Growth of English Colonies – U.S.A. History

1. Introduction

In 1600 more than a century after the first voyage of Columbus, the indians of eastern North America still knew little of Europeans. They lived undisturbed by the Spaniards in Florida, the scattered French traders in Canada, and the occasional European fishermen who visited the North Atlantic Coast during the warmer season. A century later, the indians had retreated from most of the Atlantic coastal area.

At first the Spanish and the French seemed to pose the greatest threats to these indian tribes. The Spanish controlled large parts of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico and the West Indies. The French explored the area around the Great Lakes and established trading posts deep within the interior. The English had no foothold in America. John Cabot’s voyage of discovery in 1497 gave them a claim to part of the New World, but their few fable attempts at Colonization after that failed. By about 1600, however, the English were ready to expand. Victory over the Spanish Armada in 1588, followed by a peace treaty with Spain in 1604, freed aggressive English merchants to undertake new Commercial ventures. A few trading companies decided to establish colonies as a way of making money. Unemployment and religious persecution provided incentives for potential settlers to uproot themselves from accustomed ways. As a result, emigrants by ten of thousands sailed from England, Scotland, and Ireland. By 1700, more than 200,000 persons dwelt in twenty English colonics in the New World. Two of these colonies, Massachusettes and Virginia, had more than 50,000 inhabitants each.

In England, many landowners were making their farms into sheep pastures, because more money could be made from wool than from grain. The farm tenants were forced from the land, and many roamed around in gangs begging and stealing.

Subscribe to Blog via Email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

While most people were poor and in many cases growing poorer, the wool growers, dealers and manufacturers prospered. Great merchants exported woolen and other goods to foreign nations. Some of the merchants formed companies to share the expenses, risks and profits in large trading ventures. Often the company shareholders made fantastic profits from a single voyage.

The merchants adopted a theory of trade that eventually came to be known as “mercantilism”. They claimed that a country was strongest and most prosperous when exports were greater in value than imports. According to this theory, the government should encourage sales to foreign nations and discourage purchases from them. The idea of starting colonies in North America fitted well into the mercantilist theory.

Colonies would become places to send the poor and the unemployed, to sell manufactured goods, and to get raw materials that would otherwise have to be bought from foreign lands. The colonial trade would increase business for shipowners and raise tax money for the government.

Colonies would also be places of refuge for religious and political minorities. Not all the English people were satisfied with the established Church, the Church of England. Roman Catholics objected to it, as did many Protestants. The Puritans wished to simplify the services to purify them by making them less like the Catholic. The Quakers and other groups wanted complete independence of worship. According to the laws, however, everyone was required to follow the practices of the established church and to pay taxes to support it.

During the seventeenth century, there was a continual struggle between the Parliament and the monarch. Under James I the government persecuted the Puritans and other Protestant dissenters. These groups got control of Parliament and in the 1640s fought a civil war, executed Charles I, and set up a dictatorship under Oliver Cromwell. In 1660, the monarchy was restored, with Charles II on the throne. Finally, in the Glorious Revolution (1688-1689), Parliament deposed James II, who had become a Roman Catholic. Parliament then brought in James’s daughter Mary and her husband William, both Protestants, as rulers.

During this troubled period, first one group and then another looked to North America as a place to find safety. At the same time, the people in power looked to North America for lands with which to reward their friends and followers. Thus religious, political and economic conditions in England promoted an interest in colonies in the New World.

2. The Problem of Survival

English colonists in the New World faced two immediate problems. First, they had to feed and house themselves until they could grow crops and build permanent dwellings. Second, they had to get along peacefully with the indians while persuading them to sell or give away their claims to land. If persuasion failed, war usually followed. Neither problem was easy to solve.

Most of the promoters who organized expeditions knew very little about the American environment, and what they thought they knew often proved to be inaccurate. Their ships were small and sailed slowly. Into these vessels promoters crowded food and water for the voyage, the ship’s crew, the settlers, all the equipment for the new colony, including any animals the colonists wanted to bring along, and supplies to sustain the colonists until crops ripened. Epidemics swept through ships, and colonists sometimes starved once ashore. Then there were the indians. When the settlers and the indians came in contact, it was not altogether certain what social processes would result. The two groups might begin to “amalgamate” by inter-marrying. Or they might “assimilate”; one group might adopt the culture of the other, or each group might take in some of the other’s ways of life. They might also “accommodate to each other’s presence, by living separate lives in separate cultures. Or one group might expel or “exterminate” the other. When the settlers landed, no one knew which one or combination of these four possibilities was most likely to occur.

In December 1606, the London company, a group of wealthy merchants and other influential men, sent off an expedition in three small ships to establish a settlement on or near the Chesapeake Bay. Onboard were about a hundred men and four boys destined to remain in America. They had agreed to work for seven years for the company to try to locate valuable minerals to seek a route to the south Seas (Pacific Ocean) which were thought to be near Virginia, and to find the best places to settle. The Company gave command of the expedition to a council which elected one of its members, Edward Wingfield president.

3. Legal Nature of New lands

According to English law, the monarch was the owner and ruler of all new lands that English people discovered or settled, the Government did not, however, start colonizing projects. These were left to individuals, partnerships, or companies. The promoters of colonies generally had patriotic or religious goals as well as profits in mind. They expected to sell or rent land to settlers and engage in colonial trade. First, they had to get from the monarch a grant of land and a charter allowing them to start a colony and govern the colonists. Next, the promoters had to bring together ships, supplies, and people and send them to North America. This was an expensive business. There was a good deal of quarreling and confusion about the promotion of colonies. Kings and queens awarded land grants and colonial charters one after another. Sometimes the boundaries overlapped, and sometimes the people receiving the land gave parts of it to others. Sometimes charters, after having been awarded, were changed or revoked. Nevertheless, companies and “proprietors” either individual or groups, established lasting colonies. Grants made to two groups of merchants led to the beginnings of Virginia and Massachusetts. Grants to various proprietors resulted in the founding of Maryland, the Carolinas, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. Settlers moving out from Massachusetts formed Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, all of which eventually managed to separate charters. A group of trustees acting in the name of a charity set up the last of the mainland colonies, Georgia.

In the period from 1607 to 1633, thirteen English colonies were set up on the North American continent. (Still, others appeared on islands in and near the Caribbean Sea). The promoters did not make the money they had hoped, and colonization proved more or less failure as a business enterprise. Still, it was a success in the making of new colonies.

4. Governance of a New Colony

In the early summer of 1630, twenty-three years after the founding of Jamestown, an expedition of nearly a thousand men, women and children landed in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Bay Colony soon became the largest English settlement on the American mainland. Within ten years, it contained fourteen thousand persons, nearly twice as many as Virginia.

