Revolutionary War Dbq Essay

The term revolutionary means something that has or had a significant effect or sudden impact on the society and human behaviour. After and during the revolutionary war if a citizen was rich, white and a man he would have benefited from the revolutionary war, such as being able to enlist in the army willingly. However, if a citizen did not fall into that category they would have gained very little from the war.

Contrary to G. Wood’s idea in the Radicalism of the American Revolution that patriots carried along and enforced the “Spirit of Equality” throughout the war (Document B), there was no equality shown to people of color, middle to lower class citizens and women. The revolutionary war did not make the lives of these individuals better in terms of race, class and gender. While the United States as a country was emancipated from Great Britain, the United States as a society was not equally as liberated.

The role of women in society did not shift nor change after the war, however women were able to help their husbands during the war by maintaining their farm and some others were part of the Daughters of Liberty. The letter that Abigail Adams wrote to John Adams during the war included every single problem relating to gender inequality in the colonies at the time. Women were not represented at council meetings or in any position of leadership, they did not have a voice in the community.

This is the reason for the letter that Abigail wrote asking John to keep the women, their rights and wants in mind when writing the Code of Laws (Document E). From 1770 to 1783 the atmosphere was filled with radicalism, thus why Abigail demanded for this revolutionary change. Radicalism in the colonies brought about the idea of equality and fighting for equality; in the letter it said if he didn’t remember them in the laws then the women would form a rebellion to fight for their equality (Document E).

Although neither of those things happened, (that is women’s rights were not included in the Code of Laws and they did not rebel), what happened shows how the war only reinforced the inequality. Before and after the war women were treated the same, this is hypocritical of the colonist leaders as they promoted the “Spirit of Equality” to gain independence. Yet they did not practice it in the colonies. White Americans who were upper class had the privilege of profiting from the war, by using Black Americans and Native Americans to get what they wanted and neglecting them when it mattered most.

By the end of the war and a year or two later, minorities such as Native Americans and Black Americans barely gained thing from the ‘revolutionary war’ that spread ‘equality’. One can say during the war slaves were liberated because they were offered freedom by the British Army. However they had to serve in the army, so it was then a matter of whether they were killed in battle first. Although, on the other hand after the Americans won the war in the Treaty of Paris, the founding fathers prohibited the “carrying away of Negroes or other property of the American inhabitants (Document D)”.

This shows that Black Americans were still considered as property of White Americans and not human beings who had equal rights. Nothing changed for them. The same goes for Native Americans, who were cheated out of their rights as well. After the war, when the founding fathers and British leaders agreed on the Treaty of Paris they knowingly left out the Native Americans. The Native americans who helped britain in the battle were not protected by England and thus let in the hands of Americans.

Who sold Natives’ land and gave them to soldiers and other countries like France as a form of payment. By the end of the war neither lives of Black Americans and Native Americans were improved rather it was the opposite as it teh place in society was now fortified in actual documents and laws. Class played a major part in the revolutionary war, not only did one have to be white and male to gain from the war but he also had to be upper class. Middle class and lower class citizens were able to class raise their social status before and during the war.

The Sons of Liberty was formed by middle class men who wanted to see a change in their community. In the painting of the Gaspee burning, it shows the Sons of Liberty burning the British as a protest against the Townshend duties (Document A). This even created the committees of correspondence with helped with the spread of the idea “Spirit of Equality”. One could say that for these reasons, the revolutionary war was revolutionary however they have neglected to include the fact that after the war they were treated the same as they were before the war.

They were treated as inferior citizens by the upperclassmen even though it was mainly the middle class country men who fought in the war. After the war ended it was upper class white men who were represented in the government, which contradicted to the idea of “Spirit of Equality”. It has to be addressed and remembered that although the United States gained their independence from England and were able to free themselves from the constraints of the monarchy’s rule.

Within the country, within the social constructs of the society, race, class and gender people were not equal and free. Henceforth the declaration of independence, treaty of Paris and the ending of the war only reinforced the idea that if a citizen wasn’t white, male and upper class they were less than. These documents put these ideas into the foundation of the country thus the revolutionary war was not truly revolutionary pertaining to race, gender and class.