Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 December 2021
The American Revolution, and the principles of liberty and equality which it was believed to have embodied, precipitated a wave of revolutions in France, Haiti, and Spanish America which occurred over the roughly fifty-year period between 1775 and 1825. In each of those revolutions, slaves pushed for freedom and equality, and they often rebelled, the clearest indication of their refusal to accept the inhumanity of chattel slavery. Enslavers feared slave insurrection, and they worked diligently to tighten control over slaves. Although large-scale rebellions became less likely to succeed during the Age of Revolutions, slaves throughout the Atlantic World continued to resist their oppressors. Slaves relied on an extensive communication network, and they were well aware of the revolutions and independence movements transpiring in the Atlantic World.