and would not let the British strip them of their basic liberties, their fundamental, unalienable rights. However, this was exactly what the Americans were doing to their slaves that were held in bondage. They were doing the very unjust action to their slaves that was leading them to fight the British. This realization then led them to talk about abolition of slavery. In fact, the first anti-slavery movement occurred in 1754 before the Revolution. This helped open up many people's minds to both the new ideologies that were spreading and the institution of slavery that contradicted them.During the Revolution, many people in the North recognized that there was disparity between American ideals and practices. It was hypocritical for white Americans to demand their liberty while they held blacks in bondage. As a result, all of the states north of Delaware eliminated slavery, therefore, significantly challenging and transforming the institution. One way that the Northern states controlled the oppressive institution was by completely abolishing it, as in Massachusetts. Northern states also used the ideology of gradualism in their state constitutions, allowing slaves to be freed while the owners still obtained labor through them. Those colonies in the South did not have state legislature akin to that of many northern states.The majority of those in the Lower and Upper South used slaves for their own personal economic gain and were, therefore, opposed to abolition. However, the South did implement certain laws that were a step in the right direction. By 1790, all of the southern states except North Carolina allowed owners to voluntarily emancipate their slaves, but did not forbid slavery. The...

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