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A Brief History of Colonial America Daniel Lazar


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Title: A Brief History of Colonial America Daniel Lazar

A Brief History of Colonial AmericaDaniel
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Lecture Objectives
  1. To compare and contrast the 13 colonies
  2. To explore controversies within and among the
  3. To analyze the political, economic and social
    objectives of the colonies
  4. To assess the various successes and failures in
    experiments with self-government
  5. To assess the role of European powers in the
    formation and the governance of the colonies
  6. To explore the role of religion in the colonies
  7. To examine the extent to which the colonies were
  8. To examine the extent to which the colonies were
    independent and to trace the evolution of their
  9. To assess the role of dissent and rebellion in
    the colonies
  10. To determine the role of values such as liberty,
    equality, and fraternity
  11. To analyze the role of Natives in Colonial
  12. To identify the role of various European, Native
    and Colonial leaders
  13. To determine which colonies were more/less
    influential in the development of a national
  14. To foreshadow implications of colonial
    development on the United States

Models of Colonial Development
  • Trading Company or Joint Stock Company Colony
  • With King's permission, a company forms with
    exclusive rights to trade in a particular area or
    over a particular product.
  • Company charters enabled owners to sell stock
    shares to investors
  • VA Company of London MA Bay Co.
  • NY and DE founded by Dutch W. India Co
  • Covenant or Self-governing Colony - colonies
    created and governed by the settlers
  • RI, CT
  • Proprietary Colony - One individual or group was
    given by the crown the right to settle and govern
    a colony
  • PA, MD
  • Royal Colony - Crown control. For various reasons
    all English colonies lost their independent
    status and became royal colonies

Northern, Middle Southern
Northern Colonies
  • Massachusetts Bay
  • later MA and ME
  • Rhode Island
  • New Hampshire
  • Connecticut

Formation of MBC, 1629
  • English Civil War (1642-1651) was a Push factor
    for Puritans
  • Short story Parliamentarians vs. Royalists over
    taxes, religion, and sovereignty
  • Charles I dismissed Parliament in 1627 and did
    not recall them for a decade.
  • During the Personal Rule C2 revived High
    Anglicanism and persecuted and taxed Puritans
    who did not attend Anglican mass.
  • C2 twice attacked Scotland (which had a Calvinist
    Protestant Ref in 1600s) to enforce Anglican
  • Charles I beheaded in 1649. His son Charles II
    was exiled (later ruled 1660-85)
  • King can no longer rule without Parliament

Formation of MBC, 1629
  • MBC founded in 1629 by non-Separatist Puritans
    out of fear for their faith and England's future.
  • The "Great Migration" (1630s)
  • Pilgrims came aboard the Mayflower in 1620
  • Since they had a patent to settle in VA, it
    wouldnt be valid they drafted the Mayflower
    Compact while aboard, an agreement to, combine
    our selves together into a civil body politick.

Formation of MBC, 1629
  • John Winthrop - Governor of MBC
  • Most distinguished MBC leaders
  • Elected governor 12 times and set the tone for
    religious mission
  • Leadership helped MA to prosper
  • Covenant Theology Winthrop believed Puritans had
    a covenant with God to lead religious experiment
    in New World
  • "We shall build a city upon a hill"

MBC Politics Culture
  • ? MBC became most influential colony
  • Strong Economy fur trading, fishing,
    shipbuilding, farming
  • Politics Political discussion, voting, and
    governing open to free adult male Puritans (40
    of pop.)
  • of eligible officeholders gt than in England
  • Non-religious men and all women could not vote
  • Townhall meetings emerged as a staple of
  • Religion Puritan churches grew into
    Congregational Church
  • Non-church members required to pay taxes for the
    gov't-supported church.

