Teenagers in the Revolution

One thing about the revolution that neither the book nor Dr. Korfhage has addressed is the role of teenagers in the American Revolution. As a teenager myself, I have to wonder what young colonist adults did during the Revolution. What role did they play? What was the average age of the soldiers? Did teenagers ever have big ideas? Did they help advance America? Or were teenagers relegated to a lesser role during the Revolution?A lot of the revolution happened in taverns and town hall meetings, which teenagers would not have been allowed to go to. So did they just serve as pawns, just soldiers on the field? Could we talk about this a bit in class Dr. Korfhage?
Moreover, if the Revolution where to happen today, where do you think that you would fall? Would the members of this class be willing to fight for our liberties as Americans? If we were 50 colonies, would you be willing to risk your life for equal treatment? I think that teenagers are generally easily influenced, so i think a lot of us would fight on whatever side got to us first, myself included.

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5 Responses to Teenagers in the Revolution

  1. dcrichlow2015 says:

    I think this is an incredibly interesting point, Carrigan. Until you brought this up, I hadn’t thought about children at all. It is almost like the children and teens were non-existant in the colonial world, or that they just sat around inside their houses. I think that if the revolution were going on in this day and age, with all the technology and new ideas that society has, the revolution would be much different. While teenagers and children now-a-days are easily influenced and quite rebellious, I believe that the teens would share the beliefs of their parents because these ideas have been spoon fed to them. Also, a lot of teens don’t go out and make their own decisions or formulate their own opinions, they just accept and expand off of what they were taught. Consequently, they instinctually have the same beliefs and tendencies of their parents, and I don’t think those teachings would mostly be of violence. Therefore, I’m not sure everybody would be willing to fight. Personally, I would probably be against the idea of violence at this point in time, because there are so many better methods of communication. Also, with all of the revolutions that are going on, there would be no need for another. I just don’t think we would have a need for violence.

    However, if worst came to worst, I think that the Americans could win a Revolutionary war right now. There are more people to work together, and more methods to win a war. Also, I think that the people who would be fighting would be 18 and older, or perhaps the U.S. would start another draft.

  2. montgomery says:

    Carrigan, I like Drew believe this is a very interesting point you brought up dealing with the issue of teens and children during the American Revolution. I do believe that there were many kids that believed in the causes in the Revolutionary War or at least, thought they knew what the Americans are truly fighting for. One thing, I think that is worth mentioning is I think the teen now is a very different teen then it was then. Back during the American Revolution I would not be shocked to know that there were 14 or 15 year old boys that were fighting along side of their fathers. At that age, boys were expected to start acting like a man, which could possibly mean that they were fighting in the war. Another reason I believe that we don’t hear about teens during the war is due to the fact I do not think teens were given the same amount of freedom as we are now.
    As we continue to speak about boys, you must also wonder what the teen girls were thinking as well. I do not doubt that many of the girls during the Revolution had strong opinions about our country and how are country should be run, but as all of us know women had to fight for the independence they had today and to being treated somewhat equal to men.
    I believe the teens were around during the Revolution coming up with their own ideas and ways of doing things, but were not taken seriously by the adults around them, the same way we sometimes aren’t taken seriously by our parents now.

  3. Dr. K says:

    Sorry, Carrigan, we won’t have time to discuss in class. I tried Googling it, but nothing good came up. If you want to find more, try looking in one of the research databases the library has, like Galenet or Facts on File. And if you find out something, bring it to class.

  4. Ross Musicant says:

    This point is really interesting and very underrated in history. Maybe young adults did influence the Revolution in some small aspects, but I believe they were sort of excluded from discussions about politics and strategy for the war. I think they were sort of just put into battle to get more people involved in the army because we had very small numbers. I also believe, like Drew, that their beliefs were greatly influenced by their parents. Their parents raised them with certain beliefs which made them think that those beliefs were correct sort of like what would happen when children’s parents would discriminate against blacks then their children would too. Therefore, I think I would fight for the side of my parents, not just the side that reached me first. Finally, about risking my life for freedom, I would like to say that I would because that is a very heroic act, but I don’t know what I would do if the opportunity presented itself. Gaining freedom and independence are things that are very important to leading a life that I want, so risking my life seems rational because if I didn’t, then life without freedom and independence would not be good.

  5. Lisa Goldsman says:

    This point is extremely interesting Carrigan. I agree with Ross in the sense that I would join the side my parents have sided with rather than which ever side reached me first. I personally believe that parents influences were even more prominent back then in comparison to now. I do also agree with Monty that most of the boys during the revolution, once they hit the age of abut 15, had already started fighting for their rights. It is interesting to think about how teenagers would respond in modern times. I personally think having rights is very important, especially being a girl knowing that I once had no rights. Agreeing with Monty’s point, it is interesting to think about how little influence girls must have had. I think they were somewhat shut out of the details of the revolution as a sense of ‘protection’ from their fathers. I do not think that I would fight in the war when the opportunity was presented, but I do think I would side with my parents’ view. Thinking about our generation, I think it is extremely interesting to think of people around our age risking their lives to protect our rights. Ultimately, I think the influence kids got from their parents were their main roots in the decisions to pick a side, except for the girls who were probably unaware of most of the details of the revolution.

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