History Lecture #8: Government and Society in New England

4 Pages
Unlock Document

Mark Peterson

History Lecture #8: Government and Society in New England I. The Massachusetts Bay Company A. Families and Migration » The Church of England didn’t want a bunch of Puritans leaving England and founding their own colony » Made people migrating on boats swear that they conformed to the Church of England » List of names of people going to Virginia made it difficult to see how they are related to each other – Everyone was around 15-30 years old – A bunch of isolated individuals » Different to list of names of people going to Boston two months earlier – Can see family groups – Instead of younger, isolated individuals, there are established family units – Even the servants came as part of households already – Made a big difference in familial and governmental life in New England compared to in Virginia » People in New England were not people with no means; they invested in New England without expecting an immediate return – They were not poor people seeking jobs – They had means and left because they wanted to escape religious persecution B. Villages and Farms » Settlers in New England began building villages and farms to replicate what they were like in England » They were actually quite successful » Once the settlers began to realize where the good farmland was, they realized that not everyone could settle in the same place » The government in New England decides that each different town had to have their own corporate existence (their own room for autonomy) – strictly speaking, this was illegal by the Charter but no one was there to enforce it » In 1635, the government of each town set up farmland and living space in their boundaries, but reserved a lot of space because they knew there would be new people coming in in 1645 or 1655 or later » Massachusetts tried to find something like tobacco to grow rich, but they couldn’t find anything – Farmland in Massachusetts was brilliant for growing different types of crops, for raising livestock – However, this was not intrinsically valuable enough for someone in England to want to pay for not just the produce but also for the shipping costs – They could produce the food that they needed to survive, but they couldn’t find anything valuable enough for a ship captain, a crew and someone to buy their things – This means that there are thousands of people selling everything they have in England and investing it in their life in New England ◊ They weren’t self-sufficient in the beginning ≈ Unable to produce clothing, paper, industrial materials ◊ But they didn’t want to live the life of primitive, self-sufficient people – They were desperate to find something valuable because they didn’t have anything to attract merchants to come and sell them things or buy things from them ◊ They didn’t leave everything back home for a less sophisticated life » People migrated in waves – New arrivals kept coming in with money – The people there already raising crops and livestock sold their produce to the new arrivals, making enough money to pay the ships to sell their produce to England – As long as new people kept coming in with new money, New England floated ◊ The migration stopped because of English politics ≈ England begins to descend in a decade-long civil war (Scotland and Ireland rise against England, the Parliament begins to criticize the King, etc.) ≈ Puritans have a foothold – means that Puritans aren’t looking to flee, but rather to stay and fight › In fact, many puritans in New England of fighting age are going back to fight in this civil war, with some of them eventually becoming generals etc. on the Puritan side. ≈ Once the migration stopped, all the prices fell to nothing (no demand) – couldn’t sell a cow in 1642 because everyone had cows and no one wanted it. ◊ New England colony on the verge of collapse ≈ Some people going back to England ≈ Others go to Caribbean – some English have set up colonies there C. Churches, Families and the State » Towns were self-governing collections of families who settled there and were granted land – A new town may have 100 families, and each family would be represented by the head of family (father/master/oldest male) – Amount of land granted according to capacity an
More Less

Related notes for HISTORY 7A

Log In


Join OneClass

Access over 10 million pages of study
documents for 1.3 million courses.

Sign up

Join to view


By registering, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policies
Already have an account?
Just a few more details

So we can recommend you notes for your school.

Reset Password

Please enter below the email address you registered with and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Add your courses

Get notes from the top students in your class.