MBC Politics Culture
  • ?Function of government was to enforce God's laws
    (part of covenant theology)
  • Provincial gov't was not a democracy or a
  • Congregational ministers had no formal political
  • Believed democracy was the "meanest and worst" of
    all forms of government
  • Distrusted non-Puritans

MBC Politics Culture
  • ? Church leadership
  • Public interrogations of people claiming to have
    experienced conversion.
  • John Cotton devoted to defending gov'ts duty to
    enforce religious rules but advocated a civil
  • Clergymen not allowed to hold political office
  • Congregation had right to hire and fire ministers
    and set salaries.
  • In effect, a form of separation of church and
  • MBC Puritans feared the "political" Anglican
    clergy in England
  • Cambridge Platform (1648) Voluntary synod where
    Mass., Plymouth, Connecticut New Haven met to
    work out a congregational form of church govt in
  • Significance Congregational church became more
    uniform throughout New England.

MBC Politics Culture
  • ? Dissent in MBC
  • Quakers, who believed in an inner light more so
    than theology, defied authority of Puritan clergy
    and were persecuted.
  • Anne Hutchinson believed in antinomianism
    (rejected socially established morality faith
    alone Protestantism)
  • She held prayer meetings at home to discuss John
    Cottons sermons with other women this was taboo
    for non-clergy
  • Brought to trial for heresy in 1638.
  • She claimed direct revelation from Godmore
  • Banished from MBC set out for Rhode Island,
  • Eventually settled in NY where she and all but 1
    of 14 kids killed by Indians

MBC Politics Culture
  • ? Dissent in MBC
  • Roger Williams, minister from Salem 
  • Challenged legality of Plymouth and MBC charters
    because land belonged to Indians and was not the
    kings land to grant.
  • Claimed colony took land from Indians w/o fair
  • Liberty of conscience"
  • Williams denied authority of civil gov to
    regulate religious behavior.
  • In effect, challenged the basis of MBC government
  • Stated that no man should be forced to go to
  • Demanded "wall of separation" b/w church and
  • Jefferson would later use this metaphor to
    disestablish religion in VA which influenced "No
    Establishment" clause of the Const
  • General Court banished him from MBC in 1635. He
    fled to RI sheltered by Indian friends.
  • He purchased lands from Indians and founded the
    community of Providence, accepting all settlers
    regardless of their beliefs.

MBC Politics Culture
  •    Later challenges to Puritanism
  • First generation Puritans began losing their
    religious zeal as time went on.
  • Large population influx dispersed Puritan
    population onto outlying farms away from control
    of church and neighbors.
  • After the wave of dissent in the 1630s and 1640s
    (e.g. Hutchinson and Williams) conversions
    decreased dramatically.
  • Children of non-converted members could not be
  • Conversions continued to decrease as 2nd
    generation Puritans had trouble getting their
    conversions authenticated by the church, thus
    preventing their children from being baptized

MBC Politics Culture
  • Half-Way Covenant est in 1662 to attract members
  • provided partial church membership for the
    children and grandchildren of church members.
  • Those who accepted the Covenant could become
    church members without claiming a spiritual
  • These half-members could not vote in church
  • Eventually, Puritan churches baptized almost
  • Distinction between the "elect" and other members
    of society subsided.
  • Strict religious purity was sacrificed for wider
    religious participation

MBC Politics Culture
  • Salem Witch Trials, 1692
  • Dissent begat widespread paranoia and unrest.
  • Not uncommon for Europeans and Colonists at the
    time to believe that the devil worked through
  • First accusations began when young girls, after
    listening to voodoo tales from a black servant,
    began behaving oddly.
  • Witch Hunt young female accusers were from the
    poor western part of the community and accused
    the more prosperous people in the eastern part.
  • 19 hanged, 1 pressed to death, 2 dogs hanged
  • Cotton Mather, prominent clergymen in MA,
    supported the witch trials and thus weakening the
    prestige of the clergy
  • Explanations include religious discord, economic
    tensions, misogyny, fear of Indian attacks
  • Ended when ministers, led by Increase Mather,
    urged leniency

