Get History help
Discussions and homework support for your
The Family in the 17th and 18th Centuries
The English Colonies
- Purpose of the new settlements was to recreate English institutions and traditions as soon as possible.
- Institutions such as patriarchy, marriage, law etc.
- The family was an agent of settlement and a source of population
- The economy depended on the family farm
- Patriarchy : A system of society or government in which men hold the power and women are largely excluded from it
- was not only a domestic system but also a political and religious one
- Domestic unity was viewed as a public good
- Family stability meant community stability
- A woman was considered property.
- She belonged to her father until she married and at that time ownership was passed to her husband.
- Married women had no property rights of their own
- Children were also considered property and the father had full ownership.
The Happy Home
- Basic prerequisites for a happy home was wifely obedience
- Head of household was required to:
- Control its members
- Supervise finances
- Made family decisions
- Served as intermediary between family and community
Women and the Law in the British Colonies
- Feme Sole
- A single woman
- Feme Covert
- A woman protected by marriage
- A woman did not have a separate legal existence
- Most Puritan women accepted their subordinate place in society.
- “Ordered liberty”; Collective; Not individual
- They viewed themselves as part of a community and a family, with duties determined by their sex and age not as individuals with rights equal to those of men.
Puritan Social Structure
- In the family, the husband was superior to wife, but together they ruled the children and servants.
- In the church, the minister and elders dominated the congregation.
- In the community officials led the people.
- Religion and politics were intertwined
- Women’s role in the church was the same as their role in society
- Women could not preach or vote on church business
- Ideal: To live according to the doctrine that all are equal in the eyes of God.
- Pennsylvania was “holy experiment” where Quakers could exercise their beliefs without interference.
- Women were more vocal and more active participants than Puritans.
- Quaker women could be vocal in church
- They believed that God spoke through them (everyone)
- These women challenged the Puritan faith and expectations of female subordination
17th and 18th Century Women
- Women remained subordinate to men.
- Women’s lives centered around the household.
- Women rarely controlled their own destiny.
- Lifelong production of food, clothing, and household items
- Women’s work was done in or around the home.
- Daily food preparation
- Food preservation: smoked and salted meat; pickled vegetables
- Made soap, candles, medicines
- Made clothing
- Childbirth was the one occasion where women were in total control and men were excluded
- 1/5 of adult deaths among women occurred during childbirth
- High infant mortality rate
- Higher survival rate fostered greater emotional investment in children
- Almost all education took place in the home
- Children were taught character formation and vocational training
- Girls were taught obedience, industry, piety, and the habit of silence
- (all personality traits that were valued in women)
Gender and Character
- Rationality was a male characteristic
- Piety was always associated with womanhood
- Women’s education emerges but with resistance
- Intellectual Activity was linked to unflattering masculinity
Stuck with a homework question? Find quick answer to Accounting homeworks
Ask Accounting Tutors
Need help understanding a concept? Ask our Accounting tutors
Get access to our databanks of Discussion questions and Exam questions
How We Safeguard Your Tutor Quality
All tutors are required to have relevant training and expertise in their specific fields before they are hired. Only qualified and experienced tutors can join our team
All tutors must pass our lengthy tests and complete intensive interview and selection process before they are accepted in our team
Prior to assisting our clients, tutors must complete comprehensive trainings and seminars to ensure they can adequately perform their functions
Interested in becoming a tutor with Online Class Ready?
Share your knowledge and make money doing it
1. Be your own boss
2. Work from home
3. Set your own schedule