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The Amistad Revolt Essay Research Paper Amistad

The Amistad Revolt Essay, Research Paper

Amistad Revolt

In 1839 there was a slave rebellion of 53 Mendean men, women and children from

the West coast of Africa where they had been kidnapped and then illegally transported to

Cuba. They were placed aboard a schooner, Amistad, for transshipment to Cuban sugar

plantations. The captives seized the vessel and sought to sail to Africa. Instead the ship

was sailed, by two Cubans Ruiz and Montes which the Mendeans kept alive to sail the

ship, up the coast of the United States. Amistad sailed along the United States coast until

it was stopped by the US Washington off Montauk Point, NY. The ensuing trial in New

Haven, Connecticut, epitomized the clash between freedom and slavery in the United

States. The case was appealed all the way to the Supreme Court where former President

John Quincy Adams argued for the Africans freedom. They won their liberty and

eventually returned to their homes in Africa (Hunt 1971, 3-6). Our present American

History textbook doesn t include the Amistad Revolt. The Amistad Revolt should be

included in future editions of American History textbook because the Amistad Revolt is an

inspirational story, effect both blacks and whites, and changed the course of American

History. The Amistad Revolt is a very important event in American History and it can t be

ignored no longer.

The Amistad Revolt is a great inspirational story for anyone. This story reaches the

high point of slavery stories, along with Harriet Tubman and the underground railroads.

Weather you are black or white, male or female, this is a story that is perfect for the

textbook. When a story ends like the Amistad Revolt does, the Mendeans winning the

case, it makes anyone feel good. Reading a story like this one gives you that feeling, like

you are floating on air. Just for that five minutes that you are reading the story you don t

think about anything else. You don t think about the problems you have or the things you

have to do later. All that you are thinking about is how great of a story, with a great

ending. You want to be there to testify for the Mendeans, it is just a really good story. The

black insurrection of the Mendi on the Amistad excites out admiration for oppressed

people willing to give their lives that their brothers and sisters might live (Blassingame

1992, 1). There is not a single person I know who wouldn t enjoy this story, even with its

historical importance. There is no doubt that this should be in the American History


The Amistad Rebellion effected both blacks and whites. The Amistad Revolt

invites celebration of the possibilities of blacks and whites, Americans and Africans,

reaching across the chasms of color, racism, suppression, and differences in language to

grasp liberty (Blassingame 1992, 1). If you where a slave in 1839 it would be horrible.

Slaves weren t even close to becoming free. Yes there was an abolitionist group but it

wasn t too successful. Slaves had no hope at all. The were scared to escape because of

consequences if caught. There were no slaves becoming free in any form at all. When the

slaves heard about the Amistad Revolt. When they heard about how they successfully took

over a ship, went all the way to the Supreme Court and won. And got there freedom, and

got to go home. To top it off it all the trials took place in the United States, their home.

This event made slaves and any African Americans have hope. That there is a chance that

one day they might be free. For some of the slaves who gave up and had no hope left in

them, this event gave them hope. The Mendeans winning their freedom shows the slaves

that things are changing, slavery is becoming less and less popular among everyone in the

United States. The African Americans were not the only ones effects buy the Amistad

Revolt, it effected the white people also. Form the North to the South all white people

where effected by the Amistad Revolt. I am not saying all white people suddenly became

against slavery, because that is not the case. Everyone heard about he Amistad Revolt. A

lot of people changed their minds about slavery. Many Americans learned about he

cruelties of the slave trade form the testimony of Cinque and the other captives (Lehrman

1998, 1). The trials encouraged many people to join the abolitionists (Lehrman 1998, 1).

Many white people realized that slavery was wrong. Now this was not the case in the

South as much as in the North. The South was extremely anger over the Amistad Revolt.

They were angry over the revolt and then the Mendeans winning their freedom. The

Amistad incident brought more tension between the North and the South. The Amistad

Revolt effected both blacks and whites very much when it occurred. This shows it is

important enough to be put in the American History Textbooks.

The Amistad Revolt changed the course of American History. The Amistad Revolt

effected the slavery issue in a very big way. Recent publications prove that Amistad is the

most important legal case dealing with slavery before Dred Scott (Lehrman 1998, 1). This

case changed many peoples minds, both black and white, and gave hope to slaves. The

abolitionists rose to the occasion and showed they could be successful. The Amistad trail

came at a very important time, when slavery continued to expand in the American South

and abolitionists by moral persuasion had apparently failed (Lehrman 1998, 1). The trails

changed America and the abolitionist movement (Lehrman 1998, 1). The trials encouraged

abolitionists to shift their tactics from persuasion to political and legal agitation. That

agitation would arouse increasing numbers of Americans against the immorality of slavery

(Lehrman 1998, 1). What if the Amistad Revolt never occurred. Not as many people

would have changed there minds about slavery. The abolitionists might have never became

as strong as they did because of the Amistad Rebellion. Also the Amistad Rebellion was

the first big trial that resulted in favor of African s in the United States. The Amistad

Revolt also was the first major event that proved slavery was wrong. This was a major

victory for the slaves. If the Amistad Revolt and the trials never happened the blacks

wouldn t have any big victories in the court rooms of the United States. Slavery might

have also lasted longer with out the Amistad Revolt changing people s minds and bringing

more tension between the North and the South. The Amistad Revolt changed the course

of American History, therefore it belongs in the American History textbooks.

In conclusion, the Amistad Revolt should be included in future editions of

American History textbooks because the Amistad Revolt is an inspirational story, effected

both blacks and whites, and the changed the course of American History. These three

reason are three of many reasons. No matter how you look at this topic, it points toward

the right decision. The Amistad Revolt was wrongly ignored in current American History

textbooks. Every American History textbook throughout the United States should include

the Amistad Revolt.