The Effects of the Revolutionary War on Women & Slaves
A revolution causes far-reaching and dramatic changes on most political systems, economies and ideologies. A revolution is a powerful overthrow of a social order or government in exchange of a new system. The revolutionary war that begun in 1775.had several effects on women and slaves in regards to their relation to the economy, politics and their rights and freedoms. The changes that were occasioned by the war resulted in a shift in the position the women and slaves held in society.
1 Women's Influence
The sphere of influence that women had in the society increased during and after the revolutionary war. Before the revolutionary war, the influence of women was generally restricted to the home. This changed adversely during the revolutionary war, as the men went to war and the women organized the home, the farm, the business and on some occasions a combination of all three. The opportunity to engage in these areas gave women a chance to prove they could do more than just simple housekeeping. As a result, women attained more influence in the society than they had before the war.
2 Women's Rights
Before the revolutionary war, an unmarried woman could own, sell or buy property, but after marriage her husband got complete control of their joint property. The revolutionary war gave rise to a number of fresh legal rights to women that they did not enjoy before the war. The women were given the liberty to divorce, to own businesses, to own property separately from their husbands and, in New Jersey, the right to vote.
Though the slave trade would continue for several years after the revolutionary war before it was completely abolished, the Revolutionary War helped bring changes to the institution of slavery. More and more people began to feel that the things they stood for, like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, were not consistent with slavery. Several antislavery societies and clubs were formed that began to demand the abolition of slavery and influenced the opinion of some that slavery was unacceptable. Some states banned slavery completely, while some gradually ended the practice.
The Revolutionary War led to the escape and the release of many slaves. Thousands of slaves attained their freedom by serving and fighting on the different sides of the American Revolution after promises were made for their freedom. Other slaves took the occasion of war as an opportunity to free themselves by escaping from their masters. Though many black slaves obtained freedom during the Revolutionary War, they were not granted equal rights.