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Essay about Equality Is the Center of Society

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People of the Revolutionary generation frequently spoke of equality and how the concept related to their own lives. Noah Webster stated that “equality… is the very soul of a republic” (Webster) and this thought was echoed by many of his contemporaries, but their statements were not in favor of full equality. When most people of the Revolutionary generation spoke in support of equality they spoke about equality for the group they belonged to, not full equality for all people in all ways. They partially agreed with Webster’s statement, but this disjointed approach may have slowed the progress of reforms such as abolition and equal suffrage. The rights of women before the law began to be discussed after the publication of the…show more content…
African Americans were another group who were obviously not treated equally in the Revolutionary generation. The majority of African Americans in America were slaves; were held to have no rights and only counted as three fifths of a person when being counted for census. The slaves understood what was meant in the Declaration of Independence and began seeking freedom from their masters before the American Revolution was won. In 1777 a group of slaves petitioned the Massachusetts Legislature to declare them free, stating that slaves “…have in Common with all other men a Natural and Unaliable Right to that freedom.” They continue by pointing out that they never gave up their rights as free men, but were captured and forced into slavery (Natural and Inalienable Right). Slaves were not the only African Americans who had fewer rights than white Americans. A group of free African Americans petitioned the Senate of South Carolina to repeal the Negro Act which unconstitutionally prevented them from testifying in court. Their petition showed how they were law abiding and tax-paying citizens, and even stated they did not want “…equal footing with the Free white citizens of the State in General…” (Bricklayer, Mathews and Butchers) but their petition was rejected (A Memorial). I addition to minorities some white men were discussing the issues of
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