Ulrich “Ways of Her Household”
In the article “The Ways of Her Household”, Ulrich argues that women’s work in colonial American was under appreciated and extremely difficult. Ulrich states housekeeping is a challenging and complex task that requires not only intelligence but also significant skill. In the beginning of the article she describes the everyday roles of women in Colonial America. Women preformed many difficult tasks some of them were cleaning, making meals, maintained gardens, milking, made household items to sell and use.
For and example “Preparing the simplest of these meals required both judgement and skill.. The most basic of housewife’s skills was building and regulating fires-a task so fundamental that is must have appeared more a habit then craft. Summer and winter, day and night she kept a few brands smoldering, ready to stir in flame as needed” (Ulrich, 49). These tasks required a vigorous amount of energy and skill. Colonial women understood how to do these difficult tasks for an example “ticklish chemical processes which changed milk into cheese meal into bread, malt into beer and flesh into bacon”(Ulrish,48) These tasks were very complex and took tremendous skill.
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Ulrich’s does a great job in supporting her thesis topic by giving direct samples from families in different economic classes in the colonial period and comparing the household responsibilities.
She does immense research and goes above and beyond to prove her statement. She also compares the lifestyles and the household inventory in different families and economic classes but alI had one thing in common there responsibilities as a mother of a household and their contribution economically. In my opinion I believe her most significant idea is that women were underappreciated even though there duties require so much more skill and intelligence. Women did have an affect on their families and the economy so they shouldn’t have been underappreciated. I find it so inspiring how women back then did everything they could for their family’s survival.