What Roles did Woman in Colonial America Play in Society?

If a time machine was made and women from the colonial times of America were brought to the times of today and were shown how the women are living, the results would be frankly very shocking. 

The roles that women played in the colonial times of America were very different, right down to the smallest of living ways. The traditional and accepted roles of the women in society were celebrated and embraced. This differs to today where women hold similar roles to men while also making those role their own. 


In colonial times, women of different ages had specific roles to play in the society, according to the various aspects of life. A girl was brought up in the house looking at her mother and learning to do the same work, find a man to marry, and to tend the house and various chores. 

Housework 

Looking after the house and maintaining chores was the priority of colonial women of America. Preparing meals, cleaning and taking care of the kids was supposed to be the prime focus of a mother in the house. Clothes were hand stitched and cooking utensils were hand made by the women. 

Education 

Academic education was not viewed as important for women. Instead, women were taught skills of the home so they could raise the children and tend after her husband. Formal education was afforded by women of the upper class while middle and lower class women were kept at home. 

Working Outside 

Place for women in the colonial times was in the house. Any kind of work that needed done would have been done within the premises of the house. Washing clothes, making clothes, making meals, weaving baskets, making candles, looking after the domestic animals or gardening, taking care of children, and everything that didn’t involve going out and earning money was done by a woman. 

Family

A loyal and faithful wife of the colonial times was a woman who stayed behind at home looking after the house of her husband while he has gone out for work and doing all sorts of domestic chores. It was her sole responsibility to bring children into the world and nurture them. 

Wealthy Women 

The wealthy women of the colonial times had their lives a little easier than the rest of the lower class women. These women, although more privileged, were still expected to take on the role of traditional women with hep from hired workers or slaves when slavery was legal in the south.
Many women still continue to play what is sometimes thought of as a “traditional” role in the home where they raise the children and handle housework, this is not their only option today. Similarly, some men are replacing women in the home while the women go out and earn money. The roles for everyone have changed and are continuing to change, often for the better.