Colonial Society and Culture

American Colonial Society and
Ethnic Diversity in Colonial America
• Colonial society was a
unique mix of European
immigrants by the dawn
of the Revolution.
• Besides the English-Germans, Scots-Irish,
Dutch, and French
immigrants were also
prominently represented
in English Colonial
• They were loyal to the
English Crown, and most
regarded the New World
as their new homeland.
Colonial Population Growth
Population growth
1. In 1700 the
colonies contained
fewer than 300,00
2. By 1775, there
were about 2.5
million people
Africans in Colonial America
• Of the 2.5 million
people, about half a
million were black.
Colonials vs Native Americans
• The Pequot War was an
armed conflict in 16341638 between an alliance
of Massachusetts Bay
and Plymouth colonies,
with Native American
allies (the Narragansett
and Mohegan tribes),
against the Pequot tribe.
• This war saw the
elimination of the
Pequot in what is
present-day Southern
New England.
Red, White and Black: The Peoples of
Early North America [Gary Nash]
• Written by highly
acclaimed historian Gary
B. Nash, this book
presents an interpretive
account of the
interactions between
Native Americans,
African Americans, and
Euroamericans during
the colonial and
revolutionary eras.
Three Regions of Colonial America
• In the three main
geographic areas, the
South, New England
and the Mid-Atlantic,
social classes were
quite different from
each other because of
the natural
environment and social
Early American
Chapter 2
English Reformation: Henry VIII
• The English
Reformation was the
series of events in 16th
century England by
which the Church of
England first broke
away from the
authority of the Pope
and the Roman
Catholic Church.
Anglican Church
• The Church of England, • One of Virginia’s
whose members were
Earliest Anglican
commonly called
Anglicans, became the
official faith in Georgia,
North and South
Carolina, Virginia,
Maryland, and a part of
New York.
• For our purposes,
Puritanism reflected an
attitude regarding God
and man which
stressed the sinfulness
and the duty of man,
and the sovereignty
and law of God.
• As to doctrine, the
Puritans were strongly
The Great Awakening
• A religious revival
called the Great
Awakening hit the
colonies in the 1730s
and 1740s.
• The Awakening
brought an evangelical
message of “new birth”
that divided older
congregations into New
Lights and Old Lights.
Jonathan Edwards (1703 – 1758)
• Jonathan Edwards is
widely acknowledged
to be America's most
important and original
• His work as a whole is
an expression of two
themes — the absolute
sovereignty of God and
the beauty of God's
George Whitefield [1714-1770]
• George Whitefield
(1714 -1770), was an
Anglican itinerant
minister who helped
spread the Great
Awakening in Great
Britain and, especially,
in the British North
American colonies.
Effects of the Great Awakening
• I. Establishment of New
• Princeton [1746]
• King’s
• Brown [1764]
• Rutgers [1766]
• Dartmouth [1769]
Effects of the Great Awakening
• II. Further Growth of
Religious Toleration
• Growth of an
ecumenical spirit
Effects of the Great Awakening
• III. Growth of
Effects of the Great Awakening
• IV. It helped prepare
the American people
for the American
A. Fear of Corruption
[British conspiracy
against liberty]
B. American Missionary
Colonial New England
• New England was made up
of New Hampshire,
Connecticut, and Rhode
• Fishing, whaling, and
timber forests for
shipbuilding created
bustling seaports that
distributed trade goods
throughout the world.
• The center of business was
Boston, the city that would
become the birthplace of
The Revolution!
New England Colonies: Pilgrims
• Pilgrims a name commonly
applied to the early settlers of
the Plymouth Colony in
present-day Plymouth,
• The colony, established in
1620, became the second
successful English settlement
(after the founding of
Jamestown, Virginia in 1607)
in what was to become the
• The Pilgrims' story has
become a central theme of
the history and culture of the
United States.
Pilgrims are Calvinists
The Puritans are Calvinists
• A Puritan of 16th and 17th century
England was an associate of any
number of religious groups advocating
for more "purity" of worship and
doctrine, as well as personal and
group piety.
• Puritans felt that the English
Reformation had not gone far enough,
and that the Church of England was
tolerant of practices which they
associated with the Church of Rome.
Each town had a
meetinghouse in
the center. Men
met there to make
laws and settle
 Each person was required
to read the Bible.
Religion was the center
of the Puritan life.
 Newcomers were expected
to follow the Puritan’s
 If they did not they were not
 If they did, they were given farm land and a
voice in local government
 Eventually some settlers left Massachusetts Bay
and started new settlements.
