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Life in the Middle Colonies
Transcript of Life in the Middle Colonies
Work usually took place outside of the home.
Some typical hands on jobs included farmers, blacksmiths, craftsman, fisherman, miners, millers, shoemakers, tradesman, and carpenters.
Less hands on work included merchants, storekeepers, bankers, and tavern owners. Blacksmiths A blacksmith is a person who makes or repairs iron and steel things by hand. Some common things that colonial blacksmiths made include horseshoes, tools, and weapons. Blacksmiths use fire to heat the metal so it becomes flexible. Then, they use a variety of tools to hammer, bend, cut, and shape the metal into the form that they want. Craftsmen A craftsman is a person who is very skilled at a particular craft or art. Colonial craftsmen made things like baskets, pottery, wagon wheels, weaves, shoes, etc. Miners Millers Millers are people who operate a mill that turns grains into flour. Miners are people that worked to find coal, metal, gold, and other valuables in the Earth. Carpenters A carpenter is a person that makes or repairs wooden objects. Colonial carpenters made all kinds of things like houses, cabinets, furniture, doors etc. They used a variety of tools to make the items such as saws, hammers, and shaving knives. Farmers in the Middle Colonies grew things like wheat, grains, barely, and oats. They also raised livestock. Farming Farming was a big deal in the middle colonies because the soil was very fertile. The weather was also less harsh and milder than the New England and Southern colonies. Farming was typically a man's job, but women and children also helped do some the work. Merchants Merchants are people who buy and sell goods to make money. They are also known as traders. Trading was very popular in the Middle Colonies because New York and Philadelphia had the ideal harbors to import and export goods from.
The Middle Colonies created and maintained some of the most successful transportation services out of all of the other colonies. Fertile means that the soil is capable of producing lots of vegetation and crops. Export means to send goods or services to another country. Import means to bring in goods or services from another country. Women's Work The work of a woman living in the Middle Colonies was typically considered housework.
Their jobs included caring for the children, preparing and preserving food, working in the gardens, cleaning the house, doing laundry, and making clothes, blankets, candles, and soap. Raising a Family It was the female colonists' job to have children and take care of them. Housework Women were also responsible for completing all of the household chores such as cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry. Preparing and Preserving Foods Women were expected to not only make the food for their family, but make sure it kept as well. This was a hard task without electricity and refrigerators. Knitting and Quilting Women had to make and mend both the clothing and the blankets for their families. This was done through sewing, knitting and quilting. Making Candles Making Soap Candle making was an important task because fire was the only form of light when the sun went down. To make candles, women had to make wax and let them drip dry into it's shape. Soap was not something the colonist could buy in a store. The women had to make it by hand. This was done using ashes and water to make lye. Then, they had to boil cooking fat over an outdoor fire, which is later stirred into the lye to make soap. Lye is a strong substance that is used to make detergents. Additional Pictures Additional Pictures Children's Work Children living in the Middle Colonies were expected to help their parents with whatever is needed around the house.
This type of work typically includes lots of chores such as feeding the animals, helping out on the farm, getting water from the well, collecting firewood, cleaning the house, preparing the food, and watching over their brothers and sisters. Pictures of Children's Work Education: One Room Schoolhouses The classroom made up the entire school for all students.
These schools were in session from autumn to spring. The school year did not include the summer because children were needed at home to work on the farms during the harvesting season. Education was not generally encouraged in the Middle Colonies. However, there were some small private school that consisted of one room.
If children did not attend school, women would often try teach them the basic knowledge that they already knew.
Many people living in the Middle Colonies did not know how to read.
Work was considered much more important than school. Education A mother teaching her children School Work At school, children would learn reading, writing, and arithmetic (math).
Students were also responsible for collecting firewood to heat the classrooms, cleaning to classroom, and filling the buckets with water for drinking during the day.
Typically, children in the Middle Colonies were never given homework because they already had too many chores to complete once they got home. Enjoyment Activities: Dancing and Celebrations Middle colonists loved to party, dance and celebrate special occasions such as weddings, festivals, holidays, births, and even some deaths.
They enjoyed performing traditional, uniform dances together to celebrate. Children's Games Children living in the Middle Colonies played very simple games that often taught them skills that would help them later in life.
For example, many girls played with dolls to prepare them for motherhood, while boy played with balls, sticks, and other hands-on items.
Some other examples of common games that were played are marbles, jacks, bowling, hopscotch, hide-and-seek, and tag.
Colonial children also enjoyed spinning tops, creating puzzles, and singing songs. Pictures of Children's Games Summing it all up: This video is a reenactment of what it was like to live in the colonies as a child. References: Activities with the Middle Colonies. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.mce.k12tn.net/colonial_america/activites_with_the_middle_coloni.htm
Amity Colonial Dancers - Fandango. (n.d.). Retrieved from
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Carpenter and Joiner. The Colonial Williamsburg Official History & Citizenship Site. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.history.org/almanack/life/trades/tradecar.cfm
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Dictionary.com | Find the Meanings and Definitions of Words at Dictionary.com. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://dictionary.reference.com/
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The Middle Colonies [ushistory.org]. (n.d.). ushistory.org. Retrieved February 19, 2013, from http://www.ushistory.org/us/4.asp