What to America to be free from

 

            What is I got all of my friends together for a social experiment? In my group of friends there are both sexes so men and women. There and white people, black people, Asians, Mexicans, you get it all races. I tell them okay guys I’m going to set up my own country. We will call it “Curtica”. In this nee country, everyone will be able to have the same equal rights, as long as they are white men that own property. I wonder how well that will sit with my friends? Not too good, I have some really big friends that could kick my butt that are not white men that own property. Is that fair and equal what I just did?

Well, in my opinion that is what the foundering fathers did when they signed the Declaration of Independence. In the Declaration, it says “… that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed…”1. Now when I read it and it says “men” I think all men even women. I get that thought because when I read the bible I do not take it literally when it says “men”. I put women in that category as well, because there is no way that God just meant men. During the era of the “CULT OF DOMESTICITY,” a woman was seen merely as a way of enhancing the social status of her husband.2 

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            How did the foundering fathers not know this was going to be an issue? They had to have known having slaves was not right. Most of them were God-fearing men. Did they really think that was okay? The thing that bothers me is they had a chance to support true equal rights when the signed the Declaration. They could have said “all men and women that were created under God”, or something like that. They had many times to take away slavery every time they set up a new state. All they had to do was make it a free state. However, money and loyalty got in the way. It got in the way of men making the right choice. How did the thought of going to America to be free from the Tierney of Great Britain turn into this thought of you are free as long as you match this certain image of a man? Lucky women stepped up to help us men make the right choice.

            People stared to speak up and question men’s subservience of women. They called for women to rally up with the new abolitionism movement. A lot of women could relate to slaves. They knew at a certain level what it felt like to be lower than a white man. Women could not have a formal education, own property after she got married, or vote. The new human rights movement the abolitionism movement was growing fast.

            Two sisters from the south would have a huge impact for the new movement. Their names were Sarah and Angelina Grimke. They were raised on a planation in the south and saw the harshness of slavery forest hand. They both felt to need to show the word that all men should be created equal. Not just the white man. They called women to participate in the freeing and educating of salves.

            As with the Civil War, the seeds of the quest for women’s rights were sown in the Declaration of Independence, claiming that “all men are created equal.” Sarah Grimke wrote in 1837 that “men and women were created equal … whatever is right for men to do is right for women.” That language was mirrored in the Seneca Falls Declaration. Thus, in this era of reform and renewal women realized that if they were going to push for equality, they needed to ignore criticism and what was then considered acceptable social behavior. The new republic’s experiment in government was going to need all of its citizens to have “every path laid open” to them. However, the ardent feminists discovered that many people felt women neither should nor could be equal to men. The nation soon became distracted by sectional tension and the climate for reform evaporated. This important struggle would continue for many generations to come.

1 Course-pack: Declaration of Independence

2 Woman’s Rights: US History

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