Unlike the founders of Jamestown, the founders of Massachusetts Bay planned carefully to settle and supply their colony. Competent and experienced leaders such as John Winthrop, who had been a lawyer, a landowner, and a justice of the peace in England, helped direct the colony. The Indians threatened the Massachusetts settlers less than they had the Virginia colonists because the Indian population in eastern Massachusetts had been diminished by an outbreak of smallpox. A strong sense of, purpose, lacking among the original settlers at Jamestown, inspired the Puritans, who organized and led the Massachusetts colony. They left England in large numbers in order to establish the kinds of churches they wanted and to make new homes for themselves. Their vision of building a “Holy Commonwealth” in America helped them overcome great difficulties in the early years.

When the Puritans arrived in Massachusetts in 1630, the Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Company, the trading Company that planned the expedition provided the only formal government for the colony. A dozen or so men, who had invested much of the money needed to finance the venture, held all power to make decisions for the company. A small group could run a commercial company very well, but could it direct effectively the affairs of hundreds and thousands of people who quickly scattered over a wide area as they cleared land for farms and built towns?

5. The New Societies

By the end of the seventeenth century, the English colonies in the New World flourished. The settlers now far out-numbered the combined French and Spanish population of the continent. They had developed agriculture, fishing, and trade of great value to themselves and to the mother country.

Successful growth brought perplexing problems. In New England, the expansion of commerce encouraged merchants to amass wealth. Some of the sailors, dock workers, and drifters attracted by the busy waterfront disrupted the orderly life of the growing towns. Religious leaders warned that material success threatened the simplicity and religious dedication of the Puritan colonies. The fact that fewer and fewer of the children and grandchildren of the original settlers joined churches showed that Puritans were losing their spiritual Unity. As merchants grew rich and began to imitate the ways of English gentlemen, they began to compete with the clergy for the top rung of the status ladder.

In Maryland, Virginia, and the Carolinas, tobacco cultivation on a large scale began to make a few men rich and many quite prosperous. The demand for workers to toil for long hours in the hot tobacco fields brought thousands of men and women into the South as indentured servants. An indentured servant had to work for a master for several years in exchange for passage to the colònies. Some signed their indentures, or contracts, voluntarily; others were sent to the colonies as punishment for crimes or debt. In either case, when the indenture was up, they joined the ranks of free farmers and often took servants of their own.

When the supply of these servants ran short, however plantation owners turned to a new source of labour West Africa. These Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch and English traders brought prisoners taken in tribal wars or raids and shipped them to the New World as labourers. In the early seventeenth century, the English colonists treated some of these African workers as indentured servants freeing them after a number of years. But eventually, the desire for a permanent, stable labour supply — more profitable than the use of indentured servants — together with prejudice against black newcomers worked to place all the arriving Africans and their descendants in permanent slavery. Out of all these groups — new immigrants, Americans born on this continent, indentured servants, and slaves a new social structure emerged. Because North and South were different in so many ways, the societies that developed in the two areas took different shapes. Neither duplicated the social structure of the mother country exactly.

6. Growth and Change in England’s Colonies

During the seventeenth century, English settlers spread out over a widening strip of the Atlantic coast of North America. By 1700 the English-controlled area held the fastest-growing and strongest European Colonies in the New World wherein the settlers struggled to survive, created new governments, and dealt with social changes. These efforts, together with military and commercial achievements, contributed to the growth and strength of English America.

In the early seventeenth century, England, France and the Netherlands challenged Spain’s leadership in the race to dominate the New World.

In 1608, the year after Jamestown was settled, Samuel de Champlain established a French trading post at Quebec. Between 1610 and 1613, French traders and missionaries founded outposts in the region they called Acadia (the coasts of present-day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Maine). A party of Englishmen from Virginia raided and burnt down the Acadian villages in 1613 – a grim beginning to a century and a half of French — English Conflict over the northern coasts of North America. The. French had little difficulty in gaining Control over the St. Lawrence Valley and the area north of the Great Lakes.

The Dutch operated further South. Their West India Company sent out parties in 1622 which established trading posts on the site of Albany New York and on the Delaware River South of Philadelphia. In 1626, the company founded New Amsterdam later to become New York city When the Swedes, in 1638, opened rival trading posts on the Delaware River, the Dutch protested and eventually captured by Swedish settlements. Yet New Netherlands remained small, solitary, and weak, and fell into English hands as the result of English-Dutch war in the
1660’s.

International Conflicts broke out in the islands of the West Indies. The English occupied some of the islands, including Bermuda, and ousted the Spanish from jamaica in 1655. The French, Dutch and Danes took over other islands. Spain retained the rich islands of Hispaniola (Haiti and Santo Domingo) and Cuba. She expanded her settlements in Florida and what is now the American southwest.

The English success in obtaining so much of North America depended partly on seapower. In the seventeenth century, England’s navy and merchant marine (including colonial men and ships) became the world’s most powerful. English ships usually dominated the Atlantic, protected settlements, and made expansion possible. Manpower and geographical position also held to make the English colonies strong and secure. Their inhabitants — thousands of English and a scattering of Irish, Scots, Dutch, Germans, Africans, Spanish and Portuguese jews, and French Protestants, made up the largest source of military manpower in the New World. Once these settlers took control of the country inland from the coast, they could not be dislodged unless an enemy could muster greater strength. Only the Indians could occasionally do this.

The early arrivals from England were impressed by the almost unbroken forest they found in North America. With the animals and birds it sheltered, this forest furnished plenty of food, fuel, and building material. The English colonist often tried to bury the land they wanted from the indian tribes. Since their ideas of land ownership differed, the Indians and the English did not really agree on the terms. Many of the Indians signed treaties thinking they would still be able to use the land that they had sold to the colonists. When the colonists tried to force the Indians off the newly purchased hand, the war resulted. During the colonial period, there was continual war between one tribe or another and the colonists. The Europeans had better weapons than the Indians, and they usually won the battles. Also, the tribes rarely united to fight the colonists, for many of them were traditional enemies. Slowly, as tribes were defeated and as more colonists arrived from Europe and Africa, the colonial population moved inland.

7. Strata of Colonies

Distinctness of regions and differences in physical environment assisted in the formation of three classifications of states. Differences in the physical environment from north to south contributed to the development of three fairly distinct regions, each with it own form of economic life.

  1. In New England, the farms were small and fairly self-sufficient. Ship-building, fishing, and shipping became important industries.
  2. In the middle or “bread” colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware), farms were larger and more productive. Much grain Flour, and meat were sold to other colonies and to overseas markets.
  3. In the South, there were large plantations, as well as modest-sized farms, where tobacco, rice and indigo were produced for export.

8. Colonial population growth

In order to meet the growing need of the workers, there were thousands of eager persons in the old World, to get a new start in life in the colonies. It gave rise to a system of “indentured” servitude. Men and women signed contracts, called indentures, to work as servants for a period of four to seven years. The contracts were sold to land holders who needed workers, and thus money was provided to pay for the ocean passage.

The Landholder had to care for the servants during their terms of service. Al the end of their terms they were free, and if they could make enough money, they 100 might obtain land and servants. Most indentured servants went to the middle colonies. At first’ many also went to the South. In 1619, however, a Dutch ship docked at Jamestown and left twenty negroes there. For a time these and other blacks who were brought in were held in temporary servitude like white servants, but gradually more and more Negrocs began to be kept as permanent slaves.

