Name: Subject: Tutor: Date: THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN THE AMERICAN REVOLUTIONARY WAR Introduction The American Revolutionary War was an armed struggle for independence that lasted between 1775 and 1783. The war was between the Great Britain and thirteen of its colonies who had declared themselves as independent United States of America (Conway 12). The first part of the battle took place mostly in the Northern part of the country. Later, countries such as France, Spain, and Netherlands joined the war in support of America. The war also broke out between the British soldiers in India and French soldiers. During the American Revolutionary War, women played several important roles. Some of these roles were traditional. Others were unconventional …show more content…
Nursing Among the most important roles played by women was nursing (Perica 5). Most of the women during this time of war acted as nurses. Although the women nurses were not much utilized in the early days of the war, their role as nurses became more acknowledged in 1777. Most of the women who acted as nurses were initially camp followers. They comprised of mothers, the daughters, and wives of the soldiers. This group of women followed the soldiers, hence the name camp followers, for food and protection. In 1777, Washington directed Regimental surgeons to procure and train many camp followers to act as nurses. As a result, the Continental Army medical staff was reorganized. Every hospital matron was allocated ten nurses to help the sick and wounded soldiers. The surgeons performed most the skilled medical tasks. The nurses helped in bathing the patients, feeding them, emptying the chamber pots, cooking, cleaning the wards and other custodial works. In the course of the duty, these women nurses always came up with new inventions for treating the soldiers (Perica 8). However, despite the food and the little pay the women received in return for their service, many of them were unwilling to take the nursing jobs. This is because the hospitals reported high …show more content…
Most of these women spies worked as maids and cooks in the British and American military camps. During the work, they would eavesdrop on the conversations about military deliveries, supply shortages, plans and movements among others. The fact that the war was mainly fought in front yards, city streets and farms made it easier for these women spies to carry the messages and supplies to the neighboring houses and farms without detection (Perica 52). Although not much is known about the women spies during the American Revolutionary War, it is known that the army had formed a "Culper Spy Ring" going with a code name of "355." The spy ring was only for women spies. Among the revolutionary spies is Hannah Blair from North Carolina. Hannah had a farm where she hide Patriots and supplied soldiers with food and medical supplies as well as secret messages. However, her farm was burnt down by loyalist after they discovered what she was doing. However, the Congress compensated her after the war by issuing her a pension for the service she had delivered (Perica
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There is very little written record of their service though a few of the more famous names left accounts. At the beginning of the war, nurses were merely volunteers who showed up at military hospitals. But after Battle of Bull Run, Clara Barton and Dorethea Dix organized a nursing corps to help care for the wounded soldiers. http://www.historynet.com/civil-war-nurses Most of the women valorized for their contributions to the war effort were white. Yet African American women, for whom the outcome was of the greatest importance, found their own way to the battlefields.
They risked their lives leaving home to work in the cesspools of infection. They lived separately from the soldiers and only made $12 a month. While many women are nurses today, their service in the war began their integration into the work force over the next 100 years. But in medicine, women nurses soon became commonplace. George Wunderlich, executive director of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine, called the conflict, “a watershed that really changed all medicine to the point where it could never completely go back to the way it was before.
She was a nurse for the soldiers, and helped create a herbal remedy for the soldiers who suffered from dysentery (). Dysentery was a disease due to the uncleanliness during the time that caused an infection in the small intestine (). Her medicine helped the soldiers recover in a day, so they could continue fighting. While being a nurse she cooked for soldiers and became a spy. She also was the only women who ever played a decisive role in planning and carrying out a military operation.
There were more than 30,000 women volunteered in the war. Two-thirds served in the US army and US navy nurse corps. The rest of the women worked as clerical workers, such as filing papers, sending and receiving telegrams. These women became the first women american history to hold official military ranks. American
However, around 2000 women served in the Australian Army Nursing Service (AANS), 23 of these women died from illnesses or wounds during their time serving. Since many of the men in Australia were fighting, the women had to take charge; caring for their children and family alone without the help of husbands, brothers or fathers, all while suffering with the fear that their loved ones might not make it home. Women had to fill the shoes of men in the workforce, taking up jobs that women wouldn't typically do. Some of these jobs included being in the police force, railway work, farming, textiles work, bus conducting, postal working, engineering, working in the coal industry, ship building, ammunition factory work, nursing, tailoring, metal trades, food trades, and many other
During the time of the American Revolution, women were given a large number of economic opportunities to help support and aid men throughout the war. One of the larger ways women contributed was by becoming battlefield nurses and suppliers to provide for the soldiers. An example of one of these nurses is Margaret Corbin. Corbin was the wife of a soldier in the Continental Army and accompanied her husband to the battlefield. During the Battle of Fort Washington in 1776, Corbin's husband was killed, and she took over his position operating a cannon, her actions throughout the war led her to be the first woman to be paid a military pension.
To start off women played an important role in the revolution while the men fought at war. Women took jobs like shipbuilding, blacksmiths, carpentry, or weavers. Others transformed homes into hospitals for the wounded, and some sewed uniforms and stockings for the soldiers. One woman who dared to join the army was Deborah Sampson.
Although women were not seen on the front lines in battle, their contributions were crucial to the time period of the Revolutionary War. Surprisingly, these “Daughters of Liberty” did more than their fair share to help America win its independence. At the time, women were commonly given traditional jobs such as nurses, maids, and cooks, but some women were given more unconventional jobs such as secret soldiers and spies. Indubitably, women’s roles in the Revolutionary war were unique, diverse and essential. Even though the works of these women at the time was invisible, it improved the empowerment towards women and increased the amount respect they were given.
In source A, we read about the enthusiasm that was women when thought of as independent. They strived at the thought of contributing to the war effort, country and society. In source B, we see a picture of strong women nursing the wounded, which plays a huge part to any war. For starters, without nurses, there would be no uninjured soldiers to defend our country. In front of them, we see 2 women.
Also, a considerable amount of women disguised themselves as men to join the fight; such as, Belinda Blaylock, Rosetta Wakeman, Jennie Hodgers, and Sarah Edmonds. This was mostly because they desired independence or to be close to a loved one. Although neither side of the war would recruit women as soldiers, they were sometimes used for espionage. Women of society would sometimes use dressmaker’s patterns to sew coded messages into the lining of dresses; they would then pass information from household to household. Elizabeth Van Lew, a union spy, and Mrs. Rose Greenhow, a confederate spy, are two of the most famous female
Women of the revolution were astounding. They were brave and courageous against the much legality that prevented participation. An example of this is Deborah Simpson who disguised herself as a man to fight in war that at the time only allowed men participants. Women were in the background fighting for independence along with colonial men. Women fought for individual liberty to not have to be spoken for by their husbands, to have a voice that can be heard and with political judgment.
Evodie Saadoun Trevor Kallimani Hist 210 13th October 2015 Women in the American Revolution There is a proverb that says, “The woman is born free and remains equal to men in rights”. Since the eighteenth century, women still try to be equal to men and try to be independent. During the American Revolution, women were dependent on their husband. This meant they had to cook, clean and take care of their children. They were not allowed to do what they wanted.
This was by taking care of the farm, store, homes, and businesses. They sewed uniforms and made food for the soldiers and many became nurses to care for the wounded. (Brianna 24) With new band of freedom women did the things traditionally known to men. “In turn, these new responsibilities provided them with a sense of confidence in themselves and in their abilities to handle unfamiliar duties.” (gale) Women’s organization began to form most common was the Daughters of Liberty, which were women and girls gathering in homes and on town squares to spin wool for the Patriots as British boycotted cloth.