Joanne Pope Melish's Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation

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North American slavery has been something that many scholars have not been able to fully explore and present it to the world, whether it is the impact it left on the New England during gradual emancipation or the subject itself. Joanne Pope Melish's describes her book book Disowning Slavery: Gradual Emancipation and 1780-1860 in a more descriptive way “slavery and the painful process of gradual emancipation back into the history of New England” (Page no#200). Previous scholars have held slavery in New England as pinnacle to the economic, social, and political development of the region, Melish seen this as more than that. She argues that slavery was important not only as a labor system but also as an institutionalized set of relations, which …show more content…

She articulates that the unstable process of gradual liberation in the region after the American Revolution triggered white fears that blacks would be a danger to the new republic. Whereas blacks assumed that they would become free and independent citizens, whites assumed that blacks still needed to be restricted. She also argues that white people experienced uncertainty about racial identity and freedom wondering if freedom would turn black people white and vice versa, they could become slaves. While African Americans assumed that they would become equal and independent citizens. Because emancipation was gradual, whites attitude towards black was buttressed by abolitionist words which seemed to promise removal of slaves as much as slavery. Beginning in the late 18th century, New England Europeans gradually got rid of their perplexity and they regarded Africans as inherently inferior and in need of maneuvered according to their will. She pinpoints that from here the thought of race developed in which "racial" characteristics came to be seen as unassailable, hereditary, and located in the

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