Rhode Island - 1636
  • Founded on Rebellion - drew independent-minded
    people. Most individualistic and independent
  • Egalitarian constitution - majority rule and
    liberty of conscience
  • Progressive for its time passed laws abolishing
    witchcraft trials, imprisonment for debt, most
    capital punishment, and in 1652, slavery of both
    blacks and whites
  • Provided simple manhood suffrage

Rhode Island - 1636
  • Church State
  • Most religious groups welcome, some restrictions
    on Catholicism Judaism.
  • Williams built Baptist church at Providence (1st
    in Americas)
  • No religious oaths required
  • No compulsory Church attendance
  • No taxes to support a state church
  • Amalgamated into the Dominion of New England in
    1686, when James II attempted to enforce royal
    authority over the autonomous colonies

New Hampshire - 1623
  • Named after the English county of Hampshire
  • In 1638 Exeter was founded by John Wheelwright.
    Settlers signed the Exeter Compact , similar to
    Mayflower Compact
  • All the towns agreed to unite in 1639, but MA
    claimed the territory. In 1641 an agreement was
    reached with MA to come under its jurisdiction.
    Home rule of the towns was allowed.
  • Relationship between MA and NH was controversial
    and tenuous
  • 1679 the king separated them
  • 1686 reunited (as part of the Dominion of New
  • 1691 re-divided
  • 1698 again under the jurisdiction of MA
  • 1741 New Hampshire returned to its royal
    provincial status
  • All the while, economically dependent on MA
  • Modern State motto Live Free or Die

Connecticut - 1636
  • Clergyman Thomas Hooker objected to hegemony of
    Gov Winthrop and his Magistrates
  • Hooker and others wanted more land than MBC was
    willing grant.
  • Led 100 settlers with 130 head of cattle from
    Cambridge to the CT River, where they established
  • 3 valley towns of Hartford, Windsor, and
    Wethersfield est. CT
  • 1643, New England Confederation Connecticut, New
    Haven, Plymouth, and MBC formed a league of
    friendship for defense and advice step toward
    the later union of states.
  • Fundamental Orders drafted in 1639 (The
    Constitution State)
  • First modern constitution in American history
  • Established a democracy controlled by
    "substantial" citizens
  • Gov based on consent of the people.
  • Patterned MBC gov

Connecticut - 1636
  • Like MBC, CT founded by Puritans who est. the
    Congregational Church
  • Tax revenues supported the local ministers
  • Fined those who didnt attend church
  • Until 1708, the Congregational Church was the
    only legal church in CT
  • 1718, following a substantial gift from Elihu
  • Great Awakening sent shock waves through CT in
    mid 18th C., ripping the Congregational Church
  • Those who embraced Awakening New Lights
  • Those opposed Old Lights
  • Uninspired by Old Light services, New Lights
    petitioned to form separate societies and

Connecticut - 1636
  • Pequot War (1634-1638)
  • Pequots aimed to expand along CT River to control
    Euro fur trade.
  • Pequots allied with Dutch traders Mohegan with
  • Pequots vs. MBC Plymouth colonies
    Narragansett Mohegan
  • Mystic Massacre 1637, John Mason encircled and
    torched 600-700 Pequot women and children. Thus
    did the Lord judge among the Heathen, filling
    Mystic with dead Bodies." (Mason)
  • End of Pequots
  • Inspired, for common protection, The New England
    Confederation (1643)

Middle Colonies
  • New York
  • later NY VT
  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • Delaware
  • New Netherland Colony the settled areas are now
    part of NY, NJ, DE CT
  • Each colony developed religiously, ethnically,
    and politically heterogeneous population

New Netherland
  • Henry Hudsons 1609 voyage for a NW Passage
  • Multicultural haven for religious and
    intellectual refugees
  • Religious freedom and free trade (including a
    stock market)
  • Initially a private venture to exploit fur trade,
    NN was slowly settled over decades.
  • Early conflicts with Natives
  • Mismanagement by the Dutch West India Co.

