Essay on Role of Women in the American Revolution
619 WordsOct 30th, 20123 Pages
Role of Women in the American Revolution
The role of women played in any given war is quite often severely underestimated. This sentiment especially goes for the American Revolutionary War, where women actually played an absolutely essential role in our victory against the British. Not only where there different types of women who had helped, but there were many different ways each of them helped--particularly as nurses to help save lives and tend to injured soldiers. Without women helping in the war, we would have most certainly lost (National History Education Clearinghouse). One way that women helped out in the war was that they went directly to the source--by dressing up as men and going to fight in the front lines, women (e.g.…show more content…
In addition to all the roles patriotic women played in helping America emerge victorious, one of the biggest methods was nursing. Battle nurses were organized into army ranks, the highest rank having been ‘matron’. Their necessity was so that the ratio for wounded soldiers to nurses was 10:1. Even George Washington himself had found female nurses indispensable--he demanded they be present to help nurse soldiers back to health on and off the battlefield (National History Education Clearinghouse). Overall, women were an integral and vital part of the Revolutionary War. While few fought on the front lines, others helped in more subtle ways that showed rebellion and helped edge the USA towards long-awaited victory. Men thought women were incapable of understanding the intricacies of war and were proven incorrect time and time again. Whether through spying, healing, or fighting, without women, Britain most certainly would’ve overpowered America in the Revolutionary War.
Buesche, John. "Spy in a Petticoat." Teaching History. National History Organization Clearinghouse, n.d. Web. 24 May 2012. (Buesche)
National History Education Clearinghouse, Browse tech for teachers. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 May 2012. . (National History Education Clearinghouse)
People of the revolution, P.. "Voices of the American Revolution." Deborah Sampson. N.p., n.d.
Women and the American Revolution Essay
593 Words3 Pages
Women generally did not fight in the revolution, and the traditional status of Eighteenth Century women meant that they were not publicly able to participate fully in the debates over the revolution. However, in their own sphere, and sometimes out of it, woman participated fully in the revolution in all the ways that their status and custom allowed.
As the public debate over the Townshend Acts grew more virulent, women showed their support for the cause of freedom by engaging in certain "feminine" pursuits. A common practice was to publicly ban English imports, especially tea, from their homes. Creating homespun, that is, the tedious creation of homemade fabric from spinning and weaving their own cloth, was another public way…show more content…
They opened up their homes to the wounded, raised money for and provided food and clothing to the Army. There are even several recorded instances of women serving as spies or soldiers in disguise. Most of the active participants however, were in the form of what was called "camp followers". While some of these were women were prostitutes, many others were wives, daughters and mothers of soldiers who followed the Army because they were unable to support themselves after their men left for war. They served the Continental Army as nurses, cooks, laundresses, and water bearers. These women became the earliest American examples of women who supported the military to "free a man to fight" as they performed jobs usually done by male soldiers.
Women were generally not active in the political sphere, but there were some exceptions. A famous instance of this was Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams and mother of John Quincy Adams. She was intelligent and well read, and in her letters to her husband, she employs the rhetoric of the Revolution to address all the issues of power between men and women.
There was also the idea "Republican Motherhood", as a way that women in the revolutionary era, while still staying in their accepted domestic sphere, could influence public affairs. Proponents of Republican Motherhood believed that boys should be schooled to become good citizens, thoughtful voters, and virtuous shapers of