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Womens Roles In Carol Berkin's Revolutionary Mothers

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In the book Revolutionary Mothers, author Carol Berkin discusses women’s roles in the American Revolution. She separates out the chapters so that she can discuss the different experiences and roles of women during the period. She utilizes primary and secondary sources to talk about how women stepped into their husband’s shoes and maintained their livelihoods and how they furthered the war effort on both sides, as well as how classes and race effected each woman’s experience. Berkin’s main goal was for the reader to understand that although women’s roles aren’t traditionally discussed when talking about the American Revolution, nevertheless, they played a major part in it. Information on the Revolutionary War typically focuses on the Founding Fathers and their actions that brought about American independence. Few women are ever spoken about, one might hear of Abbigail Adams or Betsy Ross but that is it. Berkin says that while women played no formal role in the revolution, they actively participated and without their help many men…show more content…
The primary sources we do have that were written by women are mostly poems or satire that were submitted anonymously newspapers. Primary sources written by women about their lives are hard to find because the war was a little over 200 years ago and things like letters or diaries are bound to have been lost, thrown out, or have deteriorated. Since primary sources were so difficult to find for this topic, Berkin mostly utilized secondary sources written by historians in the 1900s. Primary sources looking at women’s roles in war were written by men that at the time viewed women as too delicate to be involved in what was considered “men’s work”. For example, Berkin used sources by Benjamin Wadsworth and Samuel Chase to remind the reader that men of this time believed women should obey their husbands and take care of their
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