New York - 1664
  • England captured NN from the Dutch in 1667.
  • The English sent Navy to seize the colony Dutch
    hardly resisted during the Second Anglo-Dutch War
  • Their last director-general, Peter Stuyvesant,
    urged them to fight to the end.
  • Treaty of Breda in 1667. Renamed for James, Duke
    of York, brother of Charles II
  • Fun/sad fact The Dutch got Suriname
  • 1688 the province was made of part of the
    Dominion of New England.
  • Religious toleration
  • Locally governed. NY remained diverse, loosely
    collected, independent communities.

New York - 1664
  • 1683, New York Chapter of Liberties Granted
    freedom of religion to all Christians and gave
    all landholders right to vote. Created to attract
    more settlers to NY
  • Governor Andros said "permit all persons of what
    religion soever, quietly to inhabit within the
    precincts of your jurisdiction"
  • Colonial Assembly created - gave New Yorkers more
    rights than any other colony including the
    protection from taxation without representation.
  • Economic roots in fur trade. Became THE colonial
  • Largest importer of slaves
  • Supply port for pirates
  • NY supplied British fleet during wars with France

New Jersey - 1665
  • Part of Duke of Yorks charter. NJ was called
  • Lord Berkeley of Stratton, close friend of the
    Duke, was also given a part of NJ. Became East
    and West Jersey. Border was not demarcated and
    often disputed.
  • In 1665, NJ was split off from NY to become a
    separate province, but the final border was not
    finalized until 1765
  • New YorkNew Jersey Line War a series of border
    skirmishes and raids from 1701-1765

New Jersey - 1665
  • Offered religious freedom to attract settlers.
    Quakers came.
  • 1746, College of NJ (now Princeton) was founded
    in Elizabethtown by a group of Great Awakening
    "New Lighters"
  • 1766, Queens College (now Rutgers) was founded in
    New Brunswick by Dutch Reformed ministers with a
    Royal Charter from George III

Pennsylvania - 1681
  • William Penn received the colony as payment in
    lieu of a 16,000 debt that the Crown owed his
    father, naval hero William Penn.
  • Establishment of the colony helped solve the
    problem of the growing Society of Friends or
    "Quaker" movement in England which embarrassed
    Anglican Church
  • Advertised in British Isles, Holland, and Germany
  • Quakers from the Rhineland, Ireland, and England.
  • German Protestant groups were called the
    Pennsylvania Dutch ("Deutschland")
  • Scot-Irish Presbyterians arrived in the 1700s as
    indentured servants.

Pennsylvania - 1681
  • ?Quaker Radicalism
  • Antinomian. No need for learned ministry. One
    mans interpretation of scripture was as valid as
    the next guys. A liberating belief, especially
    for lower-class English.
  • Equality - Female ministers. Cooperated with
    natives. Pennsylvania Gradual Abolition Act of
    1780 was first emancipation statute in the
    colonies. Prison reform. Thee and Thou
    instead of Dr. or Mr. or Lord.
  • Simplicity - wore darker colors and would not
    have their portraits painted
  • Peace - Quakers refused military service as
    pacifists and when they controlled the
    legislature, they refused to appropriate money to
    fight the Natives

Pennsylvania - 1681
  • By 1750s, Quakers lost their numerical edge,
    abandoned the government, and left for the
    countryside to live by their credo
  • German refugees prospered on the fertile soil
  • Mennonites - founded Germantown in 1683
  • Northkill Amish Settlement, est. 1740, 1st Amish
    settlement in Americas.
  • 3rd richest colony in the New World
  • Philadelphia was arguably America's most
    important city.

