Women and Their Roles in Pre-Industrial Europe

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Brandon Chaffee
AP European History/Honors English
Teagarden/Walker Periods 5-6
1 March 2005

The Women, Family, and Household of Pre-Industrial Europe
Many of people today feel trapped inside their homes, just how the women of Pre- Industrial Europe felt. Working day in and day out inside the homes, just to keep the family together, and make a little money on the side, these women were an integral part of Pre-Industrial families. Not only were the women important to Pre-Industrial European families, but so were the households. Much of the money was made in the households, and this is where families either succeeded or failed. The household and women of Pre-Industrial Europe played an integral role in the economy of the families, and more importantly, the women of these households kept them running smoothly. Without either of these important aspects of life in Pre-Industrial Europe, it is safe to say that the families would have collapsed, due to a lack of organization and structures. Pre-Industrial Europe, in which the women and the household were "the factories" per se, due to the income they generated, was much different from the Europe we know today. Leading into the Industrialization of Europe beginning in the late 1700's and lasting through the early 1800's, the household played an integral role in the family's income. Without the

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household, the families would literally collapse, due to a lack of organization and stability. Within these important family sub-units, there was one married couple, their children, the family's servants, and in some cases, depending upon the region of Europe, there were grandparents, aunts and uncles. Not only did the father and servants of the house work, but also the women and children. Also, in the case of there being more than one generation of family in a single household, depending upon the region of Europe, the grandparents, aunts, and uncles would also work within the house. Once the...
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