The Impact Of The American Revolution On The Women's Rights Movement

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The lack of participation of women in society in the United States before the women's rights movement in 1948 was remarkable. They did not participate in activities such as voting and fighting in wars. They also could not own property and "belonged" to their father until they were married, when they would then become the property of their husband. They were brought up to get married, often while they were still very young, then to become a good mother and housewife. The lack of activity though changed during the American Revolution that lasted from 1775 to 1783. This American Revolutionary experience had a great impact on the eventual movement for women's rights.

Previous to their rights movement, women, by law, were declared inferior to men, had no separate existence from their husbands and every one of their possessions, acquired or inherited, would be passed on to the ownership of her husband. The children in a marriage belonged to the father alone and the custody of the children if one was to get divorced, was usually given to him. If a woman's husband died, she would receive only the use of one third of his real estate. They could be beaten as long as the stick was no bigger than a man's thumb and single women were excluded from earning a living, with the exception in a few poorly paid trades. They wanted to feel useful to society so during the American Revolution, women, who did not usually participate in the war, actively participated on the home front. They knitted stockings and sewed uniforms for the soldiers. They also had to replace men out in the factories as weavers, carpenters, blacksmiths, and shipbuilders. Other women also volunteered out on front to take care of the wounded, become laundresses, cooks and companio...

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...also were not represented, and made women understand that this inferiority dilemma that was going on every day had to stop, and that they had to revolt and fight for their own rights. Her influence combined with other women fighting and the spirit of rebellion already set in men spiked women's interests in their rights and made them want to struggle for their privileges.

Before the American Revolution, women did not realize just how unfairly men were treating them until they experienced working, managing a household, and life without their husbands. It made them aware of their place in society and many wondered just why they were inferior to men at that time. That American Revolution was what led up to the women's rights movement of 1848 and without it, who knows when women would have ever revolted against this unjust behavior and obtained the right to vote in 1920.
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