Women Of The 18th Century Essay

Women Of The 18th Century Essay

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At the start of America, Virginia’s ratio of men to women was three to one. Therefore the population was, largely dominated by males for the first years. However, women in the 17th Century were considered completely inferior to men in every possible way. The social customs and legal codes of women ensured that they were unable to vote, preach, hold office, attend public schools or colleges, bring lawsuits, make contracts or own property (Shi &Tindall, 2013, P. 111). Women of the 17th century, also had extremely restricted roles within their religion. Typical work duties of women during this time period involved mundane activities around the house, garden, and yard. The gender roles for women was very unbalanced and unfair during the colonial period. Historians’ believed that traditional roles assigned to females, was the contributing factor that created the witchcraft hysteria (Shi &Tindall, 2013, P.138).
Most colonists in the new world had deeply rooted conceptions about women, and how they should conduct themselves, as well as duties they should carry out. They believed that women were weak creatures, not endowed with like strength and constancy of mind. The prescribed role of women was to obey and serve their husbands, nurture their children, and endure taxing labor required to maintain their household. Governor John Winthrop, of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, during the colonial period insisted that a “true wife would find contentment only in subjection to her husband’s authority” (Shi &Tindall, 2013, P. 110).
Women’s work duties involved typical activities around the house, garden, and yard. The duties of a farm women included preparing breakfast, lunch and dinner, feed and water livestock, tend to the garden, and care for c...


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...believe that the witch hysteria was caused by frequent Indian attacks occurring just North of Salem, along New England’s Northern frontier. Some of the participants in the witch trials were girls from Maine who had been orphaned by indigenous violence. The terrifying threat of Indian attacks created a climate of fear that helped fuel the witchcraft hysteria (Shi &Tindall, 2013, P. 138-139). The witchcraft controversy surrounded around the Salem community in the New World, but subsided in 1692 when colonist became unimpressed with the hysteria.
Women in the 17th Century were considered inferior to men. They were restricted in their religious beliefs. They were not allowed to engage in common social customs. Their work duties involved typical activities around the house, garden, and yard. These gender roles for women, made living through the colonial period difficult.

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