History Lecture #10: From English Colonies to British Empire, 1676-1740

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University of California - Berkeley
Mark Peterson

History Lecture #10: From English Colonies to British Empire, 1676-1740 How England, Scotland and the colonies of these places begin to come together to form the British Empire: from a minor European power to a leading power in the world Some monarchs were monarchs over more than one country, but although a king could be king over two countries, they still had separate parliaments, governments etc., and so it didn’t meant that they were permanently unified I. A. Maryland: A Catholic Alternative in the Chesapeake » Maryland was immediately North of Virginia » Climate, soil and everything was similar to Virginia » Maryland was a place for catholic refugees as opposed to Virginia » Charles I (King James’ son) was actually sympathetic to Roman Catholicism » Maryland would be to Catholics what Massachusetts was to Puritans with approval of the crown » Problem that Maryland faced was that unlike the Puritan movement, Roman Catholics in England didn’t have the constituency in the lower ranks to move to England the way that the Puritans did » Limited ability of Maryland leaders to bring over Roman Catholics meant that although it was officially Roman Catholic, it was very much populated by Protestants B. From New Netherlands to New York » Competing Netherlands established colony in North America in New Netherlands (centering on Hudson River and completely encompassing the Connecticut River, the Delaware River and even possibly the Eastern bay of the Chesapeake) » Founded by Dutch government in much the same way that Massachusetts and Virginia were: through a company » Netherlands did not have the same population problems that England was facing in the late 1600s to early 1700s » Similarity was in their great hatred for Spain – Broke out against Spanish rule (Middle of 16 century Spain had rule over a huge area, including the Netherlands) ◊ Rebellion in part religious ◊ Fairly strongly embraced Protestantism ◊ 1560s onwards (for the next 80 years) came a series of brutal wars between the lower level Dutch and the Spanish ◊ Began looking for places in the world to enhance wealth through acquiring colonies in order to defeat Spanish to gain independence ◊ Not looking for settler colonies (needed man power in Netherlands); instead looked for global trade network ◊ Followed Portuguese to South America and set up their own colonies there; also succeeded in weaseling their way into North African slave trade and also took control over Brazil (sugar industry – even brought this to some Caribbean islands) ◊ Dutch = aggressive, powerful trade based empire that saw North America as somewhere else they could go to establish a foothold that might be useful militarily against Spanish and also to extract resources and riches ◊ Dutch government unable to bring a large number of settlers there: didn’t have the numbers/homogenous population that the English did ◊ Magnet for Protestant merchants ◊ Dutch had problems with Indian population like the English ≈ Encouraged Indians to hunt, and as demand grew the Dutch moved further and further up the Hudson river, which was received with more and more push back from Indians » Around early 1650s the mutual alliance between English and Netherlands against the Spanish gradually grew apart – English civil war, Charles beheaded, new Parliamentary government – Netherlands rewarded independence by King of Spain – Now saw each other as competitors; Netherlands already established as a great trading power, and Oliver Cromwell (new leader of England) wanted England to be like that – These powers go to war for the first time in 1652; second on in early 1660s and third in early 1670s; trying to challenge each other for Atlantic and international trading power – New Netherlands became easy target for English – English fleet captures New Amsterdam, takes it from the Dutch and expels the Dutch settlers (followed by treaties etc.) ◊ From around King Phillip’s war, this whole region is transferred permanently from Dutch to English control ≈ Name changes from New Netherlands to New York › By this time, the monarchy had been restored after Cromwell dies; Charles II resumes throne, pushes for stronger royal government; wanted to organize Britain’s empire and clearly under royal control › After his army decisively wins control, so he decides the best way forward is to hand control over to his brother James II, Duke of York. › James II has huge plans: wants to make New York even bigger. He is already thinking of the prospect of turning English America (from Carolina to Maine) into the Spanish model of rule by the time he became proprietor – Charles I was sympathetic to Roman Catholics, so much so that he married a Catholic woman. Sons Charles II and James II raised to be Roman Catholic too ◊ New York transformed into English colony; population remains ethically diverse and imposed on top of that is this English royal administration ◊ Different colony to Massachusetts and Virginia ◊ James II secretly Catholic, thinking about organizing the colonies as a whole C. William Penn’s Quaker Experiment » William Penn – founder of Pennsylvania » Shared qualities with ruler of New York » Father was high admiral to crown after restoration th » Adopted strangest descending religion in all of 17 Century England » Oliver Cromwel
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