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3.6.2: Reading and Review Questions

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    1. In her March 31, 1776 letter, how does Abigail use Christian principles to advise John against perpetuating tyrannies against blacks and women? What threats against such tyrannies, especially on the part of women, does she promise to make? 2.
    2. In his April 14, 1776 letter, how does John answer Abigail’s call for a more equal code of law? What political and philosophical (versus religious) language does he use? How, if at all, does he equate the tyranny of petticoats with those of wealthy slave-holders and land-owners? Why?
    3. In his July 3, 1776 (Letter 1), what does John believe would have been obtained had the Declaration of Independence been signed seven months earlier? Why? To what does he attribute the delay? What benefits, if any, does he attribute to the delay? Why?
    4. In their letters, what unconventional views of women’s intellect do both John and Abigail express? Consider their exchanges on politics, society, family, and religion as well as their sharing of information with each other.
    5. What import does John give to both the Declaration of Independence and its signing by all the colonies? How does he support it both concretely, through quotes, and abstractly, through predictions of the future and the use of religious tropes?

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