Describe and analyze the wartime experiences of the Revolution and the effects on slaves and Native Americans.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

For racial minorities, the Revolution was not a particularly good thing.  The Revolution did little good for slaves and it was largely harmful to Native Americans.

Native Americans who participated in the war did so almost exclusively on the side of the British.  The Continental Congress did send a delegation to the Iroquois Confederation, asking it to stay out of the war.  Meanwhile, though, the British tried to get the Indians to help them.  The British were largely successful because the Native Americans felt that a British win would be better for them.  They felt that the Americans would be more aggressive in moving into Indian lands.  After the Revolution, conflict between the Native Americans and the white settlers in the Old Northwest continued until the end of the War of 1812.

African Americans did participate more than Indians on the Patriot side in the Revolution.  In some places, slaves were promised freedom if they fought.  In other places, they pretended to be free and enlisted, hoping to gain their freedom in that way.  However, the British offered many of the same promises, particularly in the South.  The British tried harder to attract slave support because they did not really care if the slaves became free after the war.  By contrast, American planters did not want to lose their slaves.  The war did little good for the slaves.  The war did not bring them freedom on any significant scale.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial