The American Revolution of 1765-1783 was developed as the demonstration of the Americans’ desire to become free from the British Empire’s influence and free to choose the path of the country’s democratic development. The Declaration of Independence of 1776 became the proclamation of the Americans’ rights to become independent regarding every aspect of their life.
However, the problem is in the point that in spite of the fact that during the American Revolution the idea of freedom was declared widely, the concept of freedom developed side by side with the principles of slavery. Thus, it is essential to answer the question about the possibilities of developing these concepts during the American Revolution.
Although many Founders discussed the phenomenon of slavery as violating the appeals for freedom and liberty for the Americans, the concepts of slavery and freedom could develop side by side because the Founders did not discuss slaves as equal to ‘whites’, the ideas of freedom and equality stated in the Declaration were interpreted only with the focus on white people, and slavery played an essential role in the states’ economic progress.
The idea of freedom or liberty stated in the Declaration of Independence can be considered as the founding principle to build the American society as it was proclaimed by the Founders. From this point, the American Revolution was the organized struggle for the freedom and liberty which were achieved as a result of many losses.
Although freedom was the desired condition, to achieve freedom and liberty did not mean to provide that freedom for black slaves. Focusing on pursuing freedom, the Founders hoped to win the liberty only for white people, without concentrating on the needs of blacks.
Thus, black slaves could not be discussed as equal to white people to become free after the end of the American Revolution because they were not even discussed as humans. From this perspective, the white Americans focused on fighting for freedom from the British rule, and their efforts were not associated with providing any freedom for black slaves. The achievement of the political freedom and social stability was not associated with the achievement of freedom for lowest social categories.
The Declaration of Independence is the main result of the American Revolution, but this document cannot be discussed as granting the equality and liberty for blacks along with the white population of the United States. The Founders’ vision of equality and its relation to slavery as the social phenomenon was far from modern opinions on these concepts because black people were not discussed as humans to have the rights equal with the white people’s rights, but slaves were described only as creatures to rely on God’s will.
Developing the revolution, the Founders focused only on the equality of white people in the American society and on their freedom. In spite of the fact that the Founders criticized the fact of the obvious ‘color dominion’ in the American society, they do not combine the ideas of equality and freedom for whites and blacks.
However, there were many Founders and activists who discussed the idea of slavery as violating the norms of free American society. In spite of the fact that they were persistent to promote the ideas on slavery abolition, the representatives of the upper classes from the Southern states focused much on the necessities to develop the institution of slavery because of its economic advantages for the South.
Although the American Revolution did not bring freedom for slaves, it is essential to focus on the role of blacks in the war for independence. Thus, slaves contributed significantly to achieving the desired liberty and to developing the ideals of the democratic society for whites. Slaves were actively used in military activities to attack the enemy and to protect the lands. Many blacks served in the Continental army to contribute to the further victory of the Americans.
The participation in the military activities guaranteed the desired freedom for many slaves because of their contribution to the progress of the American Revolution. However, the process had the negative consequences. The example of those slaves who were manumitted because of participating in the revolutionary activities inspired thousands of the other blacks who used the opportunity to escape from plantations. Nevertheless, in many cases, the revolution did not bring any sign of freedom for the majority of slaves.
The ideas of freedom and slavery were developed side by side because slavery was the important condition to contribute to the economic progress of the Southern states. Plantation owners used the work of slaves widely, and it was almost impossible for them to refuse using the free work of blacks.
In spite of the fact that slavery was discussed as the unhealthy element observed in the American society, few reforms and changes were proposed to change the situation because the economic advantages were obvious, and the Southern plantation owners did not want to risk under the impact of the problematic situation within the society.
On the one hand, slavery was considered as the necessary condition to improve the American economy and to influence the development of the Southern states’ politics and society. Many economists agreed that the abolition of slavery could lead to irreversible consequences for the economic development of the South because of its weak economic structure based mainly on the work of slaves.
On the other hand, the institution of slavery was discussed as the controversial phenomenon which can become threatening to the white people because of many difficulties associated with controlling the constantly increasing number of blacks in the Southern states.
Those black persons who received freedom after participating in the war and those who tried to run away from their plantation owners were discussed as the significant force which was ready to oppose the whites’ authority. However, these problems were not discussed by the Founders in their connection with the necessity to abolish slavery because the concept of freedom was interpreted only in the context of the white people’s rights.
The ideals of freedom and slavery were developed during the American Revolution without affecting each other because the Founders refused accepting the idea of the necessary slavery abolition. The institution of slavery was the fundament for the economic development of the Southern states.
Moreover, the Founders were not ready to accept the idea of the blacks’ equality to whites. All the statements associated with the equality and freedom found in the Declaration of Independence discussed Americans as God’s creatures, but not as equal white and black persons. That is why the idea of freedom proclaimed by the Founders did not contradict with the institution of slavery supported in the American society.