Indentured servants continued to arrive in the colonies, some even after the Revolutionary War, but after 1700, slaves rapidly replaced indentured servants on the tobacco plantations. In the rice fields of South Carolina and Georgia, Negro slavery was the rule from the start. In New England and the middle colonies, some black slaves were used as household servants or as farmhands, but they were much less numerous than in the South.

During the eighteenth century, many colonists came from France, Germany, and Ireland. Those from France were chiefly Huguenots, Protestants who had been denied freedom of worship at home. Those from Germany were Catholics and Protestants who had suffered from French invasions of their nation. Those from Ireland were Presbyterians whose ancestors had come from Scotland. When they disagreed with economic and religious policies, these so-called Scotch-Irish began to leave Ireland by the thousands.

The colonial population grew fast, partly because of heavy immigration and partly because of a high birth rate. By 1775, the total population was more than three million. Better than 60 percent of the people were either immigrants or descendants of immigrants from England and Wales. There were more than 500,000 Africans in the colonies, 90 percent of them slaves. The rest of the people came from various European nations.

9. Original 13 British Colonies

British possessions in North America in 1763, stood as per the description of the establishment of American Colonies.

1. Virginia

First settlement on 1607 at Jameson its type or status being Corporate in 1606 and royal in 1624 and 1775; its founder proprietor being “London Company”; the reasons for settlement had been trade, Profit, gold besides conversion of Indians.

2. New Hampshire

The first settlement at Rye in 1623; its type or status was proprietary in 1622 and royal in 1679. The founders or. proprietor of New Hampshire and Maine had been John Mason and Ferdinando Gorges, and annexed by Massachuscties in 1641-1820; its reasons of settlement had been the escape of religious persecution in Massachusetts.

3. Massachusetts

First settlement at Plymouth in 1620; its status or type was corporate in 1629 and royal in 1691; the founders were the Pilgrims in 1620; the reasons of its settlement had been religious freedom for separatists or puritans besides economic opportunity. To be more definite and clear the founders of Plymouth were the Pilgrims, and Puritans (Winthrop) of Massachusetts.

4. Maryland

First settlement was made at St. Mary’s in 1634 and founded by George Calvert and Lord Baltimore; its status or type had been proprietary in 1632, then royal in 1691 and again proprietary in 1715. The reasons for settlement were “trade and profits, and refuge for Catholics.

5. Rhode island

The first settlement was made at Providence in 1636 -1644 and its founders were Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson; its status or type was corporate in 1644 and self-governing in 1775; among the reasons for settlement had been the achievement of complete religious freedom.

6. Connecticut

The first settlement was raised at “House of Hope” in 1633 and its founders were Thomas Hooker as well as the Massachusetts colonists; its status and type were Corporate or self-governing; the reasons for settlement were “Escape religious persecution as well as economic opportunity.

7. North Carolina

The first settlement was raised at Albemarle in 1650 or 1653 and the site is also named as Alenarle Bound; its founders were the Virginians, its status or type of colony was proprietary in 1663 and royal in 1729 and was separated from South Carolina in 1629. The reasons for its settlement are stated to be trade and profit.

8. South Carolina

The first settlement was raised-at Albemarle Bound in 1670 and there were eight proprietors; the type and status of this colony was proprietary in 1663 and royal in 1729; the reassons for its settlement were trade and profit.

9. Delaware

First settlement raised at Fort Christina in 1638; the type of colony was proprietary since 1664; its founders were Swedish; and the reasons for its settlement were trade and profit.

10. New Jersey

First settlement raised at Fore Nassau in 1623; its type or status of colony was proprietary in 1664 and royal in 1702; its founders were George Carteret and john Berkeley; the reasons of its settlement had been the trade and profit.

11. New York

The first settlement raised at Fort Orange or Fort Amsterdam in 1624; its type or status of colony proprietary in 1664 and royal in 1685; formerly New York was called New Netherland and its founders were the Dutch who first named it New Netherland in 1624 and Duke of York who named it New York in 1664; the reasons of its settlement were the trade and profit.

12. Pennsylvania

The first settlement was raised at Gothenberg at 1643 and its founder was William Penn; its type or status of the colony was proprietary in 1681, royal in 1629 and corporate in 1694; the reasons for settlement were religious freedom for Quakers and economic prosperity.

13. Georgia

The first settlement was raised at Savannah in 1733 and its type or status was proprietary in 1732 and royal in 1763; its founder was james Oglethorpe and the reasons for its settlement had been the refuge for debtors, economic opportunity as well as buff state against Spain.

10. Self – Government in the colonies

Settlers in the English colonies lived under governments that were remarkable for the amount of power and participation which the inhabitants enjoyed. This near independence from the mother country came partly from the failure of the English government to exercise much control over colonization.

Trading companies found three of the early English Colonies in North Americas — Virginia, Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay. The Virginia Company of London suffered heavy losses, as seen in George Percy’s account of the Jamestown settlement. In 1619, the company gave the colony more political responsibility, when its ordered that a representative assembly be created. The assembly, known as the House of Burgesses, was the first of many legislative bodies in the colonies.

In 1624, Virginia became a royal colony and something of a model for later royal colonies. The king appointed the governor who named a council to advise him. Governors almost always picked the wealthiest and most influential planters to serve on the council, which became, in effect, an upper house of the legislature. But money to run the government. came from the taxes voted by the Burgesses, who could influence the governor’s action by threatening to withhold his salary and expenses or by voting him a bonus for his personal use. A pattern of uneasy Cooperation and frequent conflict resulted. Often squabbles between the governor and legislators ended with the governor dismissing the legislators (as he had the right to do) and maintaining his position out of his own pocket and such other funds as he could scrape up. This pattern became common in all the royal counties.

Governments with even greater independence grew in New England. The Pilgrims had been attracted to the New World by an offer from the Virginia company to give them local self-government. In turn, the merchants who owned the company hoped to profit from their labor. However, because of stormy weather, the Pilgrims landed not in Virginia, but in New England, where they had been given neither the right to settle nor the right to establish a government. So they took matters into their own hands. Before they landed, the adult males signed the Mayflower Compact, an agreement which set up a “civil body politic” and pledged the signers to frame and obey “just and equal laws”. The simple government the Pilgrims soon set up, consisted of no more than a governor and an assistant. Later, as Plymouth grew to include several towns, the colonists created a representative assembly. They remained virtually independent of English control in local matters until 1691, when England ordered Plymouth combined with the colony of Massachusetts Bay.

The people who came to Massachusetts Bay in 1630 also came under the authority of a private company, controlled by the Puritans. They had a royal charter which gave them authority over most of Massachusetts But instead of leaving the charter and the company. headquarters in England, as had the Virginia and Plymouth colonists, the Puritans took the charter to Massachusetts and used it as a constitution for local government there. These Puritans still considered themselves Englishmen, loyal to the king, but they were well content that England was far away and exercised little control over them. When they suspected in 1634 that the king intended to take away their charter and install his own governor, they fortified Boston harbor against a possible royal invasion. During the English Civil wars (1642-1646,1648), Massachusetts Bay and the other American Colonies became even more independent.

