African American Odyssey

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					    Chapter 5



African Americans
in the New Nation
     1783-1820
I. Forces for Freedom

   Economic change
    – Wage labor
   Evangelical Christianity
    – Great Awakening
   Revolutionary ethos
    – Natural rights doctrines
   African Americans sought freedom
    – Escaped, purchased, sued, and petitioned for it
Northern Emancipation

   New England
    – Slavery collapsed quickly
      • African Americans refused to remain in
        bondage
      • Most white people acquiesced
         – Massachusetts
            » African men who paid taxes could vote, 1783
            » Elizabeth Freeman
            » See PROFILE
Northern Emancipation (cont.)

   Mid-Atlantic states
    – New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania
       • Investment in slaves greater than in New
         England
       • Pennsylvania approved gradual emancipation,
         1780
       • New York, 1799
The Northwest Ordinance, 1787

 – Orderly sale of land
 – Support for education
 – Territorial government
 – New states
 – Banned slavery
   • South of Ohio River open to slavery
   • Set a precedent for excluding slaves from
     territory
The Louisiana Purchase and the
Lower Mississippi Valley
   People of African descent a majority
    – Two groups
       • Creoles
          – Craftsman and shopkeepers in New Orleans and
            port cities
       • Plantation slaves
          – Most directly from Africa
          – Americans settle in lower Mississippi Valley
             » Strict enforcement of slave codes
             » Expansion of slave code
    Antislavery Societies in the
    North and the Upper South
   Anthony Benezet
    – First antislavery society in the world, 1775
       • Similar societies
          – Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Tennessee
             » Never appeared in Deep South
          – Generally cooperated in a loose framework, 1794-1832
          – Quaker dominated
          – Gradual emancipation
          – Upper South
             » Small and short lived
Manumission and Self-Purchase
   Liberalized laws after the Revolution
       • Most southern states
          – Free individuals by deed or will
          – Virginia repealed ban on private manumissions, 1782
              » Hundreds of slave holders in Upper South freed
                 slaves
              » Religious sentiment and natural rights principles
       • Self-purchase agreements
          – Masters make a profit
       • Unprofitable investments
          – Changing crops
          – Old age
          – To avoid immediate escape
    The Emergence of a
    Free Black Class in the South
   Free black class grew in Upper South
    – Manumissions, self-purchase, and freedom suits
    – Maryland and Virginia had the largest population
   Deep South
    – Much smaller group
       •   Generally the illegitimate children of slave holders
       •   Favorites
       •   Unable to work
       •   North Carolina made manumissions more difficult after
           1777
II. Forces for Slavery
   North
    – Slavery was weak, little opposition to
      abolition
   South
    – Slavery was strong and important to
      economy
       • Thrived and expanded
The United States Constitution
   Slaveholder concessions
    – To create a more powerful central
      government
      • Clauses designed to maintain slavery in the
        South
         – Continuing the Atlantic slave trade for twenty years
         – Returning escaped slaves to masters
         – Three-Fifths Compromise
             » Enhanced representation for slaveholders
             » Congress
             » Electoral college
             » Election of 1800
Cotton
   Increased cultivation
    – Britain
    – Eli Whitney
   Declining revolutionary fervor
    – Retreat from egalitarianism after 1790s
   Intensified white racism
    – Scientific racism justified slavery
    – Naturalization laws
III. Free Black Communities
   Dynamic communities
    – North and Upper South
      • Philadelphia, Baltimore, New York, and Boston
      • Established distinctive institutions
         – To avoid inferior status in white-dominated
           organizations
         – Preserve African heritage
      • Mutual aid societies
         – Christian moral character
         – Generally restricted to men
            » Black freemasons
            » Prince Hall
Origins of Independent
Black Churches
   Biracial churches
    – Never embraced African Americans as equals
       • Subordinate churches
   Independent churches
    – Philadelphia between 1780s and early 1800s
       • St. George’s Methodist Church
       • St. Thomas’s Episcopal Church
       • African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church
           – Richard Allen, see VOICES
           – Absalom Jones
           – Benjamin Rush
The First Black Schools
   Early 1700s
    – Slave and free children
    – North and South
    – Ran by white clergy
   After Revolution
    – Black people established schools for black children
       •   Mutual aid societies and churches created and sustained
       •   Prince Hall
       •   Brown Fellowship
       •   Christopher McPherson
    – Produced a growing class of literate African
      Americans
IV. Black Leaders and Choices

   Educated black elite provided
    leadership
    – Richard Allen
    – Absalom Jones
       • See VOICES
    – James Forten
       • See PROFILE
    – Prince Hall
Migration
   Prince Hall
    – Petitioned Massachusetts legislature to
      support colony
   Paul Cuffe and colonization
    – End the Atlantic slave trade
    – Spread Christianity
    – Refuge for free black people
    – Make profits
Slave Uprisings

   Legacy of fear and hope
    – Gabriel, 1800
       • American and French Revolution influenced
       • Natural human rights
    – Charles Deslondes, 1811
 Frightened white southerners
 Raised hope for freedom among slaves
The White Southern Response

   Legacy of slave uprisings
    – Deepened reactions against egalitarianism
       • Feared race war that emancipation would cause
       • Southern states tightened control of black population
           –   Outlawed assemblies
           –   Placed curfew on slaves and free blacks
           –   Made manumissions more difficult
           –   Revived slave patrols
           –   Became suspicious of outsiders
           –   Forcing free black people out of southern states
V. The War of 1812
   White prejudice and fear of black revolts
    – Militia Act of 1792
       • Eliminated armed black participation in state militias
       • Navy ended black service on warships, 1798
       • Southern states refused to enlist blacks in 1812
           – Concerned black men with guns would aid slave revolt
    – “Black Brigade”
    – Lake Erie, September 1813
    – Battle of New Orleans, January 1815
VI. The Missouri Compromise
 “A fire bell in the night”
 Missouri applies for statehood, 1819
    – Eleven free and eleven slave states
      • Tallmadge Amendment
         – Proposed gradual emancipation
         – African-American crowd galleries to hear debates
         – Southern threats of secession
   Compromise
    – Henry Clay
      • Missouri, Maine, and 36-30
VII. Conclusion
   Waning egalitarian commitment and rising
    racism
    – Doomed earlier promises of freedom
   Free black communities grew
    – Laid a foundation for
       • Education
       • Spiritual growth
       • Economic development
   Forces for slavery grew stronger
    – Permanent black bondage

				
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posted:4/28/2012
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