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Ch 20. I. Marriage and the Family A. Late Marriage and Nuclear Families The nuclear family was the most common in preindustrial Europe. Common people.

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Presentation on theme: "Ch 20. I. Marriage and the Family A. Late Marriage and Nuclear Families The nuclear family was the most common in preindustrial Europe. Common people."— Presentation transcript:

1 Ch 20

2 I. Marriage and the Family

3 A. Late Marriage and Nuclear Families The nuclear family was the most common in preindustrial Europe. Common people married late (mostly in their late twenties) in this period. The custom of late marriage combined with the nuclear-family household distinguished European society from other areas in the world. Most people waited to marry until they could support themselves economically. The state attempted to control the sexual behavior of unmarried adults.

4 B. Work Away from Home Girls and boys both learned independence by working away from home as servants, apprentices, and laborers. Service in another family’s home was the most common job for single girls. Servant girls worked hard, had little independence, and were inconstant danger of sexual exploitation. Boys were subject to verbal and physical abuse, but were less vulnerable to sexual harassment and assault than girls. Prostitutes faced harsh laws in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

5 C. Premarital Sex and Community Controls The evidence suggests a low rate of illegitimate births. In rural villages there were tight community controls of premarital sex and adultery. Once married, couples generally had several children. Contraception was used mainly by certain sectors of the urban population.

6 D. New Patterns of Marriage and Illegitimacy Cottage industry enabled young men and women to become independent earlier. Young villagers who moved to the city entered into new sexual relationships free of community control. Rates of illegitimacy rose sharply between 1750 and 1850.

7 II. Children and Education

8 A. Child Care and Nursing Women of the lower classes generally breast-fed their children for a longer period of time than is customary today. The well-off generally hired poor wet nurses to breast-feed their children. Reliance on wet-nurses contributed to high levels of infant mortality. In the second half of the eighteenth century, critics mounted harsh attacks against we- nursing.

9 B. Foundlings and Infanticide Rates of infant mortality were high. Many children were abandoned soon after birth and foundling homes existed to care for some of these children. Infant mortality rates in foundling homes were extremely high. There is some evidence that infanticide remained common.

10 C. Attitudes Toward Children There is conflicting evidence about relationships between parents and young children in the eighteenth century. Discipline methods for children were often severe. The Enlightenment sparked a new discourse about childhood and childrearing.

11 D. Schools and Popular Literature Protestants and Catholics encouraged common people to read the Bible. Some European governments encouraged primary school education for the children of the common people (Prussia, other Protestant principalities in Germany, Scotland, England, the Austrian Empire). Basic literacy rose rapidly between 1600 and The growth in literacy promoted a growth in reading. Ordinary people were not completely cut off from the ideas of the Enlightenment.

12 III. Food, Medicine, and New Consumption Habits

13 A. Diets and Nutrition The poor ate whole grain bread, beans, peas, and vegetables. The common people of Europe loved meant and eggs, but did not eat them every often. Townspeople had a more diverse diet than that of peasants. The rich gorged on meant, sweets, and liquor. Diets varied regionally. Patterns of food consumption changed markedly over the course of the eighteenth century. New foods introduced from the Americas (corn, squash, tomatoes, potatoes) improved calorie per acre production and nutrition. The most remarkable dietary change was in the consumption of sugar and tea.

14 B. Toward a Consumer Society Consumer goods increased in quantity and variety over the course of the eighteenth century. The increasing importance of fashion was particularly noticeable in clothing. Housing reflected the new consumer spirit. The developing consumer society was concentrated in large cities in Northwestern Europe and North America.

15 C. Medical Practitioners Medical practitioners in the 1700s included faith healers, pharmacists, physicians, surgeons, and midwives. Over time women were increasingly excluded from medical practice outside midwifery. Few treatments by any of these practitioners were effective. Surgeons made considerable progress in the eighteenth century. The conquest of smallpox was the century’s greatest medical triumph. Experimentation with inoculation against smallpox led eventually to vaccination with cowpox, which was effective in preventing the disease (Edward Jenner, 1798).

16 IV. Religion and Popular Culture

17 A. The Institutional Church The local parish church remained the basic religious unit all across Europe. Local churches played key roles in community life. Protestants quickly created bureaucratized churches controlled by the secular powers. Catholic rulers increasingly took control of the Catholic Church in their domains (as in Spain). The growth of state power and the weakness of the papacy are exemplified by the experience of the Jesuits in the eighteenth century.

18 B. Protestant Revival Pietism sough to revive the emotional fervor of early Protestantism. Influenced by Pietism, John Wesley ( ) spread Methodism among the English populace.

19 C. Catholic Piety Catholic authorities tended to compromise with the local elements and festivity of popular Catholicism. Jansenism was Catholicism’s version of the Protestant Pietist movement. Jansenism was an urban phenomenon. Inspired by the Counter-Reformation, Catholic clergy sought increasingly to “purify” popular religious practices. The severity of the attack on popular Catholicism varied widely by country and region.

20 D. Leisure and Recreation Carnival illustrates the combination of religious celebration and popular recreation. Towns and cities offered a wide rand of amusements. Blood sports were popular with the masses. Within Europe there was a growing division between “high culture” and popular culture, with elite reformers tending to see the latter as sin, superstition, disorder, and vulgarity.


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