How did Maroon colonies show African American resistance to slavery?

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The word ”maroon” is derived from the Spanish “cimarrón ,” wild. As early as the 17th century, maroon was used to refer to formerly enslaved African or African American persons who had escaped; many of them formed communities, often together with Native American peoples, and children born there were...

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The word ”maroon” is derived from the Spanish “cimarrón,” wild. As early as the 17th century, maroon was used to refer to formerly enslaved African or African American persons who had escaped; many of them formed communities, often together with Native American peoples, and children born there were free persons of color. While maroon community is the more common term in what became English-speaking areas, in Spanish and Portuguese colonies, “palenque” or “quilombo” is more often used. Such communities formed in all territories where slave systems existed, but the largest one was Palmares in Brazil; lasting for almost 90 years, at its peak some 20,000 people lived there.

Such communities were important in anti-slavery resistance in numerous ways. First, their established was a threat to the idea of slavery, as it demonstrated that enslaved peoples would take considerable risks to remove themselves from that status. In addition, the continued existence and growth in number of such communities represented the increasing number of free people who could provide refuge to others who escaped. With the safety in numbers as well, the residents could defend themselves, sustain themselves through agriculture, and threaten the security of slaveholders through raids. Their presence was considered troublesome in the southeastern United States, where the army dislodged many in the early 19th century. In Jamaica the conflicts became so widespread that the 1720s–1730s is known for the First Maroon War, which threatened the stability of British control.

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Maroon colonies were runaway communities formed by African American slaves as an expression of rebellion. The runaway communities were established in harsh terrains that provided natural refuge for the communities, such as swamps and mountainous areas. The established colonies helped them increase their numbers, evade capture and mount uprisings. The slave groups employed guerrilla tactics to mount their uprising and rebellions. They would venture in white neighborhoods and attack armories to steal the weapons, which they would use against the former slave masters, and later make away into the remote areas where they had established their homes.

The Maroon colonies were a display of resistance to slavery because they showed determination on the part of the slaves, who were ready to put their lives in danger, both from their slave masters and from nature’s harsh terrains in order to gain their freedom.

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Maroon colonies showed African-American resistance to slavery because they showed how slaves wanted to (and in these cases were able to) escape from slavery.  Escaping and forming maroon colonies was a way of resisting slaveowners by depriving them of their property.

Maroon colonies were much more common in Jamaica than in the US, but they did exist in a few places in the South.  Their existence showed that slaves did not want to remain in slavery and would run away when they were able to.  By running away and forming maroon colonies, slaves showed their resistance to the idea that they were property that belonged to the slaveowners.

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