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Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence

Black Patriots and Loyalists: Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence (Hardback)

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Synopsis

We commonly think of the American Revolution as simply the war for independence from British colonial rule. But that independence applied to only a portion of the American population-African Americans would still be bound in slavery for nearly another century. In "Black Patriots and Loyalists", Alan Gilbert asks us to rethink what we know about the Revolutionary War, to realize that while white Americans were fighting for their freedom, black Americans were joining the British imperial forces to gain theirs. There were two wars being waged at once: a political revolution for independence from Britain and a social revolution for emancipation and equality. Drawing upon recently discovered archival material, Gilbert traces the imperial and patriot rivalry over recruitment and emancipation that led both sides to depend on blacks.

As well, he presents persuasive evidence that slavery could have been abolished during the Revolution itself if either side had fully pursued the military advantage of freeing slaves and pressing them into combat-as when Washington formed the all-black and Native American First Rhode Island Regiment and Lord Dunmore freed slaves and indentured servants to fight for the British. "Black Patriots and Loyalists" contends that the struggle for emancipation was not only basic to the Revolution itself, but was a rousing force that would inspire freedom movements that followed in its wake, including the black loyalist pilgrimages for freedom in places such as Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. In this thought-provoking history, Gilbert illuminates how the fight for abolition and equality-not just for the independence of the few but for the freedom and self-government of the many-has been central to the American story from its inception.

History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalEarly history: c 500 to c 1450-1500History & PoliticsHistory: ChronologicalModern history to 20th century: c 1700 to c 1900History & PoliticsMilitary HistoryAmerican War of IndependenceHistory & PoliticsRegional & national historyHistory of the Americas Publisher: The University of Chicago Press Publication Date: 11/05/2012 ISBN-13: 9780226293073  Details: Type: Hardback Format: Books
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Alan Gilbert is a John Evans Professor in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He is the author of Marx's Politics: Communists and Citizens, Democratic Individuality, and Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?

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