When Charles 11 recovered the throne in 1660, however, royal officials, set about recovering their authority over the colonies. The English Government revoked the Massachusetts charter in 1684 and created a Dominion of New England to govern all the colonies north of Pensylvania. The English Revolution of 1688 touched off successful uprisings in the colonies against the royal governors and brought an end to the unwieldy Dominion of New England. But the new ruler of England, William the Orange and his wife Mary Stuart, agreed that England should have more power over the colonies. What was more important, so did parliament, which, from then on, was the main seat of power in England. A new Charter, in 1691, made Massachusetts Bay a royal province, and the king named the governor.

To obtain a royal grant of land, however, a man had to be a wealthy or influential person who happened to be in the king’s favour. While these “Proprietors” as they were called, often wanted to establish semifeudal governments and systems of landholding, in every case they ended up granting the settler representative assemblies and giving them more control over the land they occupied. It was easier to attract settlers who knew they could influence the setting of the rate of taxation on their own property. Moreover, by the late seventeenth century, English settlers had begun to take representative government for granted. Eventually, however, many of the proprietary rights returned to the king.

Connecticut and Rhode Island had been established by migrants from Massachusetts Bay. They were the only two English Colonies that retained the virtual independence they had gained before 1660. Both elected their own governors throughout the colonial era, with the exception of the three years under the Dominion of New England. One reason for the English government’s liberal attitude toward them was its desire to limit the expansion of the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

A man living in one of the English colonies in America in the late 1600s had more chance of taking part in its political life, as a voter or officeholder than a man anywhere else in the world. This did not mean that the colonies were “democratic “in the sense that every adult could vote; women, servants, slaves, and most men with either or no property could not vote. It did mean as we have seen in the case of Massachusetts, that the wealthier men, who ran the colonial governments, had to keep in mind the interests of the electorate.

In the English colonies, political dissent flourished on a moderate scale. Discontent, however, seldom led to actual rebellion. Episodes such as Bacon’s Rebellion in Virginia in 1676, in which planters who wanted to repress the Indians, found themselves in revolt against a governor who refused to let them make war, or Leisler’s Rebellion in New York, which was linked to the English Revolution of 1688, were infrequent.

The colonies’ political contacts beyond their borders were nearly always with London rather than with each other. Since the colonies were independent of each other they found it hard to cooperate. In 1643 Massachusetts Bay, Plymoth, Connecticut and New Haven formed the New England Confederation to coordinate their policies toward the Dutch the indians, and the rival parties in revolutionary England. Massachusetts Bay, much the largest of the four, was suspected with some reason, by its neighbours of wanting to dominate the policy of the confederation. Consequently, the alliance served as little more than a discussion group until its end in 1673.

11. Social and Intellectual Life

  1. It is an interesting account to study the bonds of society that was in an embryonic state. Immigration and the American environment brought certain changes in the kind of life European people lived in the colonies. I. Most of the social and intellectual habits of the colonists came from England. From England came the language, the system of weights and measures, and the money calculations in pounds, shillings, and pence. With the language came folklore, literary and scientific knowledge and ideas of education and law. Most colonists read the King James version of the Bible, that first published in 1611. Their religious ideas came largely, but not entirely, from English interpretations of the Christian faith. The colonists also brought from England their ideas of the proper relation of person to person in society. Few people believed in complete social equality. Most of them took for granted distinct social classes with an upper class of landholding gentry and a tilted aristocracy of nobility at the top. In the colonics, however, social classes developed along somewhat different lines than in
    England.
  2. In England and rest of Europe, wealth and hereditary titles have created vast differences between the upper classes and the common people. The upper classes in Europe did not have to labour with their hands, but in America gentlemen often had to work hard to gei a successful start or to survive. The availability of land – free or at low prices — enabled relatively poor families to own farms and improve their position. At the same time, wealthy men found it harder to keep labourers or tenants working on huge estates than they did in Europe. Independent farming reduced sharply the social distance between the lower and upper classes and promoted social mobility.
  3. The shortage of labour, which lasted through the colonial era, and the cheapness of land benefited one group particularly. Because it was so hard to earn a living in England, many servants renewed their agreements which legally obliged them to obey their masters. Now they had an alternative; thousands of them perhaps a majority of people who came to the Southern and middle colonies — came as indentured servants and chose freedom. Periods of service for adults lasted usually from four to seven years, or for children until they lI became twenty-one. But masters competing for servants reduced the length of service. Because ex-servants could acquire land easily, they were reluctant to sign up for another term, even when offered increased privileges and rewards.
  4. Social mobility was, however, largely limited to Europeans. The same condition shortage of labor – that offered the opportunity to European laborers, denied the opportunity to Negroes once the lifetime and hereditary slavery laws, such as those passed in Virginia, were enacted. The profit of farming especially in the south with its longer a growing season were greater with rigid lifetime slavery for Africans and their children saw like a necessary system for controlling “dangerous” black strangers. By the last years of the seventeenth century, slave traders brought thousands of Africans by force, under terrible conditions in crowded ships, to the plantations of Virginia, Maryland, and the number of indentured servants declined sharply in those colonies.
  5. Colonial society largely excluded the Indians, who were forced westward. Occasional pacts and agreements between them and the new settlers were usually broken by hostilities — sometimes provoked by one side, sometimes the other.

By the end of the seventeenth century, other changes were also slowing down the democratizing effects of life in America. The growth of commerce in cities like Boston, Philadelphia, or Charleston made the rich richer. A new elite group consisting of the wealthy and colonial officials grew up. Many royal officials were able men, but many of them – especially royal governors. thought of England as home, considered themselves members of the English aristocracy (as sometimes they were) and treated the colonies as places to make money out of their positions and to create a high toned social life for the colonial elite.

12. Social Distinctions

Though some aristocrats were promoters of colonies, few of them settled in North America as colonists. Some of the gentries became settlers, but the great majority of the European colonists were originally of the middle or lower classes. The African immigrants were originally of many classes for most of them had come as slaves after being taken prisoner in battle. In North America, those colonists who became great landholders or wealthy merchants formed a kind of aristocracy. Beneath them in the social order was a large middle class, much larger than that in England. It was made up of merchants, shopkeepers, craftsmen, and farm owners. Lower yet was a class that included indentured servants, other from laborers, and unskilled town workers. Though free blacks were found in the upper and middle classes, the majority of the blacks, who were slaves, were at the very bottom of the social order. The colonists were quite aware of belonging to one class or another. The differences were clearly marked by clothing and personal appearances. Farm people were plain homemade clothes and shoes, while the wealthy dressed in fancy clothes, buckle shoes, and powucru Wiss. and powdered wigs.

Nevertheless, except for the slaves, people in the colonies had more chances to improve their economic and social standing than did people in England or other European nations at that time. Social mobility movement up and down in society was characteristic of the colonies. A person who gained wealth was likely to be accepted as social equal by those who were already rich. His or her children and grandchildren tended to think of themselves as born aristocrats.

