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SFTSA_Notes - Social Forces That Shaped America Cristis...

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Social Forces That Shaped America Cristi’s Office Hours T, F 11:00-12:00 Batelle Terrace H-1 8/31/07 Colonial Era America     “Searchers again Assembled”: Gender Distinctions in 17 th  Century America –  Mary Beth Norton Sex  – biological genitalia determine a person’s sex Gender  – person chooses gender In T’s society, s/he choose his/her sex, but society tried to change his/her  gender. o Raised as a girl, but had both genitalia o Fought in war as a boy, came to America as a male indentured student o Had many female qualities Men saw these qualities and called him a women Eventually, they concluded him/her as a woman since s/he  couldn’t have sexual intercourse. At this time, men are supposed to father children. o Brought T to court, without charges, for the courts to determine his/her  sex. Gender and class rank were the two most important things in 17 th  Century society  in determining how your life would be. Gender’s importance in the community was shown by the lengths people  went to, in finding T’s gender. Clothing was very important to society at this time.
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o Women wore women’s clothing; men wore men’s clothing. No variation. Community was the most important thing, to society at this time. T considers himself both genders, which is what the court decided. Court ordered him to wear both men’s and women’s clothing at the same time  (men’s clothes with an apron). o Restricted T, couldn’t switch genders anymore. Virginia Commonwealth Founded as a commercial state to harvest and trade tobacco. o Different from other colonies People came to better themselves; mostly poor, came over as an indentured  servant. o As in indentured servant, could not marry, have children, work for  others, until time was up. High mortality rate – bad water, poor crops, high disease, etc. More men than women   more freedoms for women because they were  highly prized o Much higher rate of pre-martial sex; adultery, pregnancy before  marriage; out-of-wedlock births Pilgrams “Forming a city on a hill” – John Winthrop – Winthrop, Mass. o Wants to be the shining example of all society More stable family structure; less deaths Homogenous; everyone from the same culture, religion, etc. Enjoyed sex and alcohol, but not over-indulging Everyone was either promoting good morals or bad morals
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o Supposed to spy on your neighbor and report their sins o Tithing man – responsible for around 10 families; made sure they went  to church and followed the rules
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