Race and Revolution: a Book Review

Topics: American Civil War, Abolitionism, United States Constitution Pages: 2 (690 words) Published: October 27, 2010
Race and Revolution: A book review

American Revolution remains the cornerstone of Democracy the world over. It has helped shape the History of the world and its perception of Freedom, democracy and Human values. However it is a historic anomaly that the abolition of slavery, then rampant in the various states of U.S.A as slave-ownership or slave trade, did not coincide with its independence but actually took more than a century to take effect. This question is often glossed over in the historic and heroic accounts of the story of American Revolution. This is where Gary. B. Nash has tried to fill the vacuum by trying to bring to the foreground the sentiments present during the American Revolution towards Abolitionism and the counter points that shaped history.

Nash’s book deals primarily with the strong impulse of Abolitionism present in the Revolutionaries and the compromise, which helped deflect their attention from this social malice to concentrate on the seemingly more urgent matter of their liberation from colonial rule. Gary Nash argues that generations of historians - prebellum and antebellum – had led to the collective camouflage of the abolitionist sentiments heightened in achievement during the consensus historian’s era. As he quotes Lynd in his works, “tolerance towards the institution of slavery and intolerance toward the abolitionist movement are attitudes usually found together, for they support and supplement each other” (Gary. B. Nash, 1990, page xvi) Nash argues, that though a series of generations of Historians had argued to the contrary, there were some strong reasons to make it an opportune moment for the abolition of slavery. Though the consensus historians argue that the resistant south would have endangered the union if abolitionists were persistent, it can also be seen through Nash’ argument that the precariously placed south states would have gone along even on this contentious issue had there been more vigor and attention added to...

Bibliography: Gary. B.Nash. Race and Revolution The Inaugural Merrill Jensen Lectures 1990, New York: Madison House
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