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Colonial north America

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1 Colonial north America
Chapter 3:

2 Population Growth and Diversity
Population of Colonies grew from 250,000 in 1700 to 1.6 million in (Compared to 6.5 million in England in 1750) The economy grew as fast as the population- and mercantilist policy meant a significant percentage of that went to England rather than staying in the colonies- there will begin to be resentment about that. Overall however, most Colonists in the 1st half of the 18th century thought of themselves as Englishmen, and would have told you they had far more in common with their home country than they did with other colonies

3 Natural Increase Colonists tended to have large families both out of desire (labor source) and the fact that people tended to marry earlier (econ better) Once the early years had passed, colonial life tended to be healthier than Europe (at least North of Virginia)- so more children survived, and population grew quickly Colonial population doubled every 25 years, and was young- in the ½ the population was under 16. Largest colonies: Virginia, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania, which also had the largest city: Philadelphia (34,000)

4 Old Immigration Our foundation is very “English”, and even so, had more diversity than any other part of the world at that time. Outside of New England (which is nearly exclusively English/Puritan) ½ of the population is NOT English Population Breakdown in 1690: English/Welsh 66% African 20% Scottish 6% Dutch 2% All other Whites .7% Native American (living in/near colonial territory) 6%

5 New Immigrants Other than the “leftovers” of New Netherlands and New Sweden, 90% of the population of the colonies was of British origin before 1690. During 1700s population will begin to shift to “non English” parts of Great Britain, and other areas within Europe, and of course from Africa (though they weren’t “immigrants”)

6 Scots- Irish During English civil war, Cromwell had given land away to the Protestant Scottish, encouraging them to move to Ireland and “subdue” the native Catholic population. Not really successful or popular move, so many small farmers leave and come to colonies instead. Large groups settled in Pennsylvania, and in the Appalachians (Western Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina) Known for defiant pride in their heritage, and independent thinking (frontier virtues) Not big fans of Native Americans, caused trouble in PA which had been enjoying peaceful native relations

7 Germans Largest European (not Great Britain) group. Religious
conflict still common in many German states, and after more than 200 years, it’s getting old. Big wave in 1720s, and another between The majority of Germans who came to US were protestants from Southern German states (which stayed Catholic) Actually, significant numbers come from the Anabaptists, the forerunners of today’s Amish communities. Settled in many of the same areas as Scots-Irish. Tended to maintain their own language and culture, even after having been in colonies for several generations

8 Expansion of Colonies Delaware
Est Had roots in “New Sweden”, which had been incorporated into “New Netherlands”, and then a part of Pennsylvania. (majority Quaker) Ties with PA remained strong, shared same governor until Revolution.

9 North and South Carolina
Originally one colony- but two distinct econ developed, plantation and small farmer, (slave and not) which led to tension. 1712 North Carolina officially separated North Carolina became known for small farmers (still used slaves, just a small numbers)as well as independent thinking and resistance to authority South Carolina became known for plantations, large numbers of slaves, and an aristocratic mentality.


11 Georgia Georgia was the last of the original 13 colonies, founded in Proprietary colony founded by philanthropists James Oglethorpe and John Viscount. Proprietor’s goal was to provide opportunities for the poor- to open debtors jails and prison ships, moving those unwanted elements to new areas- and offering clean living King George II thought that was nice….but was really interested in using the colony as a buffer between South Carolina and New Spain (Florida) Colony grew slowly- hard liquor, slavery, prohibited. Land ownership limited to 500 acres or less (not enough for real plantation). No elected assembly. All these factors discouraged immigration (in relation to other colonies) Gradually, those restrictions were abandoned, and population was growing briskly by French and Indian War

12 Africans and the Slave Trade
Jamestown had slaves as early as 1619, but numbers remained small for years. Bacon’s rebellion, and rising wages in England (which discouraged the need for indentured servitude) would change that. Somewhere around million slaves left Africa between 1500 and (which is when the slave trade was outlawed) Portuguese were original slave traders (English, French and Dutch will join in 1700s). Didn’t generally capture- made arrangements with tribes/societies (Kongo) along the Slave Coast(Senegal-Angola). Slavers who would offer those captured in war, or kidnapped from rival societies in exchange for guns (which gave them great power over other groups) and/or manufactured goods Most valuable slaves were young men- wanted for their physical strength. Worth up to $1800


