History week 32 review
Life in the colonies.
Cities and Government
Most cities were organized as harbor towns or seats of government in the 13 colonies. The largest cities were the ones organized around harbors. Harbors were important because most of the cities and colonies relied on trade with England. Important features of any city were church buildings, government buildings, open squares, grid-like street pattern, market, tradesmen section, and houses. The government in most colonies was divided into two parts, the Governor’s council and The House of Burgesses. The Governor’s council was a group of advisers appointed by the governor to help him run the colony. The House of Burgesses was made of representatives elected by the people to serve for a set time period. Each had there own wing of a building and could meet in a connecting hall for a general assembly.
There were many things a person could do for a job. Barber, blacksmith, cabinetmaker, clock maker, cobbler, cooper, doctor, farmer, grocer, miller, hatter, sailor, silversmith, tailor, tanner, and wig maker. These weren’t all the jobs this is just a little list.
Where a family lived made a big difference to their living condition. Some people were wealthy and some were poor. Home life was a lot different than today, back then they didn’t have plumbing and electricity. Early homes would have just one room called a keeping room. The family would sleep, cook, eat, bathe, and live in that one room. Sometimes people would have to make their house bigger so they would add an extension. These houses were called saltbox houses because they looked like salt boxes. In the house they would not have much furniture. They would mostly have a few beds, a table, a spinning wheel, maybe a few barrels, a few chairs, and maybe a chest or two.
The colonist ate whatever they could eat. They might have squash, corn, fruits and vegetables, bean porridge, and fish or meat. Everyone drank cider, beer, milk, and water.
Childhood and Growing Up
Growing up during this time was different than today. Still kids nowadays, and back then, have quite a bit in common, like playing games, helping with chores, and learning how to grow up. A kid was considered a baby until they turned six. At that age they were given big kid clothes and were sent to dame school, they also help with chores. Girls got dresses and aprons, and boys got shorts or pants with a long shirt. The children helped around the house, took care of pets, and did the dishes. Because they did not have modern conveniences they had to fetch water and other thing that we don’t have to do today. At dame school they would learn to read. After dame school most boys, and some girls, went to better schools and learned math, writing, and rhetoric. Some boys would get an apprenticeship. This is where they learn a trade from a tradesman in exchange for room and board. Often when the tradesman retired the apprentice would get his shop. It wasn’t all work, the kids would play games in their free time. A girl would be grown up once she was married, and moved out of the house. A boy grew up when he could support himself in a career. Mostly men went to college, but some women too. When most people graduated college they were younger than 18.
Colonists had to work for things that we buy at the store every day. Clothes, food, and houses had to be made by every family that came to the colonies.