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Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence

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Daughters touch lives every day and make lasting impressions on their community. With , members, our stories are written on hearts globally. It was a wonderful visit and left me vowing to return. Skip to main content. Research Your Family History Are you just starting out on your journey to discover your family roots…or are you one document away from solving a mystery of one of your ancestors?

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Food and supplies in the early months were not doled out equitably, leaving black families to suffer more severely than their white counterparts. Although black veterans and their families were promised land, they often did not receive it or were cheated out of arable tracts.

Small all-black settlements—we would call them ghettoes—isolated African Americans, and racism prevented blacks from finding employment in the larger towns. In desperation many black men and women indentured themselves as servants to wealthier white families. There were several riots against blacks who were accused of taking jobs away from white refugees.

Within a few years, many African American men and women re-emigrated to Sierra Leone. African Americans who remained in the northern states fared better and many benefitted from emancipation movements in New England and the middle states. But those who remained in the south, especially the Carolinas and Georgia, probably suffered more than any others, enduring separation from family members; grueling work at rebuilding the plantation economy; and the high casualty rate from both disease in the British military camps where they sought refuge and freedom and starvation on the plantations where many remained during the war.

How did the Revolution change the worldview of the women who experienced it? This is a very difficult question to answer. We have almost no personal recorded evidence from Indian women or from African Americans. So, when we attempt to answer this question, we have to be honest and say that the worldview we are presenting is that of a privileged minority. Still, the answer is not clear. My own judgment is that most women saw the revolution as an extraordinary moment in their lives, a moment when gender boundaries were temporarily crossed, when circumstances required adaptation and innovation from everyone.

Women were proud that they had risen to the occasion, but they did not demand that the gender boundaries be permanently redrawn. Much of what women reformers and intellectuals like Judith Sargent Murray wanted grew out of the ideological and social shifts that preceded the revolution. They strongly endorsed the Enlightenment view that women were capable of rational thought and therefore moral judgments, a view that had begun to be widely embraced by the colonial elite before the war.

They argued that the patriotic activities of women during the Revolution proved in practice what had once been mere theory: But, they were willing to see this translated into a small readjustment of the traditional female role, an emphasis on mothering rather than on household production. They called for mothers to play a central role in the moral development of their children, to educate and socialize sons as well as simply train daughters to sew or garden or care for infants. Life in the camps was harsh for the average enlisted man and soldiers often took out their frustrations on women of their own class who followed the military.

Some of their contempt or wariness sprang from real problems in the crowded camps: Regional rivalries often led New England soldiers to mock the women following southern regiments, or vice versa. But common soldiers often recorded a grudging respect for camp followers who showed courage and fortitude, who could hold their liquor, keep up with the men on a long march, or remain cool under fire.

It was usually the officers who demonstrated genuine contempt for these camp followers. These young elite men had embraced a relatively new, highly romantic view of women. According to their code of gentility, ladies did not appear in public if pregnant, they did not curse, they did not appear in public without a male escort, they were clean and dainty and chaste and modest.

They were ladies rather than simply women. It was impossible for the desperate, destitute women who followed the army in order to avoid abject poverty or starvation to conform to these standards. Officers were genuinely shocked and repelled by what they saw as travesties of female behavior among the women who provided vital services in the camps.

Fighting together for independence did not erase the class boundaries that separated genteel society from their social inferiors.

Any wives fleeing to England when their husbands joined the Continental army? Schoolchildren are often taught that all Native Americans supported the British during the Revolution, but this is not the case. Did Native American women play a role in these decisions? Most, but not all, Indian tribes decided that their interests lay with the British in the war. American colonists were notorious land-grabbers, always pushing the line of settlement westward.

The British promised to honor the rights of Native Americans to their lands. But divisions occurred even within organized political groups like the Iroquois Confederacy. Sometimes, loyalty to a white minister or missionary—as in the case of many Onondagas—led to schisms in the Confederacy. In other cases, women were influential in forging alliances or at least limiting the conflict between American patriots and local tribes.

Although her first husband was Indian, her second husband was a white trader. During the war, Ward did everything she could to protect colonists who had settled on the frontier, to negotiate peace treaties with southern states who bordered Cherokee territory, and to achieve neutrality among her people when an alliance could not be reached.

Who were the real people who are remembered collectively as Molly Pitcher? There was no actual woman named Rosie the Riveter; instead she was a composite, a symbolic figure who represented all the women who went to work in airplane factories and shipyards during WWII. Molly Pitcher was her 18th century cousin. That is, hundreds of camp followers who joined their husbands, boyfriends, or fathers inside the American forts, were charged with carrying pitchers of water to cool down the cannons during an enemy attack.

The heat of a recently fired cannon was too intense for a soldier to reload; pouring water over the cannon helped speed up the cooling process and ready the cannon for use. Using pitchers or buckets or any carrying device at hand, these camp followers raced back and forth, from the stream or well to the ramparts, to play their part in the battle.

The best known of these women was Mary Ludwig Hayes, who was pregnant when she served as a Molly Pitcher. How did you become interested in the era of the American Revolution? Having grown up in Alabama, I had had my fill of the Civil War—or the War of Northern Aggression, as my high school history teacher insisted was its proper name—by the time I reached college in New York City, so I resisted specializing in 19th century American history. And the 20th century lacked the mystery and novelty that I saw as one of the appeals of studying the past.

But the colonial era and its dramatic climax in the Revolution attracted me immediately. In the Stone Age, when I was in grad school, no one even dreamed of studying women! Because of this, I did a dissertation on a male Loyalist.

But, as Bob Dylan once said, the times they were a-changing. By the time I began teaching, several of my women colleagues and I had begun to ask those first, exhilarating questions:

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Revolutionary Mothers Review Essay Words | 4 Pages. Berkin, C. (). REVOLUTIONARY MOTHERS: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence. Vintage Books. Book Review #1 By Tawnya Pluid Carol Berkin’s "Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence" is an excellent book that I .

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Carol explores contribution of women in the American independence limitless of racial lines, colour and originality. She shows how women underwent transition from housewives to warriors. In pre-Revolutionary period, women had no political voices or contribution in decision making.

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Below is an essay on "Revolutionary Mothers" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples. In her book, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence, Carol Berkin talks about the various roles women had during the American Revolution.5/5(1). Revolutionary Mothers describes what women went through during the American Revolution. It shows that everyone, male and female, participated or was affected by the war in some way. Displaying all sides of the conflict the novel alters the usual way of viewing the revolution.

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Running head: Demographic Paper Single Unemployed Mothers (Demographic Paper) Brittney Williams September 17, HCS/ Single Unemployed Mothers (Demographic Paper) A mother is a tough job at hand, but thinks for a second about a mother who is unemployed as well as a mother with an absent parent; the issue is . revolutionary mothers Essay How is a literature review different from an annotated bibliography? A literature review is written in the style of an expository essay; it comprises an introduction, body and conclusion, and it is organized around a .