- Britain had 32 colonies, including Canada, Jamaica, and the Floridas.
- The 13 "American" colonies revolted for independence for certain reasons...
Conquest by the Cradle:
- Population growth - black slaves, white immigrants, having kids like crazy! Average age was 16.
- America population was catching up with England - slow power shift.
- Most populous colonies: Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and Maryland.
- 90% lived in rural areas
A Mingling of the Races:
- 6% German (fleeing religious persecution, economic depression). Protestants, "Pennsylvania Dutch"
- 7% Scots-Irish (fled economic depression). Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas. "Great wagon road." Fought w/ Indians. March of the Paxton Boys on Philadelphia - protested Quaker's leniency towards Indians.
- 5% French Huguenots, Welsh, Dutch, Swedes, Jews, Irish, Swiss and Scots Highlanders.
- 20% African
- South: black-white, North: Puritan, least diversity, Middle: white immigrants
The Structure of Colonial Society:
- Most people small farmers - not difficult to ride social ladder
- Rich elite in New England - 10% of Bostonians and Philadelphians owned 2/3 of taxable wealth in their cities
- Some, but few, destitute - almshouses. Homeless people had to wear P on their clothes.
- Plantation and slave-owners became rich, gap widened -> indentured servants
- "Jayle birds" 50,000 shipped to America - riffraff (paupers and convicts)
- Black slaves - colonists feared slave revolts - wanted to slow slave trade - British vetoed.
- Scottish lowlands -> Northern Ireland -> New world
- 1600s - poverty in the Scottish lowlands.
- Most came to Pennsylvania (religious tolerance and abundant land)
- Backcountry of Virginia, Carolinas, Georgia
- Presbyterian - churches - against Anglicans
Clerics, Physicians, and Jurists:
- Christian ministry: most honored profession
- Physicians - poorly trained and not highly esteemed
- Epidemics - smallpox (powdered dried toad was treatment!) - Diphtheria
- Lawyers not esteemed (drunkards, noisy windbags)
- Agriculture - 90% of people
- South Chesapeake area: tobacco and now wheat
- Middle - "breadbasket" grain!
- New England: fishing (and whaling)
- Commerce: New england - molasses for rum. Gold Coast Africa - rum for slaves. West Indies - slaves for molasses.
- Skilled craftspeople highly prized
- Lumbering - most important manufacturing activity
- Made ship parts for British navy - trade imbalance with Britain - seeking foreign markets.
- Traded w/ France and West Indies => Molasses Act - squelch trade with French West Indies => bribing and smuggling.
Horsepower and Sailpower:
- No roads until the 1700s - dirt roads -travel very slow
- Waterways more useful
- Taverns - all social classes would mingle
- Intercolonial postal system
- 2 tax-supported churches: Anglican and Congregational
- Church of England official faith in Georgia and N&S Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, part of NY. - church softened.
- Congregational (=> Puritans) New England. Rebels.
- Religious toleration for the most part - few Catholics - they were discriminated.
The Great Awakening:
- Religion cooled down - droning preachers - more liberal about congregations - new ideas like Arminians (free will, not predestination).
- The Great Awakening: 1730s and 1740s: Pastor Jonathan Edwards (God's grace, not good works). Passion for religion. Hell, hell, HELL!
- George Whitefield: amazing orator. Preached spiritual awakening and human helpfulness, excited people!
- Emotion in religion: "new light" - Baptist churches
- Schisms set off
Schools and Colleges:
- English tradition was that education was for male aristocrats.
- New England most interested in education. Religious reasons (individuals should read the Bible).
- Cambridge in England = the best. New England: some primary and secondary schools.
- South: population spread out, public schools hard. Wealthy=> private tutors.
- Education religious, not logical. Severe punishment.
- 9 colleges in the colonies: religious -> slowly moved towards important stuff.
- Ben Franklin -> U of Penn (nonreligious)
A Provincial Culture:
- No time for the arts
- John Trumbull - painter, CT
- Charles Wilson Peale - museum, portraits of G. Washington
- Benjamin West and John Singleton Copely - famous painters, but had to go to England to study.
- Architecture - slightly altered from Old World. Red-bricked Georgia style from VA.
- Phillis Wheatly: former slave, wrote book of poetry
- Ben Franklin: Poor Richard's Almanack - 2nd most read to the Bible in America
- Science - slow -Ben Franklin - kite lightning, bifocal spectacles.
- Ben Franklin - first library
- Hand-operated printing presses - pamphlets, newspapers
- John Peter Zenger: newspaper printer. 1734-35: accused royal governer of NY "seditious libel." Lawyer Andrew Hamilton. Not guilty! Steps beginning freedom of the press.
The Great Game of Politics:
- 8 colonies under royal governers, 3 (MD, PA, DE) under proprietors, 2 (CT, RI) under their own elected governors.
- 2-house legislation, upper house =royal. lower house = elected by people.
- Lord Cornbury - English gov of NY and NJ - drunkard and fool.
- Assemblies would hold Governor's salaries until he succumbed to their wishes.
- London government - poor administration
- south: county government
- New England: town-meetings
- Middle: modification of the two
- Religious and property qualifications for voting
- Much more democratic than England/Europe, but not a democracy yet.