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Colonial Life (1700s)

AP History Study Terms:
New France, Chesapeake blacks, Offspring of slaves, American colonial immigration, New Spain, British North America, King George’s War, New England, Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Louisbourg, genteel culture, Enlightenment, John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, John & William Bartram, Locke’s Two Treaties of Govt, oral cultures, intercultural rituals, colonial families, mixed-race families, European-American families, rise of assemblies, John Zenger, Stono rebellion, Govenor Ben Fletcher, First Great Awakening, Virginia Baptists

I.  How did America’s diverse society grow?

Many ethnic groups immigrated to the North American colonies.  Both free and enslaved came.  The population began to sustain itself by natural increase and the continual migration of Europeans and Africans.  The economic growth and development boomed.  Cash crops and trade gave way to colonial prosperity.  American’s earnings grew which resulted in the growth of consumption.  Colonists became consumers and were able to buy items that were not essential for survival.  Colonial cultures were oral and had many religious and civic rituals.  Colonial families were the basic units of colonial society.

II.  What was the population growth and ethnic diversity in the colonies?

In the 18th century there was a rapid growth in the population of the English colonies.  Louisiana, New Mexico, California and Texas grew at a slower rate.  New France went from 15,000 in 1700 to 70,000 in the 1760s.  Migration and natural birth increase accounted for the population upsurge.  Women were becoming more pregnant and having 5-10 children.  Africans were the largest group to come to the colonies in the 18th century.  Scottish, Scots-Irish, French, and Germans came to the frontiers.

  1. Who came from Africa and Europe to the colonies?
    1. Africans (278,000)-largest group to come to English colonies
      1. Mortality rates high-need continual supply of work force
    2. Chesapeakeàblacks increased
      1. Populationànatural increase after 1740
      2. Offspring of slaves were slaves however kids of servants were free
      3. Women important for reproductions
    3. 585,000 Europeans came to North America
  2. When did the Scots-Irish, Germans and Scots immigrate?
    1. About 150,000 immigrants came from Ireland or Scotland
      1. Fleeing economic distress & religious discrimination (Protestants & Catholics)
      2. Hoped to get land
      3. Settled in PA, Maryland, Virginia & Carolinas
    2. 85,000 immigrants from Germany (Pennsylvania Dutch)
      1. Settled mostly in PA, but also in Maryland, Virginia, S Carolina and Georgia
      2. Protestant sectsàLutheran, German Reformed, Moravian
    3. 1760-1775 heavily concentrated period of immigration
      1. Hard times in German & Britainàseek better life in America
      2. Land speculators bought huge tracts of land
  3. What were the effects of ethnic diversity?
    1. Half of southern colonies of non-English origin by 1775
    2. Assimilation?
      1. Huguenotsàsettle in citiesàadopt Anglo-Am culture
      2. Jewsàmaintain distinct identity

1)     Sephardic-escaped persecution in Spain/Portugal

  1. Germans, Irish, Scotsàkept old world ways
  2. English wanted keep themselves as the elites
    1. Goal was economic & political power
    2. Made Indians slave catchers
    3. Slaves fought as soldiers against Indians

III.  How did the economy grow and develop?

The increase of Anglo-America population gave stability to the colonial economy.  The demands for goods and service led to colonial manufacturing and complex network of trade.  The economic growth and development soared.  Cash crops of tobacco and grain gave way to colonial prosperity.  Growth of consumption came from the increase in American’s earnings.   Colonists became consumers and were given choices.  They were able to afford items that were not essential for survival.

  1. How were the British, French & Spanish colonies different?
    1. New Spain
      1. Population & economy stagnated
      2. Settlements produced few items & exchanged goods w/French & English rather than Mexico or Caribbean
    2. New France
      1. Monopolistic tradeàprofits end up in home country
      2. Exported furs & fish
      3. Louisianaàinternal trade, tobacco, rice
      4. Only Caribbean islands prospered economically
    3. British North America
      1. Rising population