14 The Middle Passage 50 million Africans captured/sold into slavery. Used specially built (scientifically designed) ships to transport from Africa to Americas (generally Caribbean 1st stop). Want to have slaves arrive alive (can’t sell dead) but still packed in for profit. Death from disease, dysentery common. 20% died on voyage Voyage was 4-10 weeks depending on time of year. Ships build in layers- might only be in an area 2’ tall, lay on your back the entire journey. Kept in irons to prevent them jumping overboard (either suicide or at sight of land) and had nets on sides of ships in case they did


16 Diaspora “Diaspora” means “To disperse” or move and entire population. The majority of the slaves who came to the new world were destined for the sugar plantations of either the Caribbean or Brazil- where their life expectancy was very short. In Caribbean, slaves were often the majority of the population, but the bottom of the social hierarchy. Brazil had more freed slaves, and a more blended population (mulattoes etc..) Wherever they went, slave brought their cultural identity with them- which influenced the areas where they ended up. American South is only area where slave population grew from natural increase- and as time went by, our slave trade was primarily internal.


18 Slave Codes As slaves grew in number (outnumbering whites) laws passed to ensure control of the population. Blacks and their children are slaves for life- property of master (no legal rights) Crime to make slaves literate Conversion to Christianity common, but was not grounds for freedom Slavery was not a new issue- it’s been around forever, but slavery in Americas was Race based, which changed things, the notion of inferiority based on skin color will be law in this country until the 1960s.

19 Slave Culture Mix of African and American folkways.
Gullah: language developed in coastal South Carolina- blended English with African languages Music: Banjo and Bongo drums imported from Africa. Ringshout tradition contributed to Blues and Jazz Religion: developed preference for certain aspects of Christianity- Moses/Exodus, suffering/afterlife etc… Rebellion- there were over 250 from , slaves were not always docile. Stono Rebellion (1739) the largest and most important

20 Economic Growth and Development
Population growth fueled economic growth. Small scale industry (tools, personal products) grew and made colonies less dependent on Europe for daily goods, but overall pattern of Americas as source for raw materials and European production of finished goods remained constant Elite colonists grew richer, and a noticeable gap developed between rich and poor which had not been typical as colonies were founded. Immigrants who arrived later in 1700s found land/opportunities diminished in coastal areas, they had to move further inland Manufacturing not nearly as important as agriculture (in terms of econ) small industry (carpentry, shoemaking)for local consumption- only important large scale industry was Shipbuilding in New England. Travel overland challenging. Most large scale transportation done by water- river/ocean

21 Mercantilism and the Navigation Acts
Unlike Sp/Fr, British gov’t not directly involved in founding of colonies (other than Georgia) but that didn’t mean they didn’t plan to make $$ from them. Mercantilism: prevailing econ theory of 1600/1700s, said a country’s power came from it’s gold/silver reserves, and if you don’t have treasure, you get the $$ from trade. Colonies existed to create wealth for mother country by making sure European nations could export more than they had to import- providing raw materials and markets for finished goods Navigation Acts: series of laws passed between which said American colonies were only to trade with England. Certain products (wool, sugar, tobacco, Indigo, Rice) were Enumerated- could only trade with England. Other products could be sold to other countries, but had to stop in England 1st for tax. Not strictly enforced- and Colonies did receive benefit of military protection etc.. really not a burden until after Fr and Indian War


23 Molasses Act As colonial population grew there was increased demand for European goods- and increased American goods available. England is a long way away….there are other Europeans closer- the French, Spanish and Dutch in the Caribbean. Buy molasses, and distill it into Rum. Colonies (esp New England) developed a brisk trade with the French West Indies British passed Molasses Act- designed to cut trade in key product. Colonists ignored, and b/c of Salutary Neglect (more about this later) there were no consequences. Taught colonies they could get away with a great deal….

24 Regional Economies: New England
Not great climate for large scale farming, but good forest for hardwood timber, and excellent harbors for trade. Cod fishing. Rhode Island did a fair amount of rum distilling and rum smuggling Shipbuilding an important early industry, as was fishing, and distilling West Indies Molasses into Rum Boston largest city

25 Middle Colonies Good farm climate for grains, became the “breadbasket” colonies. Philadelphia and New York became large cities and commercial centers earlier than many areas, with manufacturing and trade done there up and down the colonies.

