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Historians once assumed that, because women in the era of the American Revolution could not vote and showed very little interest in attaining the franchise, they were essentially apolitical beings. Scholars now recognize that women Asia dating space profiles salon murray actively engaged in the debates that accompanied the movement toward independence, and that after the war many sought a more expansive political role for themselves.

Granted, those women who wanted a more active and unmediated relationship to the body politic faced severe legal and ideological obstacles. The common law system of coverture gave married women no control over their bodies or to property, and thus accorded them no formal venue to express their political opinions. Many observers characterized women as essentially selfish and frivolous creatures who hungered after luxuries and could not contain their carnal appetites.

Nevertheless, some women carved out political roles for themselves. In the lead up to the war, many women played active, even essential roles in various non-consumption movements, promising to refrain from purchasing English goods, and attacking those merchants who refused to boycott prohibited goods. Some took to the streets, participating in riots that periodically disturbed the tranquility of colonial cities.

A few published plays and poems proclaiming their patriotic views. Those women, who would become loyalists, were also active, never reluctant, to express their disapproval of the protest movement. During the war, many women demonstrated their loyalty to the patriot cause by shouldering the burdens of absent husbands. They managed farms and businesses. First in Philadelphia, and then in other cities, women went from door to door collecting money for the Continental Army. Some accompanied husbands to the battlefront, where they tended to the material needs of soldiers.

A very few disguised themselves as men and joined the army, exposing as a lie the notion that only men had the capacity to sacrifice their lives for the good of the country.

Loyalist women continued to express their political views, even though doing so brought them little more than physical suffering and emotional pain. African American women took advantage of wartime chaos to run away from their masters and forge new, independent lives for themselves. After the war, women marched in parades, lobbied and petitioned legislators, attended sessions of Congress, and "Asia dating space profiles salon murray" in political rallies—lending their support to particular candidates or factions.

Elite women published novels, poems, and plays. Some hosted salons where men and women gathered to discuss political issues. In New Jersey, single "Asia dating space profiles salon murray" women voted. Still, white, middle class women in particular took advantage of better educational opportunities, finding ways to influence the public sphere without demanding formal political rights.

They read, wrote, and organized benevolent societies, laying the groundwork for the antebellum reform movements of the midth century. Until recently, historians equated political activity with the right to vote, and thus characterized American women as having no political voice until the midth century, when a few brave souls demanded among other things the franchise. Politics, citizenship, and voting were so linked in the minds of then modern Americans that few imagined disfranchised women as Asia dating space profiles salon murray actors.

Beginning in the s, however, historians began to re-examine their understanding of what it meant to be a political person, or, in the era of the American Revolution, to be a patriot or a loyalist. Instead of simply Asia dating space profiles salon murray that views of political activity were the same in the 18th century as they are modern times, scholars looked at the past anew, defining political activity within Asia dating space profiles salon murray distinctly historical context.

The results of that endeavor—which remain open ended and contested—introduced historians to a world that was profoundly different from their own. No one denies that women before, during, and after the Revolution faced severe limits to their ability to act as political beings. Nor does anyone deny that even the most self-consciously public-spirited women defined their relationship to the state in ways that differed from the experiences of men.

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Indeed, white women were actually losing political power throughout the 18th century. In the 17th century, social standing, not Asia dating space profiles salon murray identity, was the key determinant for the distribution of political rights.

In England, under certain circumstances, aristocratic women could vote and hold office. In America, no one questioned the right of an elite woman to express her opinions on political issues and to exercise authority over lower class men. By the 18th century, gender had become more important than status. In virtually every arena, women, simply by virtue of their sex, were excluded from formal—and even informal—political activity.

The husband represented his wife to the outside world. He controlled her work and her body, made all political decisions, and controlled any property his wife brought to the marriage. Because the ownership of property was the prime requisite for political rights at the time, if a woman had no property, she had no political existence.

He might exercise his power with a light hand, discussing politics with his wife and even listening to her views, but the decision to do so was his alone. Legally speaking, at least, women had only one right, the right to choose a spouse. It was not the law alone that relegated white women—even if they were single—to a non-political status.

Many continued to use the story of Eve to prove that women were enslaved to their passions and their sexual desires. They were fickle and frivolous, and above all irrational, and thus not suited to make the decisions that a healthy polity required. At least some men could sacrifice their own interests to support the public good. How then could women call themselves patriots if they were too weak to resist their penchant for luxuries, even when the national interest demanded it?

The evidence nevertheless indicates that, despite the limitations they faced, women seldom ignored the political issues of the day. This was especially true in the era of Asia dating space profiles salon murray American Revolution. In what sorts of political activities did they engage?

