- from Revolutionary Women
In 1775, Britain ruled 13 colonies that stretched along the East Coast of North America from Massachusetts to Georgia.
Many of the people living in these colonies were tired of British rule. For years, these colonists had quarreled with Britain about taxes and laws they considered unfair. Finally, in April 1775, fighting broke out between the colonists and the British army. The American Revolution had begun.
At the time of the Revolution, a woman’s role in society was limited. Most women were expected to devote their lives to taking care of their homes and their family. Women prepared meals over an open fire, milked the cows, and fed the chickens. They also churned butter, made candles and soap, and most of them made their family’s clothing. Poor women and enslaved African-American women did all this and worked for other people as well. Women were not expected to take part in politics or business. The political arena was reserved for white male property owners.
Still, many women became involved in events leading up to the Revolution and in the Revolution itself. Some were Patriots who believed in independence for the colonies, but others were Loyalists who supported Britain’s king. All had great courage to step outside of their traditional roles.