Essay on Women and Families of Puritan Society

Essay on Women and Families of Puritan Society

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Woman and family roles are considerably different today than they were back in Puritan times. Puritans thought that the public’s foundation rested on the “little commonwealth”, and not merely on the individual. The “little commonwealth” meant that a father’s rule over his family mirrored God’s rule over creation or a king over his subjects. John Winthrop believed that a “true wife” thought of herself “in [weakness] to her husband’s authority.” As ludicrous as this idea may appeal to women and others in today’s society, this idea was truly necessary for colonies to be able to thrive and maintain social order.
Marriage in Puritan society was more of a contract than a religious sacrament. Daughters were married at a very young age in order to bear many children. While the patriarch of the family’s roles included managing crops and live stock, conducting business transactions and representing it to the government, women were suppose to bear, nurse and rear the children. Women also did charity work and were responsible for work in the house, barn, or garden, and making food or clothing....

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