The First English Colonies in the
Early 17 Century 09/17/2013
AngloSpanish war 18051604
Elizabeth hated Spain
Was looking to the new world for opportunities to help them with their rivalry with Spain
Primogeniture : land inherited by eldest son – created landless sons
Were sent to war –
A discourse on how her majesty might annoy the king of Spain
Set up colonies in America
English landed on Roanoke Island
Weren’t able to sustain themselves
1590: Returns, but entire colony is gone – assimilated?
Known as the “lost colony”
Migrants were single young men looking for riches – no intentions to stay
1606: Set up outpost in Chesapeake under King James
104 male settlers settled along the James river
land was marshy, hard to cultivate Malaria
Colonists die – get sick with disease, become weak
Colonists didn’t do anything:
Idea that they were coming to the garden of Eden: live off the land easily
Refused to work – work was below them
1608: Numbers down to 38
John Smith imposes merit chart, and Marshal Law
Numbers surged to 500 then dropped to 60 because they had starved to death
HeadRight System : 1617
Gave 100 acres of land to male colonists in James town
Receive 50 acres of land if you go to Jamestown
Receive 50 acres of land if you pay for someone else to go to Jamestown
Was it their land to give?
Powhatan Confederacy: known to be a powerful, shroud leader
Viewed English as potential allies & sources for things that he wanted
Helped them survive, and in return the English captured his daughter Pocahontas who marries
Powhatan dies – 1617, Pocahontas dies the next year.
Succeeded by Opechancanough
Opechancanough 1622: uprising
killed 1/4 the of the colonists : 347 – the rest were spared because he thought he’d made his point
1644: tries to expose English again
Opechancanough captured – powhatan confederacy forced to sign treaty making them
4 Obstacles to Social Stability in Chesapeake
Gender Ratio :
6 men : 1 woman. Family was the fundamental social unit. Little natural increase in population.
Good for women: lived longer than men, could easily marry up and would earn a great deal of
Men feared that women had too much power in Jamestown
Difficult to get people to go to church in Virginia
Commodification of Labor
Slaves & Indentured servants
Unfree laborers – Men 1524 – who gave themselves to the land in exchange for a passage over
for 47 years
Many do not survive
Unequal Distribution of Land
Biggest planters get bigger faster, getting rich, and getting the opportunities
People serving as indentured servants have hard time getting land, go into debt, starve, have to
go home and become a servant again
Puratins – purify the church
Separatists: most extreme England was too corrupt spiritually to be saved
First go to Netherlands, but other groups were welcomed as well.
1620: received permission from Virginia Company to colonize North
Reform church in England
Massechusets Bay Company –
Setting up ideal society to serve as a great model
John Winthrop – “we will be a city upon a hi ”
Notion that America could be a beacon of liberty to be followed
Reuse: put less emphasis on business and more on society and church membership
Plymouth Contrasts with Virginia
Most were families,
Gender Ratio was more equal
Healthier Place – healthier than England – lived to average of 70
90% of children reached adulthood
Natural population increase
Clustered into villages along the coast, had meetings & a meeting house at the center of the
village – more social control
Equal distribution of land
Climate not suitable for tobacco cultivations – little need for servants or slaves. Not a cash crop
Majority of adult males were free and owned property
Committed to order and consensus
Women aloud to vote in church matters but not civil matters
Everyone had to go to church – did not have to be a member
To become a member, you had to prove spiritual sincerity
Puritans feared declination – society rattling out of control
Growth of sea port villages threatened their way of life
As population grew it became more dispersed
Grow to be more alike over the next century 18 Century Colonial Society 09/17/2013
Black Society in 18 Century America th
18 Century Colonial Society 09/17/2013
never as economically central in the North, but it was still vastly important on a global scale in the North
Northerners profited a great deal
Triangle trade became more complex: included Caribbean – Northern grains, fish, wood in exchange for slaves & molasses
New york had largest black population ; 15% of population on eve of American Revolution
MidCentury: 1/5 of Philadelphia was enslaved
Upper South Chesapeake
Plantations are smaller
Higher ratio of whites to blacks
More focused on staple crop production – tobacco, wheat, corn
Material Conditions better than in lower south – better diets, less cruelty
Had less opportunities for autonomy –
Slave masters have a greater presence in the day to day lives of their slaves
Slaves come from the Carribean, then the gender ratio evened out among both whites and blacks – natural increase of both
populations much sooner than in lower south.
Lower South: South Carolina
Larger slave holders
Lower Ratio of whites to blacks (more blacks in the population)
More concentration on staple crops – rice, indigo
Inverse relationship between material conditions & opportunities for autonomy th
18 Century Colonial Society 09/17/2013
More distant from whites: language, religion
Whites are less culturally intrusive
Still really unhealthy
Import slaves directly from Africa – knew more about the cultivation of the rice crop
Rice cultivation means you’re working in rice swamps – come into contact with mosquito’s: malaria, and other diseases
have to import more slaves: more male than female slaves imported.
