01 New England v Chesapeake Society

New England v Chesapeake Society
17th Century – 1600s
New England
 Highly religious society - Puritans
 Strong nuclear families
 Were able to maintain English traditional social order
 Patriarchal
 Father was the source of t authority and object of
unquestioned obedience
 Wife shared responsibility for raising the children
 Important decisions were for the husband
 Ratio of men to women was fairly well balanced
 3:2
 Striking pop growth
 Married young
 High survival rate
 Pure drinking water
 Cooler climate
 Dispersed population
 Grandparents/grandchildren
 Shared community values
 Majority of the pop was married
 Single life was morally suspect
 Women had dowries and contributed money or
household goods
 Not economically self sufficient
 Religious values, sense of common purpose, and
importance of family reinforced traditional
communal ties
 Towns were a collection of families
 Communities were an elaborate kinship network
 Original founders dominated local politics and
economic affairs
 Congregational churches
 Half-Way covenant (1662) as long as the
grandparents could demonstrate conversion, the
grandchildren could be baptized
 NEnglanders had a growing obsession with family –
called tribalism
 Education was primarily a family responsibility
 Necessary to teach boys and girls how to read
 1647 – MBC ordered towns w/ at least 15 families to
open an elementary school
 Villages of 100+ had to maintain more advanced
grammar schools – with basic Latin education
 Majority of adult males could read and write
 Female literacy rate was lower but still impressive
 1690 – New England Primer – taught children the
alphabet and the Lord’s Prayer
 1638 – Harvard College founded – originally to train
 Yale -1702
Women worked on family farms
Responsible for the normal household duties:
cooking, washing, clothes making, dairying, and
 Many raised and sold poultry and gained economic
 More women joined churches than men
 A wife had no control over property
 She could not sell land, and if her husband wanted to
sell land, he could do so without her permission
 Divorce was extremely difficult to obtain
 Absence of social classes - none of the very rich or
the very poor
 Those who were not “natural rulers” in England,
could come here and be part of the ruling elite
 Yet they did have sumptuary laws – limited the
wearing of fine apparel to the wealthy and prominent
 Social mobility was evident
 Most northerners were Yeomen (independent)
farmers who owned their own land
 Village and town meetings
 Prior to the late 1700s, traditional community bonds
were stronger than personal material ambition
 Families placed their adolescent children in nearby
homes as servants or apprentices – like vocational
The Chesapeake
 Common with NE – founded roughly the same time,
from the same mother country, spoke English,
accepted Protestantism, and gave allegiance to one
 High death rate
 Traditional family life was severely altered
 Did not originally move in family units
 Most were poor in England
 Possibly 70 to 85% of the white colonists in the
1600s were not free – they were indentured servants
 Most were males
 Ratio of males to females 6:1 (before 1640)
 2.5:1 by the end of the century
 Malaria common
 Salt in drinking water
 Life expectancy – males = 43 women = less
 25% of all children died in infancy
 Another 25% died before 20
 Female Indentured servants had to complete their
servitude before becoming wives and mothers
 Late marriage restricted family size
 Many children did not know their own parents