Discussion 4: Patriarchy, Social Order and Agency / Library Session
Ulrich and Brown:
Source Questions/Strategies for taking notes on primary and secondary sources
- What genre of historical writing are these? How can you tell?
- When? Is this a story about change over time?
- What questions is the author trying to answer?/ What scholarly conversations does she engage?
- Identify a thesis statement.
- What do the titles mean?
Your Questions (How might you answer these historically? / What do the texts say?):
Labor and power:
- Power seems to be a very big topic in American history: what is it, who has it, who benefits from it, and who keeps it.
- the question comes to mind, were women really held back at all by their gender role in society? Does the race of the women matter when it comes to her gender role?
- Class differences: Contrast between "very few rights and roles" of Lucy Byrd with Ulrich's Colonial Goodwives who performed "other critical roles whether their husbands were present or not."
- "The role of a consort was based on a doctrine of creation which stressed the equality of men and women." this statement shows that the Puritans believed that wives should be equal to the husband
- in lower class society, it may have been necessary for women to work alongside their husbands to survive, thus granting them this power within the marriage. This raises my belief that if women did not wish to work they would marry purely based on economic status, even if they would be submissive the rest of their lives.
- Do the boundaries between a husband and wife that Ulrich discusses during the readings, common knowledge between them or is it simply an agreement that the behavior should be that way.
- When I think of women in this era it is easiest for me to illustrate them as a "supporting role" in a movie. They are still an actor in the entire production but their main purpose is to support the lead role, or husband.
- Was it common for people during this time to actually consider the daughter's feelings when deciding her husband? If a daughter were to speak up, would the parents even listen or care? Did the father choose who the husband would be or did the mother also have any sort of say in the matter?
- marked increase in premarital pregnancy which leads me to question what caused this?
Status, class and race
- whether slavery caused racism or racism caused slavery.
- what caused interracial marriages. Were they interested in changing their social status or was love a factor? How were African-Americans expected to overcome racism when their offspring were born into slavery?
- when these African slaves were born into slavery how were they supposed to make any money and try to overcome the hardships of slavery? I also find it very interesting that for something so large as slavery what role, rather big or small, did marriage play in slavery?
- Brown discussed interracial marriage which raised my question if African-American women saw interracial marriage as a way to ‘escape’ slavery/provide the possibility of a better life for their children?
- How did men come to view English women as more "feminine" than African women and did this change the household structure within English marriages?
- Brown states that Christianity played a big role in "shaping the English attitudes towards Africans." Despite being a Christian, African slaves who were Christian were not given any rights. Is this incidence a foreshadowance of leaving religion out of marriage?
- Brown brings up that baptism no longer allows for children to be free from slavery. Does this decrease in religion as a way out of slavery symbolize a decrease in religion as an important feature in a marriage union?
Sources: How do historians know/answer questions?
- When his mother died he said no one took care of him after that, proving that the mother was pretty much the only one there for the family.
- Were separations from husbands/war the only time woment were given more responsibilities? thought it was interesting that she used needlework to show the ideal domestic life. If I was writing about this period, I would have never thought to look at needlework as a primary source.