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Freedom in the American Revolution


Although globalization, or the world’s ever-increasing interconnection, is not a recent phenomenon, it ramped up when western Europeans learned about the riches of the East. Europeans acquired a taste for silk, spices, sugar, porcelain, and other luxury goods from the East during the Crusades, which they exchanged for fur, wood, and Slavic individuals they had abducted and sold. However, when the long overland trade route known as the Silk Road across China towards the Mediterranean grew increasingly expensive and hazardous to traverse. Europeans began looking for a more effective and affordable trade route across the water, which led to the establishment of what is now known as the Atlantic World.

Trading expeditions to Asia in the fourteenth century were suddenly interrupted by the discovery of a “New World” inhabited by millions of intelligent, numerous, and sophisticated peoples. During the Crusades, Europe gained a taste for spices, silk, and other exotic goods. These early explorers mistakenly thought they had arrived in the East Indies and referred to the locals as “Indians.” West Africa, a region with a diversified and rich cultural heritage, quickly came to the fore as other countries took advantage of its slave trade that transported its citizens to a New World under chains. Even though Europeans would eventually rule the New World, Native Americans and Africans were essential to their success. The following paper discusses freedom defined, experienced and limited in the American Revolution.

Definition of freedom in the revolutionary era

While racism pervaded the new nation and enslavement existed in every new state, the Revolution’s goals inspired a drive to abolish slavery. One method of escape from slavery was by private manumissions, a practice used by enslavers to free their charges. In Virginia, enslavers emancipated about 10,000 people. At 21, the Wheatley family completely denied Phillis in Massachusetts in 1773. Other revolutionaries established organizations devoted to the abolition of slavery. The Pennsylvania Abolition Society was founded in Philadelphia in 1775 by Dr. Benjamin Rush and some other Philadelphia Quakers. Similar to that, in 1785, affluent New Yorkers established the New York Manumission Society. This organization invested money in preventing the kidnapping of free Black people and tried to educate Black youngsters.

Evidence of the authors

Original records and artifacts produced during the studied period are known as primary sources. They differ from secondary sources, which are narratives that recount, assess, or interpret events while typically taking place elsewhere in time or space. Young people can understand what it was like to live during a long-gone age by being exposed to these rare, frequently intensely personal papers and artifacts up close. Helping pupils explore original materials can also spark their curiosity and develop their analytical and critical thinking abilities. A primary source is a first-person or current account of such an event or subject. Because they were made by individuals or objects present during the time or event, these are the most direct proof of that time or event. These sources present unique ideas or brand-new facts without being subjected to interpretation. Primary sources are authentic content in any format.

Primary sources include documents produced at a certain period or event, such as letters, minutes, diaries, photographs, interviews, artifacts, and audio recordings. A few examples of primary sources are diaries, notebooks, letters, interviews, memos, speeches, manuscripts, and other first-person experiences are a few examples of primary sources. Both autobiographies and memoirs. Official documents include government reports, census data, court transcripts, and police files—letters, minutes, and words from a company or agency. Articles from periodicals and newspapers were published during the period of the incident. Documentation of an event includes images, paintings, films, television shows, and audio recordings. Public opinion surveys capture attitudes and beliefs at the moment of an occurrence—artifacts from the period or eve+, such as items, tools, and clothing.

How primary sources differ

The key distinction between the two is that a primary source is a direct account or an actual document. In contrast, a secondary source is a secondhand version of the same material. A primary source is a work written about an event at the time it happened rather than being an original document. The primary source is interpreted in a secondary source. As opposed to secondary sources, which are based on an event’s analysis, criticism, or appraisal, primary sources are inspired by a real occurrence or event. When it comes to primary sources, evidence might be provided in the event’s recording, whereas secondary sources examine the proof from primary sources. A secondary source could be a book published by someone other than Martin Luther King Jr., for instance if it was about him. Interviews with those who knew him, as well as letters and speeches he delivered, would form the basis of the book. There’s also a chance it will contain news stories from when he was alive.

Despite the differences, primary and secondary sources have similarities. Include: They both serve as information sources. You can believe the data you find in them because they were both generally prepared by knowledgeable subject-matter experts. Both are pieces of art, literature, or other works of creativity. For research, both primary and secondary sources are used. In research, primary and secondary sources are both cited.

Advances and continued limitations of freedom

The American Revolution provided a rare opportunity for enslaved people eager to flee their bonds and join the British. Twenty thousand of the 500,000 enslaved people who lived in the American territories during the Revolution supported the British cause. For instance, Lord Cornwallis fought alongside thousands of Black soldiers at Yorktown. People held enslaved by Patrick Henry, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, and other rebels grasped the chance for freedom and emigrated to the British army. About ten and twenty thousand enslaved people were released due to the Revolution; before the Civil War, this was likely the largest slave insurrection and emancipation. Several African Soldiers immigrated to Sierra Leone on Africa’s west coast after the Revolution. Others were expelled to England and Canada. The heroic contributions of people of color to the struggle for American independence are likewise real. While the British gave freedom, most American revolutionaries stuck to the idea that Black people were inferior.

