By attacking slavery more fiercely than ever before, Revolutionary Americans freed tens of thousands of slaves. But the Revolution’s libertarian and egalitarian message had perverse consequences. It forced those Southerners who chose to retain slavery to fall back on the alleged racial deficiencies of blacks as a justification for an institution that hitherto they had taken for granted and had never before needed to justify. The anti-slavery movement that arose out of the Revolution inadvertently produced racism in America.
Farmer, businessman, patriot, politician, founder of the state of Vermont; seized Fort Ticonderoga in 1775; 1738—89.
Talented Continental Army general who defected to the British; 1741—1801.
Merchant, Continental congressman, diplomat to France; 1737—89.
American painter; 1751—1801.
Lawyer, signer of the Declaration of Independence, CT governor; 1731—96.
Militia general, effectively fought the British at Bunker Hill; 1718—90.
Lawyer and politician from Connecticut; signer of the Declaration of Independence; 1721—93.
American artist, soldier at the Battle of Trenton; 1756—1843.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)