To Be Woman in Post-Revolution America

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What did the Revolution mean for the women of America? Some scholars say the Revolution did little to change life for her at all, while others argue that the Revolution was the catalyst of change that paved the way for a more independent American woman. The argument of a woman’s property rights became a hot topic in the court systems of post-Revolution America. Women we key in raising productive members of society and the idea of Republican motherhood was born. In order to raise educated children, women had to be educated as well and post-Revolution America saw a boom in school specifically for women. The Revolution did more to improve the lives of unmarried women than those who were married. These now educated and financially independent women soon realized that they could use their education to better the world beyond they doorstep as women entered the political arena of post-Revolution America. “American men had not fought a revolution for the equality of American women,” but the unintended consequences of the Revolution not only raised the expectations of American women, it helped them to see those expectations met.

When the Revolution was over many of the Loyalists were sent back to Great Britain, and any property they owned was confiscated was redistributed by the government. When the Loyalists left, not all of their wives went with them. Many stayed behind claiming to have been in support of the Union, but able to voice that support because of their husbands. The question then arose in regards to the land that had once belonged to these men. Did it go to the women or the government? Many of the women that had brought the land into the marriage and had intimate knowledge its workings decided to sue for control of said property. Often times if the woman made a compelling argument and proved she could run the land, the courts would side with her and grant her the property.

The new republic was to be a place for civic minded people. Civic responsibility...
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