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#3: Aspects of Colonial Life.pdf

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University of Toronto St. George
Professor Candace Sobers

ASPECTS OF COLONIAL LIFE, 1619-1760 S NAPSHOT N EW ENGLAND •Mass. Bay, Connecticut Colonies, Rhode Island, New Hampshire •Major city is Boston Congregationalists (Puritans) • •No main cash crop •Individual farms and merchant class •People lived closer to one another •Allowed puritans to keep an eye on their neighbors — acting in a Godly fashion •Life was better in New England, than in the other colonies — healthier •Natural increase — a lot of children that didn’t die off as quickly •Possible to buy your small farm for relatively cheap •Trades in other things — tea, sugar, fishing, tobacco Burgeoning merchant class • •The merchant class in Boston, owns about half of the cities wealth •The increase of slavery M IDDLE COLONIES •New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, Maryland, and Delaware •Major cities are New York and Philadelphia •Religious diversity •A lot of individual farmers •Burgeoning middle class •Wheat, lumber (Shipbuilding), and textiles •Individual farms and merchant class •William Penn, Founder of Pennsylvania, called the colony “the best poor man’s country” •The new colonies allow for you to live beyond the English standard SOUTHERN COLONIES •South Carolina, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, and Georgia •Maryland is the south and not the south at the same time — most of its development is southern •Major city is Charleston •The population is mainly Anglican, though there are some exceptions Cash crop society — make their money planting and harvesting really labor intensive • crops •Indigo, rice, and tobacco •Gives way to a planation system — highly stratified society U RBANIZATION •The boom in population allows for urbanization ASPECTS OF COLONIAL LIFE, 1619-1760 •Big cities — New York, Philadelphia, Boston, Charleston, and Newport •Population still overwhelmingly rural, but urban centers wield increasing influence •Urban planning — Philadelphia and Charleston are planned •Only 8% of the population is urban •The cities have the ports, the centers of trading and economic systems; the shops; the colleges •Friendly competition between the urban centers •New England is not religiously tolerant, but rather the Middle Colonies are •1700 — the Southern colonies are really rich, the wealthier they get the more slaves they can purchase •Enjoy a much higher standard of living •Why is it important that the British-American colonists see themselves as equal — the idea that you can do better for yourself and compared to everyone else F AITH : RELIGION AND THE B ODY P OLITIC •Important for the political formation of the colonies •Plymouth — Pilgrims •New England — Puritans, seek to purify the Church of England •Helps set the terms for private and civic life •The most prominent religion is some sort of Christian Protestantism, even in Maryland •The Protestant work ethic — each person is responsible for their own opportunities, if you are working hard you are working for God •They believe they are born elect — how do you know who is God’s elect? •Whoever is a good worker -- the idea that those who work hard are God’s elect •Work hard and you will be rewarded as opposed to those who manifest wealth Those who have the power of thriftiness and modesty • •Therefore, if you are not prosperous it is your own fault — if you are lazy the idea begins to develop that you are not working hard enough and you are not favored by God A NNE HUTCHINSON AND A NTINOMIANISM •Antinomianism — against the rule of law •Hutchinson is a mother of 15 •Takes the puritan teaching very seriously — very strong religious convictions •Certain things she does puts her afoul of the men Preaches -- women couldn’t preach at this time • •Criticizes the Puritan preachers — believed they preach works, rather than grace SALEM W ITCHT RIALS •All women accused were outside of the accepted circle •Men were also accused of being witches ASPECTS OF COLONIAL LIFE, 1619-1760 THE F IRSTG REAT AWAKENING •170
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