The New York Times Backs-Off a Controversial Claim in its 1619 ProjectHistorians in the News
tags: slavery, New York Times, history wars, 1619 Project
The New York Times Magazine offers some nuance. It appears that a recent panel featuring Alan Taylor, Annette Gordon-Reed, and others had something to do with this. Watch it here:
Today we are making a clarification to a passage in an essay from The 1619 Projectthat has sparked a great deal of online debate. The passage in question states that one primary reason the colonists fought the American Revolution was to protect the institution of slavery. This assertion has elicited criticism from some historians and support from others.
We stand behind the basic point, which is that among the various motivations that drove the patriots toward independence was a concern that the British would seek or were already seeking to disrupt in various ways the entrenched system of American slavery. Versions of this interpretation can be found in much of the scholarship into the origins and character of the Revolution that has marked the past 40 years or so of early American historiography — in part because historians of the past few decades have increasingly scrutinized the role of slavery and the agency of enslaved people in driving events of the Revolutionary period.
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