CONQUEST by the CRADLEThe eventually rebellious colonies shared a dramatic population growth. The populationin America was doubling every 25 years, compared to more than 80 years today. Theaverage fertility rate was more than eight in the 18th century, compared to less thantwo today.Explain the political consequences of American demographics for England.
Identify the four most populous colonies by 1775.By 1775, only four communities in colonial Americacould properly be called cities – identify them.By 1775, what percent of the colonial populationcontinued to live in rural areas?
A MINGLING of the RACES Colonial America was a melting pot and had been from the outset. With this melting pot tradition, the prejudice and discrimination prevalent in America in later years is ironic. Immigrants arriving in colonial America came for many of the same reasons that immigrants come to the U.S. today. The primary difference is that America has changed.
America was already a nation of diversenationalities in the colonial period.The map shows the great variety of immigrantgroups, especially in Pennsylvania and New York.It also illustrates the tendency of later arrivals,especially the Scots-Irish, to push into thebackcountry.
Foreign visitors marveled over the diversity of the growing American population.
The African slave trade had long mixedpeoples from many different tribalbackgrounds, giving birth to an African-American community far more varied inits cultural origins than anything to befound in Africa itself.
THE STRUCTURE of COLONIAL SOCIETYWith the exception of slavery, 18th century America was a shining land of opportunity, incontrast to Europe. No titled nobility dominated society from on high, and no pauperizedunderclass threatened it from below. And the most remarkable feature of the socialladder was the rags-to-riches ease with which an ambitious colonist, even a formerindentured servant, might rise from a lower rung to a higher one, a rare step in oldEngland. Identify the structure of colonial society.
CLERICS, PHYSICIANS, and JURISTSDistinguish between the prestige of the major professions in colonial America.
WORKADAY AMERICA Identify & describe the major colonial economic activities.
The so-called triangular trade was infamously profitable, though small in relation tototal colonial commerce.
HORSEPOWER and SEAPOWER Colonial America had oppressive problems with transportation. Not until the 1700’s did roads connect even the major cities and these dirt routes were treacherously deficient. Taverns sprang up along main routes as well as in the cities. The tavern was yet another cradle of democracy, where all social classes would mingle.
DOMINANT DENOMINATIONSTwo “established,” or tax-supported, churches were conspicuous in 1775: the Anglicanand the Congregational. A considerable segment of the population did not worship inany church.
THE GREAT AWAKENINGIn all the colonial churches, religion was less fervid in the early 18th century than it had been acentury earlier, when the colonies were first planted.What two burdens confronted the Puritan churches?Churchgoers increasingly complained about the “dead dogs” who droned out tedious sermons fromPuritan pulpits.Liberal ideas began to challenge the old-time religion, and some worshipers now proclaimed thathuman beings were not necessarily predestined to damnation but might save themselves by goodworks.
The stage was now set for a rousingreligious revival known as the GreatAwakening. It exploded in the 1730’s and1740’s and spread like wild fire.Jonathan Edwards proclaimed with burningrighteousness the folly of believing insalvation through good works and affirmedthe need for complete dependence on God’sgrace.The great orator, George Whitefield,trumpeted his message of humanhelplessness and divine omnipotence.
Orthodox clergymen, known as “old lights,” were deeply skeptical of the emotionalismand the theatrical antics of the revivalists. “New light” ministers defended theAwakening for its role in revitalizing American religion.Identify and describe the lasting effects left by the Great Awakening.Jonathan Edwards
SCHOOLS and COLLEGESA time-honored English idea regarded education as a blessing reserved for the aristocratic few.Education should be for leadership, not for citizenship, and primarily for males.Education, principally for boys, flourished almost from the outset in New England. Fairly adequateelementary schools were also educating “scholars” in the South and Middle colonies. But the generalatmosphere in the colonial schools & colleges continued to be grim and gloomy. Student enrollmentswere low and curriculum was heavily loaded with theology and the “dead” languages.
A PROVINCIAL CULTUREWhen it came to art and culture, colonial Americas were heavily influenced byEuropean tastes. Art, architecture, and literature were largely imported from theOld World and modified to meet the peculiar climatic and religious conditions of theNew World.Science, rising above the shackles of superstition, was making some progress, thoughlagging behind the Old World. Versatile Benjamin Franklin, often called “the first civilized American,” was perhaps the only first-rank scientist produced in the American colonies. Identify some of his more famous scientific experiments.
PIONEER PRESSESStump-grubbing Americans were generally too poor to buy books and too busy to readthem. Hand-operated printing presses cranked out pamphlets, leaflets, and journals.The “news” often lagged many weeks behind the event.Newspapers proved to be a powerful tool for airing colonial grievances and rallyingopposition to British control.
A celebrated legal case in 1734-1735 involved John Peter Zenger, a newspaper printer.Zenger’s newspaper had assailed the corrupt royal governor.
Charged with seditious libel, the accused was hauled into court. What were the twoside’s arguments? What was the final verdict? Significance of the verdict?
THE GREAT GAME of POLITICSAmerican colonists were making noteworthy contributions to political science. The 13colonial governments took a variety of forms. By 1775, eight of the colonies had royalgovernors, appointed by the king. Practically every colony utilized a two-house legislative body. The upper house was appointed either by the king, the proprietor, or by the voters in the self-governing colonies. The lower house, as the popular branch, was elected by the people – or rather by those who owned enough property to qualify as voters. Self-taxation through representation was a precious privilege that Americans had come to cherish above most others.
The colonial assemblies found various ways to assert their authority & independence. TheLondon govt., in leaving the colonial governors at the mercy of the legislatures, was guiltyof poor administration. By 1775 America was not yet a true democracy – socially,economically, or politically. But it was far more democratic than England. The seeds ofmany of our treasured democratic principles were planted at this time.
COLONIAL FOLKWAYSContemporary Americans like to romanticize colonial life, but it was drab, difficult andtedious by modern standards.Describe the food situation in colonial America.What basic comforts did colonists lack?What did colonists do for amusement?By the mid-18th century, what striking similarities did the North Americancolonies share?
COLONIAL AMERICA UNIT QUIZZEShttp://www.historyteacher.net/USProjects/USQuizzes/EarlySettlement1A.htmhttp://www.historyteacher.net/USProjects/USQuizzes/EarlySettlement2.htmhttp://www.historyteacher.net/USProjects/USQuizzes/EarlySettlement3.htmhttp://www.historyteacher.net/USProjects/Quizzes5-6/EarlySettlement5.htm