Women were more respected and had somewhat greater freedom in the colonies than in England. However, they had far less freedom than did colonial men. Single women were supposed to obey their fathers or brothers and married women their husband. Nor did women have the same chances as men to improve their social and economic standing. A woman’s place in society depended on that of her father or husband. Unless she was a widow a women usually could not own property or sign contracts. Divorces were rarely granted. Because it was believed that woman’s place was in the home. Women had few opportunities to work outside the family farm or business, except as servants, governess or scamstresses. A widow however, often carried on her husband’s work, and so there were female planters, merchants, printers and shipowners.

Children, whether free or slave, had definite places in society, depending on their ages and the family’s social standing. Relatively few spent much time in school. Some boys ‘were apprenticed to master craftsmen and in this way learned skilled trades. It was most important to be able to do the farm work well, and this was usually learned at parents side not in a classroom. The children might churn butter, pound grain, home the garden, feed the poultry and carry water or lunches to the field workers. At harvest time, like everyone else, they helped gather the crops.

Among the slaves, the greatest social distractions were based on jobs on skin color. The greatest prestige on large plantations was to be a house servant. Some supervised the work of other slaves, and many slaves were craftsmen. Light-skinned slaves were often given special treatment. They were more likely to be sent to school or to be trained as house servants than darker slaves. Most slave men worked in the field. Slave women worked in the fields most of the time and also did the housework and home manufacturers. They were used as wet nurses. Since slaves were regarded as property, they had no legal rights. They could not legally marry, and slaves families were often broken up by the sales of family members. Because slaves could not move upward in society, many chose to move “outward” by excepting, joining Indian tribes, or plotting rebellions.

12. Intellectual Trends

By the 1750s the language spoken in the thirteen colonies was becoming the “American dialect”. The people had added to and changed English, the mother tongue of most of the colonists. Words from many languages, such as “squash” from Indian tongue, “prairie” from French and “boss” from Dutch, were part of the dialect. New words, such as “snowplow “and “bull-frog”, had been formed by combining old ones. The language also retained a number of expressions such as “Catercorner” and “fall” (for autumn), that were going out of use in England.

Many English people thought the Americans were barbarians. Actually they took great pains to keep learning alive. Massachusetts in 1647 required each town to make sure that boys and girls were taught to read and write so that they might read the Bible. Every town of a hundred or more families was supposed to have a Latin grammar school (high school) for boys. In other colonies, many children learned to read and write in private or church schools or at home from tutors or parents. Slave children were rarely sent to school and few were thought to read and write. Some colonial schools set up separate classrooms for Indian children, but this was not typical.

Girls education consisted mainly of houses keeping, some reading and writing and needlework. Upper – class girls were trained to be charming, and so studied French, dancing, painting, and music. Further education for women was strictly opposed. It was thought to be against God’s will for women to study and dangerous for their health because their brains were supposedly weak.

13. Educational Institutions

By 1763, there were three thousand male college graduates in America. Six colonial colleges were opened: Harvard, William, and Mary, Yale, the College of New Jersey Princeton), King’s College (Columbia) and the College of Philadelphia (University of Pennsylvania). All but the last two had been founded primarily to train ministers.

Books and Magazines were mostly imported from England, but some books were published in the colonies, especially in and near Boston. Weekly newspapers appeared in all the colonies except New Jersey and Delaware, which were well enough supplied from New York City and Philadelphia. After 1750, several monthly magazines were printed in the colonies, though none had a very long career. Yearly allowance contained a variety of reading matter in addition to weather data. The most famous of these was “poor Richard’s Almanack”, published by Benjamin Franklin. It was full of popular sayings that stressed Purities virtues.

14. Religious Trends

The import of traditional and prevalent religions in North America assumed a new pattern. In each European nation there was a state church, usually Catholic or Protestant, and the people were required to follow its practices and contribute to its support, whether they agreed with it or not. In the colonies, by contrast, there were a number of religious groups, none of them completely dominant over the others. It is a confessed fact that the Church of England was the established church in several colonies, and the people had to pay taxes to support it. In fact, however, the Church of England kept its privileges position only in Virginia Maryland, and parts of a few other colonies. Even in those places other denominations eventually were allowed to worship as they pleased.

The Puritan or Congregational, Chaurch had been established in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and New Hampshire. In the early years, other religious groups were not allowed to set up churches of their own. By the end of the colonial period, however, their policy had been changed.

To visitors from Europe, the number of religious groups in the colonies seemed unbelievable. Actually this variety was not surprising, given the number of nationalities found in the colonies. Many of the religious groups got their start with members of state churches from the old country. The Anglicans, Congregationalists bastes, Quakers and Baptists represented the variety of belief among English Protestants. The Presbyterians were often from Scotland, the Lutherans and Moravians from Germany or the Scandinavian countries, and the Dutch Reformed from the Netherlands.

The great majority of the people were protestants, but there were some Catholics and Jews. Most of the Catholics were English, Irish, or German. Many of them settled in Maryland, which was founded by a Catholic proprietor, Lord Baltimore, to provide a haven for Catholics. The first Jews in the colonies had come from Spain and the Netherlands by way of Brazil. Most of them settled in New Amsterdam (later New York) and Rhode island, where the laws allowed them a certain measure of freedom to practise their beliefs. By 1720, the majority of the Jews were from 1720, the majority of the Jews were from Germany.

Many of the Protestants were Calvinists. Their beliefs were based on the teachings of John Calvin, a French theologian. He had taught that, from birth, each soul is predestined for either salvation or damnation. He had also insisted upon hard work and strict morality. Such Calvinists or Puritan attitudes dominated the lives of most New Englanders in the early days. As life gradually became easier, however, many Puritans and other Protestants began to take religion less and less seriously.

This trend was reversed by the Great Awakening, a series of revivals during the 1730s and 1740’s. The revivalists tried to turn people back to the strict Puritan faith of their ancestors. The Great Awakening spread throughout the colonies but as most effective in the backcountry of the South. On the whole, it failed to revive old-fashioned Calvinist doctrines, but it was important in spreading other denominations. Thousands became members of Baptist and “New Light Presbyterian churches. Long after the revivals ended, they were having some effect in encouraging denominationalism. In the Colonies, more than anywhere else at the time, there came to be a tolerant attitude toward religious differences. Tolerance seldom extended to Catholics and Jews, but more and more Protestants let each other worship as they pleased.

15. Commerce and Trade

In contrast to the weakness of political ties the commerce which sprang up during the 1600’s linked the colonies strongly with each other as well as with England. Ships laden with the products of farm and forest sailed from the colonies in increasing numbers for Europe, to return with the manufactured goods and the people so needed in America.

