During the revolutionary, the lives of most American women were shaped by the set ideas that were called the cult of true womanhood. According to Strachan (2014), these women dedicated their lives to create a clean and comfortable home for their children and husbands. Notably, thousands of women in the South and North joined helper brigades and signed to work as nurses. Strachan (2014) says that this was the first time in the history of America that women played a significant role in the war effort. Accordingly, at the end of that war, the involvements had extended many Americans meaning of true womanhood. Although most of these women were noncombatants, they experienced consequences of war, which included violence and death; they writhed to uphold their homesteads by joining the fight tactically which later formed the spirit of republican motherhood and republicanism.
Women participated in this revolutionary war in several ways. First, they disguised themselves to look like men during the civil war. According to Spielvogel (2014), more than 400 women disguised themselves as men and fought in the Confederate and the unions. These women were forced to participate actively in the war because their value at the beginning was useless to most people. According to Linebaugh and Rediker (2013), the role of women before the war was to take care of children at home, as such their roles in this war could not be taken seriously. To avert such discriminations, they had to disguise themselves. Additionally, women formed several organizations to assist the patriots through the formation of organizations such ladies associations in Philadelphia. Through these organizations, women were able to collect funds to help in the war effort. According to Spielvogel (2014), in the year 1780, about $340,000 was raised through these organizations. Another significant way in which women contributed to this war was the domestic front. Notably, American women used their purchasing power to support the Patriots be refusing to buy British goods. Additionally, some women volunteered to be nurses and later became spies in the war. This led to success as crucial information could be known.
The roles of women changed during the American Revolution. Women who managed their household in the absence of their men became more assertive. As a matter of fact, the participation in the war proved to women that they were as equal as their men; hence, had the right to get everything those men got such as the right to education. One group held that women had earned an equal position as men in the new world. The more far-reaching supporters for women's rights contended that they should be educated, which allows them to relinquish some aspects such as marriage when one prefers. As such, the spirit of republican motherhood gave women the chance to enjoy some of the rights that men were getting. It stressed on liberty, rights, and the rule of law as fundamental values to all individuals.
Although the rhetoric of the Revolution had many promises of change, there were several limitations that women faced on freedom. For example, many womens position did not change significantly. For instance, the family life became more unhinged in the south. Additionally, although the act of slavery was progressively abolished in the north part, the economic prospects and family stability significantly reduced in urban areas. Other factors such as education were not well implemented as women remained discriminated.
Linebaugh, P., & Rediker, M. (2013). The many-headed hydra: sailors, slaves, commoners, and the hidden history of the revolutionary Atlantic. Beacon Press.
Spielvogel, J. J. (2014). Western civilization. Cengage Learning.
Strachan, H. (2014). The Oxford Illustrated History of the First World War: New Edition. Oxford University Press.
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