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Women in the American Revolution

Gender, Politics, and the Domestic World
Edited by Barbara B. Oberg
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Building on a quarter century of scholarship following the publication of the groundbreaking Women in the Age of the American Revolution, the engagingly written essays in this volume offer an updated answer to the question, What was life like for women in the era of the American Revolution? The contributors examine how women dealt with years of armed conflict and carried on their daily lives, exploring factors such as age, race, educational background, marital status, social class, and region.

For patriot women the Revolution created opportunities—to market goods, find a new social status within the community, or gain power in the family. Those who remained loyal to the Crown, however, often saw their lives diminished—their property confiscated, their businesses failed, or their sense of security shattered. Some essays focus on individuals (Sarah Bache, Phillis Wheatley), while others address the impact of war on social or commercial interactions between men and women. Patriot women in occupied Boston fell in love with and married British soldiers; in Philadelphia women mobilized support for nonimportation; and in several major colonial cities wives took over the family business while their husbands fought. Together, these essays recover what the Revolution meant to and for women.