Carol Berkin Essay: Revolutionary Mothers

1729 Words Nov 24th, 2014 7 Pages
“There is no Sex in soul”
Essay on Carol Berkin’s Revolutionary Mothers Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence

Jill Martinez

HIST 516: American Revolution and Federalist Era

November 7, 2014

Adams State University

Carol Berkin clearly states her thesis in the introduction of Revolutionary Mothers. “Despite the absence of radical changes in gender ideology and gender roles for most women, the Revolution did lend legitimacy to new ideas about women’s capacities and their proper roles”. (Berkin 2005) In two thousand and fourteen it is questionable about how clearly women’s roles have changed especially in the areas of economics and politics at least it is obvious that the revolution did not bring equality.
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Even when the government confiscated her property, she worked to retain economic rights. “Grace did not surrender quietly. Throughout 1778, her journal entries show her determined attempts to separate and recover her dowry property from the rest of her husband’s property.” (ibid, 94)
Female political conscience was also demonstrated by the shift in legal verbage. “Thus statutes defining treason began to speak of ‘persons’ rather than mne, of ‘he and she’ rathen than ‘he’ alonge.” (ibid, 100) These “…independent political choices” (ibid, 100) could be looked at as wifely duties but the law saw otherwise.
Native America women also had to weigh self interest in determining the best course of action and the wisest ally in the American Revolution. Gender roles among some Natives were quite different than most European gender roles. So a natural inability to compromise became extremely strained. “For those steeped in the English traditions of subordination of women, women’s councils and women warriors were a radical crossing of gender lines…There are few records of Indian women’s view of English colonial society. Those that exist suggest amazement at the female dependency and exclusion from political life that marked a culture that was as alien to them as theirs was to the English.” (ibid, 109) Molly Bryant’s loyalty to Britain marked her belief in protecting her self-interest. “She believed

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