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The tension between individual rights and a government’s need to preserve and protect national security during times of war has represented a constant theme throughout American history.
During the John Adams administration, a conflict with France resulted in the passage of the Alien and Sedition Acts, laws that violated the First Amendment by limiting people’s freedom to criticize the government and encouraged fear of foreigners living in the United States. James Madison and Thomas Jefferson famously responded with...
How were the ever-changing roles of women in American society chronicled?Background
Joseph Heller writes in his book The Feminization of Quest-Romance that “American Literature equates the very essence of what it means to be American with the essence of what it means to be male. [Thus] women’s roles are identified only in relation to the male heroes whose identities they strengthen.” It can be argued that throughout much of American history, American women had few rights or...
The American Revolution, a byproduct of events both on the North American continent and abroad, unleashed a movement that focused on egalitarianism in ways that had never been seen before. Even John Adams commented on these changes in a letter to his wife Abigail. He wrote, “We have been told that that our Struggle has loosened the bands of Government everywhere. That Children and Apprentices were disobedient—that schools and Colledges were grown turbulent—that Indians slighted their Guardians and Negroes grew insolent...
In this lesson, students will be asked to learn the disputed and agreed-upon facts of the Boston Massacre in small groups and then discuss them and propose a website definition of the Massacre as a class. This lesson should not only provide students with an opportunity to look at disparate representations of so-called historical facts surrounding a very famous event that preceded the American Revolution, but will also teach them to deliberate with their classmates in a cordial fashion.Background
For fire and water are not more heterogeneous than the different colonies in North America. Nothing can exceed the jealousy and emulation which they possess in regard to each other. . . . In short . . . were they left to themselves there would soon be a civil war from one end of the continent to the other, while the Indians and Negroes would . . . impatiently watch the opportunity of exterminating them all together.
—Rev. Andrew Burnaby, 1760Reading...
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.
Abigail Adams to John Adams, March 31, 1776Reading 2