By James A. Henretta, David Brody, Lynn Dumenil
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Additional resources for America's History, Volume One: To 1877, Sixth Edition
They enter it by a little door about four feet high, and not more than three in breadth. Above on the outside are three figures of eagles made of wood, and painted red, yellow, and white. Before the door is a kind of shed with folding-doors, where the Guardian of the Temple is lodged; all around it runs a circle of palisades [pointed wooden stakes], on which are seen exposed the skulls of all the heads which their Warriors had brought back from the battles in which they had been engaged with the enemies of their Nation.
The community decided which crops to grow, and every family followed its dictates. Because output was limited and there were few good roads, most trade was local. Neighboring families exchanged surplus grain and meat and bartered their farm products for the services of local millers, weavers, and blacksmiths. Most peasants yearned to be yeomen, to own enough land to support their families in comfort, but relatively few achieved that goal. The Seasonal Cycle and the Peasants’ Lot. For European peasants, as for Native Americans, the rhythm of life followed the seasons.
Her sole protection: When he died, she received a dower, usually the use during her lifetime of one-third of the family’s land and goods. Men also controlled the lives of their children, who usually were required to work for their father into their middle or late twenties. Then landowning peasants would give land to their sons and dowries to their daughters and choose marriage For centuries, the Roman Catholic Church served as the great unifying institution in Western Europe. The pope in Rome stood at the head of a vast religious hierarchy of cardinals, bishops, and priests.