While fishing, shipbuilding, and maritime trade dominated New England economies, many young men entered apprenticeships, learning a trade from a master craftsman in the hopes of becoming blacksmiths, carpenters, gunsmiths, printers, candlemakers, leather tanners, and more.
The daring people who colonized America during the 17th and 18th centuries were part of a massive social migration occurring throughout Europe and Africa.
People were moving from farms to vil ages, from vil ages to cities, and from homelands to colonies.
Poor farmworkers were squeezed off the land and into the cities because of rapid population growth.
Many Europeans were willing to risk their lives to migrate to the American colonies because they were poor in the 17th and 18th century.
Others wanted religious freedom or political security.
The Africans were captured and transported to new lands.
Almost half of the people who initialy settled in colonial America were indentured servants or slaves.
The fur trade was controlled by the native peoples.
America's enduring institutions and values were created by a mosaic of adventurous, resilient, and often ingenious people.
In early America, life was short and hard.
Native Americans killed many of the first colonists.
The colonies grew quickly once colonial life became more settled.
During the colonial period, the population doubled every twenty five years.
By 1750, the number of people in the colony had passed 1 million.
The combined population of England, Scotland, and Ireland was over 6 million.
Benjamin Franklin said that the growth of the colonial population was due to the fact that land was plentiful and cheap.
Europe suffered from overpopulation and expen sive farmland.
Many of the changes that European culture underwent during the colonization of America were a result of this reversal of conditions, including that more land and good fortune lured immigrants and led the colonists to have large families, in part because farm children could help in the fields.
Colonists, men and women were more likely to marry at an earlier age than Europeans were.
The average age of marriage for women in England was twenty five or twenty six, while in America it was twenty.
A married woman has a child every two to three years.
Some women had as many as twenty babies.
Benjamin Franklin had many brothers and sisters.
Most babies were delivered at home in unsanitary conditions.
Miscarriages were common.
Almost a quarter of all babies did not survive infancy during the early stages of a colonial settlement, and between 25 and 50 percent of women died during birthing or soon thereafter.
Young children had more deaths than any other age group.
Epidemics and disease were common in colonial America.
Half of the children born in Virginia and Maryland died before they were twenty years old.
In 1713, Boston minister Cotton Mather lost three of his children and his wife to a disease.
Martha Custis had four children when she was married to George Washington.
At ages two, three, and sixteen, they all died.
The colonies had lower mortality rates than Europe.
Famine rarely occurred after the early years of settlement because of the plentiful land and abundant firewood.
The white population of the English colonies doubled between 1670 and 1700, while the black population increased fivefold.
Americans were less susceptible to disease during the teenth century because the average age in the colonies was sixteen.
The majority of colonists lived in settlements with few people.
As colonial cities grew larger and more congested, that began to change.
The plan shows how the trees were cut and how the stumps were left to rot.
Nativism emerged in the colonies during the 18th century.
Although Pennsylvania was founded as a haven for people from all countries and religions, there were concerns about the influx of Germans.
The German arrivals were described as the most ignorant group in Pennsylvania.
They "herded together" in their own communities when they refused to learn English.
He was worried that they would outnumber us and cause a lot of tension.
He was not against the admission of Germans in general, but he wanted them spread across the colonies so as not to allow them to become a majority.
English America had more women than New Spain and New France, which explains the difference in population growth rates.
More women didn't mean more equality.
Obeying and serving their husbands, nurturing their children, and maintaining their households were what they were supposed to do.
Another Puritan said that the wife's role was to guide the house.
Over the years, the power relationship in colonial households DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch DropCatch A woman focused on her tombstone.
Women in most colonies couldn't vote, hold office, attend schools or colleges, sign contracts, or become ministers.
Divorces were only allowed for desertion or "cruel and barbarous treatment" and no matter who was named the "guilty party," the father received custody of the children.
The domestic path goes from cradle to coffin, followed by most affluent colonial women.
Everyone in the household worked, and no one was expected to work harder than women.
Women who failed to perform the work expected of them were punished as if they were slaves.
In Virginia, two seamstresses were whipped for fashioning shirts that were too short, and a female indentured servant was forced to work in the tobacco fields even though she was sick.
