Settling a New Land –
Becoming a New People
Addresses Indicators 4-2.3, 4-2.4, 4-2.7
Addresses USHC-1 and USHC-2.1
Explorers and Settlers came for
Spanish claimed southern region, rich in minerals.
Their aim was to get in, get rich, and get out. The
Spanish converted the local people to Catholicism.
French explorers became fur traders when the
water route to the East was not found. They lived
in remote areas of Canada trapping and trading.
English came looking for a better life. They wanted
the right to own some land, a chance to advance
their social position and be free, and the right to
worship as they chose.
America in 1700 looked like this…
There were approximately 250,000
people living in the new land.
People were scattered along the coast
from Massachusetts down to the
Carolinas, usually near the coast.
The vast majority of the people lived in
rural areas as farmers.
Gradually the picture changed…
Settlements and towns were along rivers
for travel, transport, food, safety, and
In 1700, about 5% of the people lived in
towns while 95% lived in rural areas.
As more people began to arrive they had to
move inland to claim land on which to build
their homes. Sometimes they came into
conflict with the local nations.
John Lawson, Explorer and Author
John Lawson explored Carolina in 1700 and
wrote a book about his travels.
He praised the Indians and complained that
“We make way for a Christian colony
through a Field of Blood.”
John Lawson – captured and killed by the Tuscarora
When the English settlers arrived in the
new land they considered themselves
as Englishmen but the longer they
stayed, the more that changed.
By about 1740, men who would
become famous revolutionaries in
American history were coming into their
Benjamin Franklin (1706 - 1790)
was a great American leader,
printer, scientist, and writer.
In 1732, he began publishing a
magazine called Poor Richard's
Almanack. Poor Richard was a
make-believe person who gave
advice about common sense and
Later in his career Franklin would
emerge as a driving force to lead
the movement for independence.
He also served as ambassador to
France, gaining their help in
winning the war.
George Washington served
his country during the
fighting in the French and
Indian War. Here he is
pictured at that time.
Washington would go on to
serve in the Virginia
legislature, the Continental
Congress, the Commander
of the Continental Army, and
the first president of the
Thomas Jefferson was a
farmer, an inventor, and a
statesman, but he is most
famous as the author of the
Declaration of Independence.
He also served as the Third
President of the new United
States and during his time he
commissioned the Lewis and
Clark Expedition to explore
the huge area gained in the
But in the early 1700s, these men
knew nothing of what the new land
would become. Something about
living in the rich and inviting
country made it possible for people
to dream big dreams and aspire to
amazing possibilities. The different
regions began to develop differently.
The New England Colonies – New
Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island,
Massachusetts (including Maine)
Soil was thin and rocky, not good for
farming, also had a short growing season
The thick woods provided timber for their
own use as well as for products to sell
Coastal waters were rich in fish and
whales so many turned to the sea
New England Colonies - Social and
Settled by people seeking
religious freedom, New
England retained its
Puritan ways were strict
and harsh - many left to find
freedom of worship
The government had less
power in the beginning than
the church. Towns were
self-governing. All men
participated in government
Governing in New England…
New England was not governed by a royal
governor, judge, army, or parliament. In the
beginning the Puritan church was the government
This led to being very independent of England.
In 1644, the general court of New England was
divided into two houses, and became a modern
state government - not quite a democracy, but
The government wrote down a body of law and bill
of rights, similar to the Bill of Rights.
Each colony wrote their own constitution.
The Middle Colonies – New York,
Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware
Warmer climate and more fertile soil
made this area good for growing grains
Long, wide rivers made the farm land
fertile – “Bread Basket of the Colonies”
Rivers helped with trade, transportation,
The Middle Colonies - Social and
William Penn and others came to the Middle Colonies
seeking religious freedom. Penn and his fellow Quakers
tried to make peace with the Native Americans and other
settlers. Social and religious tolerance were found in the
Middle Colonies. Towns in the middle colonies governed
themselves in the beginning.
Governing in the Middle Colonies…
For the most part, the Middle Colonies were not
founded originally by the English but by Dutch,
Swedes, and other groups who came seeking a
better life and religious freedom.
All these groups had some form of limited selfgovernment with white, land-owning males taking
part in the government.
There was more toleration here than in Puritan
The Southern Colonies – Maryland,
Virginia, North Carolina, South
Carolina, and Georgia
Long growing season, warm climate, rich
soil - made land in the South productive
Small independent farmers could
produce food for families and for sale
Large wealthy plantations produced cash
crops but required massive amounts of
slave labor to grow the crops
The Southern Colonies – Social and
Circuit riders like Francis Asbury
and John Wesley spread
Methodism in the South.
Presbyterians from Scotland and
Ireland came South.
Revivals and Camp Meetings
made religion a very
important part of the social
life in the South.
The wealthy in the South were like an American
aristocracy. They were the social and political leaders
controlling how society operated in the South.
Governing in the Southern Colonies…
Taking their cue from the House of Burgesses,
the Southern Colonies had limited selfgovernment through the offices of elected
The planter class usually prevailed in holding
office and carrying out limited government affairs
but in most cases there was a royal governor to
oversee the legislatures and keep them under
Depending on each other…
People in the colonies were usually
friendly and neighborly to each other.
They learned this necessity from trying to
survive the first attempts at settlement.
People depended on each other for their
Some settlements failed completely and
in Jamestown there was an 80% casualty
rate among the first 10,000 who came to
Labor was shared by all...
Women shared quilting, making syrup,
and preserving foods for the winter.
Men helped each other clear fields of
rocks and trees and build buildings.
One stockman looked after everyone’s
cows and other animals.
Teaching and caring for the children
was shared by the women.
Settlers looked after each other if
someone was sick or injured.
Religion and Social Behavior…
Church was the center of life for settlers.
In Puritan areas the religious ideas were very
strict and harsh – “Blue Laws” were offenses
that would be punishable – especially on the
Sabbath. Laws were bound in a blue book.
Other areas were more tolerant but religion
played an important role in the settlers’ lives.
In the South where people lived far apart,
circuit riders carried religion to the people.
The Rich New Land Invited Settlers…
French, Spanish, English, Dutch, Germans,
Swedes, and others from Europe all came to
settle in the new land.
Rivalries developed between different groups.
Disputes arose from time to time, especially if
the rulers supported their colonies.
The most notable of the disputes arose when
the French tried to intrude into interior areas
claimed and protected by the English.
French and English settlers fought
alongside their Native American
allies in a bloody conflict over land
The French and Indian War…
The French and English were almost
always at war and the mid 1750s were no
different. There was a Seven Years War
going on in Europe, and wherever the
British and French came into contact.
In America this conflict was known as the
French and Indian War because the
English and their Indian allies were fighting
the French and their Indian allies over land
in the West.
The French and Indian War helped
settlers to become “Americans”…
Still in 1754 there were many people who
felt themselves to be loyal British subjects.
They depended on the British to help
defend themselves, but they also became
something new and special – Americans!
New Leaders began to develop on
the fields of battle…
Daniel Boone fought in the
French and Indian War
along with a man named
John Finley who told Boone
about a pass that would take
travelers through the
mountains to the West.
Boone did not forget John
Finley. Note the wide hat to
protect from the sun – not a
coonskin cap as legend tells
Horatio Gates, a young
officer in the French
and Indian War would
make a name later.
George Washington, a
captain in the French and
Indian War learned from the
mistakes and became a
great leader later.
Daniel Morgan, a young
wagoner from Virginia, was
at the battle where General
Braddock was killed. He
urged the British to bury
Bradford in the road and run
wagons and troops over it so
the Indians would not find
the body and desecrate it.
Morgan and a British officer
fought over the comment
and Morgan was punished
by 500 lashes – he nearly
died of his wounds but he
lived to repay the British.
General Braddock expected the French and Indians
to fight a pitched battle as the English did. They
would not! Here Braddock lies wounded near the
Monongahela River on the way to Fort Duquesne.
Braddock’s troops were ambushed trying to drive the French
from Fort Duquesne. Braddock was mortally wounded. George
Washington, a Braddock aide, supervised as Braddock was
buried in the road so men and horses could cover the grave.
In one battle on one day during the
French and Indian War, colonial
leaders learned not to fight in the
traditional European style – they
would fight as the Indians did.
Proclamation Act of 1763
The Proclamation Act
was designed to cut
down on expenses for
the British by keeping
settlers from moving
into the mountains –
to keep peace in the
Indian Territory. The
Act slowed westward
expansion but only for
a short time.
Results of the French and Indian War
British territorial claims expanded in America.
British debt grew in an expanding war.
Resentment grew as Parliament saw Americans as
unwilling to help pay for their own defense.
Colonists unified against a common enemy.
Colonial militias saw themselves as a "people's
army" in contrast to the authoritarian British army.
French influence in North America dwindled greatly.
Britain’s Parliament felt that the French
and Indian War had been fought to
protect the American colonists…
pay for the
After peace was declared in 1763,
the taxation began…
It seemed only fair that the colonists should
share in the expenses for their protection.
They objected not so much to the taxation
as to the fact that they were not directly
represented in the British Parliament.
One new tax after another arose until the
colonists finally revolted. And there begins
“America” – 1700-1763
Created by Carol Poole