The American Revolutionary War didn’t just highlight the hypocrisy of those American leaders (such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson) who fought for their own freedom while enslaving others. It also presented enslaved African-Americans with a number of challenges and opportunities for freedom for themselves. Lord Dunmore’s Proclamation, General Clinton’s standing orders, and various colonial recruitment efforts gave slaves several options – none without their risks – to pursue release their from bondage either with the Americans or the British.
This text explores the unique experience of African-Americans in the Revolutionary War, for both those on the American and British side. Ultimately, African-Americans chose the side that they believed offered the better chance at freedom, a difficult choice that led to varied results by war’s end. This is the chapter “African-Americans in the Revolutionary War” from my textbook “We Take Nothing by Conquest”. This chapter is also included in a complete and comprehensive mini-unit on African-Americans in the Revolutionary War available from my store. That complete unit includes not only this text but also an inquiry based study guide, PowerPoint, assessment, board game, and a Teacher’s Guide for using all of the materials
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