She died with a hoe in her hands.
The song "The Axe and Hoe have wrought my overthrow" was popular with women because of the harsh conditions.
Many unmarried women moved into other households to help.
Others spun thread into yarn to exchange for cloth.
As an apprenticeship, you can learn a skilled trade or craft.
Any money earned by a married woman was her husband's.
Farm women usually wake up by sunrise and go to bed after dark.
They built the fire and hauled water.
They fed and watered the livestock, tended the garden, prepared lunch, milked the cows, got the children ready for bed, and cleaned the kitchen before retiring.
Women combed, spun, spooled, wove, and bleached wool for clothing, knitted linen and cotton, hemmed sheets, and pieced quilts.
Female indentured servants in the south worked as field hands.
Ethnic groups had different meals in colonial America.
The English focused their diet on boiled or broiled meats.
The meals were often cooked in a large cast iron pot and smothered with butter and salt.
Beer with a little alcohol content was the most common beverage, even for children and infants, while puddings made of bread or plums was the favorite dessert.
The cooking was done over the fireplace.
Kitchen fires that started long dresses were the greatest accidental killer of women.
Prostitution was the oldest trade among colonial women.
After their indenture was filled, many servants took up prostitution.
Local authorities did not approve of such activities.
In Massachusetts, prostitutes were stripped to the waist, tied to the back of a cart, and whipped as they moved through the town.
Some women who were slaves demanded compensation because their owners expected sexual favors.
Women were forced to exercise leadership outside the domestic sphere.
Such was the case with Elizabeth Lucas Pinckney.
"Eliza" moved to Charleston, South Carolina, when she was fifteen years old.
Lucas, a British army officer and colonial administrator, was called back to Antigua and left Eliza to care for her ailing mother and younger sister.
She wrote, "I have the business of three plantations to transact, which requires much writing and more business and fatigue."
For many other plantation owners, Indigo made their family a lot of money.
The speaker of the South Carolina Charleston Museum has restored and displayed a gown made of silk twice her age.
She promised to continue to manage her plantations.
She decided to make a good wife to her husband as she began raising children.
Charles Pinckney died of malaria.
The widow refused to let grief or self- pity affect her.
She doubled her work ethic.
The possibility of women breaking out of the tradition of housewifery and assum ing roles of social prominence and economic leadership was signaled by the self- confident, self- aware, and fearless Eliza Pinckney.
Women were not allowed to be ministers during the colonial era.
Women are allowed to hold church offices and preach in public.
According to Puritans, God requires "virtuous" women to submit to male authority and remain silent.
Women are not supposed to meddle in such things as are proper for men to manage.
Women who challenged authority were punished.
The majority of church members were women by the 18th century.
Many ministers were worried about their disproportionate attendance at services and revivals since the church was thought to be in decline.
The pain associated with childbirth, which had been seen as the penalty women paid for Eve's sin, was argued to be part of the reason why women commit their lives to Christ more frequently.
The religious roles of black women were different from those of white women in colonial America.
Women often served as priests and cult leaders in West African tribes.
After arriving in the colonies, most enslaved Africans tried to maintain their African religion even though they had been exposed to Christianity or Islam.
Black women and men were often excluded from church membership due to the fear that Christianized slaves might try to gain their freedom.
The shortage of women in the early settlement years made them more valued in the colonies than they were in Europe.
Laws protecting wives from physical abuse and allowing for divorce came about because of the Puritan emphasis on a well-ordered family life.
After a husband's death, colonial laws gave wives greater control over the property that they had brought into a marriage.
In colonial America, the idea of female subordination and domesticity remained firmly entrenched.
Social life became more divided as the southern colonies matured.
The use of enslaved Indians and Africans to grow and process crops brought enormous wealth to a few families.
They dominated the legislature, bought luxury goods from London and Paris, and built brick mansions with mal gardens, all while looking down upon their "inferiors," both white and black.
Tobacco production increased during the 17th century.
In Virginia and Maryland, wrote a royal official in 1629.
In South Carolina and Georgia, the same was true for rice.
