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Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution

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1 Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution
Chapter 5 Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution

2 Essential Question To what extent were the American colonists “Americanized?” Keep in mind, changing identity and changing ideas, beliefs, and culture are historical themes.

3 Colonial Society The natural fertility of the American population led to 2.5 million people living in the colonies by 1775.

4 Colonial Society Things to notice:
Germans settled heavily in Pennsylvania The Scots-Irish, seeing that the Germans had taken most of the farmland in Pennsylvania, moved to the frontier area of Maryland, Virginia, and Western Carolinas. The colonies was probably the most diverse in the world. The South had 90% of the colonies slaves. New England showed the least ethnic diversity Indian tribes intermingled, as they were displaced by white settlers, and created new cultures and societies. Africans, coming from different tribes, intermingled to create a new ethnicity we call African Americans.

5 Structure of Colonial Society
America was generally more egalitarian than Europe. Most people were small farmers and raised their own crops by their own hard work. But stratification was beginning to occur. The richest 10 percent of Bostonians and Philadelphians, money made as war suppliers, owned 2/3 of the wealth.

6 Structure of Colonial Society
Almshouses were created in cities to help the poor. Paupers (poor people) were forced to wear the letter “P” on their clothing – they ranked even below indentured servants in society. Wealthy landowners owned most of the slaves and largest tracts of land in the South. There were plenty of indentured servants Convicts, such as rapists, murders, and thieves were shipped to the colonies.

7 Structure of Colonial Society
The clergyman was still the most honored profession, although not as much as during the early days of Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth. Agriculture was the leading industry

8 The “Triangular Trade”
Rum from New England goes to Africa Captain trades rum for slaves and goes to the Caribbean (West Indies). Captain exchanges slaves for molasses; takes molasses to New England to make more rum. New England merchants also shipped food and lumber to the Caribbean and traded with the Spanish, Dutch, and French. England had many restrictions on colonial trade but the colonists would ignore British law – Salutary Neglect!! Smuggle goods to French and other European countries. Colonists take money and buy British goods. Britain doesn’t seem to mind too much but British West Indies do! Molasses Act bows to special interests in the British West Indies. How does this economic system help lead to the Revolutionary War?

9 Workaday America Mercantalism dictated that American colonists buy British products, but England couldn’t keep up with the fast-growing American population’s demands. Worse yet, England’s population couldn’t buy anymore raw material from America because America’s supply was bigger than Britain’s demand. From who do the colonists buy and sell? Hello France and Spain in the West Indies (Caribbean).

10 The British government is trying to destroy me!
Workaday America Great Britain’s Parliament decided to pass the Molasses Act, aimed at preventing colonists from trading with the French West Indies. A step toward revolution? The British government is trying to destroy me!

11 A Cradle of Democracy? Taverns sprang up along main travel routes in the colonies. All social classes would mingle Gossip was a source of news and political opinion

12 Dominant Denominations “Established” Churches
Anglican Church Congregational Church Tax-supported Official church in Georgia, N. and S. Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and part of New York The Anglican Church suffered in colonial America because of its poorly qualified clergy and close ties with British authorities Tax-supported Grew out of the Puritan Church Established in all of New England, except Rhode Island (of course) Screwed again, thanks a lot England The Scots-Irish were Presbyterian and the Irish were Catholic, but their religions were never officially supported in the colonies.

13 Great Awakening Many worshipers began to doubt predestination.
Also, many colonists began to say that individual actions, not your devotion to a particular church’s beliefs, was the path to Heaven. Preach it brotha! George Whitefield Jonathan Edwards

14 Effects of the Great Awakening
Emotion Increased competition among churches: schisms develop Increased missionary work among the Native Americans and black slaves. Led to the founding of Princeton, Brown, Rutgers, Dartmouth. United Americans with a common history and shared experiences.

15 Charter Colonies: King grants rule directly to the colonists
Charter Colonies: King grants rule directly to the colonists. Governors and councils appointed by property-owning colonists. Connecticut and Rhode Island Proprietary Colonies: Land granted by the king to a caretaker. Governor and royal council appointed by the caretaker. Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania Royal Colonies: Governor and Royal Council are directly controlled of the monarchy Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Virginia

16 Politics Freedom of the press is born!
John Peter Zenger railed against the corrupt royal governor of New York in his newspaper. He was sued and taken to court. The jury, comprised of colonists, defied British law and determined him to be not guilty. Usually though, colonial legislatures would fight against royal governors by voting to withhold the governor’s salary The King of England didn’t want to spend too much money on the colonies so the royal governor had to get paid by the colonial legislatures, the House of Burgesses! This made some royal governors corrupt

17 Questions to Consider In what ways were the European colonists being “Americanized?” In what ways was America being “Europeanized?” Was Colonial America communities of conflict or consensus? Why?

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