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1: Carol Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence - Essay Example

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Subject: History and Political Science, Essay Date Topic: Essay 1: Carol Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence Introduction One rarely hears about a symposium being held on the subject, “Men-their role in the society.” Such discussions are mostly about women…
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Essay 1: Carol Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for Americas Independence
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1: Carol Berkin, Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence

Download file to see previous pages... Woman is not equal to man, but more equal! She has shown her capacity to challenge the complex roles, hitherto not performed by her, when historical necessities demanded them from her. During the various wars, her brave and sterling qualities were displayed. Her one such important challenge was the war of American Revolution. Why American Revolution is unique from the perspective of women The American Revolution was unique as for its cultural and social aspects. Women involved themselves in different fronts and often served multiple objectives. The perspectives of participation in war efforts of the elite white women with their intellectual background, was different from the black and Native American women. They played their multiple roles in different segments of revolution. Carol Berkin, in her book, “Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America's Independence,” provides a gendered portrait of multiple revolutions. The author has attempted to tell a complex story in a simple tone, not filled with aggression or malice. She writes, “When men went off to fight the war, either on the battlefield or in the storehouses, women accepted the need to step in and direct household affairs, run the farm or shop, arm themselves against the enemy, and protect their families from danger.” (xvi) They were fighting a war of survival in most of the cases and the day to day challenges were unpredictable. The developments in the war front, the victories and setbacks, constantly played upon their psychology while managing their onerous responsibilities. Women not “passive observers,” rather “partners” Berkin has provided ample examples of women’s exploits that she hailed them as the Revolutionary Mothers. She argues, during the period of Revolution, women were not “passive observers" but rather "partners" with their husbands, brothers, fathers and sons (p. xv). The pages of American history of Revolution were daubed in the bloodshed of men and women and their experiences were entwined with challenges of racism, class structure and also by gender. Men managed the warfronts; women managed the home front, and some of them managed to be at the warfronts as well. She has given examples to prove her point relating to the exploits of women. Housewives like Lydia Darragh, moved out of British-occupied Philadelphia to give intelligence report to Washington’s army, and thus it was able to anticipate and remain prepared for the intended attack by British forces. (139-141) Grace Galloway, the loyalist woman blocked the attempts of the American army, to take possession of her husband’s property and looked after the farm and property, when her husband was taking part in the war. (94-96) Women also began to participate in political activities at the time of Revolution. Berkin illustrates the actions of Sarah Bache and Esther deBerdt Reed who collected funds for war efforts as American troops did not have supplies of food and clothing. They form a regular body, Ladies Association, for the purpose in view. Such women did their traditional roles, and to buttress the war effort, they made clothes for the soldiers. The experiences and hardships of the Revolution made women like Abigail Adams and Judith Sargent Murray to act for the incremental property rights for women and political participation of women on a regular basis setting the stage for grooming women as political leaders which ushered a new trend in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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