Illuminates how the preservation of slavery was a motivating factor for the Revolutionary War

The successful 1776 revolt against British rule in North America has been hailed almost universally as a great step forward for humanity. But the Africans then living in the colonies overwhelmingly sided with the British. In this trailblazing book, Gerald Horne shows that in the prelude to 1776, the abolition of slavery seemed all but inevitable in London, delighting Africans as much as it outraged slaveholders, and sparking the colonial revolt.

Prior to 1776, anti-slavery sentiments were deepening throughout Britain and in the Caribbean, rebellious Africans were in revolt. For European colonists in America, the major threat to their security was a foreign invasion combined with an insurrection of the enslaved. It was a real and threatening possibility that London would impose abolition throughout the colonies—a possibility the founding fathers feared would bring slave rebellions to their shores. To forestall it, they went to war.

The so-called Revolutionary War, Horne writes, was in part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their right to enslave others. The Counter-Revolution of 1776 brings us to a radical new understanding of the traditional heroic creation myth of the United States.

 

"The Counter-Revolution of 1776 shows the centrality of slavery in colonial American life, north as well as south. It demonstrates how enslaved peoples struggles merged with international and imperial politics as the British empire frayed. Gerald Horne finds among white American revolutionaries people who wanted to defend slavery against real threats. He addresses how in the United States, alone among the new western hemisphere republics, slavery thrived rather than waned, until its cataclysmic destruction during the Civil War." - Edward Countryman, Southern Methodist University

 

"Nearly everything about Gerald Homes lively The Counter-Revolution of 1776, from the questions asked to the comparisons drawn, is provocative. And if Professor Home is right, nearly everything American historians thought we knew about the birth of the nation is wrong." - Woody Holton, author of Forced Founders: Indians, Debtors, Slaves, and the Making of the American Revolution in Virginia

 

"This utterly original book argues that story of the American Revolution has been told without a major piece of the puzzle in place. The rise of slavery and the British empire created a pattern of imperial war, slave resistance, and arming of slaves that led to instability and, ultimately, an embrace of independence. Horne integrates the British West Indies, Florida, and the entire colonial period with recent work on the Carolinas and Virginia; the result is a larger synthesis that puts slave-based profits and slave restiveness front and center. The Americans re-emerge not just as anti-colonial free traders but as particularly devoted to an emerging color line and to their control over the future of a slavery based economy. A remarkable and important contribution to our understanding of the creation of the United States." - David Waldstreicher, Temple University

The Counter-Revolution of 1776: Slave Resistance and the Origins of the...

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