The argument that "The American Revolution was simply about political freedom from Great Britain" is fallacious because it ignores other, significant, internal struggles for freedom and rights on the part of African Americans, Native Americans, and women. The argument may conform to the conventional view of the Revolution, but it ignores the complicated reality of American life at that time, in which these three groups were effectively excluded from the halls of power and freedom. There was much hypocrisy on the part of the white, wealthy, male leaders of the Revolution insofar as they rebelled against the oppression of the British while at the same time oppressing African Americans, women, and Native Americans.
With respect to the plight of African Americans at the time of the Revolutionary War, Frey makes clear that they were engaged in a struggle for freedom from the greatest oppression--slavery-- while their oppressors prepared to fight and fought against other, far lesser oppression.
Frey examines the War in the context of the South and points out that while the major "belligerents" in the war were white--British and American, or, more specifically, two sets of Britishers--there were also four hundred thousand slaves involved as well:
The environment in which the revolutionary conflict developed in the South was shaped not only by British policies or white southern initiatives but also by African-American resistance (Frey 45).
The resistance of the slaves to their oppressed state was significant in and of itself, obviously, but that resistance also played an important part in the war itself. Specifically, the British, aware of that resistance among the slaves, attempted to exploit it in the war against Americans:
Influenced . . . by slaves' combative and aggressive behavior, British military leaders and Crown officials seized upon the idea of intimidating independence-minded white southerners with the threa...