Chapter 4 Sources of Freedom

This chapter concentrates on the early history of slavery, political freedoms, and religious revival. The chapter begins with an account from Olaudah Equiano and moves on to describe how slavery fit into a growing world economy. Slavery in the various colonies is compared and contrasted, as well as various forms of resistance practiced by slaves.

The next section, on British freedoms, contrasts the enslavement of a people. Highlighting the fact that Britain saw itself as a beacon of liberty, the chapter explains the rights of Englishmen, the rise of republicanism and liberalism, and the limitations of freedom of speech and the press. Suffrage and the role of the elected assemblies demonstrated the autonomy and power the American gentry felt that they had in colonial America. The religious revival movement of the 1730s through the 1760s known as the Great Awakening is explored, showing that the movement helped to inspire the ordinary citizenry belief that they had a stake in the public sphere and a right to speak out, using the language of liberty.

The chapter ends with a look at the weaker Spanish and French empires in North America and the clash of interests among the three empires and the Indians that led to the Seven Years' War. The aftermath of that war further changed Anglo-Indian relations, which is highlighted through Pontiac's Rebellion in Voices of Freedom.

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