Black Patriots and Loyalists

Black Patriots and Loyalists : Fighting for Emancipation in the War for Independence

3.62 (45 ratings by Goodreads)
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We commonly think of the American Revolution as simply the war for independence from British colonial rule. But that independence applied to only a portion of the American population-African Americans would still be bound in slavery for nearly another century. In "Black Patriots and Loyalists", Alan Gilbert asks us to rethink what we know about the Revolutionary War, to realize that while white Americans were fighting for their freedom, black Americans were joining the British imperial forces to gain theirs. There were two wars being waged at once: a political revolution for independence from Britain and a social revolution for emancipation and equality. Drawing upon recently discovered archival material, Gilbert traces the imperial and patriot rivalry over recruitment and emancipation that led both sides to depend on blacks.
As well, he presents persuasive evidence that slavery could have been abolished during the Revolution itself if either side had fully pursued the military advantage of freeing slaves and pressing them into combat-as when Washington formed the all-black and Native American First Rhode Island Regiment and Lord Dunmore freed slaves and indentured servants to fight for the British. "Black Patriots and Loyalists" contends that the struggle for emancipation was not only basic to the Revolution itself, but was a rousing force that would inspire freedom movements that followed in its wake, including the black loyalist pilgrimages for freedom in places such as Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. In this thought-provoking history, Gilbert illuminates how the fight for abolition and equality-not just for the independence of the few but for the freedom and self-government of the many-has been central to the American story from its inception.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 344 pages
  • 152 x 229 x 27.18mm | 639.57g
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • 0226293076
  • 9780226293073
  • 2,301,903

Review quote

"Most of us think we know the story of the American Revolution, but after reading Alan Gilbert's amazing book I realize that what most of us know is less than half of the story. Gilbert's account rests on years of careful research, and on the ability to keep track of events whose actors were moved by complex and often contradictory motives. This is an important book as well as an attractively written example of significant and morally engaged scholarship." -Hilary Putnam, Harvard University"
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About Alan Gilbert

Alan Gilbert is a John Evans Professor in the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver. He is the author of Marx's Politics: Communists and Citizens, Democratic Individuality, and Must Global Politics Constrain Democracy?
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Rating details

45 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 24% (11)
4 31% (14)
3 29% (13)
2 13% (6)
1 2% (1)
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