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We get asked a variety of questions concerning a variety of topics about the colonial era, as well as inquiries concerning the Colonial Sense site itself. Some of these queries come up often, so the purpose of this page is to gather the answers to the popular questions into one place....
Q: Your site is Colonial Sense, but I see a bunch of information from the early 1800s, which is not in the colonial era. What gives?

A: Yes, we know that, technically-speaking, the American colonial era ended in 1776, at the start of the Revolution (when, from our way of thinking, we ceased to be "colonies")...although, from a British viewpoint, that era didn't end until 1783, when they finally had to admit that we really weren't colonies. To be fair, though, there were also French and Spanish Colonies that didn't gain independence until the 1820s or later, so one could stretch the "colonial era" a little further. And, from the perspective of Joe (or Jane) Citizen, not much was different (with the exception of the end of the War) in his/her day-to-day existence; the same words, food, recipes, tools, religious practices, utensils, farming techniques, weaving styles, etc., were used from the mid-1700s (perhaps earlier) until the middle of the 19th century when the industrial revolution began to take hold. Thus, one could make the case to extend "colonial times" at least into the early 19th century, and possibly into the middle of it.

In short, Colonial Sense is not so much about abiding by the strict definition of the Colonial Era as it is at following the sense and sensibility of the times...thus, the naming of our site.

While we strive to primarily focus on the "real" colonial era, we do allow some slippage in both directions, covering much of what is considered the 'Early Modern' era (though we are adamantly opposed to any pre-1492 issues, and definitely stop before the Civil War) to more expansively present the lifestyle and mind-set of the great and not-so-great people who settled this country.

Q: Colonial Sense has articles about a lot of different topics, covering a lot of diverse territory. Who is site intended for?

A: Yes, CS is a pretty eclectic site, presenting a wide range of information about Early Modern life. From where we stand, we have four main audiences:
  1. Education: We present a lot of information that seems to be useful to many schools, from elementary to the college level, including home-school organizations. While we do not consider ourselves to really be an "academic" site, we are pleased that our articles are proving beneficial to those in the pursuit of knowledge...

  2. Antique Lovers: Most every piece of furniture and artifact from the late-18th and early 19th centuries are now considered "antiques," and you'll find a wealth of information concerning those items on Colonial Sense.

  3. History Buffs: Whether you're an avid re-enactor, interested in decorating your home with a colonial flair, or merely enjoy the early American lifestyle, CS offers you a lot of material to increase your understanding of that era.

  4. You!: If you're reading this, you may well fall into one of the above categries; if you don't, let us know what you're looking for and what your areas of interest are and we'll see if we can't add more content that you find useful.
Q: Do you accept submissions from your members/readers?

A: Absolutely! If you're a talented writer and have an interest in our timeframe, we'd very much like to hear from you (we do have a few guidelines that need following). Conversely, if you stumble across an ancestor's diary, letters, or any other document from the era and would like to share it with the world, we want to hear from you about that as well...

Unfortunately, we are a very small operation, and cannot actually pay money for anything...but you will get a byline and have your article promoted on FaceBook, Google+ and Twitter.

Didn't find your question here? Give us a shout and we'll be more than happy to answer it!

-- The Colonial Sense Team




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