A Motley Crew in American Revolution 1 Essay

713 Words Apr 14th, 2011 3 Pages
A Motley Crew in the American Revolution – Vectors of Revolution

In the chapter “A Motley Crew in the American Revolution” authors Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker imply that sailor, slave and labor revolts set the stage for the American Revolution. Throughout this chapter of the book “The Many-Headed Hydra” the authors listed and cited historical facts to support their claim that a ”Motley Crew” (multiethnic, multiracial and organized group of people with a common goal) not just inspired America Revolution but would later transport revolutionary ideas across the Atlantic and influence revolts in England, France, Africa and Caribbean islands. The authors contend that sailors and slaves, who were defeated in America and thus
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They created problems throughout the Caribbean. The authors cited Lord Balcarres, governor of Jamaica, who wrote: “Here was a refuge for revolutionaries and a site for future insurrection, a place that might in a moment ... be laid in ashes.” These revolutionaries created a political shift in slave societies and set the stage for Haitian Revolution. Linebaugh and Rediker write that a third vector of revolution went east toward abolitionist movement in England. The authors convincingly supported their claim by examining the work of Granville Sharp, Thomas Clarkson and the life of Olaudah Equiano. Sharp, who opposed impressments in American Revolution, published the horrors on the board of the slave ship Zong. Equiano told him that a captain of the ship threw 132 slaves overboard to preserve supplies and later tried to collect insurance money for the dead. Sharp also worked on founding a free state of Sierra Leone in 1786, and served on the Committee for Effecting the Abolition of Slave Trade. Clarkson collected evidence about slave trade through informants (sailors and former slaves) in ports of Liverpool, Bristol and London. But the connection of sailors to the abolitionist movement, the authors write, was best articulated through the life of Olaudah Equiano. Enslaved in West Africa, he was a witness of horrifying events constantly happening
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