On July 19–20, 1848...
On July 19–20, 1848...
In 1984 Jimmy Carter reflected on growing up in the...
Anne Bradstreet is famous for being the first American poet. For Bradstreet, writing poetry was a way to serve God and the community. The problem was that she was a woman, and women were not supposed to write poetry.
Quakers sponsored not only radical ideas like abolitionism and pacifism but also initiatives that contributed significantly to mainstream American cultural traits like the belief that traumatizing children is an evil idea and that each child contains a divine spirit; that women should be at least equal to men in public secular and religious forums; that religious toleration is beneficial; that slavery is evil and had to be ended immediately; and that a handshake is a better greeting than a groveling bow or a curtsy.
The Salem witchcraft scare, and the trials that followed, have especially seized the popular imagination. Separating the myths from the reality of the Salem witchcraft episode is the historian’s task.
Nearly all of the blockbuster biographies of the Founding Fathers—whether the subject is George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, or John Adams—portray the vast majority of ordinary Americans as mere bystanders. Meanwhile a host of other historians have been quietly documenting the many ways in which women, slaves, natives, and small farmers—the 95 percent of Americans who were not members of the founding-era gentry—shaped the independence movement and Revolutionary War and were in turn influenced by both.
One of the most surprising connections of the American Revolutionary era emerged at the very beginning of the war between the African American poet Phillis Wheatley and the commander in chief of the American forces, George Washington.
After the Revolutionary War, the reformist wing of the American Revolutionists began to inscribe plans for striking at the heart of colonial inequalities and conservative governmental structures. The reformers were met with plenty of resistance from social, economic, and political conservatives, and they by no means reached all their goals. Nobody put pen to paper to carve out a systematic plan for thoroughgoing reform. Rather, different groups, different men and women, different organizations, each with their own experiences and hopes for the future, espoused a variety of changes.
Over the course of the American Revolution, thousands of women, many with children, and throngs of civilian men trailed after the combating armies. Known collectively as camp followers, these men and women made up a people’s army encompassing civilians as well as soldiers. Acknowledging their presence expands our image of the Continental Army and our understanding of civilian contributions to waging the Revolution’s war.