Which groups specifically gained the right to liberty due to the American Revolution?

This is a part of an essay question I'm writing, and the sources I have looked at all point to the inherent lack of those able to enjoy the right to liberty after the American Revolution.

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The best answer to this (in the short run, at least) was that the American Revolution mostly ensured that white men with some property could enjoy the right to liberty.  However, we should not ignore the fact that some benefits accrued to other white men and to white women as well.

Certainly, white men with property enjoyed the most rights.  These were in many places the only people allowed the right to vote.  Women in many cases were not allowed to own property or enter into contracts so they clearly did not enjoy much of the right to liberty.

However, we must also understand that all white people benefitted to some degree from the Revolution.  The Revolution led to the creation of a democracy.  Even those whites who were not allowed to vote did have their rights to property and to freedom of speech and religion protected.  Even those who could not vote were protected from unreasonable searches and seizures.

So, white men with property who were allowed to vote gained the most from the Revolution in the short term, but all white people had more legal rights after independence than they had had before.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial