Samuel Johnson “Multiplying like rattlesnakes” * Also were youthful average age was 16 * In 1775, the most populous colonies were Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Maryland. * Only four communities could be called cities: first Philadelphia (including suburbs), New York, Boston, Charleston * 90% of the people lived in rural areas A Mingling of the Races * Colonial America had been a melting pot since the outset: population was English in stock and language, but mottled with numerous foreign groups * Germans * 1775: about 6% of total population Fleeing religious persecution, economic oppression, and ravages of war * Mostly settled in Pennsylvania in the early 1700s * Added to religious diversity: belonged to different Protestant sects, primarily Lutheran * Erroneously known as the Pennsylvania Dutch and made up 1/3 of colony’s population * Moved into Penn’s backcountry * Their splendid stone barns give evidence of industry and prosperity * Clung to their German culture and language * Scots-Irish * 7% of population in 1775 * Not Irish at all but turbulent Scots Lowlanders Had been transported over a period of time to Northern Ireland did not prosper * Irish Catholics hated Scottish Presbyterian and resented the intrusion * Economic life of Scots-Irish was hampered, especially when English government put burdensome restrictions on their production of woolens and linens * Early 1700s: tens of thousands of Scots- Irish came to America, mostly to tolerant and deep-soiled Pennsylvania * Best land was already taken by Germans and Quakers pushed out into the frontier * Illegally but defiantly squatted on unoccupied lands and quarreled with Indian and white owners * Superior frontiersmen with ready violence for Indians * Idea that they kept “Sabbath and all else they could get their hands on” * They hated British government (or apparently any other government) who had once uprooted and still lorded over them * Led the armed march of the Paxton Boys on Philadelphia, protesting the Quaker’s oligarchy’s lenient policy towards Indians * Also led Regulator movement in North Carolina against eastern domination of the colony’s affairs * Many of these hotheads (ex Andrew Jackson) eventually joined the American revolutionists * 5% of multicolored colonial population included French Huguenots, Welsh, Dutch, Swedes, Jews, Irish, Swish, and Scots Highlanders felt little loyalty to British crown * Largest non-English group Africans Thirteen colonies had most mixed population * South: 90% of slaves * New England: Puritans least ethnic diversity * Middle Colonies (especially Penn’s Woods): received most of later white immigrants and had astonishing variety * This variety laid the foundations for the diverse multicultural American identity * Whites mixed with other whites, as were Africans from slave trade African Americans * Polyglot Native American communities emerged blurred tribal identity boundaries The Structure of Colonial Society * Contrasted to Europe—American was a land of equality and opportunity except for the slaves * No titled nobility or pauperized underclass Most white Americans and some free blacks were small farmers * Cities: small class of skilled artisans, shopkeepers, tradespeople, and unskilled causal laborers * Most astonishing: could go from rags to riches for an ambitious colonist, rare in England * Contrast with 17th century America: colonial society on the eve of Revolution began to show signs of stratification/ barriers to mobility raised worries about “Europeanization” of America * Gods of war contributed to these developments * Armed conflicts of the 1690s and early 1700s enriched a number of merchant princes in the New England and middle colonies laid foundations of their fortunes with profits made as military suppliers made money imported fancy clothes and ate with English china, etc * Prominent people came to be seated in churches/ schools according to rank * War plague created class of widows and orphans became dependent on charity * Philadelphia and NY built almshouses However, still smaller number of poor in America than England (1/3 of population in E) * In New England countryside descendent of original settlers faced more problems than descendents supply of unclaimed soil grew smaller and families larger existing landholdings were repeatedly subdivided * Average farm size drastically shrank and younger kids were forced to work as wage laborers or seek virgin tracts of land beyond Alleghenies * South: power of great planters were bolstered by disproportionate ownership of slaves * Riches created by growing slave population in 18th century were not evenly distributed among whites- wealth was concentrated in largest slave owners widened gap between rich and poor whites who would portably become tenant farmers * In all the colonies the ranks of the lower classes were further swelled by the continuing stream of indentured servants, many of whom were eventually very successful * Many paupers and convicts were deported to the Americas, many because of the strict penal code in England with over 200 capital crimes—not fans of king * Lowest: blacks they could not even dream of climbing the social ladder * People eared black rebellion SC legislature even tried to restrict/ halt their importation * To reserve cheap labor, especially in sugar of West Indies, British authorities vetoed these attempts colonists thought this veto was callous even though NE slave traders also very much benefited from this * Cruel complexity of issue (think Thomas Jefferson) Clerics, Physicians, and Jurists * Christian ministry was most honored profession * Most physicians were poorly trained and not highly esteemed * The first medical school came in 1765 * Epidemics were a constant nightmare, especially smallpox a crude form of inoculation was introduced in 1721 despite objections by many physicians and clergy * Powdered dried toad was a favorite prescription for smallpox. Diphtheria was also a killer, especially of young people. Grim reminder of one epidemic and the taking of their morality may have helped to prepare colonists in their hearts and minds for the religious revival that was soon to sweep them up * At first the law profession was not favorably regarded lawyers were regarded as noisy or troublemakers, drunkards