Impact of Revolution on Women and Slavery

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The American Revolution caused a change in America that was far greater than just the forming of an independent nation. In the years after the revolution, a government had to be set in place. The new nation was greatly influenced by models of previous governments, including Great Britain and ancient Greece and Rome. Despite the great change in political structure, aspects of social culture were influenced by the revolution as well, especially in the areas of slavery and the status of women.

The ideology of the revolution can be looked at as a positive step in the area of slavery. The years following the revolution saw a larger opposition towards the whole principal of slavery. The North during the late 1700's saw a slow decline in slavery, to the point where it was being ended. Vermont was the first colony to fully abolish slavery in 1777, and Massachusetts soon followed. Emancipation laws were implemented by Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well, and in New Hampshire no slaves were present by 1810. The South did not show as much generosity to the issue of slavery, however many colonies did change laws that restricted a slave owner's right to free their slaves. The only colonies that refused to implement these laws were South Carolina and Georgia. The years subsequent to the revolution saw a large jump in the number of free African-Americans. Despite all these advancements for African-Americans, whites still did not recognize them as equals. In the south, some schools would not educate black children, and free blacks found it very hard to purchase land and find a job. In addition to these hardships faced by blacks, a racist theory was developed to combat the phrase "all men are created equal." Whites argued that African-Americans were less than fully human, which allowed them to avoid this contradiction to that statement. This racist theory survived long after the civil war and was still largely present in the 1960's. In some regards, it is still...
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