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Abigail Adams: A Revolutionary American Woman

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❶Women feared becoming too educated, believing that suitors would pass by girls who were "too" clever in favor of those who were more lighthearted and flirtatious. It was July 4,

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Essay, term paper, research paper: Political Science
Essay title: Abigail Adams
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My hero is Abigail Adams - who at a time when women's opinions were largely discounted - used her intelligence and passion to influence the course of politics in the United States. She helped care for the wounded and sick as the revolutionary war waged on near her home in Braintree, Massachusetts - and as John was busy working to forge a new country with such men as Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

Abigail is sometimes called the first feminist in America. She always believed that a woman's most important role in life was those of wife and mother. She raised four children, including John Quincy Adams, the sixth President of the United States, and cared for many members of her extended family.

However, she did not think a woman needed to be limited. According to Pat McCarty, author of Abigail Adams, First Lady and Patriot, Abigail once wrote her husband John as he and other men were working to create a new government that "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion.

Their large, sprawling house sat on a hill overlooking farmland that spread across the surrounding area. Shy but stubborn As a child Abigail was shy and quiet, but also determined and stubborn.

Throughout her youth she suffered from one minor sickness after another. She later recalled being "always sick" Akers, p. Her parents, especially her mother, worried about their daughter's weak constitution, fearing that some disease or infection would cut her life short, as so often happened to children of this time.

Abigail often complained to her sisters about their mother's constant worrying and overprotectiveness. She sometimes felt smothered by Elizabeth's hovering presence. With her somewhat austere nature and strict approach to child rearing, Elizabeth insisted on obedient and excellent conduct from her children. However, life at the Smith home was not overly harsh or severe, for the father balanced out the parenting with his more easygoing and relaxed approach.

Overall, Abigail's early years were happy ones. At the Weymouth parsonage, amidst the security and guidance of a loving family, she developed the strict sense of values and strong moral fiber that would serve as a foundation for her later life. Education Like most girls of her time, Abigail received no formal education. Girls were taught reading and writing primarily so that they could read their Bible and write letters.

They also learned basic arithmetic to help prepare them for their role as housewives, when they would be required to balance budgets and settle accounts. Although some Massachusetts towns did have primary schools for girls, called "dame schools," most families took responsibility for the education of their daughters at home.

The Smith girls were fortunate to have a father who loved learning and reading and who encouraged his children to share in this passion. To help with their education, William Smith gave his daughters and son full access to his extensive library of excellent books. Abigail shared her father's love of books and read widely in poetry, drama, history, theology, and political theory.

As she grew older, Abigail became increasingly determined to educate herself, and by the time she was an adult, she had become one of the best-read women of her time. Brave stance In spite of this, the gaps in Abigail's education bothered her and were apparent in her letters. Her spelling was inconsistent and poor, and her inability to use punctuation properly and her poor penmanship embarrassed her. However, this did not prevent her from continuing in her quest to educate herself and further develop her mind.

For Abigail to have taken such a strong interest in her education was a brave stance for a woman of her time. The primary aim of eighteenth-century women was marriage and family. Education was often viewed as an obstacle that stood in the way of this goal. Women feared becoming too educated, believing that suitors would pass by girls who were "too" clever in favor of those who were more lighthearted and flirtatious.

Courtship The first time John Adams met Abigail Smith, he might have been influenced by this cultural bias against intelligent women. The couple met at her sister Mary's wedding. Abigail was fifteen, and John a twenty-seven-year old lawyer. In his diary, John wrote that the Smith girls were "wits" but that they were "not fond, not frank, or candid" Levin, p.

The young man, who at the time had his eye on a franker, more straightforward girl, was put off by the Smith sisters' reserved, somewhat aloof manner, which made it difficult for them to show or express emotions or passion.

Two years later, John and Abigail met again, and this time he began to appreciate the special qualities in Abigail that before had escaped his notice. Now he described her as "Prudent, modest, delicate, soft, sensible, obliging, active" and addressed his letters to "Miss Adorable" Akers, p. From this second meeting and throughout their fifty-four-year marriage, a strong love, mixed with flirtatious sensuality and intellectual companionship, grew and provided a sturdy bond for their relationship.

