Women in colonial America

Women’s Rights After the American Revolution

Status of Women in the New United States

In the American colonies it was not uncommon for women to pursue various occupations, such as printers, innkeepers, merchants and teachers. Women were excluded from political activities, but a few women, like Mercy Otis Warren and Abigail Adams, entered the political arena as public figures. Were women always treated fairly?

Remember the Ladies
On March 31, 1776 Abigail Adams wrote a celebrated letter to husband John, who was in Philadelphia serving in the Continental Congress, which would produce the Declaration of Independence three months later. In an age when women were seen as strictly domestic beings, the letter shows Abigail’s boldness and insight as she urged her husband Remember the Ladies, to grant women more rights, as he helped shape the new national government.

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Women’s Role in the American Revolution

Women Also Fought for Independence

Image: Molly Pitcher
Monmouth Battle Monument
Monmouth County, New Jersey

When her husband was overcome with fatigue and collapsed, Molly jumped forward and helped to ‘work the gun.’

Taxed by the Mother Country
Relations between the Thirteen Colonies and Great Britain slowly, but steadily worsened after the end of the Seven Years’ War (1756-1763), which involved all of the major European powers and caused 900,000 to 1,400,000 deaths. The war had plunged the British government deep into debt, and the British Parliament enacted a series of measures to increase tax revenue from the colonies.

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