However, as women stepped into formerly male-only public roles during the Revolution, new doors began to open for them. The Daughters of Liberty, an unofficial group founded in the middle of the 1760s to fight British taxation policies, put in a lot of effort to help the war. Esther DeBerdt Reed, the wife of Governor Joseph Reed and a native of Philadelphia, founded the Ladies Association of Philadelphia to raise money for the desperately needed supplies for the Continental Army.

Declaration of independence, 1776

The Declaration of Independence was introduced by Thomas Jefferson, who proclaimed a set of universal natural rights and the state’s duty to uphold them. The colonies’ reason for wanting independence was based on particular ways King George III had infringed their rights, which he then listed. The Declaration of Independence has three main concepts: God created all people equally and granted them the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The government’s primary responsibility is to safeguard these rights. If a government attempts to restrict these rights, the populace is free to rebel and establish a new one. The king was directly named in the accusations made by the Americans. They contended that George III possessed no actual influence over the American colonial possessions. The Americans hoped to win the British people’s support by standing up to the king’s oppression. Additionally, the colonists claimed that because they were not represented in Parliament, Britain should not impose taxes on them. The colonists thought they could defend themselves and enact their laws.

The Continental Congress approved the idea of independence on July 2. The following two days were spent in discussion over the Declaration’s content. The delegates of 12 states formally ratified the Independence from Great Britain on July 4. Eleven days later, the group from New York accepted it. Each signatory of the Declaration did so at great personal peril. The British might have used the signatures as treason evidence if the territories had lost the war. The Fourth of July, often known as Independence Day, has traditionally been an important national holiday in the United States and commemorates the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. Outside of the United States, the Declaration of Independence has served as an inspiration. It inspired Francisco de Miranda and Antonio de Nario to fight for the destruction of the Spanish monarchy in South America, and the marquis de Mirabeau enthusiastically repeated it during the French Revolution.

America’s freedom

One of America’s most valued virtues is freedom. It is regarded as the country’s “most important thought… at the center of all other key ideas,” according to cognitive scientist George Lakoff. Milton Rokeach, a social psychologist Milton Rokeach discovered the same thing in his research of American values conducted in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He found that freedom was the country’s most significant political value, ranking just behind family security and global peace. Assessing how closely American political life adheres to some “objective” norm of freedom is not our goal. Instead, we examine liberty as a system of values, looking at how much Americans believe they have of it and the main causes of this belief. According to psychologist Ivan Steiner, we refer to this as felt freedom.

The citizens of the United States, a federal republic, enjoy a dynamic political system, a long history of the rule of law, substantial freedoms of opinion and religion, and a broad range of other individual rights. However, the country’s democratic institutions have been weakened in recent years. This is evident in the rise of political polarization and radicalization, partisan interference in elections, bias in the criminal justice process, unfavorable immigration and asylum policies, and widening gaps in wealth, chance, and political influence.

The Roe v. Wade judgment was recently reversed by the US Supreme Court, nullifying constitutional safeguards for abortion and putting the choice up to the states. This individual is one of many currently protected by federal law, such as the right to bear arms, the right to same-sex marriage, the freedom of religion, and the right of people with disabilities to get reasonable adjustments to work. According to previous Mood of the Nation polls, liberty, freedom, and requests are among the major reasons Americans respect their democracy.

The most recent survey aims to understand better these ideas, including whether they think they will increase or decrease in the coming years and which particular rights Americans think about when they say that rights have increased or decreased. The latest Mood of the Nation Poll from Penn State’s McCourtney Institute for Democracy was conducted May 11–19, 2022. the majority of Americans presume that they have managed to lose more individual liberties than they have gained over the past ten years and continue to do so over the coming ten. This is accurate whether or whether the concept of personal sovereignty is expressed in terms of “liberties,” “freedom,” or “rights.” Over the next ten years, almost 1 in 10 people believe they will acquire more liberties, freedoms, or rights than they lose, while 1 in 5 believe nothing will change.


When establishing whatever the United States of America would’ve been and how it would operate, the American founding fathers believed that freedom was of the utmost importance. They thought these facts to be self-evident, namely that all people are created equal and that amongst their inherent rights is the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so much so that they included this statement in the Declaration of Independence’s second paragraph. Governments are established among men to protect these rights and obtain their legitimate authority from majority rule.

Works Cited

Declaration of independence, 1776

Abigail Adams letter to John Adams, 1776

Caeser Starter’s Essay on Slavery, 1774

Phillis Whitney’s letter to Reverend Samson Occum, 1774

Oneida Declaration of Neutrality, 1775

Freedom Petition, 1777


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