Revolution's Influence Essay

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The Breadth of the Revolution's Influence on American Society The American Revolution brought more than sovereignty to the colonies; it brought change. The colonies' new found freedom was accompanied by economic uncertainty, political power, and an upheaval of old traditions. The Revolutionary War reshaped all of American society, beginning the balancing of gender roles, stopping slavery before it started in the frontier, reversing the way citizens interacted with their government, making the country's economic future uncertain, and promoting the theft of Indian land. By 1775, the colonies had all changed a great deal since their inception. The settlers had taken to the idea of self-rule, and the re-introduction of British authority spawned resentment towards every part of British culture in the new world, religious, cultural, or political. When an entire nation is at war, women often step forth to fill the hole left by the men at battle. As well as care for their families, the wives and mothers left behind by patriot soldiers tended to the farms and kept their houses in order (Document A). After the war, the men, if they lived, would usually return home and recover their place as ruler of the household. However, the ideas of equality preached by the patriots did not fall on deaf ears. Although no Congress of the time ever even considered equal rights for both genders, Molly Wallace, an educated girl from Philadelphia, spoke out against the limitations society had put on women. Wallace envied the great leaders who had roused a nation with words alone and thought it was unfair that she could never have such an opportunity due entirely to her gender. Her ideas were the culmination of the Enlightenment philosophy practiced by the founding fathers and the strength American women had shown in the absence of men. A woman could plow a field as a man could.

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