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What was it really like to live over 200 years ago?

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Presentation on theme: "What was it really like to live over 200 years ago?"— Presentation transcript:

1 What was it really like to live over 200 years ago?


3 9 out of 10 people were farmers Most families produced everything they needed themselves Farm homes were simple A fire was kept burning all day for heat & cooking Farm life involved many chores

4 Only 1 in 20 colonists lived in cities The waterfront was the heart of the city where most trading, meeting and activity happened Cities were noisy and smelly because of open sewers Homes were built close together and made of wood Colonists used torches and lamps for lighting Fire was a constant danger

5 Colonists were English citizens and had the same rights as any Englishman English citizens had a voice in their government because they had representatives in Parliament Colonists had other rights, such as the right to a trial by jury, because these were guaranteed by the English Bill of Rights

6 Each colony had its own laws, but laws were similar in all the colonies Some crimes were punishable by death, such as murder & treason Some laws were based on religion. For example, in New England, a colonist could be put to death for cursing his/her parents Theft, forgery, and robbery were punished by jail, whipping, or branding Lesser crimes might be punished by fines, short jail terms or public humiliation, like time in the stocks

7 Slavery existed in ALL of the colonies, but was most popular in the South because of farming Slaves worked in many different types of jobs such as farming, nurses, carpenters, servants, drivers, etc. Slaves were at the bottom of colonial society and had no way of improving their lives

8 Wealth and success determined a colonist’s place in society People’s clothing showed their status in society Upper class included merchants, planters or other wealthy citizens who wore gold or silver, colored lace, and wigs Middle class included farmers and craftspeople who wore plain, but brightly colored clothes Lower class included farmhands and other workers who depended on others for their wage. They wore clothing made from cotton or cheaper materials. Slaves and indentured servants were at the bottom of society. Only those who owned property (middle or upper class) could vote, even though 1/3 of New England and ½ of Middle Colonies were indentured servants

9 Except in New England, most children received little education Colonists believed it was more important to educate boys than girls Puritans (religious group) in New England established schools so children would be taught to read the Bible Schools were one-room buildings where children of all ages learned together Pencil and paper were scarce, so children used ink to write on bark or called out answers

10 People were married in their early 20s There were more men than women Families had many children who were expected to help with household chores or work on farms Half of all children died before adulthood Life focused around the family

11 “Bees” and “Frolics” were ways of combining work and pleasure. (ex. Quilting bee-women work on making quilt together in a big group.) Children had simple toys such as dolls & marbles Many colonists attended church and town meetings Many colonies held fairs where colonists competed in foot races, wrestling matches and dance competitions

12 Indians taught the colonists how to grow corn, a major part of the colonial diet Meat was a favorite food but had to be obtained from hunting or raising animals Colonists had to salt, smoke or pickle meat to keep it from rotting or used spices to disguise the taste Apples, berries, and grapes were common fruits, and peaches grew in the Southern colonies The main meal of stew was served around lunchtime, while colonists ate corn mush with milk, fruit, or honey for breakfast and dinner

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