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The American Revolution was a revolt against the British with help from France in which independence was won and resulted in the United States of America. The revolution centered around the best way to protect “liberty” and republican government, although not everyone agreed on how to do so. The war and all the events leading up to it caused changes in social roles and power of those whom weren’t treated fairly. Overall like mentioned in one of my primary sources a lot of the ideals that revolved around the revolution and how it was represented were constitutions and rights, the challenge to the institution of slavery and religious establishments.
The challenge of ending slavery played a significantly big part during the revolution yet it still fell short. The idea of “‘all men are created equal’ pushed antislavery efforts forward in many northern states. But slavery thrived elsewhere, and African Americans still faced constant racism and resistance to their participation in American society”. A good example to show this would be the Royall Family, these people did anything to impress the english that they too had money. The Royall’s owned a massive amount of slaves and spent most of their time playing cards, chatting with guests, socializing etc. while enslaved people did all their work for them. Some of these tasks would consist of cooking, cleaning, preparing harvest foods for the winter, etc. therefore one could only imagine how much rest they got. The enslaved people of this family even slept in the small corner of their work room because they couldn’t stop working. The challenge of slavery shows how Americans lived up to dehumanizing these enslaved people into doing all their work for them.
The religious establishments of the American revolution reflect a lot of Jhonathan Edwards sermon where he instructs people on how to avoid hell and “get right with god”. Religion was highly influenced by fear during this revolution and because people like Edwards had a platform they used that in order to impose their religious ideologies on others. What I found really interesting in his sermon was how even with the children he never changed his tone. He would tell them things like “don’t you know that you are going down to hell, to bear the dreadful wrath of that God that is now angry with you every day, and every night?”. This reflects on the fear created during the revolution which resulted in establishing these certain religious views. Americans fell short on representing God and religion because reflecting on these events Phillis Wheatley for example touches on Racism in her poem. Again it is brought up reminding everyone that in the bible it says everyone is to be treated equal. She is calling them hypocrites because they preach so much about god and the bible yet they don’t follow it.
Constitution and Rights played an extreme role in the revolutionary war. Like Thomas Paine mentions in Calls for American Independence “society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil”. He knew the government wasn’t to be trusted because inequality would only get worse. During this time rights for men and women were very different. Paine goes on to say how “male and female are distinctions of nature, good and bad are the distinctions of Heaven; but how a race of men came into this world so exalted above the rest and distinguished like some new species, is worth inquiring into, and whether they are the means of happiness or misery to mankind”. During this time not all men thought they were superior however those who did were influenced by people like John Edwards.
However, the revolution brought high tension to the distinction of who is superior. And women lived up to these ideals of how everyone should be treated equal by speaking out and rebelling. For example Abigail adams, wife of John Adams, described the appearance of a new phenomena in America in a letter she wrote to her husband. This phenomena is about how “if particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound’ by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation”. This shows how no matter what these strong women like Abigail did their part to fight for women’s rights during the American Revolution.
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