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Dardan Borovci 10/4/10

AP US – Pagliaro Period 9

HW # 12 - Read 88-89- Describe the different roles women had throughout the colonies prior to
the Revolution. Read 168-169-Outline notes- Then answer-describe women's role during war-Did
it change much after the war-explain? Under English common law-what were the rules for
women? Define Republican Motherhood. Read 170-171

88-89 – Different roles women had throughout the colonies prior to the Revolution:
• Women’s work roles differed from those of men and varied by class, ethnic origin and
individual need or opportunity.
• Native American women were responsible for raising corn, beans, squash, and tobacco.
• They also gathered fruit and nuts, made clothing, took care of the children, built houses, and
prepared meals.
• The gender division of labor was different from the English who believed free women should
avoid field work.
• Colonial women prepared and served meals, baked bread, cared for children, built fires,
carried water and waste, cleared the house and furnishings, washed and ironed laundry,
gardened, tended poultry, milked cows, and made clothing and other household articles.
• Although they generally did housework, some women specialized in one or more activities
and traded surplus production with neighbors and shopkeepers.
• Women in rural communities were most likely to produce textiles and dairy products.
• Women on the frontier built farms and had little time and space for extra activities.
• These fields included women although they were dominated by men: doctors, instructors,
craftsmen, ministers, and farmers. Women were responsible for a large part of medical care,
delivering babies, treating wounds and illnesses, and administering drugs.
• Literate mothers taught children to read and opened schools.
• Women lacked access to form professional training (college or apprenticeships).
• Worked in jobs involving crafts: shoemaking, cabinetmaking, brewing, printing.
• Masters differentiated between men and women in the assignment of tasks.

168-169 – Outline and notes: Women during and after the war:
• A group of women dressed in men’s clothes and guarded a bridge against possible British
soldier invasion.
• Women took part in the American war effort by operating farms and businesses.
• Some women served as soldiers while others served as spies.
• 20,000 ‘Women of the Army’ served as nurses, cooks, laundresses, and water carriers.
• Women’s roles expanded during war. Women’s roles again constricted at the Revolution’s
• Women were responsible for guaranteeing the smooth operation of households.
• Native American women held a higher status in their communities, as Indians respected
women as full participants in the economy and land ownership.
• A married woman (feme covert) under English common law (inferior) had no power
independent of her husband. If the husband became incapacitated or was absent for a long
time, the woman was often expected to manage his affairs, ‘deputy husband.’
• In religious affairs, women held an ambiguous status. Under God (Christian denominations),
women stood equal with men. Among Puritans, women were separate and could not
speak/sing hymns; allowed no leadership.
Dardan Borovci 10/4/10
AP US – Pagliaro Period 9
• Women could not serve as justices or members of juries.
• A married woman’s property (English common law) belonged to her husband.
• Women were barred from positions of high status.
• They could serves as ministers only among Quakers and some Baptists and taught school at
the primary level. None were lawyers, or merchants. Some became successful shopkeepers.
Women started losing ground in medicine to men.
• The war led to increased support for female education. Although women still did not
receive the education the men were getting.
• “Republican motherhood” supported women education since they were the ones raising the
future leaders.

Describe women’s roles during war. Did it change much after war? Explain
Women’s roles during the war still required housework but they also entailed jobs in other fields,
most importantly medicine. Women were especially important as the ‘Women of the Army’
because they served as nurses, cooks, laundresses, and water carriers. During the war, women’s
roles expanded but became constricted again at the end of the war. After the war, a major and
important change was the support for the education of women. This was important because
women had to raise the future leaders.

Under English common law, what were the rules for women?
A major rule for women under English common law was that her property belonged to her
husband. They were also barred from positions of high status.

Define ‘Republican Motherhood’ – a women’s principal responsibility of nurturing incorruptible

future leaders.

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