Revolutions In U.S. History Essay, Research Paper
Throughout American history, we have had many revolutions. We have had the American revolution, African-American revolution, and the Women s rights revolution. Every revolution has had an ideology behind it. Although these revolutions have been for different causes, their supporters can have the same ideology. Three of the writers we studied in this unit for each of these revolutions were Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, and Sojourner Truth. I believe that these writers possessed the same ideology behind their cause. All three believed that God gave all men and women equal rights and they would fight against the power of their oppressors against all odds to attain these God-given rights. I think this is an American ideology because this is the ideology that all Americans from different races, religions, and cultural and ethnic backgrounds — believe in and abide by.
Thomas Jefferson was one of the founding fathers of our country. He was a big part of the American Revolution against Great Britain. He wrote The Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 to declare the freedom and independence of the American colonies from the British King. In The Declaration of Independence, Jefferson said that God had given all men equal rights. He said that all men are created equal and, “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights” (Pg. 45). Jefferson stated that the King of Great Britain had abused these rights of the people of the American colonies. He gave many proofs to support his concern about the tyranny of the British King over Americans. He said that Americans will not stand for the British oppression and stated that, “it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security” (Pg. 45). Thus, this was the main ideology behind the first revolution resulting in the birth of our country.
Another important revolution in the history of our country was the African-American revolution (note: American Anti-Slavery movement). One of the great writers during the African-American revolution and the time of slavery was Frederick Douglass. Douglass was born in Tuckahoe, Maryland, close to the year 1817. He was born, much like other Black children around him, as a slave, and grew up in the harsh cruelties of the Southern slavery system. He never got to meet his father, and barely knew his mother. Douglass saw many atrocities being committed against him and his race at the Plantation. He saw other slaves being sold off for money. He saw other slaves being separated by their loved ones. He saw other slaves being brutally whipped and beaten by their slaveholders. He also received many of these brutal treatments from his masters, many of which would be unimaginable to a normal person now or even then.
While growing up at Col. Lloyd’s plantation, Douglass often pondered about slavery and the reasons behind the success of such a ghastly system. When he was young, he was told that God, “made white people to be masters and mistresses, and black people to be slaves” (Pg. 89). Douglass wondered how the very same religious men who preached about the Bible and equality could practice slavery. But, Douglass was quick to disregard this notion and soon found the true solution to his question. He found that, “It was not color, but crime, not God, but man, that afforded the true explanation of the existence of slavery” (Pg. 90). He also understood that, “what man can make, man can unmake” (Pg. 90). Thus, he realized that God had made everyone equal, and even though they were in bondage, the slaves could still fight to take back their rights from the white men.
Another great movement in American history was the women’s liberation movement. One of the supporters of this movement was Sarah Grimke. Sarah Grimke was an outspoken abolitionist and proponent of women’s rights. In a excerpt called, “Legal Disabilities of Women,” written in 1838, Grimke urged that the laws discriminating against women and denying them equal rights and status be repealed. In the excerpt, she said that women were treated like slaves. They weren’t allowed to make contracts, had no political existence, were abused, and couldn’t acquire any money or property. In the excerpt, she said that a woman was, “designed to be his (man’s) equal and his companion,” by God. She also stated that until such laws that undermine women’s rights and equality are anulled, “women never can occupy that exalted station for which she was intended by her Maker” (Pg. 137). Thus, Grimke strongly believed that God had created women equal to men and was one of the earliest advocates trying to attain equal rights.
I believe that the ideology of these revolutionaries is an “American” ideology. Everyone in the United States believes that they should have equal rights, regardless or race, sex, or religion. This is one of the reasons for the great number of immigrants the United States has received and still receives from foreign countries. Many foreigners come to the United States as refugees from other countries where they are being oppressed. This is the reason why America is known as the land of opportunity; here now, every person has equal rights and thus equal opportunity for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.