Patriots (also known as American Whigs, Revolutionaries, Congress-Men or Rebels) were the colonists of the British Thirteen United Colonies who violently rebelled against British control during the American Revolution and in July 1776 declared the United States of America an independent nation.
Inspired by the Boston Tea Party, the Edenton Tea Party was a political protest in Edenton, North Carolina, in response to the Tea Act passed by the British Parliament in 1773.
President-elect Obama appeared just before midnight Eastern Time on November 5 in Grant Park, Chicago, in front of a crowd of 250,000 people to deliver his victory speech. Following Obama's speech, spontaneous street parties broke out in cities across the United States including Philadelphia, Houston, Las Vegas, Miami, Chicago, Columbus, Detroit, Boston, Los Angeles, Portland, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Denver, Atlanta, Madison, New York City, and around the world in London; Bonn; Berlin; Obama, Japan; Toronto; Rio de Janeiro; Sydney; and Nairobi.
While formal politics did not include them, women imbued ordinary domestic behaviors with political significance, confronting the Revolution as a war that permeated all aspects of political, civil and domestic life. Acts such as drinking British tea or ordering clothes from England that had once been everyday activities demonstrated Colonial opposition during the years leading up to and containing the war. Women participated by boycotting British goods, producing goods for soldiers, spying on the British, following armies as they marched, washing and cooking for the soldiers, delivering secret messages, and fighting disguised as men.
Women worked in the Homespun Movement. Instead of wearing or purchasing clothing made of imported British materials, patriot women continued a long tradition of weaving and spun their own cloth to make into clothing for their families.
Just as spinning and weaving American cloth became a mechanism of resistance, so did many acts of consumption. Nonimportation and nonconsumption became major weapons in the arsenal of the American resistance movement against the British. The nonimportation movement brought many rural communities into the political movement. In addition to the boycotts of British textiles, the Homespun Movement served the Continental Army by producing needed clothing and blankets.
Women used their purchasing power for additional boycotts. The Edenton Tea Party represented one of the first coordinated and publicized political actions by women in the colonies. Fifty-one women in Edenton, North Carolina signed an agreement officially agreeing to boycott tea and other English products and sent it to British newspapers. Women extended similar boycotts to a variety of British goods, instead opting in favor of purchasing or making "American" goods. Even though these "non-consumption boycotts" depended on a national policy formulated by men, it was women who enacted them in the household spheres.
Women also helped the Patriot cause through organizations such as the Ladies Association in Philadelphia, which recognized the capacity of every woman to contribute to the war effort.
Women who fought in the war were met with ambivalence that fluctuated between admiration and contempt, depending on the woman's motivation and activity . Deborah Samson, Hannah Snell, and Sally St. Claire successfully hid their gender for a time and Sampson, upon discovery, was honorably discharged and awarded a veteran's pension some years later. Other Patriot women concealed army dispatches and letters containing sensitive military information underneath their petticoats as they rode through enemy territory to deliver it. Deborah Champion, Sara Decker Haligowski, Harriet Prudence Patterson Hall, and Lydia Darraugh all managed to sneak important information past the British to their American compatriot.
A crisis of political loyalties disrupted the fabric of colonial America women's social worlds: whether a man did or did not renounce his allegiance to the king could dissolve ties of class, family, and friendship, isolating women from former connections. A woman's loyalty to her husband, once a private commitment, could become a political act. Women, guilty by association, fell victim to vigilante groups or mobs due to their husband's treason.
Many loyalist women chose to leave their communities rather than live among their enemies. This often meant leaving home without any family possessions. Resistance was another option for loyalist women. Others encouraged friends to refuse to take the loyalty oath to new governments. Most of the women who actively supported the Crown participated by aiding loyalist soldiers or by collecting information for the British. Some loyalist women hid their husbands from arrest, while others hid important papers or money from authorities.
One of the fundamental effects of the war on Native American women was the disruption of home, family, and agricultural life. In general, Native women were responsible for farming and thus wartime destruction of crops and property was particularly devastating for them. As women were sometimes the traders in society, they suffered greatly and found it increasingly difficult to maintain their way of life. After the war, the American government encouraged Native women to take up spinning and weaving and attempted to force men to farm, reversing gender roles and causing severe social problems that ran contrary to Native cultural mores.
The majority of African Americans in the 1770s lived as slaves, both in the south and the north. There was a massive migration, not unlike the Great Migration, of blacks to urban areas in the North after the close of the war. This migration was largely female. Prior to the Revolution, Northern urban populations were overwhelmingly male; by 1806, women outnumbered men four to three in New York City. Increasing this disparity was the fact that the maritime industry was the largest employer of black males in the post-Revolutionary period, taking many young black men away to sea for several years at a time. The rural African American population in the North remained predominately male.