Urban Village Population, Community and Family Structure in Germantown Pensylvania 1683-1800

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Princeton University Press, 1980 - History - 361 pages
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Most studies of eighteenth-century community life in America have focused on New England, and in many respects the New England town has become a model for our understanding of communities throughout the United States during this period. In this study of a mid-Atlantic town, Stephanie Grauman Wolf describes a very different way of organizing society, indicating that the New England model may prove atypical. In addition, her analysis suggests the origins of twentieth-century social patterns in eighteenth-century life.

Germantown, Pennsylvania, was chosen for study because it was a small urban center characterized by an ethnically and religiously mixed population of high mobility. The author uses quantitative analysis and sample case study to examine all aspects of the community. She finds that heterogeneity and mobility had a marked effect on urban development--on landholding, occupation, life style, and related areas; community organization for the control of government and church affairs; and the structure and demographic development of the: family. Her work represents an important advance not only in our understanding of eighteenth-century American society, but also in the ways in which we investigate it.

 

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Contents

Prof1le and Population of an Urban Village
23
To the Highest Bidder The Economic and Social Value of Land in a Mobile Society
58
The Urban Village as an Industrial Center
96
With a German Accent Patterns of Acculturation in an EighteenthCentury Urban Village
127
THE COMMUNITY
155
Render unto Caesar The Secular Government
160
And unto God The Church
203
PRIVATE LIVES
243
From Cradle to Grave Demographic Notes
249
All in the Family
287
Conclusion
327
Bibliographical Note on the Sources
339
Index
349
Index of References to Germantown Surnames 16831800
359
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Page 7 - John Demos, A Little Commonwealth: Family Life in Plymouth Colony (New York: Oxford University Press, 1970); Philip J.

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