I think that learning about the history and culture of civilizations is very important. Especially of the country that you live in. So, since I live in the United States of America, I am going to be telling you about the culture of the 13 colonies. I’ll be telling you about what it would be like to be a kid in the colonies, different occupations that you could choose if you lived there, and just some random points in the culture.
The first thing I will be talking about is what it would be like to be a kid in the colonies. To start with, the kids were considered babies until they were six years old. They had to wear something called a “Puddin”, which was basically a pillow that went around them to keep them from getting hurt if (and when) they fell, and pretty much just got to play around and not have any chores until that age too. After the kids turned six, they would start helping with the work around the house, and learn how to read. They would also start wearing normal clothes. You see, up to the age of six, they had to wear these dresses (regardless of gender). After the kids graduated from the gowns, the boys would move up into shorts or pants, with a long shirt, and the girls into dresses and aprons. At the age of six, he or she started going to “Dame School”, where they learned how to read. After that, they got to start going to the actual school where they learned Arithmetic, Writing, and Rhetoric. After school was finished, the boys would sometimes go on to have an apprenticeship with a local craftsman to learn their trade, and then normally, they would take over the business when the craftsman got too old to work. Kids grew up a lot older than they do now. For the girls, they were considered adults when they got married, the age that they got married at was different each time, but normally somewhere around 15 years old. For boys, they were looked on as adults when they were independent, could support themselves, and had a house. This could be as early as 13, or as late as 20 years old.
Now I am going to be telling you about occupations in the colonies. There are quite a few, and it would take way to long to write an explanation of each occupation, so I will just give you a list of most of the professions, and what they do.
- Barber ~ Cuts hair and was town leech.
- Blacksmith ~ Works on iron and metal, and is the town dentist
- Cabinet maker ~ makes cabinets, pretty much anything that has to do with wood, including the cases for the clocks that the clock-maker made.
- Clock-maker ~ Fixed and Made clocks
- Cobbler ~ made shoes
- Cooper ~ made barrels
- Doctor ~ Did the stuff doctors do; tend to the sick, deliver babies, etc. The doctor was also the town pharmacist.
- Farmer ~ farmed his land and sold produce. Wheat and tobacco were very commonly grown crops.
- Grocer ~ sold groceries
- Hatter ~ Made hats
- Miller ~ Ground everyone’s grain
- Sailor ~ sailed ships (obviously)
- Silversmith ~ Made dishes, silverware, jewelry, etc
- Tailor ~ Made clothes
- Tanner ~ tanned things, made leather clothes, buckets, etc
- Wig maker ~ Made wigs, because they were very popular back then.
- Undertaker ~ Took care of dead people and prepared them for burial.
These are some of the professions that you could have chosen from if you lived in the colonies.
Now I will tell you about the home-life in the colonies. The houses were made out of wood in the beginning, and later, stone and brick. Obviously, there was no indoor plumbing or electricity. Some of the common furniture was a spinning wheel, fireplace, chests, barrels, and beds. The food that they ate was a lot healthier than what we eat now. To be honest, it was pretty much whatever the farmers grew. Corn, squash, fruit, vegetables, porridge, beans, fish, and meat. They drank water, cider, milk, and beer. Grown-ups and kids alike. Kids drank beer just as much as the adults did. The father of the house would go to work at whatever profession he had each work-day, the mother would stay at home and keep the house, take care of the kids, cook, clean, etc.
I hope that you enjoyed reading my essay about colonial culture! It has changed a lot over the years, but it’s still good to know about it.