or brothel owners; sometimes parties defended themselves in court Workaday America * Agriculture was the leading industryinvolved about 90% of the people * Tobacco continued to be staple crop for Maryland and VA (wheat also spread through Chesapeake in tobacco ruined soil regions) * Fertile middle (bread) colonies with lots of grain NY was exporting a lot of flour a year… A LOT * This was really good, and America was overall the higher of standards of living lived by the majority of others in history up to that time * Fishing, though below agriculture, was rewarding and pursued in all American colonies but major industry in New England stimulated shipbuilding and served as a nursery for the seamen * Bustling commerce, coastwise and overseas enriched all the colonies especially New England, NY, and Pennsylvania * Commercial ventures and land speculation replaced any get-rich-quick schemes and became the surest avenues to speedy wealth * Yankee seamen were famous not only as skilled mariners but also as ightfisted traders * Triangular trade was infamously profitable but small in relation to total colonial commerce * Manufacturing in the colonies was only secondary importance but included rum, beaver hats, iron, household manufacturing (spinning and weaving) * Strong-back laborers and skilled craftspeople were scarce and highly prized * Lumbering was the most important single manufacturing activity first chiefly in New England, but then spread elsewhere in the colonies * Colonial naval stores (tar, pitch, rosin, turpentine) were highly valued because British wanted to fain and retain a mastery of the seas * London offered generous bounties to stimulate production of these items * Towering trees were needed for royal masts there were restriction placed on them this shackle on free enterprise caused considerable bitterness * By the 18th century Americans held an important flank of the thriving Atlantic economy, but strains appeared in this network as early as the 1730s * Fast breeding Americans demanded more and more British products-yet the slow growing British population early reached the saturation point for absorbing imports from America * This trade imbalance prompted the Americans to sell their goods to foreign, non-British markets to get money to pay for British products * By the eve of the Revolution, the bulk of Chesapeake tobacco was in France and other European countries, btw it passed through British re-exporters * Most important was trade with West Indies, especially in French islands West Indian purchases of North American timber and foodstuffs provided cash for colonists to purchase British goods * Due to pressure from British West Indian planters, Parliament passed the Molasses Act: aim was to stop trade with French West Indies * American merchants respond by bribing, smuggling, etc Americans revolting, not submitting Horsepower and Sailpower All large but sparsely populated pioneer communities were cursed with oppressive problems of transportation, including America with its scarceness of money and worker * Snot until 1700s did roads connect major cities, but they were still deficient * Roads were poor (dust in summer and mud in winter) and stagecoach travelers faced problems like rickety bridges and runaway horses * Bad roads heavy reliance on waterways populations clustered along banks or rivers slow and undependable but cheap and pleasant * Taverns sprang up along routes of travel as well as in cities all social classes mingled tavern was another cradle of democracy * Also important in crystallizing public opinion and hotbeds of agitation as Revolution continued * An intercolonial postal system was established by the mid-1700s Dominant Denominations Two “establish”- tax supported- churches in 1775: Anglican and Congregational * However, large part of population did not worship in any church, even in colonies that maintained established religion minority belonged to the churches * Church of England (Anglican) was official faith in Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, Maryland, and part of NY served as major prop of kingly authority * However, it clung to a faith that was less fierce and more worldly than religion of Puritanical New England shorter sermons, less scorned amusements, etc * The College of William and Mary was founded in 1693 to train a better class of clerics for the Anglican Church * Congregational Church had grown out of Puritan Church and was influential formally established in all New England colonies except independent-minded Rhode Island * Presbyterianism, close to Congregational, was never made official in any of the colonies * These two combined with rebellion during early rumblings against British crown * Anglican clergy supported king but were handicapped by not having a resident bishop, whose presence would have been convenient for the ordination of young ministers people had to travel to England to be ordained and many non- Anglicans opposed the idea of creating an American bishopric because it would tighten royal reins * Religious toleration had made tremendous strides in America. There were fewer Catholics in America; hence anti-Catholic laws were less severe and less strictly enforced. In general, people could worship or not worship as they pleased. The Great Awakening * In all colonial churches, religion was less fervid in early 18th century than century before, when colonies were first planted * Puritan churches especially sagged under two burdens: elaborate theological doctrines and their compromising efforts to liberalize membership requirements * Liberal ideas began to challenge old time religion Puritan predestination was questioned a lot, especially bit Arminians, who preached that free will determined eternal fate, not divine decree a few churches grudgingly said that spiritual conversion was not necessary for church membership (they had felt pressured) * These twin trends toward clerical intellectualism and lay liberalism sucked spiritual vitality from many denominations set stage for rousing religious revival, the Great Awakening * Great Awakening: first started in Northampton, Massachusetts by Jonathon Edwards, an intellectual pastor he proclaimed that through faith in God, not through doing good works, could one attain eternal salvation.
He had an alive-style of preaching “Sinners in Hands of…” * George Whitefield gave America a different kind of evangelical type of preaching (had an incredible voice) * His message even had Edwards to tears and Franklin to empty pockets countless sinners expressed conversion * The old lights, orthodox clergymen, were skeptical of the new ways (emotional and theatrical) of preaching * New light ministers defended the Awakening for its role in revitalizing American religion * Congregationalists and Presbyterians were split over this issue * Many believers in the religious conversion went to the Baptists and other sects more prepared for emotion in religion * Awakening had many lasting effects had an emphasis on direct, emotive spirituality and seriously undermined the older clergy, whose authority had been derived from their education and erudition * The schisms it set off in many denominations greatly increased the numbers and competitiveness of American churches encouraged a wave of missionary work among Indians and even black slaves, many of whom also attended the mass open-air revival led to founding of “new light” centers of higher learning (Princeton, Dartmouth, Rutgers, Brown) * Most significant: Great Awakening was the first spontaneous mass movement of the American people broke down sectional boundaries/ denominational liens; contributed to growing sense that Americans were a single people, united by common history and shared experience Schools and Colleges * English idea was that education was a blessing reserved for the aristocratic few, not for unwashed many, leadership not citizenship, males only * Colonists slowly and painfully broke out of these ancient restrictions * Puritan New England was more interested in education than any other section.
Dominated by the Congregational Church, it stressed the need for Bible reading by the individual worshiper * Primary goal of clergy good Christians, not good citizens * Education for boys flourished almost from the outset in News England * This densely populated region had impressive number of graduates from English universities, especially Cambridge, the intellectual center of England’s Puritanism * New England also established primary and secondary schools * Adequate elementary schools also put information in the reluctant “scholars” of middle and southern colonies (some tax supported and others privately operated) * South: mostly wealthy families with private tutors General atmosphere of colonial schools and colleges were grim and gloomy most emphasis was placed on religion and classical language of Latin and Greek, not experiments, reason, or independent thinking * There was severe discipline, even for children, and even indentured-servant teachers could be whipped for failures as workers * College education was regarded (at least in new England) extremely important because Churches would wither if new crops of ministers were not trained to lead spiritual flocks * Many wealthy families, especially in South, sent their boys abroad to British institutions * For convenience and economy, 9 local colleges were established during the colonial era small student enrollments (200 boys at most), poor education, curriculum filled with theology and dead languages * By 1750: distinct trend towards more modern subjects * Significant contribution made by Ben Franklin, who played a major role in the launching of UPenn, the first American college free from denominational control A Provincial Culture Colonial Americans were still in thrall to European tastes, especially British * The simplicity of pioneering life had not yet bred many patrons of arts * John Trumbull: aspiring painter of Connecticut who was discouraged by his father’s remark that Connecticut was not Athens; Trumbull, like most others, was forced to travel to London to pursue his ambitions * Charles Wilson Peale (GW portraits), Benjamin West, John Singleton Copley became famous painters but also had to go to England to complete their training only aboard could they find subjects who had leisure to sit for their portraits and had the money to handsomely pay * These people were Loyalists and were buried in London (sometimes) * Architecture was imported from old World and modified for peculiar climatic and religious conditions of the New World * Log cabin Sweden The red-bricked Georgian style was introduced in 1720 Williamsburg, Virginia * Colonial literature was generally undistinguished, like art, for many of the same reasons * Phyllis Wheatley: black poet, taken from slave to England, poetry book similar to Pope * BFrank: autobiography, but mostly Poor Richard’s Almanac- shaped America; only book that beat it was the Bible * Science was also making progress: not as many superstitions * BFrank: only first rank scientist produced in the American colonies * Spectacular but dangerous experiments: kite proved lightning was a form of electricity * Bifocals, Franklin stove, lighting rod condemned by some clergymen “presuming God” Pioneer Presses Americans were generally too poor to buy books and too busy to read them * There were some private libraries, especially with Byrd family and the clergy * BFrank established the first privately supported circulating library in America in Philadelphia * By 1776 there were about 50 public libraries and collections supported by subscription * Hand operated printing presses: brought out pamphlets, journals, leaflets, etc * 40 colonial newspapers by the time of the Revolution * They were mostly made of somber essays with news that was delayed to be printed but colonists were extremely interested to hear about * Newspapers were powerful source of airing colonial grievances and rallying opposition to British control * A celebrated legal case in 1734-1735 involved John Peter Zenger, a newspaper printer. He was charged with printing things that assailed the corrupt royal governor of New York (libel).
