Women Status after the American Revolution Essay
The American Revolution changed the western world considerably as the role of countries in the world politics changed. It also had a great effect on the development of the society. This revolution enabled women to show men that females could participate in the social life of the society. It is possible to note that the revolution and years after it led to empowerment of women who step by step gained more power in the society. Clearly, in the end of the eighteenth and beginning of the nineteenth century women were given only a few opportunities as there were still a variety of obstacles.
In the first place, it is necessary to consider the way women carved out their niche during the American Revolution. In the seventeenth century, women did not get education and did not possess property. Females had almost no rights and a married woman could perform only household tasks. They had to work really hard but men still thought women were inferior to them.
The American Revolution made men share some of the rights. The revolution became a heavy burden for the empire and elites had to donate lots of money to support British soldiers. Women played an important role in this process. The patriotic spirit was in the air and wives inspired their husbands to support the army (Colley 259). Notably, wives of rich and powerful men were especially active in this process.
Apart from that, there were many army followers. Soldiers used to complete all chores on their own. However, during the American Revolution lots of females followed the armies on the both sides. Women did all the chores and men could see how women were equally skillful in many activities (Colley 281). Thus, women proved that they were as enduring, intelligent and strong as men. Of course, women worked as nurses and helped lots of wounded soldiers to survive or endure horrible pain.
Furthermore, women also took part in the revolution as spies who managed to provide really valuable information. All these activities made women and their deeds become more ‘visible’. Men understood that their wives and daughters could contribute to development of their society in certain ways. Clearly, females felt the change and tried to obtain more rights and struggle for being equally active in the social life.
Nonetheless, after the American Revolution, females’ contribution was quite underestimated. The British elite needed qualified and experienced politicians and military people. Therefore, females were again forced to stick to their households. However, the society was different and it was more open to the change. Hence, it became more common for a woman to obtain education and even be involved in teaching. Clearly, education was possible for rich families only. More so, women started writing more literary works and this literature became very popular as more and more women became literate. Of course, those were only first steps women could make but those were very important strides.
In conclusion, it is possible to state that British women played an important role in the American Revolution and it, in its turn, changed the society. People of the eighteenth century understood that women could take an active part in the development of the society. Of course, there were still numerous societal norms and financial issues which significantly limited women’s rights and opportunities. Nonetheless, women got a chance to show they are equally strong, decisive and intelligent to become a part of the social life. Females took their chance and managed to slightly change the society. This was an important change and a springboard for future struggle and victories.
Colley, Linda. Britons: Forging the Nation, 1707-1837. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2009. Print.
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