Abigail Adams is often considered one of the first to push for equality between men and women. She was the wife of the second President of the United States and the mother of the sixth. Because of her position in life and American History her correspondence between her husband and many others has been preserved and gives readers a glimpse into American society during some of the most crucial events that shaped America as we know it. Though her words did not start a revolution of women rising up against men to claim equal rights, they did serve as inspiration and helped shape the minds of women for generations. The writings of Abigail Adams were just building blocks that led to the Women’s Rights Movement. “Rome was not built in a day,” just as it took time for the minds of American men and women to be ready for equal rights. Abigail Adams “Letter’s to her Husband” convey the central theme of equality between men, women, and children no matter their social status. Through Abigail Adams letters to her husband she reveals that she believes women should have more power in society and be given rights equal to those of men. Abigail Adams is famous for writing these words to her husband while he is away helping write the constitution; she says, “Remember the Ladies, and be more favourable 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.” (Adams 369). Her words are very straightforward and show that she believes it is natural for a man to be consumed by power. She writes this to her husband while he is working with a group of men to draft the Constitution so that they might ensure that men have equal rights and that not one man has the ability to hold too much power. She seems to be trying to persuade her husband into influencing the men at the Constitutional Convention to give women more rights. One article shows that women were taught that they were not as capable and were inferior to men (Revolutionary). The woman was to be submissive to her husband, she was responsible for her duties as a wife and mother, and in many cases would be punished for speaking out or voicing her opinions. Abigail Adams thoughts of equality might not have started a revolution, but they did plant a seed that helped women to view themselves as capable and deserving of equality. One of Abigail Adams main concerns in her letters to her husband was her stance on equal education rights for children. She believed that all children regardless of social standing deserved the right to receive an education. In one of her letters to her husband she tells him how poor children do not have schools and are left to roam the streets with nothing to do but get into trouble (Adams 373). Abigail Adams appeals to the senses of her husband by using the example of uneducated kids roaming the streets to show that the future of America depends on educating these children. Abigail tells her husband after he complains of the lack of education of his countrymen that the source of the problem is unequal education rights for all children (Adams 373). She even goes on from there to state that not only boys need an education that the girls need education as well (Adams 373). Abigail writes, “If you complain of the neglect of Educations in sons, What shall I say with regard to our daughter, who every day experience the want of it (Adams 373). Abigail Adams is very clear in the points that she makes on education, she is very specific in her theme of equality in education for all children regardless of sex or social status. Abigail Adams not only believes in equal education for kids but feels if the mothers are not educated then they will not be able to properly raise or teach her children. She feels strongly about women deserving the right to an equal education. She informs her husband of her inability to properly teach and guide their children into...
Cited: Adams, Abigail. “Letters.” The American Tradition in Literature. 12thed. Ed. George Perkins and Barbara Perkins. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2009. 105. Print.
McKinley, Allida. “Adams, Abigail Smith (1744-1818).” History Study Center. Routledge, 1985. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
“Revolutionary Changes and Limitations: Women.” ushistory.org. Independence Hall Association of Philadelphia, 2013. Web. 14 Oct. 2013.
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