1)     Led to demand for goods/servicesàcolonial manufacturing & internal trade

  1. Roads, bridges, mills, stores built
  2. Sold exports, imports and items made in America
  3. Produced more iron than England
  4. However, still depended on overseas trading
  5. Why did consumption rise?
    1. American higher earningsàbetter standard of living
      1. Acquire household items, diet improved, luxury items
      2. Consumersàmake choices from variety of products and buy what wasn’t essential to live
    2. Benefits of economic growth weren’t evenly distributed
  6. What was urban poverty like in the cities?
    1. New arrivals didn’t have same opportunities as predecessors for advancement
    2. Families stoop to begging
    3. 1760s-public urban poor-relief systems were overwhelmed
      1. Built almshouses & workhouses to shelter poor
  7. How did King George’s War affect New England?
    1. New Englandàwood cash crop, livestock
      1. Family members worked farm-few laborers
      2. Wealthy men from trading with West Indies
    2. War’s affect on Boston
      1. British ships clash w/Spanish ships in Caribbean-King George’s War
      2. 1 cause-European commercial rivalries in Americas & West Indian trade
      3. Impact-ships/sailors-in demand as privateers (capture enemy commercial shipping)
      4. Suffered heavy losses in battles & in forays vs French

1)     Very costly expeditions

2)     1745-French fortress of Louisbourg captured

  1. Widows & kids on relief rolls
  2. Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle gave back Louisbourg
  3. What contributed to the prosperity of the middle colonies?
    1. Positively affected by King George’s War
      1. Caused greater fertility of soil in NY & PA
    2. NY & NJ had tenant farmers & paid rental fees by sharing crops
      1. Landlords profit from wartime demand of grain & meat
      2. After war, poor grain harvests in Europeàflour price ↑.  Philadelphia & New York took lead in food trade
  4. What changes took place in Chesapeake?
    1. Demand for grain impact on Chesapeake
      1. 1745-planters convert tobacco fields to wheat & corn

1)     Diversity in crops-avoids dependency on one

  1. Grain brought change
    1. Encouraged development of port towns to house merchants who marked the products
  2. How did the lower South trade?
    1. Depended on staple crops & enslaved labor force
    2. 1730-S Carolinians were able to trade directly w/continental Europe
      1. King George’s war disrupted trade & S Carolina entered a depression
      2. 1760s-prosperity returned-demand for SC’s exports
    3. Highest wealth per freehold in Anglo-America
    4. Variations in economic experience proved that English colonies did not compose a unified whole
      1. Linked into regions
      2. Economy still based on Europe & West Indies

IV.  What were the colonial cultures?

Colonial culture and houses became more lavish.  The standard of living increased considerably and leisure time and activities were enjoyed.  The Enlightenment contributed to a rise in education and made pple feel proud of their level of education.  Not many were literate so the society was oral based.  There wasn’t a lot of reading or writing.  Religious, civic, consumption and intercultural rituals emerged.

  1. What was the genteel culture?
    1. Colonists acquired $ through trade, agriculture, manufacturing, carriages, uniformed servants, lavish parties
    2. Large houses, horse races, theater, polite mannersàrich
  2. How did the Enlightenment contribute to education?
    1. Many pride themselves on level of education
      1. Tutored & attended college (Harvard-1st found in 1636)
      2. Mid-18th century-broad courses on math, science, law, medicineàstudy fields other than ministry
    2. Women weren’t allowed higher education
      1. Exception-convents in Canada/Louisiana-study there
    3. Enlightenment
      1. European thinkers began to analyze nature to determine laws that govern the universe
      2. Philosophers emphasized acquiring knowledge through reason

1)     John Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690)

a)     All knowledge comes from observations

  1. Supplied pple w/vocab & unified view of the world
  2. American naturalists-John & William Bartram supplied European scientists w/info on New World plants, animalsàuniversal classification system
  3. Locke’s Two Treaties of Govt (1691)-challenged previous concepts of political order

