American Nation And Liberty, Equality, And Democracy

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By the 1830s, a young American nation basked in the high ideals of liberty, equality, and democracy. However, until now, American did not actually achieve these goals. Although American has developed a lot that many unfair phenomenon were absent like African-Americans suffered the horrors of slavery, women could not vote, and Native Americans were roundly denied almost any rights, people still have lots of limits. Today, debates over gay marriage, affirmative action, and economic justice, and the role of the government in resolving these disputes, are still highly contentious. The debates often revolve around different views of what rights are embedded in the natural law as opposed to what might be just commonly held ideas by the majority. Although The United States has been on the right track and has great target, I still think that the concept about the gender and sexuality does not fit what American once imagined.

First of all, we can see what happened in the Colonial Era which is between 1667 and 1776. In that period, slavery was a transatlantic institution, but it developed distinct characteristics in British North America. By 1750, slavery was legal in every North American colony, but local economic imperatives, demographic trends, and cultural practices all contributed to distinct colonial variants of slavery. Earlier laws guaranteed that the children of enslaved women would be born slaves, conversion to Christianity would not lead to freedom, and owners could not free their slaves unless they transported them out of the colony. Slave owners could not be convicted of murder for killing a slave; conversely, any black Virginian who struck a white colonist would be severely whipped. Virginia planters used the law to maximize the profitability of their slaves and closely regulate every aspect of their daily lives. Also, from the advertisements of runaway slaves, we can find that the number of advertisements of running away males is far more than the number of advertisements of running away females. I think the owners thought that male servants are more valuable than female servants, because they would like to pay money to find them and earned more. In this case, we can see females are viewed less valuable.

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Besides, in the Revolutionary Era, which is between 1776 and 1789, we can also find some different treatments based on different gender. Women became involved to an unprecedented degree in resistance to the Townshend Acts. They circulated subscription lists and gathered signatures. The first political commentaries in newspapers written by women appeared. Also, without new imports of British clothes, colonists took to wearing simple, homespun clothing. Spinning clubs were formed, in which local women would gather at one of their homes and spin cloth for homespun clothing for their families and even for the community. Homespun clothing quickly became a marker of one’s virtue and patriotism, and women were an important part of this cultural shift. Also, Men and women together struggled through years of war and hardship. Although women can hardly join into the real war based on body strength difference, women stand behind and give strength to men. For patriots, victory brought new political, social, and economic opportunities, but it also brought new uncertainties. The war decimated entire communities, particularly in the South. Thousands of women throughout the nation had been widowed. The American economy, weighed down by war debt and depreciated currencies, would have to be rebuilt following the war. State constitutions had created governments, but now men would have to figure out how to govern. The opportunities created by the Revolution had come at great cost, in both lives and fortune, and it was left to the survivors to seize those opportunities and help forge and define the new nation-state.

Following their unprecedented expansion into political affairs during the imperial resistance, women also served the patriot cause during the war. However, the Revolution did not result in civic equality for women. Instead, during the immediate postwar period, women became incorporated into the polity to some degree as “republican mothers.” Republican societies required virtuous citizens, and it became mothers’ responsibility to raise and educate future citizens. This opened opportunity for women regarding education, but they still remained largely on the peripheries of the new American polity. That is the result of such time, but compare to earlier time, it changed the role of women in some cases, and I believe in the next stage women would play a more important role.

What is more, the Early American Republic period can show another scene about the development of society based on the gender difference. since the Revolution, women had repeatedly called for a place in the conversation. Mercy Otis Warren was one of the most noteworthy female contributors to the public ratification debate over the Constitution of 1787 and 1788, but women all over the country were urged to participate in the discussion over the Constitution. “It is the duty of the American ladies, in a particular manner, to interest themselves in the success of the measures that are now pursuing by the Federal Convention for the happiness of America,” a Philadelphia essayist announced. “They can retain their rank as rational beings only in a free government. In a monarchy . . . they will be considered as valuable members of a society, only in proportion as they are capable of being mothers for soldiers, who are the pillars of crowned heads.” American women were more than mothers to soldiers; they were mothers to liberty. Also, historians have used the term Republican Motherhood to describe the early American belief that women were essential in nurturing the principles of liberty in the citizenry. Women would pass along important values of independence and virtue to their children, ensuring that each generation cherished the same values of the American Revolution. Because of these ideas, women’s actions became politicized. Republican partisans even described women’s choice of sexual partner as crucial to the health and well-being of both the party and the nation. “The fair Daughters of America” should “never disgrace themselves by giving their hands in marriage to any but real republicans,” a group of New Jersey Republicans asserted. A Philadelphia paper toasted “The fair Daughters of Columbia. May their smiles be the reward of Republicans only.” Though unmistakably steeped in the gendered assumptions about female sexuality and domesticity that denied women an equal share of the political rights men enjoyed, these statements also conceded the pivotal role women played as active participants in partisan politics.

In conclusion, although American did put effort in the sexual inequality, the result is not as ideal as it predict at first. Women is one of the hard crowed in the stage. Look at the past, for each election, how many times we see a woman join into? It is until the most recent election, the first woman began to stand on the stage. Are women less capable than men? I think it is not true. As a girl, I really wish women can have a stronger social statue because we are strong and we have the same ability to solve problems as men. I think I am fortunate that nowadays women gain more respect than early time. It would be the next stage that the problem would solved radically.

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