Despite the ambitions of the royal chief justice, the jury voted him not guilty to the surprise of the judge and many people. This paved the way for freedom of the press. The Great Game of Politics * The thirteen colonial governments took a variety of forms * Eight had royal governors appointed by the king * Three- Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Delaware- were under proprietors who themselves chose the governors * Two- Connecticut and Rhode Island- elected their own governors under self-governing characters * Nearly every colony used a two house legislative body. The upper house, or council, was appointed by the crown in the royal colonies and the proprietor in the proprietary colonies.
It was chosen by voters in the self-governing colonies * The lower house, as the popular branch, was elected by the people- those who owned enough property to be qualified as voters * Backcountry was underrepresented and they hated the colonial cliques almost as much as kingly authority * Legislatress (direct representation): voted such taxes as they deemed necessary for the expenses of the colonial government * This self-taxation through representation was a precious privilege Americans prized above all else * Governors appointed by king were generally bale men, sometimes outstanding figures, but some were incompetent/ corrupt and just badly in need of jobs * Worst of this group was impoverished Lord Cornbury: made governor of New York and New Jersey in 1702. He was a drunkard, a spendthrift, and a bad person. Even the best appointees had troubles with colonial legislatures because the royal governor embodied a bothersome transatlantic authority 3000 miles away * Ways colonial assemblies asserted their authority and independence: employed the trick of withholding governor’s salary until he yielded to their wishes (since he was normally in need of money) * The London government was guilty of poor administration (left colonial governor to the mercy of the legislature) * They sh0oudl have arranged for his independent pay instead of from these bickering sources bickering is persistent spirit of revolt * Local level administration also varied * County government remained the rule in South New England: town meeting government predominated- direct democracy because of open discussion/ open voting * Religious/ property qualifications required for voting/ even stiffer qualifications for office holding * Privileged upper-class wouldn’t grant right to everyone * ? adult white males, but gaining the property wasn’t that hard so there were a lot of opportunities to become voters * Not many eligible actually voted left it up to their “better” leaders (actually corrupt losers) * Middle colonies: modification of the two * 1775: not yet a true democracy, but much more democratic than anything in Europe/ Britain * There some democratic ideas planted seeds for later years Colonial Folkways Life in colonies was drab and tedious (labor was heavy and constant) * Americans had most bountiful diet, food was plentiful, but coarse and monotonous diet * Americans had/ ate more meat than anyone in the Old World * Obviously they didn’t have heat in Churches, poorly heated homes with inefficient fireplaces, no running water, plumbing or bathtubs, not much garbage disposal * Candles/ whale-oil lamps used for illumination * Amusement * Pursued when time/ custom permitted * Militia periodically assembled for musters (with lots of flirting and enjoyment involved) * Several days of drilling- musters * North: winter sports * South: cards. Horse racing, cockfighting, and fox hunts * Non-puritanical south: dancing * GW could ride well and dance well * Lotteries were approved even by clergy * Stage plays- popular for south but frowned upon by Quakers/ Puritans * New England clergy saw plays as immoral; they preferred religious lectures * Holidays * Celebrated everywhere in the American colonies New England: frowned upon Christmas * Thanksgiving- widespread giving thanks to God * By mid-18th century, Britain’s several North American colonies revealed some striking similarities * Basically English in language and custom, Protestant in religion * Other people and faiths colonies gave some degree of ethic/ religious toleration * Lots of opportunities for social mobility * All possessed some measure of self-government (but not complete democracy) * Improving communication and transportation * Self- rule was most important similarity * All separated by entire ocean from Britain led to struggle to unite for independence Chapter 6 As the 17th was ending, contest began for mastery of North American continent involving 3 Old Worlds (Britain, France, and Spain) and involved Native Americans as well * 1688- 1763: 4 bitter wars in Europe (world wars) * Fought for control in Europe and New World and fought in both places * Americans could not stay out of it good thing because one of the wars (Seven Years’ War aka French and Indian War by America) set the stage for America’s independence France Finds a Foothold in Canada * Like England and Holland, France was a latecomer in New World real estate, basically for same reasons: had foreign wars in 1500s and domestic strife (clashes between Roman Catholics and Protestant Huguenots) * St. Bartholomew’s Day: lots of people killed * In 1598, the Edict of Nantes was issued by the crown of France.