26 Chesapeake Tobacco a key crop throughout the 1700s-done by both small farmers and plantation owners. So focused on it in 1600s that they imported their food, but as tobacco boom ended they created a more balanced economy Baltimore largest city

27 Lower South Rice the 1st important plantation crop here, which needed slave labor to be successful. Plantations tended to be self sufficient, so didn’t trade in food, but relied on manufactured goods from Europe. Charleston largest city

28 Growth of Cities 90% of American colonists lived in Rural areas- most of them had come here for land ownership. Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston “largest” cities, but small compared to Europe- Philadelphia had 30,000 people in 1776, New York had 22,000- while London had 750,000 Important- connected colonies to outside world, and to each other. Will be important as revolution comes as places where people share ideas and discontentment….

29 Colonial Social Structures
Again- earliest settlers started on a fairly level playing field- but by 1750s there was greater diversity of profession, and disparity in wealth. Some colonists (like Washington/Jefferson) born to privilege. Middle classes (like John Adams) built a comfortable lifestyle for themselves. But there were larger groups of “poor” in rural and urban areas than there had been 100 years earlier

30 Colonial Elite Had less overt privilege than European aristocrats- No titles or inherited positions. This allowed social mobility (anyone COULD become part of the elite) and lessened resentment. Wealthy of New England and Middle Colonies tended to be in large cities (esp Boston, NY, Baltimore, Philadelphia) making $$ in trade/manufacturing. Wealthy of Chesapeake and Lower South were plantation owners, showing a cultural disparity that will be an issue for America not only until, but well after the Civil War: North and South are built around 2 different economies. “Anglicanization”: Wealthiest colonists (esp in the South) tended to imitate British Aristocracy with remarkable homes and an elegant life of leisure. Actually, they think of themselves as British Aristocrats. As other colonists begin to develop an American identity, and speak of revolution, these guys will be harder to get on board

31 Middle Class Majority of free Americans were
neither rich nor poor- but were somewhere in between. Might be farmers (with medium sized holdings), clergymen, artisans, shop keepers or small merchants. Largest in New England and Mid Atlantic colonies Middle class far larger in colonies than in England, primarily b/c land ownership was readily available. Lived comfortable lives- with possession well beyond survival necessities.

32 The Poor Percentage wise, the poor are a far smaller group
than they are in Europe (where they tended to be at LEAST 50% of the population during the 17th and 18th century) Again, this has to do with availability and accessibility of land. BUT, as population grew, land- at least good land- got harder to get. Tenant Farming became more common, as did wage laborers. But “Thrift and Industry” (as Ben Franklin put it in Poor Richard’s Almanac) could allow you to rise- which was NOT an opportunity the poor of Europe generally enjoyed.

33 Slaves As with all social hierarchies- slaves were the bottom.
90% of Slaves were in the South- but Slavery did exist in New England and the Middle Colonies (Tituba, a central figure in the Salem Witchcraft trials, was a Caribbean slave) Slaves in the north tended to be domestic servants, or laborers rather than just agricultural workers. In the South- slaves did the majority of plantation work after indentured servitude fell off around Small farmers often owned a couple of slaves as well. On plantations (tobacco or rice) you needed as many slaves as possible so that you could work as much land as possible

34 Families and Gender Roles
European society was quite patriarchal, and the colonists brought those values them. Male was head of house- and had strong legal power over his wife, children, and servants. Very few people in colonial times would have disputed the idea that women were “less” than men (less strong, less intelligent, less capable- you name it) In England (and her colonies) Single women could own property and businesses (not true in other all other Euro countries) but Coverture said that once she married, everything that HAD been hers became her husband’s. Men were expected to provide for their families- they worked. (As farmers, businessmen, craftsmen, whatever) Women tend the house (Cook, clean, sew etc..) Children, from a young age, were expected to contribute- they had chores, lots of them. (gender specific) Slaves were property- they had no legal rights. They could “marry” with a ceremony, but could be sold, as could their children, at whim. Very difficult to maintain a nuclear family life- so extended families became important.

