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The Pursuit of Equality

The Pursuit of Equality - The Pursuit of Equality a Social...

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The Pursuit of Equality a. Social Changes i. Although many people were unaffected by the conflict, many ideas about social customs, government, and gender roles were changing 1. Most states reduced (but did not eliminate) property holding requirements for voting 2. Ordinary men and women demanded to be addressed as “Mr.” and “Mrs.” – titles once reserved for the wealthy 3. Employers were now called “boss” instead of “master” 4. By 1800, involuntary servitude was nearly unknown 5. Trade organizations grew 6. Medieval inheritance laws, such as primogeniture, were ending ii. Church and State Relations 1. The Congregational Church continued to be legally established in some New England States 2. The Anglican Church, having been associated with England, was humbled. It reformed as the Protestant Episcopal Church 3. Slowly, religion and government separated in all the States. One of the slowest was Virginia, which eventually passed the VA Statute for Religious Freedom iii. Slavery 1. In 1774, the 1 st Continental Congress called for the complete abolition of the slave trade. Most States responded positively and several northern States went further and either abolished slavery outright or provided for the gradual emancipation of blacks 2. No States south of PA abolished slavery 3. In both North and South, the law discriminated harshly against freed blacks and slaves alike 4. Free African Americans could be barred from: a. Purchasing property b. Holding certain jobs c. Educating their children d. Interracial marriage iv. Why Did Abolition Not Go Further At This Time? 1. A fight over slavery would have fractured the fragile national unity that was so desperately needed 2. The South needed laborers for their agricultural industry v. Women 1. Women disguised as men fought in the military during the war 2. Abigail Adams wrote her husband about including women’s rights in the Declaration 3. However, women remained doing traditional work
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vi. Civic Virtue 1. Central to republican ideology was the concept of “civic virtue” – the notion that democracy depended on the unselfish commitment of each citizen to the public good 2. The selfless devotion of a mother to her family was often cited as the very model of proper republican behavior. The idea of “republican motherhood” took root, elevating women to a newly prestigious role as the special keepers of the nation’s conscience 3. Educational opportunities for women expanded, in the expectation that educated wives and mothers could better cultivate the virtues
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