APUSH Chapter 3 - Chapter 3 Colonial Ways of Life The Shape...

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Chapter 3: Colonial Ways of Life The Shape of Early America British Folkways Majority of European settlers came from the British Isles o 20,000 Puritans Massachusetts o Royalist Cavaliers & Indentured Servants Virginia Aristocrats who introduced slavery o 23,000 Quakers Pennsylvania & Delaware o 100,000+ Celtic Britons & Scotch-Irish Appalachian backcountry British ways of life persist in the Americas o Gender relations, religious practices, criminal propensities, etc. Seaboard Ecology Slash-and-Burn Agriculture - a migratory method of Native American Agriculture that involved the repeated clearing/burning of lands to be used as planting grounds until the nutrients in the soil were depleted o The clearing of forests created rich soil & ideal grazing ground Europeans viewed land and natural resources and privately owned commodities o Transformed the land greatly o Evicted Indians, cleared, fenced, improved, and sold land, cut timber, grew surplus crops, etc. Settlers had very little time to watch their livestock so they often let them run amuck o British animals rapidly reproduced in the New World o Livestock often created conflicts with the Indians Weeds from Europe overran the New World soil Population Growth In the colonies, land was plentiful and cheap, and labor was scarce and expensive o Aided the growing population Colonists tended to marry early and start families earlier Birthrates and Death Rates Birthrates in the colonies were higher than in Europe due to better economic prospects (which resulted in more marriages) There was greater longevity and lower death rates in the colonies o Bountiful land for crops prevented famine o Plentiful firewood countered the cold winters o Disease was less prominent (due to the lack of crowded cities)
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Note: there WERE variations in these patterns. The early years in the southern colonies had high mortality rates as well as a chronic shortage of women Sex Ratios and the Family Family migrations were much more prominent in the northern colonies than the south o Southern colonies promoted opportunities for young men Male:female ratio = 8:1 Created instability in the first few years o Northern colonies had both more women, and greater lifespans for women Women in the Colonies Traditional ideas of female inferiority pervaded the colonies o Female role=obey and serve husbands, nurture children, and maintain households o Social customs & legal codes ensured that most women remained deferential Lacked the right to vote, preach, hold office, attend public schools, bring lawsuits, make contracts, or own property Women’s Work Women’s work generally involved activities in the house, garden, and yard Labor scarcities in the colonies opened up opportunities for non-home-restricted roles o Midwives, tavern hostesses, shopkeepers, doctors, printers, painters, tanners, shipwrights, etc.
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