The Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution

TitleThe Forgotten Fifth: African Americans in the Age of Revolution
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsNash, Gary B.
Number of Pages235
PublisherHarvard University Press
CityCambridge, MA
Abstract

As the United States gained independence, a full fifth of the country's population was African American. The experiences of these men and women have been largely ignored in the accounts of the colonies' glorious quest for freedom. In this compact volume, Gary B. Nash reorients our understanding of early America, and reveals the perilous choices of the founding fathers that shaped the nation's future. Nash tells of revolutionary fervor arousing a struggle for freedom that spiraled into the largest slave rebellion in American history, as blacks fled servitude to fight for the British, who promised freedom in exchange for military service. In the opening decades of the nineteenth century, as Nash demonstrates, the Founding Father's decision to ignore abolition enabled the ideology of white supremacy to take root, and with it the beginnings of an irreparable national fissure. The moral failure of the Revolution was paid for in the 1860s with the lives of the 600,000 Americans killed in the Civil War.

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61652682

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