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ch 1-3

United States History
Hist. 151
William M. Pezza
Bucks County Community College
Why Study History?
There are numerous reasons, but the
most important is…
understand the
New England & Chesapeake
• A Study in Contrasts
Themes/Big Ideas
• Distant Authority
• Social Class
• Church/State
• Foundations of
American Democracy
• Approaches to Economic issues
Settling the Chesapeake (50)
• 1606- King James chartered a joint stock
company for investors to establish
colonies in the new world.
• They came as single men seeking fortune
and intending to return
– Investors sought gold, minerals, other natural
– Open space for jobless vagrants roaming
Early Settlers
• Virginia, the “Virgin Queen” Elizabeth I
• 1607- first settlers reached the
Chesapeake Bay area- James River (Map 53)
• Chief Powhatan-Algonquian Confederation
– Nervous assistance
Captain John Smith
• Imposed strict discipline
upon the lazy, “gentlemen”
• Harsh enforcement of work
• “He that will not work shall
not eat.”
The Starving Time
• Smith is injured and
returns to England
• Drought
• Crop failure
• People ate everything, including mice,
other rodents, etc.
• Governor Gates arrived with supplies and
imposed strict work rules again.
John Rolfe & Tobacco
• By 1612 John Rolfe began experimenting with
growing tobacco.
• Soon it became a profitable export crop.
Tobacco is a cash crop. Soon cotton will be
• It is labor intensive, and more indentured
servants were needed.
• As the economy prospered, the first general
assembly of Virginia was established- the
Virginia House of Burgesses
• 1619- first African slaves arrive
Social Class Divisions
• Virginia became a Royal Colony
• Insiders, “connected” people acquired the
valuable coastal land.
• Freed indentured servants were forced to
move westward, inland to find land.
– Poor services
– Poor land
– Indian attacks
– Resentment of “distant authority”
Bacon’s Rebellion
• Former indentured servants felt that the
“eastern” government served the needs of
the wealthy at the expense of the poor
both in tax and land policy.
• Warfare with Indians on the frontier
• Governor Berkeley was hated.
• Nathaniel Bacon led a revolt against the
Berkeley government- burned Jamestown.
Bacon’s Rebellion Continued
• Rebellion is
short lived.
• Berkeley crushes
the rebellion, but
the King realizes that Berkeley overreacted.
• As a result, more western lands are opened
to the freedmen.
Significance of Bacon’s Rebellion
• An important lesson was learned by the
landed wealthy- slaves might be a better
option than indentured servants.
• The rebellion illustrated colonial
resentment to distant authority
• The rebellion illustrated social class
So as we leave the Chesapeake
topic for now…
• The region’s economy is based primarily
on cash crop agriculture, which is labor
• The wealthy, planter elite, class has
monopolized the best land and resources.
• There is a large “underclass” of freedmen
trying to make a living on the frontier.
• African slaves are soon seen as a
potential solution to the labor
Settling New England (61)
Religion in England
• The 16th century Protestant Reformationstemmed from dissatisfaction with what
many saw as a corrupt, authoritarian, and
overly ritualistic Catholic Church and a
money flow to
• In England the
Anglican church was
born. It severed its
ties with Rome, but
remained ritualistic.
Resistance to Central Church
• Many resented the hierarchy of the Catholic
church: Pope, Archbishops, Bishops, the
immense power they held and the authoritarian
manner in which they used it.
• In New England many believed in the
Congregationalist structure without a significant
church hierarchy.
• This concept has significant democratic
Separatists & Puritans
• Separatists were Englishmen
who wanted to separate
themselves from the Anglican
Church, the Church of England.
• Puritans were Englishmen who wanted to
purify the existing church.
• Both were persecuted, and both sought
freedom in the New World.
Settling New England
• The separatists and puritans who settled
new England came for different reasons
than their neighbors to the south. They
came for religious “freedom”
and came to stay.
• They traveled as families,
with few indentured servants.
• They felt they were on a
divine mission to create a
model Christian society.
Plymouth 1620
• Led by William Bradford on the
• Blown off course and landing in
Plymouth, they were outside the
jurisdiction of any corporate charter, so
they drafted their own Mayflower
Compact- rules of self government.
Rocks and…
• The New England climate was colder than
the Chesapeake region and the soil was
not as conducive to cash crop farming, so
the settlers had to build a diversified
economy based upon fishing, fur trading,
lumbering, shipbuilding, and small farming.
• There was little need for the type of
widespread labor force the south required.
• In 1630 there was a great migration of
Puritans, under John Winthrop, to the new
world. Those selected to lead the New
England colonies of Plymouth and
Massachusetts Bay were church leaders.
• Thus, the civil government grew out of the
church government, and the members of
each were identical at the start.
• Analysis: Was this a theocracy? Draw
parallels with today.
John Winthrop
• Sermon, “A Model of Christian Charity”
• The Mass Bay colony would be a “City
on a Hill,” a shining example for the
world of what a godly community could
be. The members of the community
would care for each other and assist each other.
• An interesting glitch in the Mass Bay charter was
that the company was not required to have its
office in England. Thus, it governed itself from
the new world.
How much religious freedom
existed in the New England
colonies? (68)
• Roger Williams- Rhode Island
Williams championed religious liberty and
believed that the true covenant was between
God and the individual. Therefore, he believed
that government did not have the authority to
impose the type of religious conformity that
existed in Massachusetts. He was banished for
his beliefs and started a new colony in Rhode
Island based upon religious freedom.
Does the concept of separation of
church and state have relevance
Give your
reaction to
New England Summary
• As we leave New England in the middle of
the 17th century, we can make the
following general observations:
– By necessity, NE had a diversified economy
– NE placed more emphasis upon religion.
– While the Puritans left Europe to practice
religions freedom, they did not readily extend
those freedoms to those who believed
– The Congregationalist “splinters” that
occurred had democratic significance.