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The 13 Colonies: New England

When settling New England, the Puritans were given plots of land. Men then divided the land among themselves. Every white man had a voice in the town meeting. The town meeting decided upon taxes, built roads, and elected officials to manage their towns.

The church the Puritans founded was not automatically joined by all New England residents because of Puritan beliefs that God singled out only a few specific. Less than half of the population of New England belonged to the church.

Farm life

Most people in New England were farmers. When married, English women could not own property or vote. In the mid-18th century, women usually married when they were in their early 20s. They often had 6 to 8 children. Farm women spun yarn from wool and knitted sweaters and stockings. They made candles and soap, and churned milk into butter.

When sons married, fathers gave them gifts of land, livestock, or farming equipment. Daughters received household goods, farm animals, and cash. Children usually chose the person they wanted to marry.

New England farming families generally lived in wooden houses because there were many trees. A large chimney provided cooking facilities and warmth during the winter.

One side of the ground-floor contained a hall, a general-purpose room where the family worked and ate meals. The parlor was next to the big room where guests were entertained. Children slept in a loft upstairs. The kitchen was either part of the hall or in a shed along the back of the house.

After 1700, most New England farmers grew corn and raised cattle and hogs. Corn provided food for humans. Corn stalks and leaves fed for the cattle and pigs.

Many families traded with each other. They loaned livestock and grazing land to one another and worked together to spin yarn, sew quilts, and shuck corn.

Town life In The Colonies

By 1750 there were many  artisans, shopkeepers, and merchants.  That includes blacksmiths, wheelwrights, and furniture makers set up shops in rural villages.

Stores sold English items such as cloth, iron tools, and window glass as well as West Indian products like sugar and molasses. The storekeepers sold their goods in exchange for crops and other local products including shingles, potash, and barrel staves. They also sent products to the West Indies jto trade for molasses, sugar, and gold coins

Other New England merchants had fishing boats and took mackerel and cod to the West Indies and southern Europe. Many merchants became rich. As their houses got larger, and rooms served a separate purpose. In a Georgian house, men mainly used the library, while women mostly used the kitchen. bedrooms were often on the second floor.

Culture and education

Most boys learned skills from their fathers on the farm or as apprentices to artisans. In 1750, almost all New England's women and men could read and write. Many churches in New England established colleges to train ministers while Puritans founded colleges including Harvard in 1636 and Yale in 1701.


 
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