Women In Colonial Latin America

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Two things that were extremely important to the basic societal functions of colonial American society were women and the church. Much different from today’s world, woman’s main purpose in this society was to give birth to children and provide dowries to their husbands at marriage. The church was obviously there to provide a moral compass and rule to the people of this age. How do women and the church relate however? The relationship between these figures however is important to understanding how colonial Latin America worked especially when we discuss marriage and social standing. Marriage was one of, if not the most important part of both a young man and women’s lives. It cemented a family bond that would last a lifetime, however marriage …show more content…

It was no secret that men of this era were more powerful than women. Burkholder explains that men made, “political decisions, and dominated the lucrative economic activities.” (Burkholder, 240). Women served the purpose of bearing children and working around the house. Elite women however were the exception, as many held claims to mines, agricultural properties, and real estate. Most of these were women however, who received these donations through inheritance. A rare example however was Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, who was a philosopher of this colonial era. Her story is indicative of these social roles however. She was self taught, and faced obstacles of oppression during her years of learning. Why is this? Because she was not supposed to be outside of her social circle, which was marrying and having children. She however focused on her studies, and became a nun to avoid the norms of a regular women of the time period. The church possessed this same hierarchal system of men above women during this period of time. Women were below men in the eyes of the church, and this can be seen as a direct correlation into how people acted in this world. Again, these people were completely infatuated with the moral and actual law of the church, so as a result gender equality was imbalanced. The relationship between the church and women as important as any other aspect of life during this time period. The church wanted things to work in the ways in which they did, and without that the power of women might have been much more significant during this time period. The church held women at bay however, and defined the role of women which was strictly followed. Given the deep following of religious beliefs during this time period, women and the church had an unfortunate relationship that defined marriages and social

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