The Empire Of My Heart Essay

1076 Words Feb 5th, 2016 null Page
“The Empire of My Heart” underlines the conflicting beliefs held by a couple on gender roles within the emerging plantation economy in Chesapeake. Unlike in Massachusetts, mortality rates were high in Chesapeake, this led to the scarcity of marriages and family life. As men gradually began to live longer they began to resume their patriarchal authority over their spouse, children and slaves. Prior to this change in life expectancy, women played an active role in family life, such as fixing labor shortages and helping supply basic family needs. Once longevity was established in family life, men looked to their mother country for models on behavior and family organization. The new model adopted in England was in direct confliction with William Byrd and Lucy Byrd’s belief on family life. The new ideal of family life revolved around the idea of women developing power through complete submission to their husband, in return they received security and protection. However, both William and Lucy had differing views on this new family model and it was delineated in their disorderly marriage. In this paragraph I will describe what William’s beliefs were toward marriage and the objectives he hoped to obtain. William was always in search for power, both in his family life and career. His initial objective when pursuing Lucy was to marry her to further his political ambition. This motive derived from the fact that Lucy’s father served in the House of Burgesses and on the governor’s…

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