A Women Of The Republic By Linda Kerber

891 Words4 Pages

A Women’s Revolution Women of the Republic, written by Linda Kerber, tells the story of the American Revolution from the viewpoint of American women. Women are rarely recognized as playing a role in the war, but in fact, many had significant roles. Women of the Republic is a collection of diary entries, letters, and legal material over a seven-year period. By studying these historical documents, Kerber is able to show women’s status change, women’s participation in the war, and the change in women’s education. During this time, women’s roles began to change, and many women became more assertive. Some women were forced to take responsibility for family farms as well as working jobs in effort to support the war. Kerber mentions that some civilian …show more content…

“Republican Motherhood” has become one of the most important variables through which historians study gender in early America. The idea can best be defined as the practice through which women during the Revolutionary period filled the gap between their duties at home and the traditionally male-occupied jobs. Women found new roles partly because of the Revolution and in part their own efforts. However, one could argue just how much the role of women was actually transformed. Even after the Revolution had taken place Kerber wrote, “the image of the Republican Mother could be used to mask women’s true place in the polis: they were still on its edges” (pg. 12). Republican Motherhood is an ideology that gave women a political function. The idea encouraged women to raise their children to be moral and virtuous citizens of the republic. “The Republican Mother was to encourage her son’s civic interest and participation” (pg. 283). Women were to be educated with the plan that they would one day raise and teach their children to be virtuous citizens. Women were asked to show their patriotism in different ways than ever before. “The duty of women was to suffer the hard times, support the military, and "maintain their innocence"; in other words, to passively endure while the men performed feats of republican heroism” (pg. 106). In conclusion, women's contributions were seen as a self-evidently justified "free gift" to the nation

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