Did the American Revolution change things for slaves?

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The American Revolution maintained the status quo for slaves. This was intentional. In a new country trying desperately to find common ground, slavery was not an issue the south was going to budge on. There were definitely people who wanted to end slavery. They just didn't want it enough to...

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The American Revolution maintained the status quo for slaves. This was intentional. In a new country trying desperately to find common ground, slavery was not an issue the south was going to budge on. There were definitely people who wanted to end slavery. They just didn't want it enough to risk their new country.
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Slavery was already dying in the northern states by the time of the Revolution, not so much out of abolitionist sentiment but because slavery was not as economically necessary or viable in a northern economy that was diversifying.  As slavery was abolished in the northern region, it did create a section of the country where slaves could "escape" to, even though that did not make them truly free, equal or safe.

Some slaves were promised their freedom in exchange for fighting in the Revolution on either the Loyalist or the Revolutionary side.  This promise was seldom honored, however, and for most slaves, life went on much as it had before.

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I would agree with the above posters that not much changed.  They gained their freedom, but not any social status.  Many left to go seek a new life up north where they were treated worse in most cases than they were down south.  They had no jobs and no one really wanted to give them jobs, they had no place to live, and people up north didn't really open their arms to welcome them as people.  Many of these freed slaves returned to the south to their former owners to work for salary since they knew they would be given shelter and food and the weather wasn't so harsh. 

Of course, there were many who never left since they truly loved their masters and were treated as family members (especially true of house slaves as opposed to field slaves).  We don't hear much about them since it doesn't make good story-telling.  These same people have inherited much of their former masters' land.

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Certainly nothing on a national or grand scale changed for the majority of blacks after the Revolution; however, some of the "heroes" of that war had new platforms of influence from which to speak against slavery, as mentioned above. 

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Unfortunately, in spite of some of the rhetoric, the American Revolution did not result in any changes to the way slavery was regarded and certainly did not change the way slaves were treated. The American Revolution was fought for completely separate reasons and it was only later that the institution of slavery began to be eroded.

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I would have to agree with the other posts in saying that the American Revolution had no effect on slave or slavery. The American Revolution was fought to gain independence from England and nothing to do with slavery.

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I would argue that very little changed for slaves as a result of the American Revolution.  The Revolution was not fought in any way for the sake of the freedom of slaves and so it did not really result in any benefit for them.

Of course, the Declaration of Independence stated that all men were created equal.  In practice, however, we know that the people who wrote and signed it did not really believe that statement extended to blacks.  We can see this in the fact that people like Thomas Jefferson and George Washington had many slaves.

After the Revolution, slavery kept on as an institution much as it had before.  So I would argue that the Revolution did not change things for slaves.  A few blacks were freed for having fought on the American side, but this was a very limited effect.

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The American Revolution did not change things for the slaves. Though there was talk of freeing the slaves once the colonies achieved freedom from Great Britain--Thomas Jefferson, for one, advocated emancipation--the need for unity in the immediate aftermath of the revolution trumped visions of freedom. In order to get the states that relied on slavery into the new union, those who wanted the end of slavery compromised and allowed it to continue. For the slaves, the revolution might never have happened. The overriding fear of the founding fathers was that a disparate set of independent colonies would fight among themselves and also become easy targets for European powers to conquer. Those in favor of abolition put it off for a later date.  Finally, things came to a boiling point as two competing and incompatible systems--slave and free--increasingly became at odds with each other. This led to the Civil War which finally settled the question in favor of freedom. 

 

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