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Women’s Roles in the Revolution

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I. Women’s Roles in the RevolutionA. Family Enterprises1. Women took over2. Succeeded Despitea. inflationb. British Occupancyc. absence of important supplies3. gave women self-confidence4. proved that women could make a living by themselvesB. Army Camps1. Women came to be with soldiersa. were fed by militaryb. were cared for by military2. The women:a. cookedb. cleanedc. sewedd. served as nursese. were not treated specially1. marched with men2. slept in the snowC. Women Soldiers, Molly Pitchers1. reloaded muskets2. carried pitchers of watera. when men fell in battle, women took over the gunsb.

played an important role3. Marly Ludwig Hays McCauleya. original Molly Pitcherb. fought in the Battle of Manmouth, 1778c. recievedD. Women Spies1. Women act as spiesa. Culper Ring1. organized spy ring2. Long Island3. consequences if captureda. imprisonedb. hangedb. many organized spy rings2. Secret messengersa. relied on helpless stereotypesb. young girls1. could slip through lines easily2. Enemy never suspected them3. carried orders and informationc. women1. listened to what British saida. while serving food/drinkb. officers spoke freely1. thought women were notinterested2. they were wrong2. Lydia Darragha. of Philidelphiab. carried important information1. to General Washington2. at Valley ForgeE. After the war1. Women continue to be interested in politics2. Spoke of themselves as Republican Mothers3. strengthening of a nationa. Marcy Otis Warrenb. Abigail Adamsc. John Adams and Benjamin Rushd. position of womenII. Abigail AdamsA. ChildhoodB. MarriageIII. The Declaration of SentimentsA. Elizabeth Cady StantonB. Lucretia MottC. Seneca Falls ConventionD. 1920: women recieve full citizenshipWhen people think of the Revolutionary War, mosth think of GeorgeWashington leading his men into battle, Minutemen fighting, or John Adams,Benjamin Franklin and John Hancock signing the Declaration of Independence.

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Event hough all of these things did happen, and were very important to the warand to our nation, they were not all that happened. But, the people that arethought of all seem to be men.

Often, the woment of the Revolution are forgotten, even though theyplayed an important part in the forming of the United States.1Women likeAbigail Adams, Mary Hays and Lydia Darragh all helped the rebellion againstBritain. From seamstresses to spies, women helped as much as the men. thosewomen should never, through all history and future, be forgotten.

Women play important RolesWomen, as said before, took on many roles, from seamstress to spy, andeverthing imbetween. When husbands, fathers, and brothers went off to fight,family enterprises, such as farms, shops and companies, were left without theowners and executives that were regualarly needed. This left the women of thefamily in charge. Almost all businesses were left to the women, for ver few menwho were qualified or old enough to run them were not fighting.

The women, much to other’s suprise, and probably their own, succeeded. The businesses thrived, despite of terrible inflation, dense British occupancy,and the absence of important supplies that were badly needed. Though all ofthsi, the women’s self confidence increased drastically. With this newconfidence, the women proved that they could make a living by themselves,without the aid of men.

Poorer women who didn’t have a source of income without thier husbands,padked up their belongings and followed their husbands to the military camps. When they got there, the government would2 feed them, along with their children and other relatives. Whensickness or disease hit on th of women, they would be cared for jsuta s thesoldiers would have been. Even when they were healthy, they were taken care of.

As more and more women cam to the camps, the camps grew into large, bustlingtowns.2The women, however, were not given these luxuries for free. In returnfor the food, care, and medical service, they cooked meals for themselves andsoldiers, cleaned the camp, sewed uniforms for thir husbands and other men,washed these uniforms and other clothing, and served as nurses for hte wounded.

Even though in other places and towns mowmen were treated differently than me,in the camps the two were equal, both to each other and to the soldiers. Forinstance, they marched with the men whern moving to a different site, and evenslept int eh same snowy conditions as the men at Valley Forge.

Many women cam to teh camps to join male relatives, but some actuallyjoined them on the front lines of war. these women were called Molly Pitchers.

They woiuld stand by teh fighting soldiers and reload musket to savedesperately needed time. ro, they would carry pitchers of water to the men sothat they could refresh themselves.

Molly Pitchers also helped the soldiers in another way. When they werecarrying their pitchers and they saw a man fall with injury, they would set downteh pitcher and run to him. They would take over the gun that he was using, andtake his place in battle. This helped the American immensely, and made thewomen ever more important to the rebellion.

When the women wer called Molly Pitchers, there was mroe meaning thanjsut the pitcher. Mary Ludwig Hay McCauley was the person from whom teh namewas adapted from. She was a twenty-five year old, tobacco chewing, hardworkingwoman3 who was one of the first pitcher-carrying women. The men would yell, Here comes Molly and her Pitcher! Therefore, she became known as Molly Pitcher.