1)     Govt created by men

2)     If ruler broke contract w/pple he could be ousted from power

  1. What is meant by oral cultures?
    1. Literacy was not common
      1. Many didn’t’ know how to read or write
    2. Africans denied the right-some Indians were taught literacy
    3. North America was a oral & communal
    4. How did religious rituals reflect social status?
      1. Everyone attended church
      2. Congregational (puritan) churches-seating was assigned by church leaders to reflect social standing
        1. Sex segregation also arranged in ranks
    5. Wealthy pple owned own pews
      1. Kids, servants & poor sat in sex-segregated area
    6. Anglican parishes conformed to local status hierarchy
    7. Quebec-Catholic feast days were celebrated by formal procession of men into the parish church
    8. Quakeràused an egalitarian but sex-segregated seating
      1. Rituals-symbolize pple’s place in society & values of local community
      2. What were the civic (public) rituals of colonial North America?
        1. New England
          1. Govt proclaimed official days of thanksgiving & days of fasting & prayer
          2. Monthly militia musters (training days)-all men b/w 16-60 were together in it
    9. Chesapeake
      1. Occurred on court & election days
      2. When county court was in sessionàmen came

1)     Attendance was a method of civic education

  1. Election-freeholder voted in public
  2. Public punishment of criminals served to humiliate the offender & to remind the community of proper standards of behavior
  3. What were the new rituals that centered on consumption?
    1. Rituals began w/buying desirable items
      1. Specialized shops selling nonessentials emerged
      2. 1770-Boston had 500 stores which offered consumers selections-choices
      3. “Leisure time” to “go shopping”
      4. Tea drinkingàfocal point for socializing & b/c of cost it was a marker of status-seen as healthful

1)     Mohawk Indians adopted the custom

  1. Who did the intercultural rituals occur with and when did they happen?
    1. Took place b/w Indians & Europeans
    2. Cultural encounter through trade or warfare
      1. Trade=system of exchange of gifts
      2. Ritual developed-Europeans give gifts then would be reciprocated

1)     Rum became crucial-believe drunken Indians would sell cheaper

  1. Murders
    1. European-identify murdered & punish them
    2. Indian-“eye for an eye”
    3. Compensation
    4. French/Algonkians develop ritual for handing murders that encompass both cultures-investigated, identified

V.  What were the colonial families like?

Colonial families constituted the basic units of colonial society.  There were mixed race families in which an Indian woman & an Anglo-American man had sexual relations resulting in offspring known as mestizos.  There was a high mortality rate in Indian society.  Indian kin took on child-rearing responsibilities if parents died.  Heads of European families managed finances & legal authority.  Families supported themselves through crops and livestock.  African-American families formed strong family ties and looked after one another.

  1. What were the Indian and mixed-race families lives like?
    1. Warfare, horses, and disease reduced size of Indians
    2. Indian family forms were reshaped by European secular & religious authority
      1. No more easy divorce
      2. One wife “legitimate” others “concubines”
    3. High mortality rate
    4. Husbands & wives worked separately for Anglo-Americans-did not live together (Algonkians in New England)
    5. New Mexico-Navajos, Pueblos, Apaches were servants-known collectively as genizaros
    6. Mixed-race families
      1. When few European women-the men had sexual liaisons with the Indian women
      2. Called mestizos

1)     Kids became prominent leaders of Indian societies-in New France & English back country

2)     Spanish Borderlands-treated horrible-“illegitimate”

  1. How did European-American families support themselves?
    1. Headed by men/widows & worked together to produce goods for consumption or sale
      1. Head represented it to world by managing finances & holding legal authority over rest of family
      2. Most families were nuclear
    2. Supported themselves through agricultures by cultivating crops & raising livestock
    3. Household tasks were allocated by sex
      1. Mistress responsible for “indoor affairs”

1)     Prepared food, cleaned, laundry, made clothing

  1. Men-“outdoor affairs”

1)     Plant, cultivate, build fences, chop wood, harvest & market crops, butcher

  1. In what ways, did the African American families provide a key to resistance?
    1. Few skilled slaves-most worked in the fields
    2. All colonies legally permitted slavery
      1. Some slaves from S Carolina & Georgia reached Spanish Floridaàest free community-Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose (St. Augustine)
    3. Slaves set up strong family structures that protested excessive punishment of relatives & asked to live in same quarters
      1. Relatives helped w/child rearing
    4. Small measure of autonomy
      1. Cling to faith & religion
      2. Could accumulate personal property
      3. Could keep small part of their wages
      4. How was life in the cities different from life in the country?
        1. City dwellers, purchased food, wood and cloth in shops and market-didn’t produce items themselves
        2. Contact w/outside world
          1. Newspapers-available everywhere
          2. Sailors brought diseases to port

VI.  How were politics and religion intertwined with the stability and crisis in British America?

In the 18th century, Anglo-American politics reached some stability.  Most pple were born in America.  Men from wealthy families dominated the political scene.  Assemblies were seen as the pple’s protectors and their representatives.  The governors & councils were to be feared rather than trusted.  Stono Rebellion and the NY conspiracy were the first of crises that occurred.  They exposed and confirmed fears about the dangers of slaveholding.  The Great Awakening questioned habitual modes of behavior in secular & religious world.