• The Growth of New
– Expansion of New
• Fundamental Orders
of Connecticut
• Roger Williams’s
• Anne Hutchinson
• Maine and New
The Growth of New England, 1620-1750
Colonial New England
• New England: Pre-Industrial Society
• Major Economic Activity
Subsistence Agriculture
Urban Areas: Trade and Commerce
New England Towns
• Towns date back to the
time of the earliest
European colonial
settlement of New
• New England towns
were experiments in
early self-government
in colonial society.
Colonial New England Farmer
• The New England was a
society of small
independent farmers
known as yeomen.
• These farmers owned more
than 70 percent of the land
and worked to maintain a
society of equal property
• The first settlers divided
their large farms among
their children, and the next
generation did the same
Colonial American 17th Century
slave market/auction
Colonial slaves in New England were
often domestic help
Slave craftsman/artisan
Middle Colonies
The mid Atlantic colonies were
a mix of various ethnic and
religious communities who
were tied together by trade and
political institutions.
Social Classes in Middle Colonies
• Small independent farms
were prevalent through
most parts of mid-Atlantic
• However, the society and
classes in these colonies
were formed based on
ethnicity and religion.
• New York, Pennsylvania,
New Jersey, and Delaware
hosted a rolling landscape
of grain fields and iron
mines, and these resources
created a thriving middle
• The cities of New York and
Philadelphia were
crammed with diverse
nationalities that created
the first steps toward a
unique level of tolerance in
Colonial New York
• Center Protestantism
predominated [Calvinism]
• Dutch Reformed Church
Colonial Pennsylvania
• In Pennsylvania, the
Quakers, who were
pacifists, were the largest
religious group and they
controlled the state’s
representative assembly
until 1750s.
• Many Europeans, who
were looking to escape
religious persecution and
poverty, were attracted
to Quaker vision.
Colonial Philadelphia
• Many Germans migrated to
Philadelphia in the 18th
century and this period also
saw the Scots-Irish settlers.
• Who are the
“Pennsylvania Dutch?”
Philadelphia: Religious Diversity
• The mid-18th century
saw Philadelphia
having no less than 12
denominations which
included Quakers,
Anglicans, Swedish,
Roman Catholics and
German Lutherans
among others.
Colonial Working Class
Southern Colonies
• Chesapeake Colonies
• Virginia and Maryland
• North Carolina
• South Carolina
Southern Colonies
Southern Society
• The southern colonies
included Maryland,
Virginia, North Carolina,
South Carolina, and
• These colonies all boasted
plenty of good, cleared
land and a mild climate
conducive to growing
staple and exotic cash
• Tobacco became the staple
crop and the economic
foundation of Virginia and
North Carolina.
• South Carolinian soil,
though unfit for tobacco,
was perfect for growing
rice and indigo, a dye used
to dye textiles blue.
• The southern colonies also
produced lumber, tar, pitch,
turpentine, furs, and cattle.
Southern Society
• The South quickly
developed an
aristocratic slaveowning society
that produced the
so-called “Virginia
Native Americans were the first
laborers in all the 13 American
colonies: It did not work out. Why?
Europe’s poor come to America
as Indentured Servants
Indentured Servants on Tobacco
Plantations in the Colonial South
Freed indentured servants moved to
the frontier of the colonies
1. In 1676 settlers led by planter Nathaniel Bacon fought
Virginia’s colonial government for failing to protect them
from raids by the Susquehannock people.
2. During Bacon’s Rebellion, settlers marched on
Jamestown and burned the colonial capital.
3. The rebellion faded later that year after Bacon died from
After Bacon’s Rebellion African labor
became the basis of the southern
The Triangular Trade
Africans marched to the sea from the
Impact on Africa
• The exact number of Africans caught up in the Atlantic
slave trade over the next four centuries remains unknown.
• The best estimates suggest that over nine-and-a-half
million Africans were forcibly imported into the New
World and that another two million died during the
Middle Passage.
• But no one knows how many people died in Africa during
wars in which slaves were seized, in the forced march to
the coast, or in the coastal dungeons, pens, or barracoons
where slaves were herded.
• The figure may well have been more than seven million,
bringing the total number of Africans entrapped in the
slave trade to more than 18 million people.
Slave ships to the New World
Slave labor and tobacco
• Slave Quarters
Slave labor in Carolina Rice Field
• For over 4,000 years man
has grown and consumed
• Probably originating in
Southeast Asia; the
Moors brought it to Spain
in the 8th century
• By 1718, South
Carolinians were
exporting 6,773 barrels of
rice, each weighing 350
lbs., to England and 2,333
barrels to other colonies.
Slave labor contribution
From the village that would one
day become Manhattan to the
small tobacco farms of British
Virginia, from the sweltering fields
of lucrative Carolina plantations to
the construction sites of icons like
the U.S. Capitol, it was millions of
enslaved men, women and
children who turned a barely
charted territory with a shaky
future into one of the strongest
and richest nations in the world.
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