Slaves used only hand tools to transform the coastal landscapes, removing trees from swamps and wetlands.
The system of floodgates allowed workers to drain or flood the fields.
Rice plant ers were the wealthiest group in the British colonies.
The demand for enslaved laborers rose as plantations grew.
The primitive one- room huts built by the first English immigrants to Maryland rotted quickly.
The bright appearance of bers was "chinked" with wattle and this important cash crop on Southern colonial plantations.
The wooden stakes formed a wall or seam when dried.
Residents slept on the floor in most homes.
They rarely had glass to fill windows.
Wooden shutters were used to cover the openings.
Environmental, social, and economic factors contributed to the diversity of the early American colonies.
New England was different from the southern and middle Atlantic regions because of the rocky soil and frigid climate, traders and shopkeepers dominated, and town life was less involved with slavery.
The first public structure built in New England was a church.
Every town had to collect taxes to support a church and every resident had to attend religious services.
In a lifetime, the average New Englander heard more than 7,000 sermons.
The principles of democracy and equality were not part of Puritan political thought.
The Puritans sought to do the will of God and the ultimate source of authority was not majority rule but the Bible.
Few New Englanders received large tracts of land like the settlers in the southern colonies.
They would ask for a "town" and then divide the land according to a rough principle of equity.
More land might be given to those who invested more or had larger families.
The town had some pasture and woodland in common and held other tracts for future arrivals.
The first settlers in New England lived in caves, tents, or cabins, but they eventually built simple wood- frame houses with steeply pitched roofs to reduce the amount of snow.
The frame house was built in the 1670s and belonged to Rebecca Nurse, who was hanged as a witch in 1692.
The exteriors of most houses were painted in the 18th century, but the interior was often plastered and whitewashed.
Most people went to sleep after sunset because the interiors were dark, and candles or oil lamps were expensive.
There was no bathroom.
Most families were indifferent to the smell of the house and preferred to relieve themselves outside.
The main room on the ground floor was where the family lived most of the time.
Food was served at a table made of rough hewn planks, and the only eating utensils were spoons and fingers.
The rest of the family ate with their hands and wooden spoons on stools or benches.
Forks were introduced in the 18th century.
A typical meal consists of corn, boiled meat, and vegetables washed down with beer, cider, rum, or milk.
Cornbread and hasty pudding were daily favorites.
In 1630, as John Winthrop and the Puri tans prepared to leave for New England, he stressed that God had made some people powerful and rich, and others powerless and poor, so that the elite would show mercy.
He reminded the Puritans that they were given a call by God to work hard and make sure that material things did not diminish the importance of spiritual devotion.
Puritans in New England instilled their Protestant work ethic and tenacious primacy of religion as bedrock American values.
The idea of American newness was celebrated.
They lived in the expectation of Christ's second coming and his reign on earth.
A new phase of world history would be brought about by this newness.
The mark of a special relationship to history and to God was what antiquity was to Americans.
The idea of American exception alism was affirmed.
The American Revolution was overshadowed by Puritanism's promise of political renewal.
Farmers and their families were hard workers.
Sixty days of hard labor might be required to clear rocks.
The growing season was short and crops were not grown in the harsh climate.
The crops and livestock were familiar to the English countryside.
New Englanders turned to the sea for work.
The waters off the New England coast have the highest concentrations of cod in the world.
Oil was supplied by whales.
New Englanders exported dried fish to Europe and the West Indies as slaves' food.
The development of shipbuilding was encouraged by the thriving fishing industry.
The Puritan ideal of plain living and high thinking clashed with the taste for luxury goods that came from rising incomes and a booming trade with Britain and Europe.
New England's forests were a source of wealth.
Ships' masts and spars were made from old-growth trees.
The tallest and straightest trees, mostly white pines and oaks, were claimed by the British government.
Since a large ship might require as many as 2,000 trees, it was less expen sive to purchase ships built in America than to transport timber to Britain for ship construction.
British ships were made in the colonies more than a third of the time.
The New England colonies became part of a complex North Atlantic commercial network by the end of the 17th century, trading with Spain, France, Portugal, the Netherlands, and the British West Indies.