New England - De Anza College

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
This resulted in
• Weaker towns and communities
• Strong sense of being on one’s own, or
Merchants Dominated New England
• 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
– Two-thirds of exports went to the West
Middle Colonies
• Pennsylvania : the “best
poor Man’s Country in
the World” wrote an
indentured servant in
• No particular
requirements or
commitments to
migrate there
Bethlehem, founded by Moravians
• 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
• 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
• 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.
• 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
• Philadelphia was
the center of
• American
Society formed
there in 1769.
Great Awakening
• Most colonists seldom went to church,
but they considered themselves
• 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
• His revivals refreshed
the spiritual energy of
colonists struggling
with the anxieties of
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
• Each colony
formed a militia,
and privateers
sailed from every
port to prey on
foreign ships; but
the British navy
and army bore the
responsibility for
colonial defense;
Competition for Indian Fur
• The fur trade linked Indians and
settlers; Indians traded furs for
guns, ammunition, clothing, and
• 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
• 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
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
• 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.
• 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
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
• 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
• 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.
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