How did the American Revolution really change life for people living in America? Did separate groups experience the Revolution differently? Explain your answer.

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The American Revolution was not just a war against Britain but it was also a civil war in the colonies. About twenty percent of the population were Loyalists who supported Britain. When the war ended, the Loyalists that were still in America fled abroad. Some Americans were ambivalent and even switched sides at times, but the Patriots made up the largest group during the conflict.

More white males had political power during the war. Because they fought together, many believed that they were equal shareholders in society. Voters no longer needed to own much property, and an increasing number of white males sought political office.

Twenty percent of the population were slaves. The British offered freedom to blacks who fought for them. This step encouraged many in the South to join the Patriots. About twenty thousand slaves were set free by the British during the war. The vast majority of slaves did not benefit from the war however.

At the time of the Revolution, women in the colonies had the legal status of children. Above all, women were expected to obey their husbands. A few women, such as Abigail Adams, sought equality. But the war did not improve women's status very much.

Indians made up the third group which did not gain from the conflict. Most Indians tried to stay out of the war, but many ended up fighting for one side or the other. When the war ended in 1783, land-hungry Americans moved West, into Indian lands.

In summary, only white males who were Patriots benefited from the long war.

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