Women and the Revolutionary War
- What roles did women play in the Revolutionary War?
- How did a woman’s class status affect her role?
- What was the importance of women boycotting tea?
- Who were the women that fought in the Revolutionary War?
- Who was “Molly Pitcher”?
During the Revolutionary War, America began to form its truly independent national identity. From Abigail Adams’ urging for her husband to “remember the ladies” to Margaret Corbin’s bravery on the battlefield, women were an integral part of this struggle in a variety of ways.
For many wealthy women, the Revolutionary War began in the home—with the boycott of tea, which they occasionally declared in local papers. Many women also chose to make homespun cloth, eschewing as many connections to England as they found possible. These choices highlight the role of women in the home—the private world instead of the public.
However, some women chose to fight publicly, on the battlefield, against the British. A few fought alongside their husbands and other men, earning little recognition and sometimes a soldier’s pension. Often the battle for acknowledgement was also quite difficult, and required the help of politically powerful men such as Paul Revere. The stories of these women lay the foundation for much of the later women’s movement, from women’s suffrage to women’s liberation.
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