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Section 1 Blacks in Colonial America Section 2 The Revolutionary War Era Section 3 Citizenship in the New Nation Section 4 African American Culture. African Americans Help Create a New Nation. Section 1: Blacks in Colonial America. Main Idea
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Section 1 Blacks in Colonial America Section 2 The Revolutionary War Era Section 3 Citizenship in the New Nation Section 4 African American Culture African Americans Help Create a New Nation
Section 1: Blacks in Colonial America Main Idea Despite protests, slavery existed in some form in all the English colonies in North America, though slaves were treated differently in various regions. • Reading Focus • Why was slavery central to the economy of the southern colonies? • What role did slaves play in the middle colonies? • How were slaves treated in the New England colonies?
Building Background To understand the role of African Americans, both slave and free, in the development of the United States, we have to remember that the country began as a cluster of English colonies. By 1700 these colonies could be divided into three groups characterized more by regional differences than by similarities. As a result, the accomplishments and treatment of African Americans varied dramatically according to the region in which they lived. In all regions, however, America’s development as a country was clearly due in part to African Americans’ forced labor.
The Southern Colonies Slavery’s firmest hold in the southern colonies—North and South Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia. By 1708 Virginia imported 1,000 slaves each year; South Carolina had black majority by 1760. • Plantation system • Economics ruled south with large profitable estates—plantations • Grew cash crops for high prices in Europe • Sold tobacco, rice, cotton, and indigo, a dark blue dye • Labor intensive • Slaves provided labor; were the backbone of southern colonial economy • Without slaves economy would collapse • More cash crops • Demand for crops grew; planters bought more land, needed more slaves • Vicious cycle kept institution of slavery strong in the South for years
Slaves on Plantations • Treatment • Large plantation hundreds of slaves; beasts of burden • Whipped and beaten; forced to work six days in the fields • Many died from exhaustion and malnutrition • Slept in tiny cabins crammed with people; some only allowed shoes in winter • Brutal overseers supervised • Strict rules • Governed behavior by strict rules, needed written permission to leave plantation • Breaking rules resulted in severe punishments • Some planters saw themselves as father figures; viewed slaves almost as children; such slaves were not beaten but were still forced to work long hours with no freedom
Not everyone lived on plantations Majority of farms were small family operations Only ten percent of the South’s population lived on plantations That ten percent owned ninety percent of the region’s wealth Slavery not confined to plantations Small southern farms had slaves Most farmers owned only one or two slaves Owners often worked side by side in fields with slaves; shared labor These slaves not treated as poorly as slaves on large plantations Slaves on Smaller Southern Farms
Slave Revolts • Slaves took action • As early as 1660s, Virginia slaves planned revolts against masters; some plans discovered before revolts carried out, others took place with slaveholders killed • Two slave ship revolts made ships turn back to Africa • Fear grew • Planters feared being in minority; some tried to restrict or ban entry of new slaves • Planters still wanted practice of slavery but in controlled numbers; British refused to halt profitable slave trade
Reading Check Explain Why did slavery take such a firm hold in the southern colonies? Answer(s): The South’s economy was based on plantation agriculture, and slaves provided the labor necessary for a plantation to be successful.
The Middle Colonies • Slavery permitted • Middle colonies—Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York • Slavery not central to economy • Economies of colonies • Based on trade, manufacturing not agriculture; no plantations for slaves to work on • Worked construction or in factories, lumber camps • Big cities • Highly skilled slaves trained in certain crafts • Skilled slave could work as mason, shipwright, goldsmith or glazier • Indentured servants • Business owners sought other labor sources; manual labor done by indentured servants • Worked for passage and place to live for set period of time
Indentured servants used as laborers Many in middle colonies objected to idea of slavery Two religious groups prominent in Pennsylvania objected Quakers and Mennonites Members of both groups published works criticizing slavery Viewed as evil institution; against God’s law First official protest Came from group of Quakers in 1688 declaring views against slavery Germantown residents appalled at thought of Christians owning slaves Protest had little widespread effect Set precedent for other Quaker and Mennonite settlements Objections to Idea of Slavery
Treatment of slaves • Slaves in middle colonies treated poorly • Highly skilled ones could avoid rough treatment, but construction and factory workers not spared • Evidence of this found in 1991 in Manhattan grave excavations • Remains of old graveyard • 400 African slaves buried there; remains sent for research • Howard University’s forensic work revealed slaves worked to death; had deformed muscles and broken bones • One woman buried with shells and belt of beads; thought to be local noblewoman who had been kidnapped and sold as slave
Reading Check Summarize Why were there fewer slaves in the middle colonies than in the South? Answer(s): The middle colonies had no plantations and thus less need for labor. Indentured servants did much of the work.
Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire Slavery less common in the North Slaves worked in cities building houses and other structures Restrictions placed on their activities; still had more rights than in other areas Allowances Could gather together to socialize In places could participate in certain community events Held elections for kings and governors; these were prestige positions with no power New England Colonies
Slavery immoral • New Englanders opposed • Many felt slavery immoral; protested against it • Puritan minister Cotton Mather argued in late 1600s that Africans were people who deserved to be freed; refusing to do so was unchristian • Treatment of slaves • Treatment better in New England but slavery remained evil institution • Some worked slaves harshly and limited their rights • Many northern business owners were active participants in slave trade; transported and sold captured Africans
Reading Check Analyze What criticisms did New Englanders level against the institution of slavery? Answer(s): They thought slavery was immoral and unchristian.
Section 2: The Revolutionary War Era Main Idea African Americans played major roles in the struggle for American independence from Great Britain, a struggle that led many Americans to call for an end to slavery. • Reading Focus • What caused the growing dispute between Great Britain and its American colonies? • What freedoms did Americans call for in the late 1700s? • What roles did African Americans play in the American Revolution?
Building Background As African American slaves toiled to help the American colonies grow, so did the British colonies toil to keep the British Empire growing. Over time, however, resentment arose in the American colonies toward the mother country. Before long, the colonists rose up in rebellion and declared their independence from Great Britain.
Several factors influenced conflict between American colonies and British government Many economic factors Colonies established to bring riches to Great Britain British crown wanted as much money as possible Passed Navigation Acts as way to get money All goods to or from colonies to be transported on British ships Goods shipped to colonies must go to Britain first to be taxed Colonists did not like regulations; regulations made goods more expensive The Growing Dispute with Great Britain
The French and Indian War • Colonies expensive • Colonies cost British money • Fought expensive French and Indian War from 1754 and 1763 • British won the war • Drove French almost completely out of North America • Canada became British colony • Expensive victory • British now with much larger empire in North America • Had to pay administrators to run new territories • Needed more soldiers to defend new territories • Faced with growing expenses British turned attention to financial matters
New Laws As part of efforts to increase revenue, British created new taxes. The Sugar Act and the Stamp Act were examples of fund-raising product taxes. • Sugar Act • Taxed sugar and molasses from the West Indies • Tax very unpopular in the North • Molasses key ingredient in making rum for export • Stamp Act • Colonists must buy government stamps for all documents • Included contracts, licenses, newspapers, and playing cards • Colonists angered • Colonists respond • Some chose to boycott, refusing to buy British goods • Fewer sales meant less profit for British merchants • The Acts remained in force
Protests • Dislike of British • Some colonists felt British troops were a direct threat to their safety • One active protest led to Boston Massacre after soldiers fired into crowd • African American Crispus Attucks among five dead; became symbol of revolution • More protests followed • Boston Tea Party staged in 1773 as protest against new tea tax • British responded with stricter laws intended to restore order in colonies • Plans backfired; new laws stirred up colonists to resist further
Reading Check Summarize Why did the colonists come to resent the British government? Answer(s): They felt their rights were being ignored and they were bring taxed unfairly.
Calls for Freedom • Freedom for all • Protests led to calls for freedom • Not only colonial independence from Britain • Some called for end to slavery • The Outbreak of War • Slavery question raised at First Continental Congress of 1774 • Called to unify protests; led to temporary ban against slavery to hurt British merchants • Revolutionary War begins • April 1775 battles at Lexington and Concord • Beginning of Revolutionary War, fight for independence from Britain • Congress convened • Second Continental Congress convened • First actions to raise armed forces to fight British
Many colonial leaders felt time to officially declare independence Result was writing of the Declaration of Independence Written by Thomas Jefferson in 1776 Stated that all people were equal and had certain rights Since King had violated those rights, colonists could rebel Jefferson’s first draft included one other reason to rebel against George III King responsible for slavery in colonies Jefferson’s vocal opposition to slavery angered fellow southerners They refused to approve Declaration with this passage included Criticism of slavery removed from the Declaration Document sent to King George without mention of slavery The Declaration of Independence
Growing Opposition to Slavery • Along with protests against British rule, some colonists protested slavery as well • Made no sense to fight for own freedom while denying slaves theirs • Paine and Franklin spoke in favor of banning slavery • History’s voices • James Otis, leader of anti-British protests wrote: • “Can any logical inference in favor of slavery be drawn…” • Eloquent protests in favor of eliminating slavery did little • The practice of slavery continued and life remained same for African Americans in colonies
Reading Check Sequence What steps did the colonists take in declaring their independence? Answer(s): They met at the First Continental Congress, fought the British in Lexington and Concord before issuing the Declaration of Independence, and then met at the Second Continental Congress.