35 Schools and Colleges At this point in history, most people in Europe AND colonies, even the wealthy, did not attend formal schools, at least not for very long. Those who did go on to “universities” were almost exclusively upper class men. In the 1600s and 1700s a person could live a full life without NEEDING to be literate- but it was considered a nice accomplishment. Those with means would hire a tutor/governess, or parents would teach their children. Once you COULD read and write- “school” was done, you could then “study” any subject you liked independently. Calvinist religions put a HUGE stress on being able to read the bible- therefore puritans were more likely than other groups to have their children educated. In the colonies, New England established far more schools than any other area. (South had fewest- geographic issues) New England was also the 1st to create a college in the new world- Harvard (1636) to train clergy. (as were Yale, Princeton, Columbia, Brown and Rutgers) By the Revolution there are 5 colleges in New England, 3 in the middle colonies, and 1 in the South (William and Mary)

36 Colonial Press: the Zenger Case
1735- important for freedom of the press John Peter Zenger owned a newspaper in NY that criticized the Royal governor of the colony. He was charged with seditious libel Zenger argued that he printed the truth- wasn’t his fault if governor didn’t like it. Jury agreed, and Zenger acquitted. Began tradition of protections for the press, though they were not a strong in colonial era as they will be later

37 Colonial Culture 1600s a time of tremendous intellectual change in Europe. Scientific Revolution (which would lead to the Enlightenment) was brewing- but the flip side of that was a last great tide of superstition in the late 1500s and early 1600s Colonists brought that with them, and in the wilderness of the colonies, it might be easy to believe that supernatural forces were at work

38 Salem Witchcraft Trials
Calvinists (Like Puritans) believed God had power over, and a hand in just about everything. Therefore…the devil could too. Constantly worried about supernatural forces, and constantly fearful of anything that seemed out of the divine order- like maybe a woman behaving in an “unnatural” way (having opinions etc…) In New England14 women were executed for witchcraft between , but the most famous issue came in 1692 with the Salem Witchcraft trials. A groups of teenage girls (for unknown reasons) unleashed hysteria by claiming they were “bewitched” by various people in the community of Salem Mass. Eventually 175 people would be arrested, and 20 executed Important consequence: passion untempered by Reason is dangerous. Will influence the importance of the law, and open people for the “new” ideas of the enlightenment. Will also discredit strict puritan ideology- which lightens everyone up


40 Enlightenment Scientific Revolution had thinkers trying to understand the workings of the natural world. Enlightenment thinkers wanted to take that same logic and reason, and apply it to society and government. John Locke: talked about “Natural Laws” and a “Social Contract” between those with power and those without. Basic idea that there are certain (inalienable) rights the government cannot limit, and if they try- citizens have the right to remove them from power. France was the center of the Enlightenment- the educated elite felt hampered by the limitations of absolute monarchy. Montesquieu wrote about the need for checks and balances, Voltaire wrote about the need for tolerance, Rousseau wrote about the need for freedom and expression. The American colonies will be the 1st place where these ideas are put to the test in the form of Revolution

41 Classical Liberalism Liberty: Individual human rights. Freedom of religion, Freedom of the press. Equality before the law Equality: All citizens should have equal rights and civil liberties- no special privilege comes from birth (did not mean everyone should be economically equal) Human dignity will create human happiness. Science, progress, and rationality will lead to better society for all.

42 Enlightenment and Religion
Philosophes were generally unquestioningly Christian , but saw God’s role in the world differently than est. religion Most were DEISTS: They thought that a divine power had created the world, and then let it go. Combined faith and reason- God created the divine laws of the universe, like a perfect machine (a clock the typical example) which had no need for intervention. Tended to attracted the upper class, well educated (particularly in the sciences) men. Deism actually not all that popular in the colonies, but two of our most important early thinkers were Deists. Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson had a profound effect on guiding the policies that would help shape our national character, and they were deists.

43 The Great Awakening 4 major religious sects: Anglican (will become Episcopalian), Congregational, Presbyterian (Scots) Quakers. If Deism thought that people should focus on reason PIETISM took the opposite view, saying people needed to make faith and religion more central to their lives. In only 1 in 7 Northerners were church members, less in the south. MUCH more popular than deism, esp with “ordinary” colonists. During 1720s and 1730s ministers were worried that people weren’t spending enough time on religion- that they needed to re-connect. Major issue was religious style: personal faith and church practice Revival meetings (gathering in one place for hours- or even days, to pray, single, listen to sermons) became popular. People would “testify”, cry, faint, scream etc….


45 Jonathan Edwards/George Whitefield
Important leaders Jonathan Edwards: the last of the fiery puritans (who were not as effected as other areas, they have played this game) Credited with starting things off. Wanted people to repent of their sins (typically greed etc). “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God” most famous – a vivid description of the torments of Hell. George Whitefield: Preached up and down the colonies. Methodist minister. (Methodism is a sect of Christianity founded in 1730s by John Wesley, became very popular in colonies) Strong Orator- called for people to devote their lives (and wealth) to bible good works.

