The slave petition was written to push the colonial government through its representatives in Massachusetts to abolish slavery that can be found in documents of the revolutionary era. The petitioners argued that freedom was a right belonging to all human beings and slavery was inhumane, unchristian, and unjustifiable. Pro-independence forces during the revolutionary era were fighting for certain ideals. Such ideals included freedom, equality, and natural and civil rights.

Such ideals, among others, were regarded as critical to the pursuit of happiness. The petition helped me understand some of the ideals because the petitioners appealed for the ideals of the same ear in their pursuit for the abolition of slavery. One of the key thing that the petitioners were seeking was freedom for enslaved people. Freedom was one of the key ideals of the revolutionary eras and the demand for the same in the slave petition helped me understand how lack of freedom contributed to immense unhappiness among enslaved people.

Why the American Revolution Matters

American Revolution was shaped by high principles and low ones

Another revolutionary era ideal the petition helped me understand is equality. Those fighting against colonialism advocated for the equal treatment of different people in society. However, enslaved people had it worse than others regarding equality. They were unequal compared to their White counterparts under the law. They lacked access to many things that White people had access to like education. The issue of equality was far more urgent for slaves than for other groups in society at the time. The third revolutionary era ideal that the petition helped me understand was that of natural rights. During the particular era, certain rights were regarded as natural and inalienable. Freedom was one of such rights. Enslaved people were entitled to such rights by virtue of being human. However, they were not afforded the right to freedom.

Discussion – Documents of the Revolutionary Era

Instructions for this Discussion

  1. Write one or two sentences that summarize the document(s) (Adams Family Letters, Elizabeth Freeman, or Slave Petition) you analyzed from the written assignment. (2 points)
  2. Explain how these document(s) helped you to better understand the ideals of the Revolutionary Era. (2 points)
  3. Comment on 2 of your classmates posts. (3 points each).

Post one comment to a classmate that analyzed the same documents as you did. (3 points)

Post one comment to a classmate that analyzed different documents than you did. (3 points)

Discussion comments should be more than “I agree” or “disagree”. For full credit commenting posts must offer new information, broaden and amplify the discussion, and/or lead the discussion into new and productive areas.

Have you ever wanted to learn how to read and analyze historical documents or sources? This Astute Scholars will walk you step by step through the process of understanding how to examine primary and secondary.