Before the Colonial period ended, Americans were making more than half of the manufactured goods they needed. However, they had to import heavy machinery, fine tools and fancy furniture and cloth from Britain. The colonists had to find ways to pay for these imports. Gold and silver coins were scarce, and Britain refused to let the colonies mini money. In their own dealings, the people often resorted to barter. They also made payments with beaver skins, warehouse certificates for tobacco in storage, or paper currency. None of these circulated as money outside the colonies. The colonists had to sell goods abroad in order to get foreign money or credit with which to pay for the imports they wanted.

In selling abroad, the colonists were limited by British law. They could send their tobacco, furs, timber, naval supplies and certain other listed items only to Britain. They could not, however, export any fish flour, wheat or meat to the British Isles or British West Indies, for these would compete with similar products from Britain. A large direct trade in the listed items arose between the colonists and Britain. To dispose of the other products, colonial merchants looked to other markets. In France, Dutch and Spanish islands of the Caribbean the products were exchanged for coins and for sugar, molasses, and other West Indian products. Some of this was taken to Britain and used, along with foreign money, to help pay for goods that the mainland colonies imported from Britain.

Another pattern of indirect of “triangular” trade developed with Southern Europe. Colonial ships with cargoes of fish and other products would go to Southern Europe. They exchanged their cargoes for wine and money, took these to Britain, and then returned home with British manufactured goods.

16. Products

Tobacco soon became the most valuable of colonial exports. By the 1620s the Virginians produced large quantities and sold it at good prices. During the century, tobacco dominated the colony economy to such an extent that it was used as a kind of money. Tobacco culture, on a large scale, soon spread north into Maryland, and later, on a smaller scale, South into the Carolinas.

Europeans eagerly purchased American furs timber and fish. The trading posts that dotted the North Atlantic coast from the late 1500’s attracted Indians with furs and skins to trade for implements ornaments, cloth and more dangerous goods — firearms and alcoholic drinks. As the settlers cleared the forests, fur-bearing animals dwindled in number, and the trading first moved inland, one jump ahead of the farmers. in England, where timber was becoming scarce because of the growth of population and manufactures, American oak, hickory, pine and other woods were especially welcome. European and Colonial fishermen pulled rich harvests from the shallow Atlantic waters off New England and Newfoundland. They often dried and salted their catches on the rocky shore to preserve them for the long voyage to Europe.

The settlers grew most of their own food and imported most of their manufactured goods from England. Most colonial manufactures, such as linen or wool cloth or simple wooden or iron tools, were used or sold near the places where they were made. Ship-builders, however, found it cheaper to build ships near a supply of good timber. American – built ships soon carried much of the transatlantic trade and also carried goods between England and other European countries.

Inter-colonial commerce grew more strongly than did trade with England, but it assumed increasing importance in the late 1600s as the seaport towns of Boston, Newport, New York, Philadelphia and Charleston demanded more supplies from the “back country to feed and clothe their growing populations. Where rich agricultural regions began to concentrate on a single staple crop, such as tobacco in Virginia or sugar in West India, other seagoing such as New England or Pennsylvania, with more diversified products, found a ready market for grain lumber, fish, cattle, or horses.

The Slave trade often took a triangular form. Colonial ships took rum and other supplies from New England to the Guinea coast of Africa. From Africa the ships transported slaves to the West Indies, and from there returned to the home ports with sugar, molasses on cash. The “middle passage”, from Africa to the West Indias was gruesome. Many of the captives, chained together and closely packed in the holds of the ships, died of disease and were thrown overboard. Still others fought their captors or committed suicides rather than become slaves. On some voyages, only a third of the captives survived the crossing. The survivors were fattened up and trained in the West Indies. Most of them stayed in the islands, but about 10 percent were shipped to the North American mainland, to be sold to tobacco and rice planters.

Until 1651, the colonists shipped their produce where they wanted and sold it as they wanted. Most of it went to England or stayed within the colonies themselves. But a growing share of the lucrative tobacco crop found its way to market in the Netherlands or elsewhere in Continental Europe. Beginning with laws of 1651 and 1660, and later extended by other laws, England required the colonies to ship their tobacco to England for sale or resale there. In turn England prohibited the growing of tobacco in the home country, thus prohibited the growing of tobacco in the home country, thus providing a protected market for the colonial planters. These regulations formed part of a general system of regulations called the Acts of Trade and Navigation. These were supposed to increase English (and colonial) commerce and shipping at the expense of other nations. Under the theory of mercantilism, a nation sought wealth, power self-sufficiency by having a favorable balance of trade.

17. A Nation of Farmers

In the colonies, at least 90 percent of the people made they’re living chiefly by farming. Some also depended on industries, and these, too, were closely related to the natural resources. Farming methods in both the colonics and Europe were crude. The farmers used a hoc, a pick, or a wooden plow drawn by oxen to break the ground. He or she sowed by hand, harvested with a sickle or scythe, and threshed grain by flailing it or having oxen trample it. colonial farmers gave less attention to fertilizing and conserving soil then did European farmers. In North America, land was generally rich and plentiful, but labour was scarce; thus it paid to economize on labour rather than on land. Despite their more careless methods, colonial farmers produced more than thcir European counterparts.

Methods & Technique of farming

  1. In New England the typical farm was so small a family could take care of it. The women grew vegetables, milked cows tended pegs and poultry, helped harvest and did most of the home manufacturing, such as weaving and candle-making. The men cared for orchards cattle and horses and tended the fields, growing hay, and corn. New Englanders were discouraged from growing wheat because of a plant disease, and they came to depend on the middle colonies for wheat.
  2. In the middle colonies, especially Pennsylvania, the typical farm was large and better tilled than in New England. It yielded Crops not only for homes use but also for export. Many Pennsylvanian Germans used the careful farming methods they had learned in Germany. With their large holdings, they needed all the labour they could get. The farm women and girls often toiled in the fields as well as doing their usual work. The farms also used indentured servants women as well as men.
  3. Regional crops: The leading export crop in Virginia, Maryland, the North Carolina was tobacco. Its cultivation quickly wore out the soil, and many growers acquired larger plantations in order to gain reserve supplies of fresh land. The labour was simple and repetitive, the kind that slaves gangs could easily be forced to do.

In South Carolina and Georgia, it was profitable to use slaves. Part of the year they waded in flooded fields along the river bottoms to cultivate rice. In other seasons they tended indigo plants and helped make blue indigo dye.

  1. On farms and plantations, everywhere there was a good deal of manufacturing. Families made their own yarn, cloth, clothes, shoes, candles, and soap as well as bread, butter, cheese and their foodstuff. Some farmers operated sawmills and many fished.
  2. Lumbering ‘fishing’ four tradings ‘iron making and shipbuilding developed into large and specialized industries ‘especially on the middle colonies and New England. These industrics often employed many workers.
  3. In the cities such skilled craftsmen as cobblers carpenter’s candlemaker’s weavers tailors wheelwrights tinsmiths and blacksmiths appeared. Much craftsmen were much like the owners of small businesses. They worked but they also hired journeymen and apprentices to help them. These employees hoped to become master craftsmen with shops of their own.

