The title of Carol Berkin’s book clearly introduces the important facets of her work. One is the reminder that where and when there were. The American Revolution was a home-front war that brought scarcity, bloodshed, and danger into the life of every American, and Carol Berkin shows us that. Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for Independence, authored by Carol Berkin, presents a multi-faceted view of the women who affected, and were .

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Fighting together for independence did not erase the class boundaries that separated genteel society from their social inferiors.

Read it Forward Read it first. It is clear that Berkin admires the women about whom she writes, for qualities such as physical strength, courage, mental toughness, intelligence, and resourcefulness. The women of the Revolution–with the notable exception of the female Indian tribal leaders– were mostly tied to the notion that their efforts, while valiant and necessary, were merely in support of the men whose job it was to run the country.

Even when the women are unnamed or unfamiliar, Berkin brings them to life with quotes and anecdotes. Inspired by Your Browsing History.

In a predominantly rural society, they did this by producing children, tending the household, the garden, the dairy, and the henhouse.

The heat of a recently fired cannon was too intense for a soldier to reload; pouring water over the cannon helped speed up the cooling process and ready the cannon for use. These sources help the reader understand the motives of women and their reasons for supporting either the British or the Americans.

View Full Version of PW. There were several riots against blacks who were accused of taking jobs away from white refugees.

The huge number of references, sources, and documents makes the book rich and lively. American Historical Association members Sign in via society site.


Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin | : Books

My library Help Advanced Book Search. Read, highlight, mothees take notes, across web, tablet, and phone. Any wives fleeing to England when their husbands joined the Continental army? By showing the different roles women played, she moves the battlefield to wherever women were forced to make choices and employ their talents. Email alerts New issue alert. We are experiencing technical difficulties. Berkin takes us into the ordinary moments of extraordinary lives.

Review of Revolutionary Mothers by Carol Berkin

Early forms of resistance included boycotting British cloth—and thus dusting off retired spinning wheels—and tea as women used “their purchasing power as a political weapon. Feb 14, Pages Buy. They revolutiknary endorsed the Enlightenment view that women were capable of rational thought and therefore moral judgments, a view that had begun to be widely embraced by the colonial elite before the war. Any bright spots in this picture? But their world would certainly not be familiar to us if we suddenly found ourselves walking the streets of Boston or standing in a farmhouse doorway.

We have almost no personal recorded evidence from Indian women or from African Americans. My own judgment is that most women saw the revolution as an extraordinary moment in their lives, a moment when gender boundaries were temporarily crossed, when circumstances required adaptation and innovation from everyone.

Using Filmer and Locke, she explores the concept of citizen in colonial society. Finally, as indicated by its subtitle the book includes not just the republic’s revoluitonary but also the other women who contributed to and were affected by the American Revolution’s war and, to a lesser degree, ideology.

Stay in Touch Sign up. It was usually the officers who demonstrated genuine contempt for these camp followers. They offered only the faintest attempts to reach out and grasp their rights as equals in the male dominated society of the eighteenth century. Even women who thought they were finally free experienced excruciating reverses of fortune: Inventing the American Constitution offers a lively account of women’s various roles in the long, bloody conflict.


Feb 14, Pages. Using pitchers or buckets or any carrying device at hand, these camp followers raced back and forth, from the stream or well to the ramparts, to play their part in the battle. Having grown up in Alabama, I had had my fill of the Civil War—or the War of Northern Aggression, as my high school history teacher insisted was its proper name—by the time I reached college in New York City, so I resisted specializing in 19th century American history. All this, of course, with a baby in her arms, toddlers to keep out of the hearthfire and the woods, and older children to supervise.

Sign In Forgot password? Information about the roles played by African Americans and Indian women is very hard to come by, but fascinating and vital.

Revolutionary Mothers

Some of these women are famous mainly for being married to their more famous husbands Martha Washingtonothers played rather minor roles but have somehow become idealized Betsy Rossand yet others are really revolutioanry who are presented as individual women Molly Pitcher.

A Conversation with Carol Berkin Q: In addition to the Ellet work, Berkin makes good use of primary source material, quoting from such documents as the Edenton Resolves, directives from the American command, the Philipsburg Proclamation, and The Book of Negroes.

My high school history teacher would be amused to know that I am doing a book on the Civil War era as seen through the eyes of women, among them abolitionist Angelina Grimke, Julia Dent Grant, and Varina Howell Davis.