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7.1: Introduction

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  • Thomas Jefferson’s electoral victory over John Adams—and the larger victory of the Republicans over the Federalists—was but one of many changes in the early republic. Some, like Jefferson’s victory, were accomplished peacefully, and others violently. The wealthy and the powerful, middling and poor whites, Native Americans, free and enslaved African Americans, influential and poor women: all demanded a voice in the new nation that Thomas Paine called an “asylum” for liberty.1 All would, in their own way, lay claim to the freedom and equality promised, if not fully realized, by the Revolution.

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