18. Political Constitutional Legal Aspects

As per the British constitution its government both constitutional and representative. Its constitution was made up of unwritten customs and written document that limited the powers of the monarch and guaranteed certain rights to the people-It was representative as its parliament consist of the House of Holds and the House of Commons. The House of Holds included titled nobles and certain church officials, The Hous of commons was an elective body chosen by the relatively few men who were allowed to vote. Together the two houses were supposed to represent the interests of the nation and the empire Since 1720 ‘parliamentary leaders formed a cabinet with a prime minister at the head. The prime minister rather than the king or queen began to act as the real head of the British government.

As far as colonies are concerned ‘Britain’s main concern was to achieve mercantilist aims. Mercantilism required the colonies to concentrate up producing those goods that the homeland could not produce.

  1. To carry out these aims, Parliament, from 1660 on, passed a series of laws on shipping, trade, manufacturers and money. The shipping laws, or Navigation Acts provided that all goods shipped to or from the colonies must be carried in either colonial or English ships.
  2. The trade laws required that tobacco and other listed items be sent only to Britain and prohibited other products, such as meat, grain and flour from being sent there.
  3. The Hat Act, the Iron Act and other manufacturing laws were intended to prevent the sizes of industries that would compete with those in Britain.
  4. The currency laws prohibited the colonies from issuing paper money.
  5. The English government did increase its authority over some of the individual colonies. Originally, all of them had been either “Corporate” (that is, founded and largely governed by companies) or “Propriсtary” (founded and largely governed by proprietors). Gradually most became “royal” colonies that were supervised directly by the monarch and parliament. After 1752, eight of the thirteen were royal colonies.
  6. In the royal colonies, the British government appointed governors and other officials, and in all the colonies it appointed royal officials, such as Customs Collectors. Many of these people did a poor job of governing. Moreover, there was no single office in Britain in charge of the colonies. Each department administered laws in the colonies as well as in Britain. Because of confusion and inefficiency, it would have been hard to enforce the laws in the colonies even if the British government had consistently wished to do so.
  7. From about 1713 on, the government rarely tried to enforce the laws. The government leaders believed that Britain would be better off if the colonies were not strictly controlled.
  8. The Colonial Charters had given certain powers of government to the companies and the proprietors who founded colonies. They also guaranteed the rights of English people to the colonists. On the basis of the charters, the founders of colonies came to allow some of the male colonists to elect representatives to assist in the colonial government. Most of the people, however, could not vote.
  9. Elected Assemblies in colonies: The first elected assembly appeared in Virginia in 1619. The stock holders of the Virginia Company in England, who had been making laws for the Colony, authorized the election of a general assembly. It came to be however or called the House of Burgesses and met in Jamestown. The next assembly appeared in Massachusetts, in 1630. By then, a majority of the stockholders of the Massachusetts Bay Company lived in the colony. These “freemen” met four times a year as a General Court to instead of going in person.
  10. Similarity of Patter: In all the colonies the same general pattern of government arose. In each, there was a governor and a two-house legislature. In the royal colonies the governor was appointed by the English authorities, in the proprietary colonies, by the proprietors with the approval of the monarch. In the corporate colonies he was chosen by the colonial legislature. The upper house of the legislature usually was the governor’s council, and its members were chosen in the same way as the governor.

The lower house was elected. Less than one-tenth of the people had the right to vote or hold office. Women were not allowed to do so at all. In some colonies, only those men who belonged to the established church could vote or hold office and in all colonies, only men who owned a certain amount of property had these rights. There were many property owners, however, especially in New England. Hence, in the colonies, a greater proportion of the men enjoyed political rights than in England.

  1. In the colonies it early became the rule that a representative must live in the district from which he was elected. In England, a member of Parliament need not live in the town or borough that he represented.
  2. Gradually, each colonial assembly assumed the power to pass certain kinds of laws for its colony. The governor could vote the laws, and the London authorities could reject them. Sometimes, to keep the governor from using his veto an assembly would threaten not to pay him. Sometimes, to get around the London authorities, an assembly passed a rejected law in a slightly different form. As time went on, each colonial legislature came to consider itself as supreme within its colony as Parliament was in England.
  3. Relations among Colonies: No colony was willing to give up any of its powers to England or the other colonies. Even when the thirteen faced common problems, they did not like to cooperate with each other. The greatest problem involved relations with the Indians. There was constant fighting along the edge of European settlement, where colonists were taking over Indian lands or vying for control of the fur trade. Different tribes allied themselves to groups of colonists — British, Spanish; Dutch, and French. When these colonists fought, their Indian
    allies often joined in.
  4. In 1643, people in Massachusetts, Plymouth, New Haven and Connecticut formed the New England Confederation, a kind of military alliance. It proved ineffective when the most worst Indian conflict of colonial times, King Philip War, broke out in 1675. In three years of fighting, King Philip (also known as Metacomet), a leader of the Wampanoag tribe, and his followers tried to regain control of lands in New England.
  5. In later years, as the population increased and settlements spread, people of different colonies came into close contact. Roads were improved and inter-colonial trade grew. The postal service was extended and speeded up. But about 1750, post, riders/carried the mails from Maine to Georgia, Nevertheless, each colony continued to act as though it were quite independent of the rest.
  6. In 1754, at the call of the British government, delegates from seven colonies and representatives of the League of the Iroquois met in Albany, New York. The British government wanted the colonists to discuss ways to improve relations with the Iroquois and to strengthen colonies. As a delegate, Benjamin Franklin proposed what became known as the Albany plan of Union. According to this plan, “one general government” would be set up for the colonies. The monarch would appoint a president general, and the Colonial assemblies would elect a grand council. The Colonies would keep their separate governments but would allow the new general government to direct war-making and relations with the Indians.

The colonial assemblies did not approve of Franklin’s plan and it never went into effect. The English Colonists would not be ready to cooperate in government until after a great war with the French and their Indian allies had been fought and won.

19. International rivalries and Conflicts in Colonies

From the beginning, Britain had to deal with other European nations in North America.

  1. The Dutch after founding New Netherland in the Hudson Valley, remained at odds with New England for half a century. After defeating the Dutch in three wars, the English finally took New Netherland in 1664 and renamed it New York.
  2. The Spanish had the oldest and largest empire in the New World, but most of their holdings including Texas, Mexico, and California were far from Britain’s. Only on the southern frontier, where Spain held Florida, was there an opportunity for conflict. Here, from time to time, the English and Spanish fought.
  3. The most serious threat to British America came from the French. France’s empire in North America was almost as old as Britain’s. The French had started their settlement at Quebec in 1608, a year after the founding of Jamestown. Eventually, French forts, towns, and trading posts were scattered along the St. Lawrence Valley; around the Great Lakes, and down the Mississippi Valley to the Gulf of Mexico.

Vast as it was, the North American Continent was not big enough to accommodate the British and French in Peace, By 1750, they had fought three wars. Yet the French and their Indian allies remained a threat to the British colonies and their Indian allies. This danger was, oddly enough, a help to Britain in its dealings with its colonies.

