Family life in 17th- and 18th-century America
Family life in 17th- and 18th-century America.
Volo, James M. and Dorothy Denneen Volo.
Did both men and women read in colonial days? Could wives hold power of attorney? How long did children go to school? Who taught them? Did teenagers dress weird? Here a pair of public school teachers keep general audiences in mind as they describe families as educational institutions and primary social structure. They examine the respective roles of fathers, mothers, children, servants and slaves, and the ways in which their relationships were built, changed and ended. The result is a perception that colonial families were structured, ambitious for the next generation as well as their own, and surprisingly flexible, given how close to the edge of economic and physical survival they often lived. By the way, the many illustrations show that everyone, not just the teenagers, dressed weird.
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