Delaware - 1701
  • Land that became DE changed hands many times.
    Consequently, DE became a heterogeneous society.
  • Swedes, Finns, Dutch, French, and some English
  • William Penn was granted right to rule by Crown
    in 1681
  • Hard time governing diverse pop.
  • Attempted to merge the governments of PA and the
    lower counties of DE. Representatives clashed.
  • 1701 Penn agreed on two separate assemblies.
    Delawareans in New Castle and Pennsylvanians in
  • The Charter of 1701 permitted Delaware a separate
    government from Pennsylvania

Southern Colonies
  • Maryland
  • Virginia
  • later VA, KY WV
  • North Carolina
  • later NC TN
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia

Virginia - 1624
  • King James ?Jamestown ? 1607 ? Christopher
    Newport ? John Smith ? Disaster.
  • 90 of Natives wiped out by mid-Century
  • John Rolfe, who married Chief Powhatans daughter
    Pocahantas, experimented with tobacco crop,
    creating a milder version that appealed to
  • Reliance on the stinking weed

Virginia - 1624
  • Under Sir Edwin Sandys from 1619-1629, VA Co.
    made substantial reforms, including creating the
    House of Burgesses in 1619
  • 1st mini parliament in colonies.
  • Created as an incentive to attract settlers to
    the VA "Death Trap"
  • Representative self-government
  • Most representatives were substantial property
  • Sandys also devised the headright system
  • 50-acre plot settlers and each servant or family
    member they brought over
  • Created a rise in indentured servitude - most
    came over as teenage boys to work under contract
    (few outlived their 4-7 yr. contract).

Virginia - 1624
  • King Charles I was embarrassed by Jamestown, and
    made the charter Royal, appointing the governor
    and council himself.
  • Though he dissolved the House of Burgesses, they
    continued to meet and in 1639 the body was
    officially recognized.
  • Daily life in VA was centered on working ones
    own land. People were isolated and there were no
    population centers besides Jamestown.

Virginia - 1624
  • Bacons Rebellion
  • In 1674 Nathaniel Bacon led a group of
    disgruntled planters in uprising against VA Gov,
    Sir William Berkeley
  • Bacon and others angry that Berkeley failed to
    quell Indian attacksand because Berkeley was
    corrupt, in part because he reserved fur trading
    for his cronies
  • Black slaves and white servants, who had their
    own desires for reform, joined Bacon. A motely
    crew of malcontents!
  • Burned Jamestown to the ground.

Virginia - 1624
  • Bacons Rebellion
  • Disorganized and ineffective.
  • When Bacon died in 1676, the rebellion dispersed.
    23 rebels hanged by Berkeley. Berkeley later
    relieved by Charles II.
  • Significance of Bacon's Rebellion
  • Planters saw white indentured servants as
    unwieldy, unpredictable, and disloyalincreased
    importation of black slaves while reducing number
    of indentured servants.
  • Planter elite increasingly played the "race card"
    by encouraging poor whites to discriminate
    against blacks planters feared blacks and poor
    whites could ally again
  • "The fear of civil war among whites frightened
    Virginias ruling elite, who took steps to
    consolidate power and improve their image for
    example, restoration of property qualifications
    for voting, reducing taxes and adoption of a more
    aggressive Indian policy. (Eric Foner)

Maryland - 1632
  • MD developed along similar lines to VA
  • Like VA, MD relied on tobacco and had plantations
    spread out along the river and therefore didnt
    need towns to exchange goods
  • Early populations centers clustered around
    Chesapeake Bay.
  • Charles I gave Sir George Calvert, the first Lord
    Baltimore, a portion of VA for a Catholic haven
    and profit. Eventually Catholics became a
    minority and feared loss of religions freedom.
  • Act of Toleration (1649)
  • Motive Catholics sought to protect their faith
  • Effect MD became largest haven for Catholics
  • First laws against hate speech in the world.
  • Guaranteed toleration to all Christians but death
    penalty those who denied divinity of Jesus.
  • Revoked in 1654 by Anglican fiat then reinstated
    in 1692 after Glorious Rev
  • By 1700, Maryland was third most populous colony
    (about 30,000 inhabitants)

