The American Revolution Women's lives began to change significantly with the American Revolution. Every war means more women taking charge during the absence and after the deaths of husbands and fathers, their active role in the war was very important. After the war, talk of rights raised issues of women's rights education. Religions also play an important role for women in the American Revolution. Women's roles were limited in the colonial times. Marriage and motherhood were the primary goals for women. They lost property and legal rights upon marriage; therefore, women were not expected to participate in the war.
Despite their low positions in society, women did participate. One example was Pennsylvania Mary Hays McCauley carried water to troops in battle. When her husband fell at the battle, New Jersey, in 1778, she took his place. For this action, she receives a pension from the state of Pennsylvania for all the services rendered in the revolution war. On the home front, they sewed uniforms and knitted stockings for the soldiers. With their husbands away fighting, some women had to take over as weavers, carpenters, blacksmiths, or shipbuilders.
Women had to adjust to be alone and to handling the day to day affairs of running a farm or managing a business in a husband’s absence. Their independence management proved to be one of their most significant roles in the revolution era. Dubois, E, C, Dumenil, L (2005). “Through women's eyes”, page 80- 84. The revolution affected the lives of Native American women. They gained some independence from their confining roles because of their efforts in the war and in maintaining their communities in the men’s prolonged absences.
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The necessity to improve education accelerated after the war, for practical and ideological reason. The American believed that a new republic needed an educated people. As the new nation began the long process of industrialization, this complex economy required to have better skills. Some critics disagree with the education for women since they believed that fully educated women would make them less feminine, but others agree that women needed for education was very important because of the vital roles in educating their children.
The new thinking about the importance to educate women was very important; many different schools were design for middle class. They agree that education for women could help them to instruct their son in the principles of patriotism, could make a better home, better wife for a happy marriage. Some women became writers, missionaries and even teachers. Dubois, E, C, Dumenil, L (2005), page 95-96. For African American women, the revolution left a differently legacy. At the end of the war, many slaves were sold into slavery again.
For some African American who had not joined the British, the most important legacy was the freedom. The ideological issue at the center of the revolution encourages some whites American to examine the institution of slavery. African American were active participants in the emancipation process. In 1781 Elizabeth Freeman petitioned a Massachusetts county court for her freedom. She suit, combined with several others. In others places like Vermont provide immediate emancipation. Still discrimination limited their opportunities. Most women work at jobs similar to those they had when they were salves.
As they worked at their job and cared for the family, many free black women participated in building their church. These institutions were a source of strength and pride for the community. Dubois, E, C, Dumenil, L (2005), page 88-90. In addition to education, religion plays an important role in white women in the eighteen century. The Great Awakening established churches with different denomination like Methodist, Baptist and others. Women voices were heard in their churches, they also made their presence known by their physical manifestations of the spirit. Little by little women were able to speak openly in the churches.
In the South the separate Baptist permitted women official roles appointing them as deaconesses and eldresses, their role in churches were very important. Throughout her life, she continued to exert considerable influence within her congregation. For African American religion also touched the lives of many women. Yet during and after the revolution, the Great Awakening had an impact on slave’s women lives. A few evangelical churches condemned the institution of slavery. In the eighteen-century evangelical churches, black women were not permitted to be preachers; they were able to create a sphere of influences and power for them.
This role was very important in the nineteenth century when the majority of slaves had adopted Christianity. Dubois, E, C, Dumenil, L (2005), page 99-101 In conclusion, women contributed a great deal to the American Revolution. Their actions on the home front and on the battlefields relieved the men from the extra planning, mobilizing, and combating that they would have had to execute without the help of the women. This allowed the Continental Army to fully concentrate on defeating the British and acquiring sovereignty.
America could not have been the powerful independent nation it is today without the service of the women. The truth is, women were fiercely active in the independence cause and made gains for themselves. Nguyen, T, A. “Women in revolution”. Women in the eighteen century have played an important role of ideology, work and sacrifice. Their roles help to expand more opportunities for a better future. Reference: Dubois, E, C (2005). Through women's eyes. Boston, NY: Bedford/ST. Martin. Nguyen, T, A. Women in revolution, from http://www. americanrevolution. org/nguyen. html
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