Dissolving the Political Bands

Mason L., Claire P., Jasmine S.

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He had been the first political philosopher, and created many ideas during the time of the "Enlightenment". One of his most famous theories had been of the "social contract". This theory stated that people of a nation engage in a contractual relationship to their government so the government could protect their rights in exchange for people funding the governments. For him, governments existed only to protect the rights of the people (life, liberty, and property), and if the government violated these rights, people could rebel to create a better form of government. This is, essentially, the basis for the American Revolution, one of the highest forms of civil disobedience.


He may not have lived in the time of the American Revolution (born 1632-1704), but his ideas and theories greatly affected the leaders of the Revolution and their ideas for established a better government based on the people rather than based on the desires and choices of only a single person, i.e. the British king. He held liberal opinions regarding religious tolerance, believing it should be extended to all denominations of Christianity (except Catholicism), and this principle of "freedom of religion" extended to the Constitution composed by the recently created American government after the American Revolution.

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The First Continental Congress

The first Continental Congress had been summoned from September 5-October 26, 1774 to Philadelphia in response to the "Intolerable Acts" enacted by Britain. All of the colonies (excluding Georgia) sent fifty five men to discuss issues of "redressing colonial grievances" (). Among these men had been Samuel Adams and John Adams, prominent colonial elites. This Continental Congress had essentially been the first intercolonial discussion of the rights of the colonies under Britain, a precursor to the Congress established after the American Revolution, although it had been merely a meeting rather than a true legislative body. It had been produced some of America's very first papers, including the Declaration of Rights, discussing the nature of independence of the British subjects and the individuals, in addition to appealing to Britain and its king.

The Continental Congress also resulted in "The Association" for a complete boycott of British goods. This boycott of British goods resulted in increased participation from females that also helped participate producing colonial goods to compensate for the loss in British imports. Essentially, the home front of the American-British conflict also began to be involved in funding the rebellion.
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Abigail Adams

Abigail Adams had been married to John Adams, a prominent figure of the Revolution that became the second president of the United States of the America (USA). Although she never publicly expressed her sentiments about female equality (only ever sending a letter to her husband), she can be considered one of America's first feminists as she "realized the implications of Revolutionary ideas for changing the status" (). This created a sort of paradox during the Revolution, as despite its supposedly democratic nature, centered around the ideals of liberty, the Revolution failed to extend civil rights to females or African Americans, despite many females participating in boycotts, feeding soldiers, and maintaining farms and businesses, in addition to African Americans participating in the fighting.

A sense of moral ambiguity permeated the entire American Revolution: although the government may have reformed to be a democratic one, many still had an absence of the basic rights this government promised, essentially an oxymoron of a "restricted freedom".
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Bibliography

  • "Declaration of Independence." (n.d.): n. pag. Americanhistory.abc-clio.com. ABC-CLIO. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.
  • "John Locke." Americanhistory.abc-clio.com. ABC-CLIO, n.d. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.
  • N.d. Nps.gov. U.S. Department of the Interior, 24 Aug. 2014. Web. 16 Sept. 2014. <http://www.nps.gov/feha/historyculture/the-congress-at-federal-hall.htm>.
  • Stuart, Gilbert. Abigail Smith Adams. 1815. Whatsoproudlywehail.org. Web. 16 Sept. 2014.