African Americans volunteered to fight when war broke out Colonists, mainly in the South, feared prospect of armed slaves; many white northerners argued slaves should have freedom after war if the slaves fight against British African American Patriots Virginia allowed free blacks to enlist by 1775; Washington accepted black soldiers with previous military experience in 1776 Congress officially authorized recruitment of slave or free black men in 1777 With that authorization several states began active recruitment African Americans in the American Revolution
Black Soldiers • Not all by choice • Some slaves sent by owners to fight in their places; owners preferred to risk lives of slaves rather than own necks • Some free blacks hired to fight in place of others • Majority were in search of freedom; state governments promised freedom to slaves who fought; slaves enlisted by the hundreds • Numbers of soldiers • Historians estimate as many as one quarter of soldiers were black • At Bunker Hill, five percent of troops were black • Soldiers of note: Peter Salem and James Armistead • Many blacks distinguished themselves in battle
Black Soldiers in the British Army • British also recruited black soldiers • British Governor Lord Dinsmore promised freedom to slaves who ran away and reached the British army • Tens of thousands of slaves took advantage of offer • They left farms and plantations • Flocked to British lines • 1,000 or so slaves took up arms and fought with British army • Far more (20,000) contributed to British war effort as support, serving as nurses, cooks, and general laborers
After the War • Surrender • Revolutionary War continued for eight years • Major victory by Americans at Yorktown in 1781 • Led British to finally surrender • Treaty of Paris signed in Paris on September 3, 1783 • War was over • Freedom won • No longer colonists of Britain • Many now called for freedom earned by African Americans during the war • Southern slave owners determined to maintain slave system • Freedom just a word to 680,000 African Americans
Reading Check Explain How did both the Patriots and the British try to win the support of slaves? Answer(s): Both sides promised freedom to slaves in exchange for their support.
Section 3: Citizenship in the New Nation Main Idea Debates over the morality of slavery and opportunities for free blacks were major issues in the years after the American Revolution. • Reading Focus • How did people’s attitudes toward African Americans change after the American Revolution? • What opportunities were available in free black communities? • How was the question of slavery addressed in the writing of the Constitution?
Building Background By the time George Washington became the first president in 1789, the country’s population had reached about 3.5 million. Of that population, about 730,000 people—nearly 20 percent—were black. With the signing of the Constitution and the creation of a new government, black people in the North gained new rights and privileges. In the South, however, the institution of slavery continued, and black people were not considered citizens at all.
New government took shape after American Revolution Basis was the state Each state wrote own constitution and created own system of government Articles of Confederation tied states together loosely Weak federal government under the Articles Most power rested with states As new government was forming, some Americans were inspired by passion for liberty and so worked for changes in society Changing Attitudes toward African Americans
Antislavery Sentiments • Effect of Revolution • Renewed call for end to slavery • In part result of freeing of slaves who fought in Revolution • Most states freed their slaves who fought against the British • Opponents to slavery felt all others should be freed as well • Quakers • In 1775 formed the first antislavery societies, groups devoted to the elimination of slavery • After the war many more societies formed • Some societies led by influential figures such as John Jay, who was later first chief justice of the United States
Antislavery Goals • Different approaches • Some published antislavery writings hoping to change the minds of people still supporting slavery • Others tried to end slavery by moving African Americans out of their states • Groups and individuals worked tirelessly • Two prominent figures • Benjamin Rush, signer of the Declaration of Independence; Anthony Benezet, Protestant leader from Philadelphia • Both men active before, but increased their antislavery efforts after the Revolution • Both wrote passionately in favor of freeing slaves from their bonds
Efforts of antislavery activists started to pay off; states in the North began banning slavery 1780 Pennsylvania constitution had instructions for eventually abolishing slavery Also in 1780 Massachusetts issued a new constitution the stated, “All men are born free and equal”; a 1783 court ruled the statement applied to slaves as well as people who had been born free Slavery soon disappeared in Massachusetts as a result of ruling Other northern states would soon ban slavery as well; slavery essentially abolished in North by 1800 No southern states banned slavery in the 1780s; some took small steps in that direction Virginia and North Carolina included laws in their constitution that made emancipation of slaves easier for slaveholders Northern States Ban Slavery
Congressional Involvement • Congress got involved in fight against slavery in 1780 • Passed Northwest Ordinance in 1787 • Set of laws written to govern the settlement of the vast Northwest Territory • Newly added to the U.S. territory; west of the original American colonies and north and west of Ohio River • Northwest Ordinance prohibited anyone in territory to own slaves • This was major victory for slavery opponents
Reading Check Summarize How did feelings about slavery change after the American Revolution? Answer(s): Many Americans began to oppose slavery and worked to end it.
Free Blacks Despite prevalence of slavery, not all African Americans in the new United States were slaves. There were substantial communities of free blacks, both in the North and in the South. • Becoming Free • Gained freedom in variety of ways • Included doing military service; release by owners; state law • Others bought their freedom • Escape • A significant number of slaves were not granted freedom; they escaped to it, running away from their owners • Scholars estimate about 1,000 slaves ran away to Caribbean or other regions each year
Free Black Communities • Rural and Urban • Most free blacks lived in rural communities in the South and worked in agriculture • Northern cities such as New York, Boston, and Philadelphia had large free black communities • Boston in 1790 could boast an entirely free black population; all 750 black residents were free • Few Rights for Free Blacks • Not allowed to vote; considered inferior by many white people • Opportunities were few, but some made their own • Paul Cuffe, a black Boston shipper; owned several ships and a thriving business • Launched impractical plan to help bring free blacks back to Africa to live; plan too costly
Reading Check Elaborate What made life difficult for free blacks in the early United States? Answer(s): They could not vote and many people considered them inferior.