What Was Colonial New England Daily Life Like?

Daily life in Colonial New England was filled with hardship and hard work. Chores were for everyone in the home, and most families farmed. Religion was also a big part of daily life for the New England colonists.

The New England colonies included the Province of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence. The first person to dub the area “New England” was Captain John Smith in his 1616 published work “A Description of New England.”

New England’s earliest colonies were farming communities that were often located along fertile river land or fishing villages located near the ocean. The richness of the land provided an abundance of lumber that was used in settling the area and also as an export to be sent back to England.

Many of the people who settled in New England were Puritans. The church was a very important part of Puritan life, and those who disobeyed the laws of the church were punished harshly with penalties ranging from public whippings to death by hanging. Attendance of church was not optional; it was mandatory. Women were seen as inferior to men and had little say in life. The Puritans believed that the soul was made up of two parts, including a mortal feminine part and an immortal masculine one.