Susanna Truax, the subject of this 1730 portrait, was evidently a member of a prosperous colonial family eager to display its imported English wares. Note the tea table at the left of the picture, topped with a teapot, cup and saucer, and sugar bowl—symbols of the Truax family’s genteel style of life.
MAP 4–1 Anglo-American Transatlantic Commerce By the eighteenth century, Great Britain and its colonies were enmeshed in a complex web of trade. Britain exchanged manufactured goods for colonial raw materials, while Africa provided the enslaved laborers who produced the most valuable colonial crops.
FIGURE 4–1 Average Annual Value of Colonial Exports by Region, 1768–1772 Staple crops—especially sugar—produced by slave labor were the most valuable items exported from Britain’s North American colonies. Data Source: John J. McCusker and Russell R. Menard, The Economy of British America, 1607–1789, rev. ed. (1991). Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press.
Scenes like this were common in the dockyards at Deptford and other parts of eighteenth-century London.Boxes and barrels of English goods were loaded aboard sailing ships that returned months later with sugar, tobacco, rice, and other products from every part of England’s worldwide empire.
This view of the Philadelphia waterfront dates from 1720. It shows how the city had developed into one of British America’s principal ports just forty years after its founding. Peter Cooper, “The Southeast Prospect of the City of Philadelphia,” ca. 1720. The Library Company of Philadelphia.
The Governor’s Palace in Williamsburg, Virginia, completed in 1722, was one of the grandest and most expensive dwellings in the colony.
By the time he was in his forties, Benjamin Franklin had already achieved considerable fame as an author, scientist, and inventor. Mason Chamberlain (1727–1787), “Portrait of Benjamin Franklin.” 1762. Oil on canvas, 50 3⁄8 × 40 3⁄4 inches (128 103.5 cm). Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Wharton Sinkler, 1956. Location: Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A./Art Resource, NY.
During George Whitefield’s tour of the American colonies in 1739–1741, the famous revivalist minister often preached to large crowds gathered outdoors to hear one of his powerful sermons.
The construction of a Hindu temple in Malibu, California, testifies to the persistence of religious diversity in modern America.
The predominance of church steeples in this engraving of colonial New York’s skyline testifies to the religious vitality of the city.
Sir Edmund Andros was appointed by King James II to serve as governor of the ill-fated Dominion of New England. Sent back to England by rebellious New Englanders during the Glorious Revolution, Andros later returned to the colonies as governor of Virginia from 1692 to 1698.
MAP 4–2 Expanding Settlement, c. 1750 Imperial rivalries drove Spain, France, and England to expand their North American empires in the mid-eighteenth century. Once again, this sparked conflict with native peoples as well as with European competitors.
FIGURE 4–2 Population Growth in British Mainland Colonies, 1700–1760 Both natural increase and immigration contributed to a staggering rate of population growth in British North America. Some colonists predicted that Americans would soon outnumber Britain’s inhabitants—a possibility that greatly concerned British officials. Data Source: John J. McCusker and Russell R. Menard, The Economy of British America, 1607–1789 , rev. ed. (1991). Chapel Hill, N.C.: University of North Carolina Press.
This contemporary map shows the British seizure of the French fortress at Louisbourg in 1758 during the French and Indian War. In 1745, during King George’s War, New Englanders had helped capture the fort, which was returned to France at the war’s end in 1748.
MAP 4–3 The French and Indian War, 1754–1763 Most of the battles of the French and Indian War occurred in the frontier regions of northern and western New York and the Ohio Valley. The influx of settlers into these areas created tensions that eventually developed into war.
This, the earliest known portrait of George Washington, was painted by Charles Willson Peale in 1772. It depicts him in his military uniform from the French and Indian War. Military service helped to strengthen Washington’s ties with the British Empire. Washington-Custis-Lee Collection, Washington and Lee University, Lexington, Virginia.
MAP 4–4 European Empires in North America, 1750–1763 Great Britain’s victory in the French and Indian War transformed the map of North America. France lost its mainland colonies, England claimed all lands east of the Mississippi, and Spain gained nominal control over the Trans-Mississippi West.