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Daily Life in New England

Page history last edited by Grace Anderson 12 years, 10 months ago



Daily Life in New England




     Daily life in New England was similar, but not the same, to many of the other colonies.  They were not religiously tolerant; the only religion they allowed was Puritanism. Puritans wanted to "purify" the Anglican Church, the official church of England, and make it less Catholic.  Church took up the whole day on Sunday and was very serious.  In many New England towns, the church also served as a meeting house for the government. 

 Housing, Food, and Clothing

      Many people tried to start farms, but found the soil too rocky and were unsuccessful.  Instead, many people just owned small gardens near their homes.  Houses were generally very small and were mad of wood or stone with thatched roofs.  They were built near a common green space where animals grazed.  Food usually included fish or small game, raised animals, vegetables or other foods grown in the garden, bread, and water to drink. Clothing in New England was very simple, usually consisting of a dress for girls, a dress with a petticoat for women, and breeches, a hat, and a coat for boys and men.  The weather was very cold in the winter, so the colonists dressed warmly.

Chores, School, and Recreation  

     Children went to school in a one-room school house where they were taught prayers, reading, writing, and manners by memorization.  Some children learned at home.  A few wealthy children could afford a private tutor and sometimes even college back in England.  Men and boys worked in the garden, took care of the animals, fished, hunted, fixed things, made tools, and chop firewood.  Women and girls had to cook, clean, and take care of children; make butter, candles, soap, and clothes; and spin wool and thread and dye the cloth.  For fun, women quilted and had corn husk weaving contests.  Men had foot races, horse races, and shooting contests.  Children played hopscotch and marbles and made kites to fly.  The New Englanders led hard working and interesting lives.

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