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.
Wife of John Adams, mother of John Quincy Adams; 1744—1818.
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, diplomat, second President; 1735—1826.
Son of John and Abigail Adams, diplomat, senator, sixth President, congressman; 1767—1848.
Political philosopher, Boston revolutionary leader, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1722—1803.
American painter, active in England; 1761—1831.
American painter, principally active in London after 1774; 1738—1815.
American painter; 1751—1801.
British general, Royal Governor of Massachusetts, ordered troops to Concord; 1719/20—87.
Signer of the Declaration of Independence, vice president under Madison; 1744—1814.
Boston merchant, signer of the Declaration of Independence, Massachusetts governor; 1737—93.
Empire of Liberty: A History of the Early Republic, 1789–1815 (2009)