  1. What did the rise of assemblies affect?
    1. Assemblies began to claim rights associated w/British House of Commons
      1. Right to tax legislation & to control militia
    2. Influence British appointees
    3. NY-1st steps of modern democracy
      1. Began to appeal to the pple
      2. 1733-editor John Zenger was imprisoned for criticizing the election actions

1)     Lawyer helped to est a free-press principle

  1. Assemblymen saw themselves as acting defensively prevent violations of pple’s rights
  2. American viewed governors & appointed councils as potential threats to colonial freedoms & ways of life
    1. Were reps of England-not America
    2. Assemblies were pple’s protectors
    3. Assemblies were controlled by dominant families-rarely responded to their poorer countrymen
      1. Protected the rich & themselves
    4. Mid-century-the stable political structures struck crises
      1. Exposed internal tensions
      2. What was Stono rebellion & when did it take place?
        1. S Carolina-1739-1st crisis
          1. 20 slaves gathered near Stono River & seized guns
          2. Had hope of finding refuge at Gracia
          3. Militia attacked the fugitives-killed most-others later executed
    5. Laws governing behavior of blacks were stiffened
    6. Reign of terror in 1741 in NY
      1. Conspirators want to foment a slave uprising
    7. Rebellions exposed assemblies inability to prevent internal disorder
    8. Why were there land riots in NJ and NY?
      1. Conflicts over land titles & conditions of landholding grew as colonists compete for control of farmable land
      2. 1746-NJ
        1. NJ farms & East Jersey proprietors clashed

1)     Proprietors claimed it was their land & wanted quitrents (annual payments) for its use

  1. Hudson River 1765-1766
    1. Govenor Ben Fletcher of NY gave lower Hudson valley to prominent colonial families

1)     Land turned into farms rented to Dutch & Germans

  1. Mid-1760s Philipse family suit against New Englanders who lived on their land for 30 yrs
    1. Farmers organized rebellion, terrorized proprietors, freed friend form jail
    2. Put down by British troops from NYC
    3. What were the regulators in the Carolinas?
      1. Regulator movements of 1760s-70s pitted backcountry farmers vs rich eastern planters who controlled the provincial govts
        1. Frontier dwellers protested lack of voice in colonial politics
        2. Grievance of heavy taxation
        3. What was the First Great Awakening?
          1. Wave of religious revivalism
          2. Economic & political uncertainty made colonists receptive to the spiritual certainty offered by evangelical religion
          3. Northampton Congregational Church-Rev Jon Edwards
            1. Individuals attain salvation only through recognition of own depraved natures & need to surrender to God’s will
            2. Who was George Whitefield?
              1. Conversions remained isolated until 1739
                1. Whitefield toured colonies preaching & concentrated in major cities

1)     Skilled orator, self-promotion, manipulative

  1. Revived religion ran against clergymen’s approach to doctrine & faith-disliked emotional style
  2. “Old Lights”-traditional clerics clashed with “New Light” evangelicals
  3. What was the impact of the Awakening?
    1. Impact on American modes of thought
    2. Emphasis on emotion rather than learning undermined the validity of received wisdom
      1. New Lights questioned religious, social, political orthodoxy
      2. Who were the Virginia Baptists?
        1. Plantation gentry dominated society
        2. 1760s-Baptists foothold in Virgnina
          1. Rejected sinful horseracing, gambling, dancing
          2. Dressed plainly
          3. Addressed as brother or sister-regardless of status
    3. Congregations included both whites & blacks
    4. Church rules applied equally to everyone
      1. Interracial sex, divorce, adultery were forbidden
      2. Masters not allowed to break up slave marriages through sale
      3. Excommunicated slaves from stealing from masters 7 masters were excommunicated if phys abused slaves
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