Discussion Board Initial Response Prompt

Describe and discuss the relevance of the Diary of Martha Ballard, based upon the PBS American Experience Episode you watched for this module. What did it reveal to you about life in America in the late 18th and early 19th centuries? Is Martha Ballard’s life representative of an “average” person from this time period?


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How did a woman’s power/authority change as she aged? What does Martha Ballard’s life suggest about this period of time and the role of women in the society and the economy? What events might Martha Ballard have considered significant turning points in her own life? Finally, to what extent can we use this source to make broader generalizations about people during this time period?


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