Chapter 20 Study Guide: The Changing Life of the People
Extended and Nuclear Families
* Extended Family
* A family that is a big, 3 or 4 generation clan headed by a matriarch or a patriarch and encompassing everyone from the youngest infant to the oldest grandparent. * Nuclear Family
* Couples establish their own households when they marry, and they raise their children apart from their parents. * The Nuclear family was the most common kind in preindustrial Europe, unlike the extended families in Africa and Asia. * Common people married late!
* Marriage was delayed so couples could support themselves economically. * Land was main source of income, son had to wait for father to die to inherit land. * There were also laws and community controls to moderate young and impulsive marriages.
Work Away From Home
* Both girls and boys learned independence by working away from home as servants, apprentices, and laborers. * Service in another’s family home was the most common job for single girls. * Servant girls worked hard, had little independence, and were in constant danger of sexual exploitation.
Premarital Sex and Community Controls
* The evidence suggests a low rate of illegitimate births. * In rural villages there were tight community controls over premarital sex and adultery. * Community controls—a pattern of cooperation and common action which was mobilized by perceived threats to the economic, social, and moral stability of the closely knit community. * Sex was not entered into lightly, and it was generally limited to those contemplating marriage. * Once married, couples generally had several children.
New Patterns of Marriage and Illegitimacy
* Illegitimacy Explosion—the result of a break down of late marriages and few births out of wedlock that began occurring in the second half of the 18th century * Fewer young women were abstaining from premarital intercourse, and, more importantly, fewer young men were marrying the women they got pregnant. * A PROFOUND SEXUAL AND CULTURAL TRANSFORMATION TOOK PLACE. * 1)Cottage Industry enabled young men and women to become independent earlier. * As cottage industry took hold in such areas, population grew rapidly because young people attained greater independence and did not have to wait to inherit a farm in order to get married and have children. * Cottage workers married not only at an earlier age but also for different reasons. * Courtship grew, it was easier to yield to the attraction of the opposite sex and fall in love. * MARRIED FOR LOVE NOT ECONOMIC REASONS.
* 2) The needs of a growing population sent many young villagers to towns and cities in search of temporary or permanent employment. * Mobility in turn encouraged new sexual and marital relationships, which were less subject to village tradition and resulted in more illegitimate births. * Women were not independent and looked to marriage and family life as an escape from hard work and as the foundation of life. * Promises of marriage from a man of the working girl’s own class often led to sex, which was viewed as courtship. * MANY HESITATED TO TAKE ON THE HEAVY ECONOMIC BURDENS OF WIFE AND CHILD. * It became increasingly difficult for a woman to convert pregnancy into marriage, didn’t take place.
Children and Education
* Childhood itself was dangerous because of adult indifference, neglect, and even abuse. * Schools and formal education played only a modest role in the lives of ordinary children, and many never learned to read.
Child Care and Nursing
* Women of lower classes generally breast-fed their children for a longer period of time than is customary today. * The well-off generally hired poor wet nurses to breast-feed their children. * Killing nurses—the name given to nurses with whom no child...
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