African Americans in the Revolution 2

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by Mrsmorgan216126
Last updated 6 years ago

Social Studies
American History

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African Americans in the Revolution 2

In the 13 colonies 20% of the population was African Americans.They had no rights, but may get privileges. They couldn't hold any land, couldn't marry legally. Slaves and their children could be bought, sold against their will, or be used to pay off debts like any property. That and owners could beat, rape, torture, and even kill their own slaves. However, there could be freed slaves. They were treated as second class citizens, They were mainly found in between the North and the South. Unlike the slaves, they had rights but they were restricted on those rights. Those rights included owning property, buying and selling real estate and selling personal property such as slaves. And they were forbidden to own guns.

Role in War

1775 -Start of War 1775- First Anti-slavery Society1777 - 2nd Continental Congress Formed1783 - End of War1807 - Import of Slaves Banned1863- Emancipation Proclamation

African Americans were essential to the Patriots victory in the Revolutionary War. As the war continued, the Patriot army was shrinking, and to make matters worse, the British began accepting all African Americans who left their owners due to the Dunmore Proclamation. This caused the 2nd Continental Congress to approve the formation of the Continental Army which introduced African Americans who filled vacant spots to meet the quota. Patriots originally did not want African Americans in their army, but if they did not include them they would not have a large enough group. Since there was no way to tell if the Africans were free or slaves, almost all were accepted. The African Americans joined because they were promised freedom at the end of the enlistment period. However, their enlistments were 3 years while white men usually had 3 months. Sadly for Africans, freedom was not always given after their war effort. There were 5 all African American units in the war, including the most famous 1st Rhode Island Regiment.African Americans also participated in the navy. However, African Americans preferred Colonial navy over the Continental because they had the oppurtunity for promotion and shorter enlistment periods.

Gains from War

Immediate gains of the war included the first anti-slavery society which was created by the Quakers in 1775. Also some Northern states outright banned slavery following the war or freed slaves who participated in the war. Northern states did not rely on rigorous labor by slaves which allowed them to give limited rights to African Americans unlike the Southern States. For the African Americans who decided to fight with the British, they were allowed to be freed.In the long term, following the American Revolutionary war the importation of slaves was banned in 1807 and under 100 years after the war slavery was banned in the United States when the Emancipation Proclamation was issuedby Abraham Lincoln 1863.

African Americans in the Revolution

Life Before the war


Was the War Revolutionary?

Dunmore's ProclamationI do hereby . . . declare all indented servants, Negroes, or others [belonging to the Rebels,] free, that are able and willing to bear arms, they joining His Majesty's Troops, as soon as may be, for the more speedily reducing the colony to a proper sense of their duty, to His Majesty's crown and dignity. John Murray, Earl of Dunmore,Royal Governor of Virginia7 November 1775

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