Was the American Revolution a social revolution?


Thesis


The American war for independence, unlike the French Revolution, did not destroy a titled aristocracy but did have a significant social impact on certain population groups. Among those changed socially by the revolution are the loyalists, women, African Americans and the native Americans.


I. Loyalists


A- estimated 1/5 to 1/3 of the population


B- included Anglican clergymen, religious minorities, government officials, and some wealthy merchants


C- at wars end some loyalists property was seized by the patriots and many loyalists were forced to evacuate the colonies


D- result was a social leveling out of this group


II. Women


A- although they failed to attain the status of equality that the war was fought for these women including Abigail Adams challenged the female inequality


B- wives often followed troops or were even engaged in combat(rare)


C- in the absence of men women were forced to take over many jobs that men would have ordinarily held such as a secretary or even work on the farm


III. African Americans


A- slaves and free alike came out of the revolution with almost nothing. The revolution was fought for freedom for all but slavery continued.


B- About 5000 blacks served in the army and navy and were involved in every major battle.


C- Fear of possible slave revolts inhibited use of blacks in south


D- However they were gradually freed in the northern and middle states


IV. Native Americans


A- the protection that the British gave them with the proclamation line of 1763 ended with the revolution now white men were free to move in and take whatever they pleased.