English Colonies in North America By Eric James
American Colonies Ch.7: Chesapeake Colonies• Leadership in the Chesapeake colonies did not consist of typical nobles or aristocracy. – Most found it too hard and went home. – Leadership was left to the hard working merchants and planters who claimed it. – People accepted the leadership in good times, but questioned it when things were bad.• Colonists demanded and were granted a degree of independence. – In Maryland, the colonists arrested and sent home a Lord Governor who they did not agree with. • Britain responded by sending a different Lord Governor.
American Colonies Ch.7: Chesapeake Colonies• In Virginia the crown was even less present as the kings men would deal directly with the planter elite. – Only free white men who possessed land enjoyed this independence. – People acted with respect to county lines because towns were so small. – Counties ran courts, militia, and law enforcement.• The power started with the king, to provincial government, to county court, to “little commonwealths” or homes. – Within the home the husband had what was like a small monarchy. • Murder of the husband was viewed as small treason in addition to murder. • Wives were bound by coverture, lacking an independent voice apart from their husband. – Men were held responsible for actions that came out of their homes. – Based upon the premise that if the home functioned properly, the larger government would.
American Colonies Ch.7: Chesapeake Colonies• The Colonies consisted of a prevalence of single men. – Most laborers were English indentured servants who were purchased for four to five years. • Much cheaper and cost effective than Black slaves due to the fact that most newcomers died within five years. • Indian slaves tended to escape too quickly to be profitable. • ¾ of the emigrants of the 17th Century were indentured servants. • Courts almost always sided with owners, even if abusive, adding time to the servant’s contracts. – Work and living conditions were very difficult. – Opportunity for eventual success was always there in the form of land grants.• In 1665 opportunity faded as producers depressed tobacco prices. – Led to large gap between wealthy and poor.
American Colonies Ch.7: Chesapeake Colonies• In 1641 Governor William Burkley was appointed Governor of Virginia. – Did not want to educate or empower the commoner. – Gave huge tax breaks and land grants to his favorite rich men, making them richer, while driving the poor into the frontier. • Would not support frontiersmen as they fought the Indians for land.• Nathaniel Bacon led a rebellion that displaced Burkley and drove him to Jamestown. – Bacon died within a month to dysentery. – Burkley returned with a vengeance, hanging and pillaging rebels. – Crown intervened and brought Burke back to England where he died shortly after.• New Great Planter class began wooing the commoner with lower taxes and other incentives.• Slavery started slow, but experienced a huge boom in the 18th Century. – Great planters used racial division and white unity to distract commoners from the growing gap between rich and poor. – Whites became united in an effort to keep the black man under control. – Slaves were treated as mere property, with no civil rights or protections from crimes committed by their owners.
American Colonies Ch.9: Puritans and Indians• Puritans in New England feared the land and Indians. – Thought that colonials would denounce civilization and join the Indian way of life. – Attempted to make the land as much like England as possible.• Profit and religion clashed as towns people moved further apart for crops, losing and aspect of their fellowship.• Indians in the area consisted of tribes who divided themselves into many small bands. – Shared hunting and meeting grounds with each other. – Mostly sustained by their horticulture of various intermingled crops. – Labor was divided based upon gender roles, women tended to the home and agriculture while men did hunting and fighting.
American Colonies Ch.7: Chesapeake Colonies• Indians utilized fire to maintain and shape the forests. – Limited destruction kept things clean and inspired new growth.• Indians had far different values than colonists. – Did not value material accumulation, only possessed what they could carry during seasonal moves. – Took just enough from the land to live and enjoy it. – Did not sell lands, until coerced by colonists, preferring to share it and defend territories from enemy hunters.• English came from a impoverished, overpopulated, deforested land. – Saw huge opportunity in New England and thought the Indians lazy for not exploiting it. – Began a process of dispossessing the Indian’s of their land through deeds, though the Indians thought of these deeds as agreements to share the territory.
American Colonies Ch.7: Chesapeake Colonies• Colonists deforested at an alarming rate and allowed their animals to graze in the forest. – Came in direct conflict with Indian crops and hunting. – If attacked, colonists had a sense of innocence. – Indians who killed trespassing animals were tried in colonial courts.• Indians sought colonial allies. – English perceived this to be a consent to their rule, continuing aggressive expansion, and extortion of Indian goods.• New England solicited Indian allies to destroy the resistive Pequot tribe. – ½ of the 3,000 Pequot would survive, mostly as subjects in existing tribes. – Puritans viewed victories as God’s favor.• Continued to manipulate Indians to weaken or empower their friends and enemies. – Potential Indian alliances were undermined by the ambitions of individual tribes.
American Colonies Ch.7: Chesapeake Colonies• Late 1640s saw an effort to convert the Indians. – Established praying towns to house Indian converts and separate them from pagan relatives. – Indians saw it as a last resort for weak or floundering tribes to survive.• King Philips War erupted when the Puritans hung 3 Indians for killing a praying town informant. – War was led by a Wampanoag sachem named Metacom, called King Philip by the colonists. – Metacom and an alliance of tribes achieved great success through guerilla tactics. – Tide of war turned as Puritans enlisted Indian aid and Metacom’s men ran out of food and ammunition. – 1,000 Colonists and 3,000 Indians died as a result. – Captives were either executed or sold into slavery, those who escaped continued to guide French raids on the English for many years.• Indians were placed on the bottom of the social scale by 1789. – All Indians on the Atlantic seaboard had become a small minority among invaders in a changed land. – Forced to abandon their old ways to survive in the changed world.