Adopted task system of labour: have to complete these tasks, not work morning to night. Allowed some slaves to finish their tasks
More efficient considering the cultivation, and the ratio of blacks to whites – harder to oversee them, easier to have a task
95% of blacks in Colonial America were enslaved – could not legally wed, families could be separated by master – African
American family life under slavery was extremely fragile
Formed families nonetheless – form of resistance & was often very difficult (man and woman lived on different plantations, could
only see each other on Sundays etc.) took on greater importance
Some masters tried to keep families together – self interests or morals; threat of being able to sell a member
Having Sunday’s off, or being able to have leisure after finishing task in lower south
Destroying masters tools or property
Make it look like an accident
Outright rebellion was rare – certain death
Stono Rebellion South Carolina – 1739
Starts with 20 slaves, immigrants from Pangola, West Africa
Stole guns and ammo th
18 Century Colonial Society 09/17/2013
Killed store owners
Gained about 80 followers
Goal: Head South to Spanish Florida – Few made it
Offered freedom to slaves if they converted to Spanish Catholicism
Vast majority captured & killed
Haunted South Carolina, and haunts all the other colonies as well – testament to growing links among the colonies.
Psychological spill over most evident in NYC
1741: series of fires broke out – feared that slaves were rising up & created hysteria among whites – executed 31 slaves & sold
many out of the colony.
White guilt was always evident – at some level they were conscious of the fact that they lived by repressing others – Awareness
of status of oppressors
White Society in 18 Century America
English North American colonies 250,000 in 1700. Raised to 2.5 million on the eve of the revolution.
Natural increase Average colonial women got pregnant every few years, and had 810 children – very young population – more
than 2x as many kids
Immigration – forced African immigration (280,000) & 600,000 European immigrants.
New France: grew from 15,000 to 70,000 by 1760’s
Spanish North America: 3,000 – New Mexico only had 20,000 by end of the 18 century
Stark Contrast to 17 century
England restricts immigration – less English more Irish, Scottish, German; vast majority of this immigration right before revolution
Discourse of freedom & liberty: colonists less likely to stress rights as Englishman & more likely to develop a universal language
of the revolution th
18 Century Colonial Society 09/17/2013
New Spain: exports were low
New France: exported more, but policies ensured that growth went to France
England: widely coastal trade – more developed societies
Standard of living for Colonial Americans increased: luxuries become common
Elite separated themselves from poor
Wore fashionable clothes, extravagant houses, spending money, owned seats in church
Rise of colonial Elite growing numbers of poverty
Trend towards disparity
Tea & Rum
America becoming consumer society
Products went from being exotic, to elite, to common
Tea: served by women of status in their homes, ritual to drinking it
Rum: Drink of masses – inexpensive and strong.
4 gallons / year / person
First Great Awakening: Religious revival that swept through the colonies in 1730’s to the 1760’s – series of related events
throughout the English Colonies.
Challenge to the Culture of Deference: common people encouraged to get rid of local ministers
Historians see the great awakening for providing a sense of unity to colonies – people heard about revivals & got excited
for traveling preacher shows – created common culture The Road to Revolution 09/17/2013
The First Great Awakening
A series of events over several decades: movement about enthusiasm – religious feeling (preaching style)
Jonathan Edwards: prominent traveling minister: used fiery language. “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God” . Climaxed with
emotional release from sin right on the spot.
George Whitefield: the most prominent traveling minister – most important. The first modern celebrity. Had a commanding
presence – captivating. Drew great crowds in Philedalphia. Even Benjamin Franklin went to go see him – estimated the crowd to
be about 30,000 people.
Lead to clashes between traveling ministers and the established clergys
Traveling ministers empowered people : even women and blacks.
Notion of spiritual equality: appealed to slaves.
Lead to new churches which included both free & enslaved people in the same church
Tended to speak against slave revolts & stealing from their masters
Punished masters who were too abusive to their slaves
Rare cases: Slave masters freed slaves based purely on religious conviction – Robert Cardon
Democratized religion in America
Challenged Colonial culture of deference: empowered people to decide religion on their own
Egalitarianism: emphasis on speech rather than reading – opens religion to illiterate and poor.
Unified force: Culturally.
Necessary precursor to politics of Revolution
The Seven Years War
Americans were not united: relationship to English empire & colony instead
No deep political connections between colonies – changed in 1754 with the onset of FrancoIndian war: Seven Years War.
War between French, colonists, Native American allies VS English, colonists, native American allies The Road to Revolution 09/17/2013
Ends French presence as imperial power in North America. Concludes with Treaty of Paris: Britain and Spain divide America:
Britain got East of Mississippi; Spanish got West
Led to downfall of England – beginning of letdown between Britain and her colonies.
Friction starts in North America when England moved West into colonies owned by French who had smaller amount of colonies:
had forts instead. Also had much better relationships with Natives.
Natives understood that it was beneficial to have French and England fight for their relationship.
Struggle over land: English colonists who pushed the issue. Especially a small owner of wealthy speculators who claimed
disputed regions of back country and sold land to settlers (George Washington).
Fort Necessity: Built by George Washington ; owned by France. Captured & humiliated, forced to sign treaty stating it was his
Albany Plan of Union: 1754
Attempt to develop unity with Native Americans
Wanted Irroquois to join English against the Frnce
Mastermind of Ben Franklin.
First precedence for poli