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date: 26 May 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This article discusses the historiography of slave resistance. Despite persistent attempts by historians to force a uniformity of vision and goals on rebel leaders, insurgent slaves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries differed from one another fully as much as white revolutionaries in the same era. If slave rebellions in North America correspond to any one model, it is that they proliferated during times when the white majority was divided against itself in a crippling fashion. Colonial insurgents in South Carolina and New York City, for example, rose in revolt with their masters engaged in war against France and Spain three times. Slaves, who well understood the daunting odds they faced and rarely contemplated suicidal ventures, plotted for their freedom only when safer avenues had been closed to them.

Keywords: slave rebellion, resistance, revolt, freedom

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