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What activities remained closed to them? What, if anything, changed? Clearly the answers to those questions vary. Elite, white women like their male counterparts were more likely to reap the benefits of revolutionary change than were lower class white or African American women, especially in terms of their ability to influence the male political world.

Some hosted salons where men...

Urban women had more options than their counterparts in rural America. Quakers accorded women more Asia dating space profiles salon murray than did other denominations. New England women were, as a whole, more literate and had more access to education than did their southern sisters. The vast majority still could not vote. Those few who were enfranchised quickly lost that right. Nor were women Asia dating space profiles salon murray to hold political office, even at the local level.

Nevertheless, they were never divorced from the world outside the home, and they often expressed their views publicly. Even post-war women who had no interest in politics defined themselves as members of the republic, as rights-bearing citizens who were proud to be patriotic actors.

Some declared their independence from abusive husbands, pursuing their own versions of happiness. Others took control of their bodies, limiting the number of children they brought into the world. White, middle class girls attended the growing number of female academies, asserting that they were rational beings who were able to make reasoned political decisions. They read, they wrote, they published, they formed literary societies, improving their own lives as well as the lives of less fortunate members of society.

Elite women hosted salons where they discussed the political issues of Asia dating space profiles salon murray day, creating a sociable environment that softened the rough edges of cantankerous politicians. Colonial women surely cared about public affairs. They had opinions about the Great Awakening, the French and Indian War, and the political quarrels that erupted over local issues in individual provinces. They were interested, as wives, mothers, daughters, even as humans, in Asia dating space profiles salon murray world outside the home.

But this time it was somewhat different. This time, a political structure controlled by men appealed directly to women for support, giving them a role to play in the drama that led to the American Revolution.

Asia dating space profiles salon murray women supported the protest movements that led ultimately to independence. Others opposed those same movements, remaining loyal to the King, fearing the Asia dating space profiles salon murray and disruption they believed would result if the ties binding the Empire together were broken.

In either case, many women were becoming engaged in the public issues of the day. Women made most household purchases. Thus they had to be persuaded to refrain from indulging in English luxury items and depend instead on their own Asia dating space profiles salon murray and weaving to produce homespun for their families.

They would not, of course, engage in formal political activity, but the choices they made in the domestic realm would, by definition, become political. Women responded to the challenge.

Infifty-one women in Edenton, North Carolina went even further, signing such an agreement, specifically claiming to do so in the name of the public good, thus declaring that they understood and cared about the implications of the political debates swirling about them. Single women acted still more forcefully. Infive Philadelphia women shopkeepers signed a non-importation agreement, signaling their opposition to the Stamp Act. As single property owners they were legally able to act politically—not as producers of cloth or consumers of manufactured goods, but as members of the mercantile community.

A few already had some political authority. They also could lobby lawmakers and could sign the same petitions and make the same political decisions made by their male counterparts.

Other women, perhaps more circumspect, perhaps simply putting their talents to good use, entered the public realm by becoming a part of the republic of letters. Quaker poet Hannah Griffits supported the boycott in defiance of the Townshend Duties insaying. Mercy Otis Warren, sister of James Otis and wife of James Warren, also picked up her pen to support the patriot cause. The play urged colonists to be on their guard Asia dating space profiles salon murray a leader who would stop at nothing to achieve his ends.

Nevertheless, if many women were—like their male counterparts—indifferent to the issues dividing England and America, many others began to think politically. Some disdained the movement toward independence, refusing to sign non-consumption agreements, defiantly drinking British tea, and declaring their continued loyalty to the Crown. Others made sacrifices for the rights of colonial Americans, even if they did not seem to recognize that their own rights were very limited.

If citizens were to demand rights, they had to perform the duties that accompanied those rights. From this perspective, Asia dating space profiles salon murray were excluded from any claims to citizenship, for no one expected a woman to pick up a musket to fight for the King or to defend American liberties.

Nothing divided men from women more than the onset of war. War reinforced gender differences, reminding everyone that the battlefield was a male preserve, an arena in which men risked everything and thereby earned the adulation of their countrymen. Women, too, made sacrifices throughout the war, but their sacrifices were taken for granted and seldom noticed.

They lost husbands and brothers, fathers and sons. They fended for themselves when men left home to Asia dating space profiles salon murray. White, middle class women, in particular, made ends meet at a time when inflation put the barest necessities out of reach. Short salon set followed by discussion moderated by journalist Larry For more details: Benefit for Japan w/ John Zorn, Cibo Matto, Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon.

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