Women's Role In The Chesapeake

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The categories I used in this essay are women’s role in the economy and women’s rank in society, religion and politics. The Chesapeake was different from English standards which led to an “unstable environment for the women and thus led to ambiguous gender roles for women in the Chesapeake” (6). The life expectancy was low within the Chesapeake, especially for women and children. The men lived longer than the women because women were vulnerable to diseases during pregnancy (7). Compared to English society, the Chesapeake families lacked everyday tools which made kitchen work difficult and more time consuming. They also helped their husbands do field work and take care of the kids (13). Even though women had a lot to do during this time,…show more content…
Even though women were given more duties to do and helped with the duties of the men they were still ranked below the husband and above the children and servants (27). Men also abused their wives in New England with some responding to authorities that their wife was their servant and slave (31). New England and the Chesapeake had similarities such as the harsh conditions for the women involved in both of these areas, as well as their rank and how they were treated. Native American women were given more freedom than the women in English society. Wetamo was born into a time of peace and security, but things changed over the years (52). When her husband died, she became leader of the tribe and led a revolt against the Plymouth colonies but eventually died (54). Wetamo was a strong and independent woman who thought for her people when the English mistreated them. Like Wetamo, Native American women were able to receive high ranking positions and accomplish the same tasks Wetamo was able to do. Overall most of the Native American women talked politics, but never took action. They were also the caretakers, farmers, cooks, and would teach the girls as they grew up so they became useful when they were adults…show more content…
She had “a consciousness of self and a confidence in reason” that she acquired from her social class’s emphasis on individual rights and opportunities in the eighteenth century (134). Eliza was one of many women who had the confidence to stand up to people trying to tell her what to do. She took charge of her father’s plantation and even chose her own husband and chose when she wanted to get married. During Eliza’s generation “social class shattered the unity of gender in colonial American society” (164). Like Eliza, Grace also grew up in families where they had to fend for themselves. Grace was a confident woman who was well respected and known due to her father’s wealth and public service in town (170). Once she got married she became invisible to everyone and her husband got all the power in the family, leaving her with almost nothing. Her husband also fled to New York with their daughter during the Revolutionary war leaving Grace behind (175). Even though Grace went through harsh difficulties after her husband left her behind, she was still able to accomplish the goals she had set for

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