How did the American Revolution and Antebellum society influence Americans understanding of gender ?

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In the American Revolution, as in any war time, men left their homes to fight leaving many households in the hands of their wives. Women took on the role of managing the home and making decisions regarding any family matters. Many women had to learn new skills as they were left to provide for their families and were often required to do the work usually delegated to men. Some women even participated in the politics of the time, either alongside their husbands or even independently as spies.

After the war ended, the men returned home and the traditional patriarchal roles returned. Within Antebellum society, men were the masters of their homes. Women did not have any financial freedom and were considered dependents of their husband. Although women may have been given a taste of independence during war time that feeling was short lived. Antebellum society returned women to the same status as children and slaves. They were expected to follow their husband’s rule.

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