A picture of colonial life

When the Puritans and Pilgrims were coming to America, they had expected many new opportunities and freedom. They got both–along with loneliness, vulnerability, and ignorance. Now in the new land, they knew very little, except that of their old lives. They had to learn to live new lives, to hunt new and strange game, and experience the feeling of no one being there to help during during difficult times.
Sure, they had each other, but when they came up on the shores of this wonderfully new land there was no one there to welcome them with open arms, or nice warm shelter. They knew no one in this new place, and knew nothing of the land. They were almost clueless, that is, until they met the Indians. The Indians were thought of as uncivilized, barbaric beings, but much to the immigrants’ surprise, they were mostly wrong. There was a fair share of unfriendly indians, but the amiable indians helped inform these new travelers. They helped with medical treatment when someone would get an injury from a strange animal or plant of the new world. The indians also shared their knowledge of growing crops and tips for hunting game, which made life a lot easier for families.
On the homefront, the whole family was expected to help. The men took care of the more laborious jobs. They went out hunting and fishing to catch game, and worked to keep the house sturdy and safe. The women did many in-house chores. They did all the cooking for the household, and had to prepare the food to be cooked, like plucking chickens. They also made most of the clothes for the family and mended them when needed. The older children were made to do several chores, such as helping mother with dinner, or father gathering fire wood. The younger children played most of the day. Then, come Sunday, the whole family gathered together to attend church services.

Religion was the basis of their government. When a person did wrong, they were punished by the laws of God. This form of government also ran with superstitions taking high status. One example is the Salem Witch Trials. Religion also played a big part in the education of the new world. If it weren’t for people wanting freedom of religion, America wouldn’t be the great country that it is now. It was believed that “you could only understand Gods ways by reading the bible,” and so, many people learned how to read so they could be holy and one with God. From this eduation sprung poetry writing, which was mostly about everyday life, and religion.
However, to get this poetry published, it had to be taken to England. This took a very long time because they had to travel by ship back and forth, and it took a really long time. The only means of travel in the new land were by foot, or horseback. Back then, to get from Boston to New York it took five months, but now it only takes about five hours.

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Things sure have come a long way from the old colonial ways, but if it weren’t for those people seeking freedom and adventure, then we and a lot of other things would not be here today.


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