The war affected the lives of everyone in the United States. Getting money to pay for the war was a challenge for the government. It printed millions of dollars of paper money. But the paper money lost value. The economy suffered from inflation. It took more and more money to buy the same amount of goods.
Women raised their children and took care of their homes on their own. They also ran businesses and farms while their fathers, husbands, and brothers were away at war. Children lived without their fathers present.
This caused some people to think differently about women’s roles. Abigail Adams, the wife of Congressman John Adams, wrote to ask him to think about the rights of women as he helped form the new nation.
For others, the fight for freedom made them change their thoughts about slavery. In 1778, the governor of New Jersey, William Livingstone, asked his state government to free all enslaved people. He felt that slavery went against the ideas of Christianity. African Americans also spoke up for their freedom. The conflict over slavery would continue for many years to come.
The war also affected another group of people in the United States. These people were Loyalists, or American settlers who supported Great Britain. Some Loyalists joined the British troops and fought against the Patriots in the war. Some were spies for Great Britain. Others fled to Canada or went back to Great Britain.
The people who stayed faced trouble. Many were treated badly by their neighbors. Some were attacked or hurt. Those caught spying could be arrested or even put to death.