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Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies and Sparked the American Revolution
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Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies and Sparked the American Revolution

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  61 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews

In 1772, the High Court in London brought about the conditions that would end slavery in England by freeing a black slave from Virginia named Somerset. This decision began a key facet of independence.

Slave Nation is a fascinating account of the role slavery played in the drawing of the United States Constitution and in shaping the United States. At the Constitutional Conv
Paperback, 304 pages
Published November 1st 2006 by Sourcebooks (first published 2005)
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Robert A.
May 23, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed
Extraordinary research by authors Alfred W. Blumrosen and Ruth G. Blumrosen, which details how slavery united the 13 Colonies and sparked the American Revolution.

Every nation attempts to romanticize its past and put it in the best possible light.

Thus, the American revolution is bathed in nobility and the reasons for it are limited to principled protests against taxation without representation and autocratic rule from England.

While these reasons are largely true for the northern colonies, the sou
Sep 07, 2008 added it
Slave Nation - Alfred and Ruth Blumrosen. Was our country established to preserve slavery? In 1772 a judge gave freedom to anyone held in slavery in England that sought to liberate themselves. This was called the Somerset decision. The fear that this court decision would be applied to slaves on the American continent was what brought the colonies most dependent on slavery (Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) to push for independence. Did you know that the phrase in the Declarat ...more
Monte Lamb
Dec 10, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: us-history
The premise of the book is that an agreement between the northern colonies and the southern colonies in 1774 which said that slavery would be protected in the southern colonies in return for their support in the American Revolution is supported and explained. It is well-written and clear, but some of the arguments are not as sound as others. However, it is extremely interesting to see how the passage of the Northwest Ordnance of 1787 allowed for compromise in the constitutional convention betwee ...more
Oct 13, 2007 rated it really liked it
The premise of this book - Slave Nation: How Slavery United the Colonies and Sparked the American Revolution turned my ideas of the American Revolution on its head. The authors argue that the perceived movement to emancipate slaves in England led to the American colonies uniting. The vector was a court case in 1772 - just four years before the writing of the Declaration of Independence - where an American slave (there were an estimated 14,000 to 15,000 slaves in England at the time) - was not al ...more
Jan 05, 2010 rated it really liked it
An excellent analysis of many secondary sources, as well as letters of correspondance. I'm using it primarily to compare the reasons why North vs. South wanted to sever ties from Britain, and find out more about the people involved in the Committees of Correspondance. Using to expand personal research bibliography/sources.
Scott Ford
Feb 07, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: american-history
In 1772, the British High Court began the process of closing down the institution of slavery in England. This book proposes that the events that took place in England at this time convinced the Southern colonies that the North's protests agains Parlaiment were sound enough to throw their interests behind revolution.
Doc Hoov
Nov 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Well researched. I'm interested to see conclusions others have drawn. I'll do additional research before I teach this topic next year. It's very interesting to think slavery played such a seminal role in the motivation to rebel, especially since it is not presented that way in the traditional narrative.
Sep 29, 2008 rated it liked it
This book was interesting although highly speculative. A vast majority of the information was circumstantial, and furthermore drawn mostly from other secondary sources. While I agree that slavery might have made the south more willing to join the revolutionary cause, it certainly did not seem to "spark the revolution."
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An Amazing outlook as to how slavery like most things in history can change with a simple verdict thanks to the courts. I can't understand how this theory isn't more looked into by historians. GREAT BOOK!
Alec Gray
A good survey of the issue of slavery in the founding of the U.S. Some really interesting facts on how the southern colonies efforts to protect slavery shaped our founding documents, and thwarted some of the founders' hopes and goals for the new country.
Yunis Esa
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
The authors proof the books thesis with a lot hard truth
John Hopkins
Jan 27, 2008 rated it liked it
I just began reading this as part of research for a new tour I am writing about slavery in Philadelphia.
Kurt Ayau
Jul 22, 2007 marked it as to-read
Some kinda premise, eh?
Feb 17, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: anyone interested in History
A radical,well-informed and highly original reinterpretation of the place of slavery in American War of Independence
Constitutional history bores me to tears.
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