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American Women and the American Revolution Essay

In earlier days of the eighteenth century, the options that women had were a lot more constrained than in the present day. A couple of centuries ago, the roles of women which may seem familiar to many today were quite diverse. Almost all the women got married in the said era because their status was pegged basically on the man they married.

They were dedicated helpers to their spouses. Upon marriage, the husband became a defender and utter master and her lawfully autonomous existence ceased to exist and her social being was primarily distinctive via her husband’s place in society. Husbands and fathers “controlled everything preventing women from attaining independence” (Pearson, 4).

Women were left restrained to a domestic orb thus looking up to the men to fulfill their needs due to the “common line of thought that only economically autonomous persons were able to implement the liberty of alternatives required to occupy an answerable part in the communal field of business and political affairs” (Zagarri, 102). This kept women within a system of societal reliance where they could only manage to getaway infrequently.

Gundersen was of the opinion that “Women were neither insignificant nor inactive as much as they were permitted just a minor part in societal activities” (128). They brought up children and controlled households. The qualities of a fine wife included an assortment of agility which may not be connected to running a household.

Women produced soap, milked cows and produced cheese from the milk, reared poultry which they later butchered, sewed clothing from cloth that they spun, conserved vegetables they grew, smoked meat on top of cleaning up and food preparation. Furthermore, inadequate equipment dictated that several jobs such as doing the laundry were tedious, back-wrenching day-long jobs that entailed sturdy muscles as well as carrying heavy loads.

Some other jobs such as sewing called for one to be agile. All the same, women were supposed to run the economy of a household much as they were normally excluded from holding major positions in business by societal gatherings.

Mayer observed that, “As the protectorates fought to acquire their autonomy, the communal importance of women emerged more evidently to women as well as men” (72). In the course of the uprising, certain knowledge like spinning got more appreciated. Some tasks that were regarded as manly duties were tackled by women who found the occasion to show their abilities to do so, as the war took shape and the men were away.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More Portia observed that such occasions were like when women took over the running of farms that belong to the family and went ahead to “run the farm in all the aspects from planning the quantities of land to be tilled, when to till the land, what to plant to selling excess crop” (68).

According to historians, in the course of the battles, women wrote letters to their spouses about “our farm” rather than “your farm”. As simple as this linguistic transition may appear, it denoted “a vital change in terms of thoughts” (Norton 46).

Kerber stated that the fight for equal opportunity “would in due course be taken forth by the granddaughters as well as the daughters of the eighteenth century women, as the avant-garde hostilities did not considerably alter the material lives of majority of women” (65).

Women’s standing, as much as they, in point of fact, turned out to be narrower and inflexibly defined subsequent to the war, was enhanced. Their capabilities and intellect, though reluctantly, were accredited. With this came enhanced chances for education for women and more variety for them in marriage too as well as recognition of the significance of motherhood.

Works Cited Gundersen, Joan. To Be Useful to the World: Women in Revolutionary America 1740-1790. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1996. Print.

Kerber, Linda. Women of the Republic: Intellect and Ideology in Revolutionary America.

Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1980. Print.

We will write a custom Essay on American Women and the American Revolution specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Mayer, Holly. Belonging to the Army: Camp Followers and the Military Community During the American Revolution. Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 1996. Print.

Norton, Mary-Beth. Liberty’s Daughters: The Revolutionary Experience of American Women, 1780-1800 . Boston: Little, Brown and Company., 1980. Print.

Pearson, Jim. Women of the American Revolution. Los Angeles: NCHS, 1991. Print.

Portia, Edith. The World of Abigail Adams. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992. Print.

Zagarri, Rosemarie. A Woman’s Dilema: Mercy Otis Warren and the American Revolution. Wheeling: Harlan Davidson, Inc., 1995. Print.

A Review of David Birmingham’s “The Decolonization of Africa” Report

Nursing Assignment Help Having spent most of his life in Switzerland, David Birmingham returned to his home country in the 1990s to concentrate on his scholarly work.

Remarkably Birmingham has made two significant contributions in the filed of history: he has authored many history books especially on African history including “Kwame Nkrumah”, “Empire in Africa”, “Portugal and Africa” among others, as well as holding the chairmanship of department Modern History, University of Kent, England.

