What role did religion play in the revolts of Nat Turner and Denmark Vesey.

Expert Answers
pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Religion played a major role in both of these slave rebellions.  The men who led each of these rebellions were religious leaders among their own African American communities.  Both men felt that God had ordered them to resist slavery.

Denmark Vesey was a leader ate the only African American church in Charleston, South Carolina.  This was the Hampstead African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church.  While Vesey was not an actual ordained minister, he often gave sermons and taught religious classes for the church.  Of course, Vesey knew about the story of how God had chosen Moses to lead the Israelites out of slavery in Egypt.  He felt that God had chosen him to do the same for African American slaves.

Nat Turner was not a member of a church in the way that Vesey was.  He lived not in a city but on a plantation.  This meant that there were not official churches.  However, Turner was well-known to slaves in the area as a preacher.  Like Vesey, he felt that God had chosen him to lead a rebellion among the slaves.

From this evidence, we can see that religion played a major role in bringing about both of these slave rebellions.