The Indispensable Role Of Women In Colonization And Settlement

1205 words - 5 pages

What is a new world if can not expand it? It is nothing. According to the Records of Virginia Company of London, early Virginia lacked one essential element of English society and that was a stable family life1. But for the English society to have stable family life, they need women to form these families to have stable family life. In early US history, men played a major role in developing the colonies in America, but the women expanded the colonies by giving birth to the future Americans. Women played a major role in early US history; even though, they might not think so. In 1622, women only came to America to form families but later in history this all changed.
The colonists had found the way to economic success by growing tobacco, but Virginia faced difficulty time because morality rates remained high and the colonists had few children.2 The population grew slowly in Virginia. On 1622 in Virginia there was a demand for male servants to work in the tobacco fields, but most of the seventeenth century men outnumbered women by four or five to one. The Virginia Company promoted immigration of women to the colony in 1620 and 1621. These women were called tobacco brides because their husbands were ordered to give a payment in tobacco to their wives. These marriages were not love related but arranged. The Virginia Company was really working a company, a tobacco company. By making the male servants happy and working on the tobacco fields; they send in women to have the male servants happy. This also benefits the Virginia Company by expanding the colony and making more profitable tobacco; unfortunately, this plan did not work so while. Virginia remained a non family oriented community because of the deaths of parents or children.1 Even though this happened, this is not the end of women but the beginning.
The Trial of Anne Hutchinson in 1637 is probably one of the first trials that involved a woman faced in trial. Anne Hutchinson was a midwife and a daughter of a clergyman; she arrived in Massachusetts with her husband in 1634. Courageous woman that she was; she started holding meetings in her home where she led discussions of religious issues. She accused most of the ministers in Massachusetts were guilty of faulty preaching distinguishing saints predestined to go to Heaven from the damned through activities such as church attendance and moral behavior rather than by an inner state of grace.3 The Puritans believed that along with their charter from the King, they had a covenant with God that was bound to them to create a moral community.4 In the trial of Anne Hutchinson, Governor John Winthrop mentioned that Mrs. Hutchison held meetings in her house that has been condemned by general assembly as a thing not tolerable nor coming view of God nor fitting for her sex. 3 I would think that the whole trial would be about the meeting she held in her house but it seems that her gender plays part too. Most Puritan women accepted a subordinate place in...

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