The American Revolution can be seen by many as an instrumental point in the history of the nation as it was the first major point in which the country had devised the means to become one of the largest and most powerful in the world. While this is relevant and can be seen as true of the way in which America ascertained its freedom and began devising imperialistic conquests to rise to the point in which it is today, there is much that can be said about the way that America came upon the power that it did. In terms of origins and the ways in which America rose to power, there are many controversial ideas that the nation propagated in its earliest renditions, such as slavery. While it can be said that America was valiantly fighting for instrumental protection of its self and freedoms, there was another war going on adjacent to this which can be seen as an equal representation of the nature of the fledgling country.
The story of Harry Washington is a paradoxical but relevant story to represent the issues facing America at this critical juncture. While his former master George Washington was fighting against the repressive regime of the British, Harry Washington was fighting against the repressive legislature and rules of the colonies in which he used to live. The way in which Harry Washington devised his own freedom included fleeing the country from the grips of slavery and seeking help and asylum as a member of the British army, fighting for his African lands. While the stories of both Washingtons can be viewed as narratives which center around transformation and the search of tangible, preservable freedom and self-sustaining liberty, the way in which both went about these pursuits and the nature through which an ideal, white colonial elite and a runaway slave achieved their goals are markedly different.
The nature of the American Revolution was far different for runaway slaves and Africans in general. The Declaration of Independence did nothing to ensure them freedoms and rather limited their abilities as they soon became slaves of the American colonists’ pursuits. As such, the very nature of the Revolution had little bearing for positive effects for the free or enslaved black communities. In general, there was nothing in terms of positive gain to be had for these individuals and their families. As is evident by the story of Harry Washington, there was an argument which could be made for the slaves even abandoning the new country for other alternatives. As such, the nature of the American colonial army and its exploits must be viewed in a light which is more representative of the nature of the army and the country that they were attempting to build.
In many respects, the colonies were subject to vices in much the same way that the British Empire was. The overall capacity for the colonies to advocate for and utilize slavery as a means of production alienated many in the country, as there was no form of equal representation for a large portion of the population. The experiences that they faced as a result were often centered around either their contributions in preserving and cultivating the needs of the colonies in terms of production of assets or serving in an army which hadn’t even acknowledged their equality. The experiences of the Africans and African-Americans in turn was less than ideal or picturesque and paints a different light on a period which many Americans view with high regards.
The Revolution itself was fought over the right of the United States to act as its own governing body, but not fought in terms of more individualistic freedoms or pursuits. This is especially true of slaves and Africans. As a result, the Declaration of Independence can be viewed as having little relevance to the overall issue which the colonists were facing at this time of expansion and growth. To better surmise the effects that this period had on these individuals, it is essential to understand the very nature of their containment and existence during this time. Having the very essential freedoms that one is guaranteed today stripped from one’s self while others around them have those freedoms and more is demoralizing and unfair.
While it can be said that the American Revolution represents a time of great growth for the United States as a governing body, there were many moments which offset this pivotal time and present it in a different light. This can be summarized mostly in the experiences of the Africans and African-Americans and the nature of slavery and servitude as they were forced to experience. Given its nature, it’s essential to understand the true way in which the Declaration of Independence worked as well as the Revolution itself.