Pennsylvanian Culture


In the 1780’s, while some popular religious groups treated their children according to their beliefs, for the most part all children were universally the same. The most important thing to keep in mind was that no matter the difference in religious views (whether Quaker or Puritan) was that a godly parent would probably raise better children than ungodly ones and that all these religious groups respected the sanctity of the family and made a connection that this equaled respectful, hard working children. Unlike today’s children who aren’t required to be responsible until their late teens, children in early America were required to work or do some kind of chore before they even reached puberty. Although children were viewed as future adults who would eventually take on more responsibility as they grew up, a new philosophy began to take place that indeed children did have their own psyche and as a separate part of development. Within this gender boundaries began to take hold as far as what kind of toys children should play with. Boys were encouraged to have toys or play with things that encouraged physical activity such as rolling a wheel with sticks or jumping rope. Girls were conditioned to play with dolls that were normally made by their mothers or occasionally bought, and were considered the most important toy to the development of a little girl in order to help her develop for her future.


Arts, Science and Architecture

Philadelphia was known as the “Athens of America” because of its rich cultural life which included an interest in the arts and sciences as well as the buildings that held such shows and works which beared witness to the intellectual men, such as Benjamin Franklin, whom roamed its halls. Newspapers and magazines flourished as well as law and medicine at this time. Educational institutes took off such as the College of Philadelphia, which ultimately grew into the University of Pennsylvania. By this time, Pennsylvania could boast about having the first hospital, library and insurance company. Again, the public buildings that housed all things educational, artistic or scientific were ones to be marveled in Philadelphia with the predominant style being Federal or Adam style, a refined version of the Georgian style. Another popular style was the Early Classical Revival (Greek Revival) style which drew direct inspiration from the ancient buildings of Greece and Rome.

Greek Revival Style, Harrisburg, Dauphin County






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