He attributes his success to many of African historians from whom he learned a lot throughout the years he interacted with them. In his book “The Decolonization of Africa” Birmingham, argues that the process of decolonization of Africa had ripple effects in other parts of the world, such as the civil rights movement in America, and the need to rebuilding of the post World War II Europe.

While the title of the book is about decolonization, the contents implicitly mirror colonization of Africa. Birmingham sarcastically pokes at the European claims of brining civilization to the Dark Continent and further claims that the real civilization was gradually ushered through democratization of Africa (Birmingham 1).

Birmingham, unlike many other historians, avoids making sweeping generalization to the effect that the colonizers had absolute dominance over Africa and asserts that the traditional African governments run concurrent with colonial governments, which were military based. Furthermore, he looks beyond the African continents into Asia and the Latin America and makes good comparisons with the decolonization efforts in those continents.

In this regard, Birmingham portrays colonization as not only limited to Africa and in doing so makes a very good assertion that the colonizers intended to ‘civilize’ the whole world. Despite the authoritarian colonial rule, the process of democratization began before full colonization was realized. Therefore, democratization of Africa was not instant, but characterized by arbitrary authoritarianism (Birmingham 6).

“The Decolonization of Africa” is an audacious attempt at introducing an important subject in contemporary studies in history; the (de)colonization of Africa. Birmingham divides the book into five major chapters, which represents five major geographical regions.

Get your 100% original paper on any topic done in as little as 3 hours Learn More While the chapters portray Africa’s fight for independence in five major regions, Birmingham does very well to show how three major factors namely indigenous nationalism, foreign pressure and the retreat of the colonizers interplayed within all the regions and gradually lead to independence and the eventual democratization of African states (Birmingham 9, 14, 28,).

Yet Birmingham manages to present a nuanced outline of the decolonization process in the five geographical regions as: nationalistic movements in the north of Africa, liberation movements in east of Africa, neo-colonial ideologies in the west, rebel movement in central Africa and race relations in the south.

These nuances are discussed Vis a Vis the colonial legacies such as religious conflicts, trade and military backed colonial rulers. Birmingham confirms that “The Decolonization of Africa” is his own personal interpretation of the relationship between Africa and its colonial masters.

His assertion notwithstanding, there exist enormous factual information carefully gathered and represented to the extent that the book looses the subjective touch. Yet the book having been published in the 1990s, fails to address certain important aspects about the African history, such as the second liberation struggles spreading all over Africa in the 21st century.

Such struggles are seen in the uprising movement in the Arab Africa, the end of dictatorial rule in the sub-Saharan Africa as well as the post apartheid South Africa.

Furthermore, while “The Decolonization of Africa” focuses on the after effects of colonization, it should also have focused to a greater detail on the role of African traditional government towards the attainment of independence in Africa.

“The Decolonization of Africa” is a fairly short book. Nevertheless it has contributed immensely towards improving the knowledge on the political as well as social history in Africa. The book is highly recommended for any tertiary level studies, especially for those students willing to gain a broad yet informed overview in the causes and the course of the decolonization process in Africa.

We will write a custom Report on A Review of David Birmingham’s “The Decolonization of Africa” specifically for you! Get your first paper with 15% OFF Learn More Furthermore, due to its broad coverage of the African decolonization themes, it can be used as a primary resource for any student willing to gain background information before venturing deeper into related studies.

David Birmingham’s “The Decolonization of Africa” is not as voluminous as one would expect, but within the few gages the author is not only able to highlights how Africa fought to be decolonized but explicitly shows how democracy slowly set in. This book provides valuable lesson to a scholar of history.

One of the vital lessons is that some of the Panafricanist movement leaders, such as Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana overshadowed the Panafrican ideals with their own personal and sometimes selfish ideologies. Furthermore, the United States of America had its own interest in the continent and its influences, albeit indirect, greatly motivated the course of events.

Precisely, the USA prevailed upon mainland Tanzania to divorce Zanzibar not for any economic or social gain but due to the fear of the spread of communism. Therefore, the book is highly recommended for any scholar who wants to gain a deeper understanding of the decolonization of Africa.

Works Cited Birmingham, David. The Decolonization of Africa. London: UCL Press. 1995. Print

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