Colonial America Eighteenth Century Question to Consider • Why did the population of British North America in the 18th century grow so dramatically (including free and unfree) when the populations of the French and Spanish colonies did not? New England The population transformed from Puritan Settlers to Yankee Traders MONEY, rather than church membership, determined whether a colonist could buy land Real Estate Law • Colonial governments stopped granting land to towns and instead sold it directly to individuals and speculators This resulted in • Weaker towns and communities • Strong sense of being on one’s own, or individualism Merchants Dominated New England Commerce • They participated in a diversified, Atlantic world economy – Fish accounted for more than one third of New England’s exports – Livestock and timber made up another third; – Two-thirds of exports went to the West Indies. Middle Colonies • Pennsylvania : the “best poor Man’s Country in the World” wrote an indentured servant in 1743. • No particular requirements or commitments to migrate there Bethlehem, founded by Moravians Redemptioners • A sea captain provided transportation to Philadelphia; once there, redemptioners would either borrow the money to pay the captain back or, more likely, sell themselves as servants Patterns of Settlement 1700-1770 Did Anything Unify the Colonies? • • • • Consumer products The Enlightenment and a rethinking of religion The need for military defense by England Competing with the French for Indian fur trade • Suspicion of their Governors Consumer Products • Colonial products spurred the development of mass markets throughout the Atlantic world; • declining prices allowed ordinary colonists, not just the wealthy elite, to buy things they wanted along with things they needed (consumerism) Consumer products in the colonies • British exports to North America multiplied eightfold between 1700 to 1770 • British merchants extended credit • the consumption of British exports built a certain material uniformity across region • Consumer products included mirrors, silver plates, spices, linens, tea services, and books; despite differences among the colonists Formal clothing Tools and Furnishings From community to individuality • Consumption compelled colonists to think of themselves as individuals who had the power to make decisions that influenced the quality of their lives Religious nuance • Almost all colonists were Protestants, but there existed wide varieties of Protestant faith • the middle colonies and southern backcountry included militant Baptists and Presbyterians • New England Puritanism splintered • prominent urban colonists belonged to the Church of England. Enlightenment • An eighteenth-century philosophical movement that emphasized the use of reason to reevaluate previously accepted doctrines and traditions Great Awakening • The widespread movement of religious revitalization in the 1730s and 1740s that emphasized vital religious faith and personal choice. It was characterized by large open air meetings at which emotional sermons were given by itinerant preachers. Deism and the Enlightenment • Many educated colonists became deists--they looked for God’s plan in nature more than in the Bible; • deists were informed by Enlightenment ideas, which encouraged people to study the world around them, to think for themselves, and to ask whether disorderly appearance masked the principles of a more profound natural order; Philadelphia • Philadelphia was the center of Enlightenment thought; • American Philosophical Society formed there in 1769. Great Awakening • Most colonists seldom went to church, but they considered themselves Christians; • ministers were alarmed by religious indifference, denominational rivalry, and comfortable backsliding; • they responded with a new style of preaching that appealed more to the heart than the head; • historians call this wave of revival the Great Awakening; George Whitefield • Famous revivalist and English preacher, who visited North America seven times and attracted thousands of people to his sermons; • His revivals refreshed the spiritual energy of colonists struggling with the anxieties of eighteenth-century life His message was that every soul mattered and that people could choose to be saved like consumption of goods, revivals contributed to a set of common experiences that bridged colonial divides of faith, region, class, and status. Defense • Each colony formed a militia, and privateers sailed from every port to prey on foreign ships; but the British navy and army bore the ultimate responsibility for colonial defense; Competition for Indian Fur Trade • The fur trade linked Indians and settlers; Indians traded furs for guns, ammunition, clothing, and more; • British, French, Spanish, and Dutch officials monitored the fur trade to prevent their competitors from directing the flow of furs toward their own markets Colonial governors British Governors • colonists acknowledged British authority to collect customs duties, inspect cargoes, and enforce trade regulations; but colonists resisted interference in internal affairs on land; • the king appointed royal governors in nine colonies, but governors were not kings, and the colonies were not Britain; • governors had trouble developing relations of trust and respect with colonists, since most governors were from England or living in England • heated struggles between governors and assemblies taught colonists to employ traditional British ideas of representation; they also learned that the power in the British colonies rarely belonged to the British government. Spanish Missions • To block Russian access to present-day California, officials in New Spain built forts (called presidios) and missions there; first California mission founded in 1769; by 1772, Spain had founded other missions along the path from San Diego and Monterey; for Indians, missions had horrific consequences; missions helped spread European diseases, Spanish soldiers raped Indian women, and missionaries beat Indians and subjected them to near slavery. • Upper South and Lower South • Southern colonists clustered into two distinct geographic and agricultural zones • upper South specialized in growing tobacco • the lower South specialized in growing rice and indigo The Unfree • The number of southerners of African ancestry, nearly all slaves, increased from just over 20,000 in 1700 to over 400,000 in 1770 Middle Passage • The crossing of the Atlantic as a slave destined for auction in the hold of a slave ship in eighteenth and nineteenth centuries characterized by horrible conditions and high death rates Olaudah Equiano • published an account of his enslavement and voyage through the Middle Passage across the Atlantic. ‘seasoning’ • Individual planters purchased a relatively small number of newly arrived Africans and relied on already enslaved Africans to help new slaves become accustomed to their new surroundings; this process was called seasoning; Natural increase • the demand for slaves led slaveowners to encourage slave women to bear children; by the 1740s due to natural increase, the majority of southern slaves were country born. Stono Rebellion • colonial law did not limit the force masters could use against slaves. • in 1739, a group of about twenty slaves launched an unsuccessful rebellion at Stono, South Carolina; • the failure of the rebellion illustrated that eighteenth-century slaves had no chance of overturning slavery and little chance of defending themselves. Slave labor meant wealth for merchants • Slaves’ labor brought wealth to masters, British merchants, and the monarchies; • the southern colonies supplied 90 percent of all North American exports to Britain; in 1770, • southern tobacco represented almost onethird of all colonial exports; • Navigation Acts ensured that nearly all of it went to Britain, where it was marked up and sold to the rest of the continent.