April 9, 2012

TEEN LIFE WAY BACK WHEN: Where did teens live? Hey, you forgot the girls!

Nope. Didn't forget.  Truth is, there isn't much to say about where  girls lived in the nineteenth century.  They lived at home...then they got married...then they lived in their new home.  True, there were a fair share of spinsters.  Some chose to be single, most did not. After the industrial revolution got going in the second half of the nineteenth century, some girls worked.  Wages were low, hours were long, and the work was hard.  If they worked, it was a matter of sheer survival.  The independent career woman was a long, long way in the future.

I think the bride at the left looks a little scared, don't you?  Rightly so, because although couples found lots of ways to live apart, divorce carried strong societal and religious repercussions. And, for a woman, divorce was hard to get.  So our bride knew when she said her "I do's", that marriage was for life.

Next topic:  Teen Life Way Back When:  Where did teens live?  Some unique neighborhoods

For references and additional reading, click Extras



  1. Interesting post, Carol. Our Industrial Revolution in the UK started sooner, and even before the mid-19th century many girls were working in the Lancashire cotton mills by the time they were 8 or 10. Others, of course, went 'into service' as low paid kitchen maids etc.

  2. Thanks, Paula. It is heartbreaking to think of girls so young working under such conditions. Another thing I didn't realize that exacerbated the plight of women in the post Civil War era here in the U.S. was that women outnumbered men. Women who would have otherwise married were left to survive on their own.


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