During the War of Independence, deference to authority was shattered, a new urban culture offered previously forbidden pleasures, and sexuality was loosened from its Puritan restraints. Nonmarital sex, including adultery and relations between whites and blacks, was rampant and unpunished. Divorces were frequent and easily obtained. Prostitutes plied their trades free of legal or moral prescriptions.
This is the paradox of American freedom: self-rule allows much greater repression than a monarchy. When the community itself is promulgating the law, it is much more effective at reining in the individual.
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