Women And Women Of The Chesapeake Area During The Nineteenth Century Essay

1347 Words Oct 12th, 2016 6 Pages
As Martha Ballard writes in her diary, "A womans work is never Done as the Song says and Happy is shee [sp] whose strength holds out to the end of the rais [race]." Women, like Ballard, contributed useful and skilled labor, though it was often derided, mocked, or overlooked. However, the work of women varied greatly, due to location, social class, race, time-period, and more. This essay will focus on two very different groups of women, early female settlers of the Chesapeake area during the seventeenth century and the Native American women of the Iroquois Confederacy, spread across northeastern New York and Ontario during the same time period. Through the analysis, the necessity of the study of women 's work will become evident; it aids historians in understanding women 's past: including gender perceptions, the myriad of experiences faced by different women, and the changes over that occurred over time.
Though traditional history books paint the workers in the United States as all male, the women were very much a part of the labor force. However, the way in which labor affected gender roles very much differed. In some examples, work broke down gender roles. In the rice fields, both male and female African slaves were forced to work side by side. This is interesting because in rice-producing countries of Africa, women were the sole producers of rice. On the other hand, the British had seen agriculture as a man’s work, and women typically only worked in the fields during…
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