By Pam Clark Atlantic Wars and Revolutions By Pam Clark
Called privateers by European governments in times of war, and pirates in times of peace, pirates enjoyed a much easier life than that of maritime sailors.
They ran their ships in an egalitarian and democratic fashion, sharing all their “earnings” and voting collectively on where the ship would next sail.
Many pirates were former merchant ship sailors who had been mistreated by their captains. When a merchant ship was captured, the pirates would hold a trial to see if the merchant ship’s crew had been treated fairly. If yes, the captain would be treated well - if not, the captain was whipped or executed.
However by the 1700’s, pirates had become a liability to global trade, and by 1730, the British had convicted and executed between 400 and 600 pirates, and twice that number had been killed evading prosecution.
As a result, shipping costs and maritime insurance rates lowered, and global trade and merchant ships activity increased with the “safer seas.”
The Atlantic, Scots Most of the Scots emigrated to American colonies between 1707 and 1775. The Lowland Scot emigrants brought the majority of doctors who practiced medicine in the colonies. Highland Scots were motivated to emigrate as a result of the British outlaw of many of their customs and traditions. They were a tough and sturdy people who wanted the cheap land, and weren’t afraid of settling in high-risk areas. They clustered in frontier valleys, and kept alive their native Gaelic language and Highland customs. Ulster Scots emigrated to America to escape the bad conditions in Ireland, hopeful for a better life. From Boston they moved to Pennsylvania where they felt more welcome. They resented being referred to as Irish, thinking they were superior, and preferred to be called Scotch-Irish.
George Whitefield was the first celebrity to visit the American colonists. He was an Anglican minister and gifted orator who spoke to the common people outside, inspiring them anywhere people could gather to hear him give the message of God.
In 1739, he arrived in Philadelphia to begin his fourteen month tour of the American colonies. There he met Benjamin Franklin, and they formed a lucrative partnership as Franklin printed all his sermons and journals and event notices.
His writing style was plain, brief, and uncomplicated, which appealed to his audiences. It was said that more people spent time reading (his sermons) as a result, and Franklin even observed that the morals of the people of Philadelphia had “been improved” (p348).
The Great Plains, Comanches and Apaches
The Comanches gained control of the Great Plains by acquiring horses and guns though raids of other tribes and Hispanic settlements and ranches.
During the 18 th century, as they enlarged their hunting territories, they grew in population to an estimated 20,000 people.
Some of their Apache rivals moved westward to the safety of the canyons of New Mexico. These Apache tribes merged with the Pueblo tribes who inhabited the area to form a composite culture that combined their customs, and together they became known as the Apache de Navihu, or Navajo.
The Lipan Apache, unable to survive by hunting for buffalo, and tired of the Comanche dominance, opted to go into the Spanish Mission system of San Antonio, forming alliances with the Hispanics hoping to bring peace.
Unfortunately for the Hispanics, this alliance further compromised their safety as became drawn into the Comanche and Wichita conflicts the of the Apache. By the middle of the 1800’s, Comanches had the upper hand, as the power shifted from the Hispanic settlements of Northern New Spain to the Comanche tribes.
Imperial Wars and Crisis, Indian Rebellions
The Indians realized that they could no longer play the French against the English in trade after the collapse of New France in the Seven Year’s War. As a result, the British thought they had the “upper hand” with the Indians.
Under the orders of British military commander, Jeffrey Amherst, the gifts the Indians were used to receiving were cut off, new colonial traders replaced the French, cheating the Indians and treating them poorly in trade negotiations.
Insulted by this poor treatment by the British, the Indian tribes began to cooperate in ways they never had before, and formed alliances with the mutual goal to take back their lands, and regain control of trade.
Indian uprisings began in the South Carolina frontier by the Cherokee, however, the Cherokee were defeated as their supply of gunpowder was cut off.
Another uprising occurred in 1763, when the Indians captured all but three of the forts around the Great Lakes region, and then went on to attack western colonial settlements in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. About 2,000 colonists were killed. The colonists began to view all natives as hostile enemies as a result.
The Indian rebellions ended due to lack of gunpowder, Amherst was recalled, and the Indian superintendant began making peace with the natives; gift giving and trade resumed, and by adopting the “middle ground” policy of the French, by the time the American revolution began, the British colonies had many Indian allies.
The Pacific, Alta California
Fearing British and Russian encroachment, the Spanish crown opened Alta California, or what is now California to colonization.
Alta California had a diverse climate, and over 300,000 natives lived primarily as hunters and gatherers. They moved with the seasons, always returning to their home bases.
Although not apparent to Spanish eyes, the native Californians had been successfully cultivation their landscapes to foster plant and animal life. They routinely conducted controlled fires through the forests to rid them of pests and the tangled undergrowth.
The tribes lived peacefully for the most part, and traded with other tribes.
The native tribes had designated chiefs, but no centralized form of government uniting the various groups. The main power was held by each tribe’s Shaman, who served as the priest and healer. Alta California had the greatest diversity in peoples, with over seventy different languages spoken. Chumash Indian settlement on the southern Alta California coast