Abigail Adams: The Colonial Feminist

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Engraved portrait of Abigail Smith Adams (1744 - 1818), late 1700s. She was the wife of the second American president, John Adams, and the mother of John Quincy Adams, the sixth American president. (Photo by Stock Montage/Getty Images)

The founding of America took place during a time of great inequality. Heck, all of the Founding Fathers and members of the Continental Congress had one thing in common – they were all wealthy, white, and male. Although they took strides to eradicate social class hierarchy when they set the framework for the new United States, they did not intend to address issues of racial or gender inequalities. They lived at a time when women had little rights and were viewed as incapable of making rational decisions. Abigail Adams, the wife of America’s second president, John Adams, had her own strong opinions that she often voiced. Her beliefs, although they ran counter to the societal norms of colonial times, makes her America’s first feminist.