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On Revolutionary Mothers - Essay Example

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Revolutionary Mothers (Subject Name) Introduction Carol Berkin provided a detailed account of women’s role and participation during the American Revolution. The author transcended beyond the racial and class barriers by literary accounts of inspirational, resourceful and courageous contributions of the revolutionary women…
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Essay on Revolutionary Mothers
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"On Revolutionary Mothers"

Download file to see previous pages The most unique aspect of the book was the apparent focus of attention on the contributions of the common woman. Berkin provided a brief acknowledgement of famous revolutionary women such as Martha Washington and Abigail Adams.1 She eventually focused on the core contributions of Native American, black and white women. Consequently, the result was a multifaceted gender revolution by the American women. Colonial and Revolutionary Role of Women The colonial society associated the role of women with the traditional function of mother and wife. A majority of the colonial women believed that God created them as helpmates to man and nature.2 Furthermore, the woman was taught since childhood to be obedient, industrious, and faithful with the primary function of bearing and taking care of children. These roles were cemented by religious doctrines such as those by the Puritan divine Cotton Mather that taught women to be like an “Ornament of Zion looking upon (a husband) as her guide.”3Later, a new ideal of femininity based on “pretty gentlewoman” shifted from that of “notable housewife.”4 The “pretty gentlewoman” was associated with cleanliness as the primary function and was assisted by slaves and maidservants. ...
Among the first evidence of women’s activeness was to say “No” to colonial policies. This involved the denial to consume British merchant goods such as imported tea.6 Furthermore, the patriotic women followed their husbands to war with some assuming the role of “camp followers.” Their regular duties included cleaning and cooking for the soldiers.7 Moreover, some women such as Deborah Sampson fought as soldiers although in disguise. In addition, the author narrated about Margaret Corbin who provided water for cooling the cannons during combat and equally assisted the disabled husbands. The African American women were more concerned with the quest for freedom and liberty. Consequently, they followed the Loyalist army of the British after being promised freedom from slavery. Evidence advanced by the author from the Philipsburg Proclamation stated, “…every negro who shall desert the Rebel Standard will be granted full security to follow within these, Lines, any occupation he shall think proper.”8 The Native American Indian tribes fought for the British since they hoped for independence and land rights.9 Consequently, it was the influential native women leaders such as Nanyehi and Queen Esther Montour that influenced the Indians into fighting for the king. The war placed a heavy price on the values of women involved in the revolution especially the camp followers. Berkin described the pathetic state in which the women lived and dressed. She illustrated the ragged state of their clothing which got worse as the women were forced to wear “the coats or shirts they removed from dead or dying soldiers.”10 Furthermore, the women were given meager wages for their services. The British laundry women ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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