Not everyone was in the army or the
militia. Most people just
wanted the fighting to end so that they could get back to normal lives.
What was a normal life like during the war?
Most colonists ate well with a large variety of food items
food was a problem (no refrigerators or freezers) so a lot of food was salted, pickled, dried,
smoked or canned (not in a can like we know, but in a glass
jar; this is called
Most people made their own
clothing. (Actually women or girls made clothing for the whole family.)
Since fabric was expensive most people only had one or two
changes of clothing.
By today's standards housing was quite cramped. All the
children usually sharing one bedroom, and remember, colonial families
were usually large by our standards today.
To get where you were going, school, store, work, most people
walked. If you were going on
a longer trip, say more than about 5 miles, you had to either ride a
horse, use a carriage, or go by boat.
There were no cars, trains, airplanes, motor scooters, or motors
of any kind. There was only
muscle power, either human or animal.
and Toys: Girls were
given dolls that were usually made from the leftover material from
making clothing. Boys (and
girls) other toys were usually carved from wood and included
bullroarers, tops, cup and ball, and jacob's ladder.
Children also played card games.
Most children learned to read and write, but usually quit school
and started working around age 8 - 10.
Children of wealthier families might go on to get a formal
education and even go to university.
Music was very important to the colonists.
Much of the music was religious, however popular music and tunes
spread rapidly throughout the colonies.
Being able to play an instrument or sing was a very respected
talent. The harpsichord was popular
as were other stringed instruments.
Each of the colonies had their own government.
Each city and town also had a local government.
People did not have much to do with government unless it was to
pay a tax. The Continental
Congress was made up of representatives from all 13 colonies and, while
they talked a lot and tried very hard, they didn't have much real power.