Primary Source in American History

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Americans wanted freedom and to be able to vote for their government. They thought that they would be a united front and be able to stand alone and finally receive peace. Yet problems were already starting to arise. One of the contradictions was that George Washington thought that there shouldn’t really be any political parties. The country was already a little divided on whether they wanted to be fully independent or not at this point and people were already starting to have different beliefs in their region. He thought that it would later end up dividing the country. Especially if we divided them based on geography. He saw this as a danger to America’s growth. You see this when he says,” I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations.”(Washington) Another contradiction is whether to pay the churches or not. The founding fathers wanted to distribute tax money equally to the churches of Virginia, but James Madison did not want that. He thought that the church would become too powerful and influence the government again is they received help. James said,” … conceiving that the same if finally armed with the sanctions of a law, will be a dangerous abuse of power, are bound as faithful members of a free State to remonstrate against it, and to declare the reasons by which we are determined.”(Madison) He thought that it would be too dangerous.

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Americans wanted to have freedom and not live under a monarchy. They wanted a democracy. In the Declaration of Independence, it says that everyone is entitled to three unalienable rights. The Declaration states,” … that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”(Declaration of Independence) They also thought that it was the job of the government to protect these rights for the people. Some people, like Thomas Paine thought that there wouldn’t be as much war if there wasn’t a greedy power-hungry king. You see this when he says, “In the early ages of the world, according to the scripture chronology there were no kings; the consequence of which was, there were no wars; it is the pride of kings which throws mankind into confusion.” (Paine) He did not think that kings were a good form of government at all.

Sadly, the American dream was not a reality for all people in America. Abigail Adams wrote to John Adams asking him to not forget about the women. She believed that America should be independent from Britain, but she wanted rights for women just as much as for the men. She even said that the people they must worry about pleasing the most is the women. If they were ignored, there might be a rebellion one day. John Adams laughed at this. He wrote back to Abigail,” As to your extraordinary Code of Laws, I cannot but laugh.” (Adams) He did not take her seriously at all. This showed that for women, nothing would really change. Women were not alone. Slaves also had little change to look forward to when America gained their independence. While Venture Smith was trying to gain his freedom, he was also growing older and losing money. His master, Col. Smith, would make him pay a certain amount of his earnings for years after he promised him that he could be free. Col would tell him that he could work for whoever he wanted, but until Col decided that he was free, he would have to pay him a little bit each month. Venture said,” I had already been sold three different times, made considerable money with seemingly nothing to derive it from, been cheated out of a large sum of money, lost much by misfortunes, and paid an enormous sum for my freedom.”(Smith) This kind of treatment by slave owners would not disappear when America won its freedom. 

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