46 Old Light/New Light Arminianism: challenged predestination- said free will can bring about salvation. Important part of American Identity is that we rule our own destinies. “Old Lights” are those who didn’t like the Awakening- they often thought it too showy, not serious enough. They thought religious leaders should be educated and respectable, not passionate and glib. “New Lights” thought that the style meant as much as the substance, and if passion got people involved with religion, then that was the way to go. Established colleges at Princeton, Brown, Rutgers, and Dartmouth to train ministers in this new style.

47 Results One of the 1st things the colonies experienced “together”. Starts giving them a relationship with one another. (American Identity) Split existing denominations: Methodism and Baptism become importance religious sects (eventually the largest). Encouraged 1st American missionary movement (directed at native Americans) Laid foundation for “anti-intellectualism” we admire passion more than straight intelligence Had a strong democratic element, people of all classes experienced together.

48 Colonial Governments Each colony was a separate entity. While all of their governments were loosely modeled on English Parliament, they were unique. General characteristics: The only people who could vote were free, male, property holders. (and the wealthier you were the more influential you were likely to be.) Each colony had some form of elected assembly, as well as an executive

49 Nature of American Politics
Colonial legislatures did not have as much power as parliament, but offered far more direct representation than England. At the local level there were townhall meetings in New England, County governments in the South (Middle used a combo of both) Upper classes worried about “democracy” they wanted limitations on who could vote- up to 50% of white males could not.

50 Tensions between Crown and Colonies
The “Restoration” monarchs (brothers Charles II and James II) were more actively involved in running the colonies than their predecessors had been. Revoked charters/proprietorships and made Massachusetts, New Jersey, and the Carolinas Royal colonies. James II thought there were too many small colonies in New England- who stubbornly clung to their own religious ideas, and had a tendency to smuggle if they thought they could make more $$ selling to France or Spain. So in 1686 he decided to create one “Supercolony”: THE DOMINION OF NEW ENGLAND. Made Edmund Andros the Royal governor, and disbanded all colonial assemblies. HUGELY unpopular, they rebelled, (part of glorious revolution 1688) jailed Andros, and “restored” themselves. King William had to send troops to restore order (the 1st sent to control colonists) most colonies got their original charters back, but Massachusetts/Plymouth combined in and remained a royal colony. Law changed to prohibit church membership as a voting qualification, and to allow all Protestants equal rights. (Act of Toleration)

51 Colonial Governments Bicameral legislature the most common. Upper House typically appointed by the king or proprietor, lower house elected by property owners. Governors has strong legal power. They could veto legislatures, dissolve legislatures, and appoint judges. But in reality, they didn’t have as much actual influence. Legislatures often controlled governor’s salaries. Britain was a long way away, and it was hard to get backup.

52 Development of Democratic Ideals
Tolerance (religion) was the 1st. Greater educational opportunities than Europe, create greater economic opportunities Land ownership a possibility- therefore could get right to vote Freedom of speech and press

53 Salutary Neglect and the Rise of Assemblies
From there was a lot going on in European politics (Wars of Louis XIV etc..), and England was involved for the 1st time since the end of the 100 years war (King William was Dutch) Beginning of “Second 100 years war” between France and England for dominance in continental affairs (will go until Napoleon’s defeat in 1815) Therefore, colonies are left to do their own thing…and they liked that. Generally referred to as “SALUTARY NEGLECT”, meaning that Britain wasn’t “ignoring”, they were just busy elsewhere. Royal governors etc tended to be appointed b/c they were royal favorites- as opposed to qualified, which meant they (and by proxy the British government in general) weren’t well respected. During this period, colonial assemblies gained power, and did most of the actual “running” of the government. Important in development of democracy- but more in that colonists got a sense that they were SUPPOSED to be in charge of their own affairs.

54 Stono Rebellion 1739 saw the largest slave rebellion in colonial History. Began in Stono South Carolina, led by slaves recently arrived from Africa- who were headed for Spanish Florida (where the Spanish promised them freedom) Along the way the 100 plus slaves burned homes/crops, and killed 25 whites. South Carolina raised a militia, and met the runaways in battle, where 40 were killed. The survivors were executed. Scared slave owners- slave codes tightened considerably. Also limited importation of slaves, they were considered more hostile.

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