Sunday, July 13, 2014

Daily Life in Early America

Daily Life in Early America
193 pages
© 1988 David Freeman Hawke




            Daily Life in Early America examines up-close the new world European colonists were discovering and recreating for themselves.  A social history, focused on daily life, the author begins first in England, reviewing quickly what work and social customs the colonists would have been accustomed to.  It begins and continues as a study in variety, for there was no ‘average’ English colonist; manners and means of living varied widely from county to county, even before they combined with German and Dutch settlers on the North American seaboard.   Although I read this as background for Independence Day readings,  early America well and truly means early.  Hawke tells the tale of men creating a civilization from the wilderness, often borrowing largely from the disease-vanquished native cultures which collapsed or retreated following exposure to European guns, germs, and steel. Although they attempted to recreate what they left behind in North America, creating a  New England on the model of the old,  the challenges and opportunities presented by the vast frontier spurred the evolution of a different culture. Covering everything from floor plans to the art of war, from superstition to politics, Daily Life in Early America delivers an abundance of information in lively style. This is definitely an author to look more into..  

Related:
Life in a Medieval Village,  Life in a Medieval City, Daily Life in a Medieval Castle, Marriage and Family in the Middle Ages;  Frances and Joseph Gies

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