From the American Revolution to the Civil War there were several developments that molded the lives of American women. There were cults formed that supported domesticity. The women of the south, both black and white were very similar to those of the north. The women had gotten roles that they had never faced before. When the men left for war the women took control of many things including, the farms, the businesses, etc. Just because men went to war that did not mean that the women did not go as well. In many cases the women joined their male relation in the Patriot camps. With many tasks to be completed while the men were gone women were just trying to become free and have rights of their own. Whether they were successful or not was something that they did not want to think about.
The lives of women were being completely controlled by the men all around them. The women were tired of it and just wanted this to end. The social roles between both the men and women were changing. They still had the typical rights in both politics and within the family. In 1837 women were now accepted into colleges and universities. The first schools that allowed this to begin were Oberlin which was located in Ohio; and
Mt. Holyoke which was located in Massachusetts. Mt Holyoke was an all women school, where as Oberlin was both men and women. Around this time changes took place in the middle-class families. The normal role of the woman of the house was to contribute economically, but now they were to strictly stay home and take on a number of domestic activities. This meant they were to keep the house looking perfect, clean, relaxing, etc. Women that worked outside of their homes were looked at as low-class. They worked in factories and mills, but had much more horrible circumstances.
The women of the south had taken on roles that were very like the roles that the middle-class women of the north possessed. They too were at home wives. They served as their husband’s attendant and looked after the children. Along with being similar to the north, they were also very different. The women had significant importance to the men; the men played a defense role for the women. Many white women in the south lived on a farm and had little or no contact with the “public world”. Women on farms meant economic growth; spinning, weaving, and many other production capabilities. Along with economic growth, there was a 20 percent higher birth rate in the south. The infant mortality in the region was also exceedingly higher than anywhere else. The black women or slaves were victims of sexual relationships with their owners. This was also a “constant reminder to the white women of their husbands’ infidelities. The roles of both the black and white women of the south were totally different.
While gone, the women took over many of the jobs and businesses that the men were under before they left. Most of the time, the women handled these jobs and had impressive success. On other occasions, not all of the women were successful with the tasks that were left for them. Cases of bankruptcy, inflation, and not male support led to closure. Along with these problems, not all women had a job or business to even depend on. With this being a problem there were a number of women protesting, or just stealing food because they could not afford it. Another tactic that these women had was just going out an attacking the British troops that they were supposed to be housing and feeding.
Throughout the American Revolution there were many tremendous changes in politics and other rights for women. Being more independent the women felt a bit successful. Even though the men still had almost total control of everything the women did have some leeway. Through the years after, women would grow in politics and with their rights.