Colonial Society
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Colonial Society






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    Colonial Society Colonial Society Presentation Transcript

    • Colonial Society
    • Themes
      • Family & community life in New England & Chesapeake Bay
      • Colonial economy & politics
      • History of ideas:
      • Enlightenment & the Great Awakening
    • New England Society
      Thomas Smith Self-Portrait
      • Sailing scene in the background
      • Skull - Brevity of human life
      • Poem - “The Eternal” would “Crowne me with Glory”
    • New England Society
      • Towns with more than 50 households were required to appoint teachers
      • Harvard College was founded in 1636 to train ministers
    • New England Society
      Education & Literacy
      • About 90% of adult white men & 40% of adult white women could sign their names
      • No more than 50% in other colonies
      • In England, only about 33% could read & write
    • New England Society
      Community Life
      • Centered around the Meeting House
      • Homes were close to one another
      • Led to a high population density in town center
      • Created an atmosphere of “watchfulness”
      • Supported the overall goal of a “city upon a hill” without dissent
      • Easy to help one another & work together
    • New England Society
      Family Life
      • Family Organization
      • Father - Head of the family
      • Mother - Manage the household
      • Children - Provide a labor force
      • Stability
      • 80% of children reach adulthood
      • Life expectancy - Men: 65
    • New England Society
      • Convicted criminals were exposed to public ridicule
      • Meant to serve as a warning to others
    • Chesapeake Society
      • Tobacco cultivation dominated the region
      • Large profits could be made, but prices fluctuated
      • Indentured servants & slaves were common on the plantations
    • Chesapeake Society
      Community Life
      • Centered around large plantation homes
      • Homes were spread out & situated along the banks of rivers or streams
      • Led to a low population density – about 6 people per sq. mile
    • Chesapeake Society
      Family Life
      • Chaotic
      • 50% of children reach adulthood
      • Life expectancy - Men: 48
      • Complex households
    • Indentured Servants
      Headright System
      • Virginia Company awarded 50 acres to anyone who paid a servant’s travel costs
      • Between 1630-1700 – 110,000 migrated from England to the Chesapeake Bay
      • Up to 90% were indentured servants
      • About 40% died within 6 years
    • Indentured Servants
      • Living standards declined along with wages
      • Population increased while land became scarce
    • Indentured Servants
      • Owners paid for passage across the Atlantic
      • Worked for 4-7 years
      • Often faced very poor treatment
      • Could be bought & sold
      • Sometimes used as gambling stakes
      • Given supplies & reduced land rates at the end of their terms
    • Bacon’s Rebellion (1676)
      • Tension developed between large landowners & former indentured servants
      • Growing gap between the rich & poor
      • The price of tobacco plummeted
    • Bacon’s Rebellion (1676)
      • Tension developed between large landowners & former indentured servants
      • Growing gap between the rich & poor
      • The price of tobacco plummeted
      • Conflict with Native Americans
    • Bacon’s Rebellion (1676)
      Conflict with Native Americans
      • Settlers (often former servants) encroached on land reserved for Native Americans
      • Indians retaliated
      • Virginia’s governor proposed a series of forts along the western frontier
      • Settlers took matters into their own hands
      • Led by Nathaniel Bacon
    • Bacon’s Rebellion (1676)
      • Wanted to exterminate Native Americans along Virginia’s western frontier
      • Clashed with Governor Berkley & his supporters
      • Issued the Declaration of the People of Virginia
      • Burned Jamestown to the ground
      • Bacon died suddenly of dysentery
      • Ended the rebellion
    • Bacon’s Rebellion (1676)
      • Shocked many of the elites of the region
      • Contributing factor in the shift from indentured servants to slave labor
    • Slavery in the Chesapeake
      • 1619 – First documented slaves arrived in Jamestown
      • 1660 – Fewer than 1000 slaves in the region
      • 1700 – At least 20,000 slaves in the region
      • (22% of the population)
    • Slavery Outside the Chesapeake
      • By the early 1700s, slave labor was used extensively in South Carolina
      • Slavery existed in all of England’s North American colonies
      • Slaves made up 20% of New York City’s population in the mid-1700s
    • Mercantilism
      • A nation’s power was determined by its wealth
      • Required nations to export more than they imported
      • Encouraged nations to produce everything they needed in order to avoid importing goods
      • Relied upon colonies to meet this goal
    • Triangular Trade
      • Colonies provided raw materials – tobacco, sugar, rice, etc.
      • Colonists purchased finished products manufactured in England
    • Navigation Acts
      • All goods entering the colonies had to be transported on English ships
      • Certain goods such as sugar, tobacco, & indigo had to be sold in England or in English colonies
      • All foreign goods had to travel through England before reaching the colonies
    • Colonial Governments
      • Governor – Appointed by the King or Proprietor
      • Rhode Island & Connecticut were exceptions
      • Council – Chosen by the Governor & served as advisors
      • Assembly – Elected by voters
      • Had the power to pass laws, levy taxes, & control budgets
      • Controlled the Governors’ salaries
    • Colonial Governments
      Voting & Holding Office
      • Women & non-whites were not eligible voters
      • Most adult white males over 40 had the right to vote
      • Wealthy elites tended to dominate the Assemblies
    • Great Awakening
      • Early 1700s – church membership & attendance began to decline
      • 1730s-40s – religious fervor spread across the colonies with large revivals meeting under tents on the outskirts of town
      • Led by “New Light” ministers who emphasized an emotional & personal connection to God
    • Great Awakening
      Jonathan Edwards
      • Encouraged parishioners to absolve their sins & pay penance by praying for salvation
      • “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”
    • Great Awakening
      George Whitefield
      • Proclaimed that ordinary people could understand the Gospel without the leadership of the church
      • Called for public admissions of sins & followers being “saved” in front of the congregation
    • The Great Awakening
      • Promoted the growth of New Light institutions such as Princeton, Dartmouth, & Rutgers
      • Led to new divisions within the Protestant faith & a greater diversity of religion in the colonies
      • Shaped church life & worship in America
      • Encouraged egalitarian democracy