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Tudor Stuart Society Family & Women. What was the nature of English society and economy?  Patriarchy  A rural economy and society  No organised tax.

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Presentation on theme: "Tudor Stuart Society Family & Women. What was the nature of English society and economy?  Patriarchy  A rural economy and society  No organised tax."— Presentation transcript:

1 Tudor Stuart Society Family & Women

2 What was the nature of English society and economy?  Patriarchy  A rural economy and society  No organised tax system  Illiteracy  Superstition

3 The Nature of Family Laurence Stone identifies the 3 main periods of family change: 1500: ‘Open lineage family’ most common, Individuals interests subordinated to the broader kin group. Husband, Wife & Children more like neighbours – loyal to local patron (like clan) – 1640: ‘Patriarchal Liner family’ emerged from the reformation. Loyalties to local communities were replaced by loyalties to the nation, monarch, church. Family closeness was rare as children had a 1 in 4 chance of reaching the age of 5. As a result children were neglected and marriages were suspicious and temporary onwards: ‘Closer domesticated nuclear family’ emerged. This led to individualism, privacy rights and personal decision making - many led by middle classes.

4 Marriage Economic Young advised to take background, wealth, age, character and possibilities into account. Families wanted their daughters to marry the wealthy, especially if she was of lower class. Romantic Older people sceptical Important among common people. Ballads and church records refer to romance frequently. Problem for providing heirs if there was no love The upper classes more often married for money, while the lower classes married out of love. This love was important because the children of these marriages could help support the family economically.

5 Relations between Parents and Children  Step families with large numbers of children common because of high death rate.  Higher social classes were educated in private schools or by tutors.  Lower social classes sent to work at an early age.  There is evidence from letters, diaries and wills that parental love of children was very strong.

6 Role of Women  Lower classes women were expected to run a household, raise children, work with their husbands in the fields. The higher classed women too were expected to run the noble house, provide hospitality and be very social which benefited their husbands.  The elite women were often educated to a degree by private tutors or schools. Lower class girls were often put into the service at age 14. Rural women did run businesses if their husbands died.  Career possibilities for women of all social classes were few. Upper class women could become governesses, midwives, teachers but the lower classes either had to work at home or become a servant, maid or even prostitute.  Women of all classes were not allowed to attend Universities or Inns of Court (law school).  Very few women had influences in government and church.  Some did not always do as society expected: Bess of Hardwicke (successful estate manager), Lady Burghley (patronised the arts and gave assistance to the poor), Anne Clifford (managed estates and became the on 17thC female sheriff), and Mary Firth (organised a gang of criminals and gave food and money to prisoners)


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