  1. The trouble and conflict arose between the French and British colonies for several reasons. The French were Catholics and the British mostly Protestants; fanatics on each side search for the future of their religion. The French and the British also compacted for the fur trade of the Indians, and they disputed the ownership of the Ohio country — the territory between the Great Lakes and the Ohio River. This territory was important to the French because it provided the shortest route between their colonies. of New France (Canada) and Louisiana. The British looked to this land as a future home for their growing colonial population.
  2. Still another reason for conflict in America was the British and French struggle for power elsewhere in the world. Whenever France and Britain went to war, their colonies and their Indian allies became involved.
  3. The first three wars between the French and the British Colonies (King William’s War, 1689-1697; Queen Anne’s War 1702-1713; and King George’s War, 1744-1748) began in Europe and spread to North America.
  4. Ohio was the issue of conflict between the French and the Indians and the Britishers. The French fortified the defense by building a line of forts, especially the Fort Duquesne which the Britishers failed to occupy by force in 1754, It ushered in an Indian war. In the following years, there was fighting all over the Ohio country and along the frontier.

In 1755, General Edward Braddock tried to retake Fort Duqucsnc in July 1755 but was killed, and his force defeated. However it was taken in 1758 under the new war policy by the fresh leadership of Prime Minister William Pitt who was given special war power. In 1759, a decisive war was staged by English General James Wolfe, who led the men to the heights above Quebec and surprised a larger French force led by the Marquis de Montcalm. Both lost their lives in the war.

  1. Problems of Peace: Not until 1763 was a peace treaty signed. The French then gave New France and most of their claims east of Mississippi River to Britain. They yielded the rest of their claims on the continent to Spain. Nothing was left of the French empire in North America but a few islands in the West Indies and in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and a strong French heritage in the former colonies.
  2. British landowners and merchants who were influential in Parliament objected to paying new taxes. They thought it only fair that the colonists should pay part of the cost of their own defense. Government leaders agreed. They remembered the half-hearted support that many colonists had given to the war, as well as the illegal trade that some had carried on with the enemy.
  3. British leaders now felt that the policy of salutary neglect had been a mistake. They decided that control over the colonies – ought to be tightened up; smuggling stopped and all customs duties collected.

To help enforce the laws and defend the colonies, land and naval forces ought to be stationed there permanently, even in peacetime. To raise more money taxes ought to be imposed directly on the colonists. Such were the lessons that the British leaders learned from the French and Indian war.

  1. Quite different, however, were the lessons that leading colonists learned. From their war experiences, they had gained confidence in themselves as soldiers and had developed a low opinion of British military ability. Now that the French were no longer dangerous neighbors, they felt little need for British protection. Certainly they were in no mood to submit quietly to new taxes or to any new controls.

The past-war problems of the empire were bound to Icad to serious trouble between the mother country and the colonists.

20. Wars in America and Europe – Treaties

  1. In 1689-1697
    • King William’s War in America (English and Iroquois fought French);
    • War of the League of Augsburg in Europe (England joined the Grand Alliance League of Augsburg and Holland) to fight France.
    • Treaty of Ryswick — 1697.
      (Restored the status in the colonies that existed before the war).
  2. In 1702-1713;
    • Queene Anne’s War in American (English colonists fought the French, Spanish and several Indian tribes).
    • War of the Spanish Succession in Europe (England, Holland,
      and the Holy Roman Empire united against France and Spain).
    • Treaty of Utrecht – 1713
      (England received Newfoundland, Acadia (Nova Scotia), and Hudson Bay from France. France kept some small islands in Canada. Spain granted England ascents).
  3. In 1739-1742;
    • War of Jenkins’ Ear in America (Southern Colonists fought Spanish colonists).
    • War of Jenkins Ear in Europe (England declared war on Spain because of abuses of English seamen, provoked by English abuses of asiento) No treaty was finalized.
  4. In 1740-1748:
    • King George’s War in America (English Colonists in North-east fought French and many indian tribes).
    • War of the Austrian Succession in Europe (France joined Spain to fight against England. France had been allied with Prussia).
    • Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle 17480— Restored the status in the colonies that existed before the war.
  5. In 1754-1763,
    • The French and Indian War in America.
      (English colonists and Iroquois fought French and most other indians.)
    • Seven Years’ War (began 1756 in Europe) (Britain and Prussia fought France and Austria. Spain joined France in 1762.).
    • Treaty of Paris, 1763 (France ceded to England most of the land east of the Mississippi. England gained Florida and restored Cuba to Spain).

In the previous, we have attempted to make a detailed study of the following issues of American history.

  1. 1488-1630, Founding of colonies in the American continent in the American continent, and the virtual establishment end evolution of the United States of America.
  2. 1607-1700 in which we have taken a detailed view of the growth of English America.
  3. 1700-1763, in this phase of the American history, we have taken into account of the maturing colonies, with a detailed view of their economic and agricultural development; political, legal and constitutional growth; the process of americanization and merging of disparate racial elements into a single national integration international rivalries and conflicts over the colonies; the social, cultural and intellectual heritage as well as its fusion into a single and particular phase of American history.

Lastly, it seems appropriate to take bird’s eye view of the studies uptil now. Life for most inhabitants of the colonies in the 1700’s grew gradually more orderly, safe and pleasant. Forests yielded to farms and plantations. The number of wild animals dwindled, and Europeans forced the Indians into the backcountry. Growing villages, towns and a few cities offered townsmen and visiting farmers opportunities to trade and see new sights and faces, The bountiful supply of cheap land and demand for colonial products kept unemployment lower and pay. ‘higher than anywhere in Europe, encouraged the raising of large families, and drew a steady stream of immigrants across the Atlantic, On the whole Great Britain provided a stable political system with which the colonists seemed well content. Under these conditions, a prospering colonial population began to look increasingly American rather than European.

During the first half of the eighteenth century, the roots of American culture took firm hold in colonial soil. Anyone who wants to understand the behavior of nineteenth-and-twentieth century Americans should study these eighteenth-century ancestors. Few statistics are available for the period, however, and relatively few first-hand records have come down to us, particularly from the lower classes.

We can, however, learn something about eighteenth-century society from the writings of its leaders. In any society, influential leaders are part of a small group holding a large amount of power, but they often represent the values and aspirations of the men and women who follow them. For this reason, knowledge of the lives of the elite may also help us to learn something about the common man.

By eighteenth-century standards British America was a flourishing place. Its relatively free religious atmosphere and its abundant economic opportunities continued to attract thousands of immigrants. Its growing commerce created fortunes for merchants, in both America and Britain and helped to raise the standard of living of hundreds of thousands of other persons. Its governments, which had a great deal of control, generally had the warm support of the inhabitants. Its physical security became assured in 1763 when France lost virtually all its possessions in America. Thus, except for Indians and Negro slaves, the British colonies deserved the reputation of a land of opportunity,

Subscribe to brighten your future

An email was just sent to confirm your subscription. Please find the email and click 'Confirm Follow' to start subscribing.

About Editorial Staff

It is an educational blog and intended to serve as complete and self-contained work on essays, paragraph, speeches, articles, history, letters, stories, quotes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *