The American Revolution arose from tensions that have been growing between individuals who lived in North America’s thirteen colonies and the kingdom of Great Britain. The big issues were that white males were superior to everyone. Including Women, African-Americans, and Indians. They treated everyone and anyone who wasn’t white and a man less. They treated women as if the only reason they were put on to earth was to obey their husbands, and do nothing but stay home, cook and clean. They were domestically abused in some ways. And no one spoke upon it. Slaves were also treated very badly. They were all in bad shape and discriminated against for no reason other than not being as powerful as white men. In this essay we are going to discuss why or why not the revolutionary ideals of equality did not apply to all groups of people in the thirteen colonies while using the letter from Abigail, the slave petition and the right of free suffrage.
To begin with, the declaration of Independence was a huge source that brought out some freedom to many Americans. While they were in the midst of writing up the declaration of Independence, a woman named Abigail Adams who was married to John Adams, wrote him a letter in which, she said the following “I long to hear that you have declared an independency. And, by the way, in the new code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you to make, I desire you would remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors. Do not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands. Remember, all men would be tyrants if they could. 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.” (doc 1) In that Era, women did not have the guts to do such a thing as speak up about a current event especially to a man. However, Abigail was amongst some of the few who were able to do just that. She was fed up with the tyranny of men. Women were treated as if they were less valuable than men. They were very limited in power. They were not allowed to vote, as well as not being able to participate in the government. They were not allowed to share their views while in public and basically forced to live a life of having no freedom. They were considered that they were only good for being inside the homes, cooking and cleaning for their husbands. The men had all the right to participate in the government and do whatever pleased them. They got to make up all laws and rules all while looking down on women as if they were animals. Going through all of that, none of them had the courage to stand up for what is right and speak up for their rights. It’s as if they had no other way around it. Reason being that’s the way they have been all their lives that it was almost impossible to see another of life. When that’s all that they have ever known. She also mentions that men by nature are vicious and use women with dignity, “Why, then, not put it out of the power of the vicious and the lawless to use us with cruelty and indignity with impunity? Men of sense in all ages abhor those customs which treat us only as the vassals of your sex; regard us then as beings placed by Providence under your protection, and in imitation of the Supreme Being make use of that power only for our happiness.” (Doc 1) Therefore, Abigail encouraged the powerful men to always keep the women in mind and that they should be able to let them live a life full of freedom and of equal to those of white men. As a result the revolutionary ideal of equality did not initially apply to women, however, with Abigail’s letter, things slowly changed. Also “Living amid freedom but denied its benefits.” (Give me Liberty 234) supports Abigail in her argument.
Another group of people that the revolutionary ideal did not apply to are the slaves. “Among A People