What important roles did women play in the American War for Independence, and how did men react to their efforts?

In the American War for Independence, women served in the Daughters of Liberty, made homespun cloth, sewed military supplies, raised funds, followed the army as caretakers, nursed, carried water during battle, occasionally fought in battle, served as spies, and built morale.

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Women played some extremely important roles during the American War for Independence. As soon as the British passed the Stamp Act in 1765 and colonial resistance mounted, American women formed their own patriotic group, the Daughters of Liberty. This group, led by the likes of Martha Washington, dedicated itself to making homespun cloth and thereby boycotting British imports. They sought to hurt the British economically as well as make the point that the colonists didn't need to rely on British fabric; they could make their own.

Women also contributed to the war effort by fundraising for military supplies, sewing army uniforms and blankets, and tending to wounded soldiers. Many women followed their husbands into military camps, serving as cooks, laundresses, and nurses just to be close to their loved ones. Some women even went into battle, fighting while disguised as men. These women assumed duties in times of need (like the famous Mary Hays, or “Molly Pitcher,” who took over her wounded husband's place at a cannon during the Battle of Monmouth); carried water to the parched men; and cared for the wounded. Some women even risked their lives as spies. Others worked to build morale and promote the patriotic cause in their own communities.

Indeed, women were key players in the War for Independence, and men largely appreciated their efforts and praised them for their assistance, patriotism, and care.

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