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Unformatted text preview: haps the most important ritual as it was central to
community life and was handled in different ways
depending on the region. For instance, in Puritan
churches and in Virginia, people were seated w/respect
to their positions in society; but in Quaker meetinghouses
the seating was egalitarian.
- Civic rituals also varied. In New England, colonial
governments proclaimed official thanksgiving days and
days of fasting and prayer. Also, militia-training days
served to bring the community together.
- In the Chesapeake, however, important rituals occurred
on court and election days, where people came from
miles to observe the events.
- In all areas of colonial America, punishment of
criminals in public also served to unite the community
and also to remind everybody of the proper behavior by
totally humiliating the criminal.
25 - A new ritual at the time was the ritual of consumption,
which is a fancy term for going shopping. This was
actually a new activity back then, since commercial
goods were only starting to become available for most
people. It became [and still is] customary, though, to buy
cool stuff and then show it off. Among the rituals of
consumption, though, the tea-drinking ritual was
perhaps the most important.
- Additionally, rituals developed for communication and
negotiation between settlers and Indians – gift giving, etc.
Unfortunately for the Indians the settlers soon realized
that rum was a useful gift.
- Families constituted the basic units of colonial society,
but their forms and structures varied widely during the
18th century. The types of families included… Indian – dramatic changes for the Indians caused
led to bands being reduced in numbers by
disease and the creation of new units. Old
customs were often changed under pressure from
European authorities and new circumstances, and
extended families became more important b/c of
the high mortality rates. Mixed-Race – wherever the population contained
a small number of European women, mixed race
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- Fall '10