18th Century Voices
The 18th century was filled with both adherence to tradition– the rights of Englishmen and commonwealth ideals, for example– and a sense of change, of individuals and societies shaping themselves to bold new concepts of human aspiration. This second strand was part of something called the Enlightenment. In its most optimistic form, on the eve of the American Revolution, the Enlightenment was characterized by faith in progress and by a belief in humankind’s ability to control its own fate.
Answer each question in separate paragraph
1) How did Byrd, Edwards, and Franklin differ in their religious outlooks?
2) What relationships did these men have with slaves, women, and working people?
3) Whom do you think Byrd, Edwards, Equiano, Osborn, and Franklin had in mind as the wrote about their lives?
4) How did the different purposes for writing give their stories different meanings?