Abigail thought of John as her best friend, and as an old woman, she still remembered the thrill she felt the first time he held her hand. To John, the relationship was equally satisfying and important; as he carved out his successful career, he relied heavily on Abigail's advice, support, and companionship. In spite of their exceptional personal compatibility, in terms of looks, the couple were opposites. Whereas John was short and pudgy with a round, almost bland face, Abigail was tall and slender with sharp and striking features.

Bernard Bailyn, an artist who painted the couple early in their marriage, left a vivid description of the twenty-two-year-old woman who sat for her portrait: The face is oval in shape, ending in a sharp, almost fleshless, chin; a rather long arched nose; brilliant, piercing, wide-spaced eyes.

It is about as confident, controlled, and commanding a face as a woman can have and still remain feminine" Butterfield, p. Marriage and family After their marriage on October 25, , the newlyweds set up a home in Braintree now Quincy , Massachusetts. Abigail soon became pregnant and found herself stuck in what would become a familiar pattern in their marriage. With cases in Maine, Boston, and other parts of New England, he spent weeks and months away from home; as his career prospered, his absences grew longer and more frequent.

Abigail hated these absences and sorely missed the companionship of her best friend. However, her growing brood helped lessen the loneliness.

Within eight years Abigail had five children: Abigail, nicknamed Nabby, born ; John Quincy, born ; Susanna, born died at age thirteen months ; Charles, born ; and Thomas, born A sixth child, in , was stillborn.

In , early in their marriage, Abigail and John moved from the rural life in Braintree to the city life in Boston. Abigail delighted in the "Noisy, Busy town" Akers, p. Although stimulating, life in Boston was difficult. In just a few years, the family moved their large household several times. Also, the first movements of the revolution were stirring in Boston and war was daily becoming more and more likely.

Support the Revolution The Adamses, of course, supported the colonists' cause. John, whose solid reputation and tireless ambition had thrown him increasingly into the public eye, was elected to serve as a delegate to America's first Continental Congress. Unfortunately, this commission would take John farther away from his family and for a longer time than ever before. Abigail, though she hated the prospect of facing her daily life without her partner, made no complaint about his acceptance.

She felt it was a wife's duty to support her husband in all he aspired to and not prevent him from reaching his highest potential. But with John so far away, she had to take on even more responsibility for the household. John realized the weight of the burden he was leaving her with.

Before he left, he wrote Abigail: With John in Philadelphia, Abigail entered a new period in her married and personal life. The increased responsibility of managing a large household gave her a growing sense of confidence and assurance in her abilities. Please contact our custom service if you have any questions concerning our service. Please enter a valid e-mail address. Please enter your password. Get instant access to over , papers.

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Abigail Adams Abigail was born on November 11 on the Julian calendar, or November 22 on the modern Gregorian calendar.

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Adams Abigail was the wife of the second President of the United States of America. Abigail depicts the ideal woman that lived in the early nationalism stages of the United States. She's remembered as the Early First lady and the position she took on the fighting for women rights.

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- Abigail Adams Abigail Adams was and still is a hero and idle for many women in the United States. As the wife of John Adams, Abigail used her position to bring forth her own strong federalist and strong .

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Abigail Adams Essays Words | 3 Pages. Abigail Adams Abigail Adams was and still is a hero and idle for many women in the United States. As the wife of John Adams, Abigail used her position to bring forth her own strong federalist and strong feminist views. Mrs. Adams was one of the earliest feminists and will always influence today's women. Essay about Abigail Adams: A Revolutionary American Woman Words 6 Pages Abigail Adams: A Revolutionary American Woman Abigail Adams married a man destined to be a major leader of the American Revolution and the second President of the United States.

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Abigail Adams also states, “I cannot fulfill the whole of my duty towards you (line 31) ” This reminds her son that it is a mother’s duty to make sure her children make the right decisions, and that is the main reason why she is writing the letter. Abigail Adams lived in Braintree Mass. At that time, in , the British required taxes on American documents. John wanted to help the colonies and he soon became a well known spokesman and was often away from home/5(1).