Working together

People in colonial times learned to work together in order to have a new life.  Not only would they live together, but they also would work together to build homes, plant foods, worship in church, and in many other ways.


In the year 1775, there were over 500,000 people that lived in the thirteen colonies.  These people were farmers, planters, tradesmen, craftsmen, merchants, politicians, doctors, masters, slaves, servants, and more.


There were farmers that lived in the countries, and they would work on small farms in order to make sure that their families had what they needed.  Some of the small farmers would sell some of their foods at the marketplace for extra money.

Large plantation owners would have cash crops, and they would sell and trade their crops, including tobacco, corn, barley, wheat, and more.  The large plantation owners would have stores in the cities, and they would have people to trade for them.


A planter was a person that would help to plant and would work for the farmers.  The planters would work hard on the farm, and they would be paid for their labor.  They would help to grow things such as corn, wheat, barley, vegetables, tobacco, and other crops.


The slaves would work along with the farmers and other workers on the farm, in the cities, and in and outside of homes.  Many of the slaves were treated poorly, while some had decent owners that would give them their own living spaces and nice things to wear.


The people on the farms would have animals such as pigs, sheep, cows, oxen, chickens, dogs, turkeys, and more.  Many of the people that owned animals would eat them, use them to help work on the farms and use them for materials and things like milk and eggs.


The people had different styles and sizes of homes, depending on where they lived and how rich or poor they were.

People that were poor lived in one or two-room homes with dirt floors and very little furniture.

People that were meddling class and gentry class had bigger homes that had multiple rooms, furniture, and some of them even had more than one level.  Some of the rich people even had mansions.

Man’s Life

The men on the farm would work, take care of slaves, keep up with the animals, fish, hunt, and would take care of things outside.

Boys would learn from their dad to hunt, fish, and to work on the farm.

Some men would do trades and crafts and would have important jobs in the city.

Women’s Life

The women played an important role, and they would clean, sew, take care of the children, and even tend to the gardens.

The women would cook, make clothes and bedding, and whatever the household needed.  Some women would make candles and sew clothing to sell at the shops.

Girls would learn to take care of their homes with their mom, and they would learn to take care of things around the home, cook, and even take care of their siblings.

Working Together

It was important for the men, women, and children to all work together in order to make things work.  People would have to depend on each other to make it in everyday life.

If someone needed a home built, the town would come together and would get the house finished fast.  Sometimes farmers would work on each other’s farms in order to help them if they got behind.

More Facts About Working Together:

  • During times of war, families would sometimes follow the soldiers to war so the wife could cook for them and make sure that their needs were taken care of.
  • Most people in the towns would get together and would have church together on Sundays.
  • Free slaves would pick up trades most of the time and learn to work to make money for themselves and their families.
  • Many children went to school, and after school, they would still do chores such as cleaning, cooking, and farming.
  • From the very beginning, settlers worked together to get the land together and to build homes for the people that came to the New World.

What Did You Learn?

Did people in the colonial times work together?  
Yes.  Even from the beginning, the settlers worked together to make their transition work well for them.

What did people do together?  
The people of colonial times would work together, eat together, build homes together, worship together, and more.

Did farmers help each other?  
Yes.  Farmers would help each other if they needed help when it was time to harvest crops.

What was the role of slaves?  
Slaves would help their masters by cooking, cleaning, working in and out of the home, and working on the farm.

Did men, women, and children all have important roles?  
Yes.  Men, women, and children all played an important role in helping each other work, clean, and take care of things in everyday life.