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Influences Of The Revolutionary Era Essay

2048 words - 9 pages

Influences of the Revolutionary Era
Throughout history, there have been people that have had a tremendous effect on America. During the revolutionary era, certain individuals had an enormous presence which would heavily influence the future of the United States. Whether in politics, religion, or another fashion, the United States has been molded by the actions of numerous individuals of the past. Three highly influential individuals of seventeenth century America were Abigail Adams, the second first lady of United States; Benjamin Franklin, an innovator and political powerhouse; and Olaudah Equiano, a slave that acquired his freedom and went on to write an autobiography of his journey.
Abigail Adams
“Abigail Adams became one of the revolutionary era’s most articulate and influential women” (Foner, 2012, pg. 211). The second child of William Smith and Elizabeth Quincy, she was born in Massachusetts on November 11, 1744. She grew up in Weymouth, Massachusetts, where her father was a minister. During her time formal education was limited to males therefore she did not attend school. However, this did not stop her from learning to read and write. She educated herself at home by reading books from her father’s library.
At 19 years old, she married John Adams on October 25, 1764. Once wed, the couple moved to a cottage in Braintree, Massachusetts. Soon after their wedding the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Abigail Amelia Adams. In total, they had five children; another daughter named Susanna who died at the age of two and three sons John Quincy, Charles, and Thomas.
While her husband traveled for business, Adams tended their home and raised their children. During their time apart, the couple corresponded through letters. Her letters “tell the story of the woman who stayed at home to struggle with wartime shortages and inflation; to run the farm with a minimum of help; to teach four children when formal education was interrupted” (Black, 2009, para. 4). Not only does she provide details about the loneliness she felt without John by her side, “I dare not express to you, at three hundred miles’ distance, how ardently I long for your return” (Adams, 1774, pg. 25); her letters also discuss her concerns regarding the war and the establishment of a new government, “If we separate from Britain, what code of laws will be established? How shall we be governed, so as to retain our liberties?” (Adams, 1775, pg. 81).
Through her correspondence, she also served as an adviser to John often providing him with suggestions regarding politics. As an advocate of women’s rights, she wrote to her husband requesting that he “remember the ladies” during his discussions with Congress. Having been unable to obtain an education herself, she felt that everyone, women and blacks included, should have the same rights to an education as all men. In another letter, she wrote of an incident where a young black servant had asked to attend evening school but...

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