Marriage and Family
Extended and Nuclear Families
Extended family was when one spouse of a new marriage goes to live with the other spouse’s family, opposed to living on their own. a. Provided security for adults and children in traditional agrarian peasant economies. Nuclear families were when married couples create their own households. Typically during this time people did not marry young because they could not yet economically support themselves. Work away from Home
Many young people worked within their families until they could start their own households. Many boys would often go into apprenticeship in another town for 7 to 18 years. a. Not permitted to marry during this time
b. Good work was not promised after such training.
Female workers were often exploited
a. No regulations on female work treatment lead to women being beaten. b. Sexual exploitation of female servants by their masters. Premarital Sex and Community Controls
Powers of community controls were weakened.
a. People are less pressured to wait for marriage.
b. Unwed mothers were poor parents of children.
Scandals and affairs were often publicized by peasant communities. a. Young men would gang up on one they wished to punish and embarrass. b. Loudly proclaimed people’s misdeeds around the town. New Patterns of Marriage and Illegitimacy
The number of illegitimate births soared between 1750 and 1850. a. Percent of total births being illegitimate went from 2% to 25%. b. Fewer women were abstaining and fewer men were marrying the women they got pregnant. Growth of the cottage industry
a. Tended to develop in areas of land with poor quality. b. Created new opportunities for earning a living that was not tied to the land. 1. Young people gained greater independence and did not have to wait in order to gain a modest income to support a family People married out of love
a. With marriage no longer being out of reach due to lack of money, less people are marrying for just financial gain. Children and Education
Child Care and Nursing
Lower class women breast-fed their children for a much more extended period than normal. a. This decreased the likelihood of pregnancy
b. Child more likely to survive if breast-fed as opposed to being fed artificial foods. Higher class women hired other women to nurse for them
a. Breast feeding was looked down on as crude, common, and undignified. b. Wet-nurse was the title given to those who were hired to breast feed children. c. Wet-nursing became a very popular occupation at the time. Killing nurses.
a. Mothers of children with any sort of flaw blamed it on the wet-nurse’s passing of bad traits. b. It was assumed that some wet-nurses would purposely let the child die so they can move on and collect a fee from another hirer. Foundlings and Infanticide
a. The allowing, or forcing, of newborn babies to die when there were too many mouths to feed. b. Particularly imposed on girl babies.
c. Was shunned by the medieval church claiming every life was sacred. Indirect methods of infanticide
a. Overlaying was when parents “unintentionally” rolled over their children laying between them in bed, suffocating them. b. Claims of parents were made that they had made actions because they were drunk. Foundlings
a. Seeing how abortion was illegal, some mothers would leave their children on the steps of churches. b. Foundling homes were developed due to the excess in the amount of foundling cases. Attitudes Toward Children
Typically a child was of little concern to their parents
a. This applied to even those in higher classes
b. It was suggested by clergymen that parents should not get attached to children who had low expectancy of surviving. Medical help
a. Doctors were not very interested in being called to the aid of a child because the lack of help they could...