Mary Ludwig Hays McCauley’s moment of glory took place on June twenty-eighth, seventeen seventy-eight, in Manmouth (Now Freehold) New Jersey.4 TheBritish General Sir Harry Clinton, who was movng his troops from Philadelphia toNew york, had run into an American Force lead by General Charles3 Lee. Among them was John Casper Hays, Mary’s husband. Mary worked ather pitcher throught the entire battle, bringing cool water to the thirstytroops. It is the battle that she is most noted for, and for which she receiveda military medals of honor, and a military pension.

All women trengthened the nation, but a few stood out from the others. Mary Otis Warren was one of them. She was a very educated woman, especially forthe time, and had a vivid interest in the war. She became he most notedhistorian of the revolution, and her records wtill are a good historical sourceon this subject.

Abigail Adams was another important woman of the revolution. Sheaddressed the women’s role in strengthineing our nation directly when she said: We can improve and pull our nation together by teaching our children thepriciples of democracy and the history of this nation. Don’t ever think for amoment that our quest for independence will end when the war does.5John Adams, the husband of Abigail and the second President, andBenjamin Rush spoke out for the rights of women. they urged women to receivebetter educations and use what they learned. The women listend , and newacademies and schools were formed to educate them.

Because of all of these women and men, women’s position in societychanged. Mor respect for them was paid, and, as was said before, women were nobeing educated as men were. But, women still did not gain full citizenship. That was still to come.

Abigail AdamsAbigail Smith Adams was born in Weynouth Mass. Like most of the girlsof her time, she did not go to school. Even so, she taught herself to read andused her father’s small library to it’s fulle extent. There, her quick mindabsorbed all of his books, as well as works in French that were borrowed formher bother-in-law, who had taught her to read them.

When Abigail was nineteen, she married John Adams, who was twenty-nine. Her mother thought that she was taking a step down in the world because in thesmall villages south of Boston, where the couple had grown up, the Smiths weremuch better known than the Adamses. John was a rising lawyere, but he andAbigail were able to marry only after he had inherited a small house and a fewacres of land across teh road from his farmer brother.

With the help of a black slave woman who was borrowed from John’s mother,Abigail set up house. From the beginning, Abigail and John got on well. Theirviews on rights and tyranny were never far apart.

Abigail had a shrewd awaremess of the political and social ideas of hertime. many letters written to her husband while they were separated showed herinterest in public affairs. In seventeen seventy-six, while John was attendingthe Second Continental Congress in Philadelphia, Abigail tried to persuade histo extend the rights of women. She wrote:In the code of laws which I suppose it will be necessary for you tomake, I desire that you would remember the ladies and be more generous andfavorable to them than your ancestors were. Do not put such unlimited powerinto the hands of husbands, remember all men would be tyrants if they could. Ifparticular care and attention is not paid to the laides, we are determined toforment a rebellion, and iwll not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which wehave no voice or repesentation.6Seneca Falls Convention, 1848The Declaration of Sentiments is read. James Mott lead the meeting onwomen’s rights that took place in Seneca Falls, New York. Elizabeth CadyStanton was present, as were many other women troubled with the Declaration ofIndependence.

Elizabeth Stanton spoke about how she, as others before her, includingAbigail Adams, had been troubled that the opening of the Declaration ofIndependence has to do with the rights of men only. In her speech, TheDeclaration of Sentiments, she began with, We hold these truths to be selfevident: that all men and women are greated equal…7Stanton ended the Declaration of Sentiments with several proposals onwomen’s rights. These resolutions included: the right of married women to ownand sell property, and the right of mothers to the custody of their children. The Seneca Falls Convention voted to support these proposals.

The Seneca Falls Convention was a partial conclusion to women’s rights.

But, one resolution that Elizabeth Stanton proposed was strongly objected to byboth men and women attending teh convention. The right for women to vote wasput down by almost everyone. However, in 1920, a full conclusion was reachedinwomen’s suffrage: Women were granted full citizenship.

BibliographyJordon, Withrop. The Americans. Evenston: McDougal Co., 1991.

Brown, Richard. One Flag, One Land. Needham: Silver Burdett and Ginn, 1990.

Russel, Francis. Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill, New York: AmericanHereitage Publishing Co., 1963.

Jacobs, William Jay. America’s Story. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1990.

Ketchum, Richard M. The Revolution. New York: American Heritage Publishing ,1958.

Graff, Henry F. This Great Nation. Chicago: Riverside Publishing Co., 1983.

Pivin, Robert. America the People and the Dream. Glenview: Scott Foresman andCo., 1991.

Patrick, John. History of the American Nation. New York: Macmillan PublishingCo., 1984.

Versteege, Dr. Lawrence L. American Spirit, Chicago: Follet Publishing Co., 1982.


Abigail Adams. Encylopedia Americana, 1980 ed.

Abigail Adams. The World Book Encyclopedia, 1978 ed.

Cite this Women’s Roles in the Revolution

Women’s Roles in the Revolution. (2019, Apr 07). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/womens-roles-in-the-revolution/

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