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The English in North America Lori Healy HIST 140 Section 71258 November 11, 2010
American Colonies 7- Chesapeake Colonies Leadership Hard-driving merchants and planters created the greatest fortunes and claimed the highest offices in Virginia and Maryland. These leaders lacked the charisma of a traditional ruling class. However, the colonists reluctantly accepted such leaders as long as success prevailed. The Chesapeake colonists lived in a political hierarchy with four tiers. At the top was the distant king. He was followed by the provincial government, the governor, council, and assembly. Third, was the county court and parish vestry. Lastly, was the family household. By law, only the head of household could own land and make contracts and only men could vote, serve on juries, or hold political office.
American Colonies 7- Chesapeake Colonies Rebellion In 1676, a rebellion started in Virginia. Frustrated servants and freedmen blamed their plight on an unresponsive, unfair, and unqualified ruling class. This rebellion was led by Nathaniel Bacon. Bacon’s Rebellion represented a division within the planter elite, a split between a group allied with the royal governor and a rival set of determined but frustrated planters who resented their relative lack of offices and other rewards. As a result of this rebellion, the leaders created a more popular mode of politics, which required an alliance between common and great planters.
American Colonies 7- Chesapeake Colonies Slavery Their alliance became more essential and easier at the turn of the century, when the great planters switched from white servants to African slaves. Originally they switched for economical reasons but the change also improved great planters security against another rebellion by angry freedman. Class differences became less of a issue. Colonial Virginians developed the American interdependence of elite rule, popular politics, and white racial supremacy. This distinctive combination set the colonies apart from other empires as well as their English origins.
American Colonies 8- New England Population New England attracted primarily middle class colonists. They were able to pay their way across the Atlantic which preserved their freedom. Many Puritans came across to New England in order to purify the Protestant faith. They reinforced the values of thrift, diligence, and delayed gratification that were essential to the well-being middling sort.
American Colonies 8- New England Migration The Puritan emigrants followed French and English mariners, fishermen, and fur traders who had visited New England during the summers. In 1630 a Puritan emigration called the “Great Migration” began under the leadership of John Winthrop. The first settlement was Boston. The Puritans established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. The Colonists then expanded into the interior during the 1630s and 1640s. By 1640 the increasing settlements produced new colonies. Massachusetts was the most powerful colony in New England.
American Colonies 8- New England Environment Although New England was colder and less abundant, it was a healthier environment than the Chesapeake colonies. New England required hard labor to make farm and offered little outlook of getting rich. Puritan values are what helped the colonist succeed in a challenging land. Labor was abundant and inexpensive, but land was scarce and expensive. Most New England farmers had to rely on their family for labor to maintain their farms.
American Colonies 12- Middle Colonies Mid-Atlantic Coast Until mid-century the English ignored the mid-Atlantic coast. The mid-Atlantic region was particularly promising for cultivating grain, raising livestock, and reproducing people. There were three controllable rivers: the Susquehanna, Delaware, and Hudson. The Dutch and Swedes established small colonies, but were not able to compete with England and lost their land.
American Colonies 12- Middle Colonies Conquest By conquering the Dutch land, the English replaced the Dutch in their alliance and trade with the Iroquois Five Nations. The Mohawk was the English’s primary alliance. They were located in Albany which was a center for the fur trade and Indian diplomacy. Wars started between England and the Dutch. These wars disrupted the supply and enhanced the prices of goods at Albany. After 1674 peace between the English and Dutch permitted trade goods to reach Albany more safely and abundantly. After time, the English and Iroquois formed an alliance, which invited the Five Nations to dominate the other native peoples in the northeast. They collaborated to build their respective power, at the expense of weaker Indians.
American Colonies 12- Middle Colonies Variety In 1664 the English conquered the mid-Atlantic seaboard to combine a more similar and passive empire stretching from Carolina to Canada. The conquest immersed a combination of non-English people. This diversity contrasted distinctly with both Chesapeake and New England. It also dishonored the traditional English belief that social unity and political order depended on ethnic and religious uniformity. The English conquest compounded the region’s cultural, verbal, and religious diversity. This diversity became the representation of the middle colonies.