Essay On The Role Of Women In The Revolutionary Era

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The Revolutionary War proved to be a monumental time for women and changed the gender roles and the cultural ideologies of America. While men were away, the services of women during the Revolutionary era were needed, “as a provider of essential services for troops, as a civilian source of food and shelter, as a contributor of funds and supplies, as a spy” (Kerber 8). This active role of women during the Revolutionary era eventually led to an ideology called the “Republican motherhood.” The Republican mother “integrated political values into her domestic life… she guaranteed the steady infusion of virtue into the republic” (Kerber 11) The Republican motherhood was centered on the belief that these mothers would uphold the ideals of republicanism…show more content…
A Republican mother could demonstrate these traits because they were educating their children to be more patriotic and were performing a civic duty. The role of a Republican mother was a severely limited one as it, “provided no outlet for women to affect a real political decision” (Kerber 12). Women had little to no rights in the Revolutionary era to begin with; they could not vote, the laws of coverture and inheritance did not change so they could not own property, and even in the husband’s death, they were allowed only one third of the property. These Republican mothers were revolutionary because for the first time, they allowed play a significant political role, though they were forced to play it in the home and within their private spheres. It would be evident in history that Republican motherhood would ultimately pave a way for a greater role for women in the public sphere. Elizabeth Cady Stanton said to the New York Legislature in 1814, “In republican America… we, the daughters of the revolutionary heroes of ’76 demand at your hands the redress of our grievances—a revision of your State constitution—a new code of laws” (Kerber 277-278). It is due to the fact that women were given a greater societal role that empowered them to fight for their rights. Without these revolutionary mothers, America would still be a patriarchal society and women would still be considered the same status as
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