From: Kristy Ortenzi
Time: 6:42:06 PM
Remote Name: 18.104.22.168
Kristy Ortenzi January 30, 2000 History 67 William Cutler
What were the roles of women and the family in colonial America? Did they differ by region?
The roles of women and the family in colonial America were quite complex. When it comes to the roles that women played in this time period the views differ. Some historians believe that the women were equal to the men. They said that women worked on the farms all day like the men. They had their own jobs to do, cooking, gardening, making clothes, etc. The women were also very interested in being part of the church. The New England congregations had twice the amount of women than men. Many believed that the reasoning being the women’s strong interest in religion was due to childbirth. The right of women were not as strong as men. Women were not allowed to own their own property. A man could sell their families property and belongings and she would not be able to do anything about it. Some historians feel as though women were almost equal to men while others feel that they were inferior to men. The family life was difficult to those who emigrated to the Chesapeake region. These people did not travel as a family, instead they traveled as servants. Most of these servants were young men between eighteen and twenty-two. Many of these immigrants died right after they arrived to Chesapeake. The life expectancy was terribly low. The average for men was forty-three years old and the women’s was even lower. Many of the babies dies at birth. And the ones that did make it were not healthy. Due to the low life expectancy and the high death rate made it hard for the families to survive during this time period. The marriages did not last long because it was common for one of the partners to die. The families differed in many ways in each different region. Life was much more difficult for those in the Chesapeake compared to those in New England. The people from New England lived almost twenty years longer than the Chesapeake men and women. The New England settlers also traveled together as a family compared to taveling