Carolinas 1663 / NC SC 1712/ Royal - 1729
  • Charles II granted the Carolina charter in 1663
    for lands south of VA and north of Spanish
  • 1669, Charlestowne founded by English. Sig. port
  • Religious freedom dropped (1670) for Anglican
  • 1691 - Because of communication difficulties a
    separate deputy governor was named to administer
    the northern half of the colony. The division of
    the colony into North and South was complete by
    1712, although the same proprietors continued to
    control both colonies.
  • 1729 - After nearly a decade-long attempt by the
    British government locate and buy-out 7 of 8
    Lords Proprietors, both Carolinas became royal
  • Carolina society was envisioned with a hereditary
    nobility granted to proprietors

Carolinas 1663 / NC SC 1712/ Royal - 1729
  • Impact of the British West Indies
  • West Indies, especially Barbados, developed sugar
    plantation economy
  • Slaves in BWI outnumbered whites 4 to 1
  • BWI relied on mainland for food
  • As sugar plantations began to crowd out small
    farmers, many came to Carolinas with their slaves
  • Carolinas adopted slave code in 1696
  • By 1710 blacks outnumbered whites in Carolinas

Carolinas 1663 / NC SC - 1729
  • Stono Rebellion (1739) (aka Cato's Conspiracy or
    Cato's Rebellion)
  • Majority of the population of SC were slaves
  • Largest slave uprising in colonial history
  • Jemmy ("Cato") was a literate slave who led 20
    other enslaved Congolese, who may have been
    former soldiers, in an armed march south from the
    Stono River.
  • Recruited 60 other slaves, marched down the road
    with a banner that read "Liberty!. They attacked
    Hutchenson's store at the Stono River Bridge,
    killing two storekeepers and seizing weapons and
    ammunition. Killed 22-25 whites before being
    intercepted by a South Carolina militia near the
    Edisto River. In that battle, 20 whites and 44
    slaves were killed
  • Rebellion suppressed, most rebels executed
  • In response, the SC legislature passed the Negro
    Act of 1740
  • Restricted slave assembly, education and movement
  • 10-year moratorium against importing African
  • Established penalties against harsh treatment of

Georgia - 1732
  • 1732, George II (Georgia) granted charter to
    James Oglethorpe
  • Oglethorpe saw GA as a way to thwart Spain from
    taking the area they controlled FL. England and
    Spain fought constantly.
  • The Buffer Colony or The Garrison State
  • Oglethorpe imagined a province populated by
    "sturdy farmers" that could guard the border
  • Because of this, GA charter prohibited slavery
  • Populate GA with Englands worthy poor as an
    alternative to debtors prison.
  • Few settlers were attracted since there were
    strict rules (no slaves, no rum). Settlers being
    averse to strict rules, GA became a hard-drinking
    (1742 repeal) slave-owning (1749 repeal) colony,
    which still attracted few settlers.
  • Charter granted liberty of conscience to everyone
    except Catholics, and limited grants of land to
    500-acre plots. Soon became 2,000 acre plots to
    attract more settlers.
  • Savannah emerged into a diverse community
    (included German Lutherans and Scottish
    Highlanders but no Catholics)

Objectives Revisited
  1. To compare and contrast the 13 colonies
  2. To explore controversies within and among the
  3. To analyze the political, economic and social
    objectives of the colonies
  4. To assess the various successes and failures in
    experiments with self-government
  5. To assess the role of European powers in the
    formation and the governance of the colonies
  6. To explore the role of religion in the colonies
  7. To examine the extent to which the colonies were
  8. To examine the extent to which the colonies were
    independent and to trace the evolution of their
  9. To assess the role of dissent and rebellion in
    the colonies
  10. To determine the role of values such as liberty,
    equality and fraternity
  11. To analyze the role of Natives in Colonial
  12. To identify the role of various European, Native
    and Colonial leaders
  13. To determine which colonies were more/less
    influential in the development of a national
  14. To foreshadow the implications of colonial
    development on the United States.

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