The American Colonies


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The American Colonies

  1. 1. The American Colonies
  2. 2. The Beginning <ul><li>Starting in the late 16th century, the Spanish, the English, the French, Swedes and the Dutch began to colonize eastern North America. </li></ul><ul><li>Many early attempts ended in failure, but successful colonies were soon established. </li></ul><ul><li>The colonists who came to the “New World” were from a variety of different social and religious groups who settled in different locations on the seaboard. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Dutch of New Netherland </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Swedes and Finns of New Sweden </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quakers of Pennsylvania </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Puritans of New England </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>English settlers of Jamestown </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The &quot;worthy poor&quot; of Georgia </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Each group came to the new continent for different reasons and created colonies with distinct social, religious, political and economic structures </li></ul>
  3. 3. The Puritans Perspective on Britain <ul><li>One of the early British settlers of America were a religious group, the Puritans. The wanted to “purify” the Church of England of it Catholic rituals </li></ul><ul><li>The Puritans were separatists, leaving England for Plymouth, Massachusetts in the 1620s, after they failed to accomplish their goal of purifying the church </li></ul><ul><li>They believed that they had a special covenant with God, and that because they were special, they would create a “city on a hill”: a moral society that would serve as a beacon for others to follow </li></ul><ul><li>They were not trying to create a democracy </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The vote was for adult men only (40% of the population) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Church attendance and everyone in their society had to attend church </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. American Ties to the British Empire <ul><li>Although the colonies were very different from one another, they were still a part of the British Empire </li></ul><ul><li>Socially, the colonial elite of Boston, New York, Charleston, and Philadelphia saw their identity as British (although many had never been to Britain) they imitated British styles of dress, dance, and etiquette. </li></ul><ul><li>Political structures of the colonies drew upon the various English political traditions, most notably the Commonwealth men and the Whig traditions. </li></ul><ul><li>Many Americans saw the colonies' systems of governance as modeled after the British constitution of the time, with </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The king corresponding to the governor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The House of Commons to the colonial assembly </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The House of Lords to the Governor's council </li></ul></ul><ul><li>It was a dispute over the meaning of some of these political ideals, especially political representation, and a growing unity among the new generations that led to the American Revolution. </li></ul>
  5. 5. British Perspective on Americans <ul><li>During colonial times (pre 1776), the term “American”…Described the American born children & grand-children of the English colonists </li></ul><ul><ul><li>It was used by the English to describe a population unequal to, or lesser than them, insubordinate and inferior. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It was used to describe a crude, mindless creature </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Was used as an insult, a slur, an epithet </li></ul></ul><ul><li>This attitude helped fuel the fire for the American Revolution. Americans wanted to be treated equally to the British in the Motherland. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Life in America <ul><li>In New England, the Puritans created self-governing communities of religious congregations of farmers, or yeomen, and their families. </li></ul><ul><li>High-level politicians gave out plots of land to male settlers, or proprietors, who then divided the land amongst themselves. Large portions were usually given to men of higher social standing, but every white man had enough land to support a family. </li></ul><ul><li>Every white man had a voice in the town meeting. The town meeting levied taxes, built roads, and elected officials to manage town affairs. </li></ul><ul><li>The Congregational Church, the church the Puritans founded, was not automatically joined by all New England residents because of Puritan beliefs that God singled out only a few specific people for salvation. </li></ul><ul><li>Membership was limited to those who could convincingly &quot;test&quot; before members of the church that they had been saved. They were known as &quot;the elect&quot; or &quot;Saints&quot; and made up less than 40% of the population of New England. </li></ul>