Posted: December 2nd, 2013
Martin, Wendy. “Women and the American Revolution” Early American Literature 11
The article by Martin Wendy, “Women and the American Revolution,” represents the changing lives and thoughts of women in America during the revolution. It demonstrates the challenges they faced as well as their development and roles in one of the most difficult times of the American history. In her article, women were shown to experience quite difficult moments that changed their lives in many ways, emotionally, physically and social changes, as well. When the men were engaged in combat, women were busy home taking care of the farms, businesses and taking up jobs in the factories, which was a male job then. They also had to deal with emotional challenges such as having to face the death of their loved ones, husbands, sons and friends. Additionally, some women took up some roles in the military operations alongside the men to help. Wendy argues that the responsibilities of women increased drastically, from taking care of households to taking care of other jobs that men had to leave to enter battles, increased challenges such as inflated prices and fatal diseases. The role of women was not easy, as one would think despite many of the women staying behinds. Further, she provided emotional and all kinds of support to their men, while they had to maintain their modesty. Unfortunately, the men did not recognize this, and hardly gave any credit to the women despite all their efforts.
Wendy strongly presents evidence that proves her claim. She used preserved evidence from letters, diaries, newspapers novels, poems, songs, advertisements and other recorded historical facts. The whole article is full of evidence from such materials, and provides direct quotations from many of the sources including some that were published. For instance, she starts the article by providing evidence of women seizing a man who owned a store that held stock in order to inflate the prices. Some of the resources came from known people such as Susanna Rowson, Anne Eliza Bleecker and Rebecca Frank amongst others. She provides some further analysis of some of the materials she used in order to give the reader a better understanding of the ordeal the women had to go through in the American Revolution.
In my view, the strengths of the article come from the evidence produced form primary sources of information on the transactions of women during the revolution. The letters, diaries, newspaper article and amongst others provide irrefutable evidence. This makes the article quite credible considering the readers at this time were not present to witness the events these war. Additionally, the use literature review from some of the women writers on the account of the war provides a further strength to the article. The other strengths come from the fact that the article was published in the Early American Literature journal, which provides further evidence to its credibility. Additionally, the article is quite coherent and written in quite understandable language.
In my view, it is hard to locate any weakness from the article considering the number of evidence provided to support the argument, which makes it quite credible. However, one of the weaknesses of the article in my view is the over emphasis on the political limitations of women as well as their social confinement where they were required to remain at home and take care of household activities. Additionally, the article depicts men as very mean and unappreciative to the women. Although the women were confined to the domestic roles, it was not the fault of the men alone. Rather, it was the fault of the society as a whole considering women had accepted this fate from time in memorial.
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