More English Revolution – Parliament is in power.
• 1640s, no American colony was older than 35 years – formative stage. Revolution
had profound effect on how colonies were shaped.
• Parliamentarycentered state was much more concerned with governance of the
• 1660’s American colonies are far more religiously diverse than most European
states. Because the colonies were always in a state of labor scarcity, colonies were
dependent upon unfree labor.
• Importation of servants drove up prosperity and the desire for autonomy – (socio
political phenomenon of desiring autonomy as early as 1676).
Focusing on Two Colonies : VA and MASS
Virginia – Blank slate for aristocratic hierarchy.
• Founded 1620 through aristocratic wealth with the naïve idea that the
colony of Virginia would be a pristine nature (blank slate) onto which
aristocrats could etch out a fresh hierarchical society. Freed from divisions
that marred current English society.
• Also believed in the “Noble Savage”
o Native Americans can be civilized.
o Can give aristocrats an insight into the flaws of Europeans
o They came to tutor and be tutored.
• Hard life in colonies
o Hard work: Difficult to eek out living.
o Native Hositilty: Natives not pleased with settlement of aristocrats (knew
there were more to come).
Natives slaughter 400 aristocrats
o This gave aristocrats pause.
• 1625, English government seized control of Virginia (became royal colony).
o Governed loosely by London.
o New men who came were only interested in prosperity.
Market it in Europe
o Not interested in governance.
• Tobacco became a hit immediately
o 1625 – 8,000 pounds of tobacco imported to Europe
o 1650 – imported 100,000 lbs.
• Crown wanted crop diversification
o England was wheat short – need tobacco AND food.
o The purpose of the colonies, England argued, was to supply the
motherland with materials it lacked. o More wheat. More grain. More beer.
• 1635 Governor of Virginia brought this news to the tobacco planters.
o Planters said they were all about prosperity – i.e. tobacco.
o TENSIONS RISING
• Crown threatens penalization
o Planters not interested in taking orders from the governor.
• A new group of settlers (who had experienced the English Revolution) arrived.
Sons of successful revolutionaries.
o First families of Virginia were interested in governance AND wealth.
o Wealth not so they could buy things but so they could govern too.
• 1663 – House of Burgesses separate from governor and his minions.
o New men saw this House as their means of achieving power.
o Clash between House and Governor came to a head over a land dispute
Governor of Virginia was committed to protecting the native
population from the aggressive grabbing of land by new settlers.
People thought that governor and state were prote