It granted limited religious freedom to French Protestants, and stopped religious wars between the Protestants and Catholics new century France became mightiest and most feared in Europe, led by brilliant leaders and vainglorious King Louis XIV * Reigned for less than 2 years surrounded by glittering court and mistresses * Also took deep interest in colonies * In 1608, France established Quebec (by St. Lawrence River). The leading figure was Samuel de Champlain, an intrepid soldier and explorer whose energy and leadership earned him the title "Father of New France". * Champlain entered into friendly relations with the nearby Huron Indians and joined them in battles against their foes (Iroquois of upper NY area) * Two fights with them and Iroquois were dead scared France earned permanent enmity with Iroquois * Stopped French from getting into Ohio Valley Ravaged French settlements/ served as British allies * The government of New France (Canada) was under direct control of the king after muchos companies had failed royal almost completely autocratic regime did not elect any representative assemblies or have right to trial by jury like those in English colonies * Population in Catholic New France grew lethargically (Landowning French peasants didn’t want to move and Protestant Huguenots could not for religious reasons) * French government preferred Caribbean islands (sugar and rum) over cold wintery Canada New France Sets Out * New France’s one valuable resource: beaver fashion hats (warm and opulent) * French fur trappers: couriers de bois (runners of the woods) who ranged over woods/ waterways of North America for beaver * Also runners of risks * Two-fisted drinkers, free spenders, free livers and lovers * Named a lot (Baton Rouge, Des Moines, etc) * French voyageurs recruited Indians into fur business * Fur trade had drawbacks Indians recruited got the white diseases and hated their alcohol * Slaughtering mass beavers violated some NA religious beliefs and destroyed some Indians’ way of life * French and Indian trappers traveled amazing distances almost extinguished beaver population, causing bad ecological damage * French Catholic missionaries, especially Jesuits, labored with much enthusiasm to convert the Indians to Christianity and to save them from the fur trappers * Some were killed by Indians for doing so * Some made converts, but also had vital roles as explorers and geographers * Others sought not souls nor fur but empire * Antoine Cadillac- founded Detroit in 1701 to thwart English settlers pushing into the Ohio Valley * Robert de La Salle- explored the Mississippi and Gulf basin, naming it Louisiana in honor of king; done to check Spanish penetration into the gulf * Dreamed of empire and brought colonizing ships, but ended up killed by mutiny * In order to ontinue their efforts to block the Spanish on the Gulf of Mexico, the French planted several fortified posts in Mississippi and Louisiana; most important- New Orleans in 1718. * This outpost also rapped fur trade * Fertile Illinois had French forts established there and became France's garden empire of North America because much grain was produced there The Clash of Empires * The earliest battles among European power for control of North America, known to British colonists as King William's War (1689-1697) and Queen Anne's War (1702-1713), pitted British colonists against the French couriers de bois with both sides recruiting any possible Indian allies. Primitive guerilla warfare: neither side thought America was so important to need a large detachments of troops * Most of the battles were between the British colonists, the French, and the French ally Spain. * Spain probed from its Florida base at SC settlements, and French Indian allies ravaged British colonial frontiers * British: failed with Quebec and Montreal but victories when temporarily seized Port Royal in Acadia (present day Nova Scotia) * The wars ended in 1713 with peace terms signed at Utrecht proved how badly beaten; France and Spain were terribly beaten and Britain received French-populated Acadia and Newfoundland and Hudson Bay. The British also won limited trading rights in Spanish America later involved friction over smuggling War of Jenkins’ Ear broke out between British and Spanish in Caribbean Sea and Georgia with James Oglethorpe fought against Spanish foe to a standstill * This small scuffle merged with big War of Austrian Succession in Europe (King George’s War) * France allied with Spain * New Englanders invaded New France with British fleet and luck * The War of Jenkins's Ear started in 1739 between the British and Spaniards. This small battle became a war and became known as King George’s War in America. It ended in 1748 with a treaty that handed Louisbourg back to France, enraging the victorious New Englanders, and France still clung to vast holdings in North America