Colonial Society in the 18th Century

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Colonial Society in the 18th Century Powered By Docstoc
					 1700 - 1775
Chapter Five
   Huge population growth
      Shift in balance of power
      90% lived in rural areas
   Melting pot
      Mixed population (New England least; Middle colonies most)
        English/Welsh; African; Scots-Irish; German; Dutch; Irish
        Majority indentured servants or slaves
        Africans were most numerous
   Society structure
        Small Upper-class
        Farmers were majority
        Small merchants
        Indentured servants
        Slaves
          1690: 15,000 blacks
          1730: 80,000
          1760: 325,000 or 1/5 of population
   Americans = highest standard of living worldwide
                             ETHNIC AND RACIAL COMPOSITION
   Scots-Irish
    •   Hated British for uprooting them from Scotland
    •   Mostly in Pennsylvanian backcountry areas
    •   Most were poor farmers
    •   Paxton Boys - Scots-Irish revolt protesting Quaker’s lenient policy
        toward the Indians
   Germans
    • 90,000 arrived, fleeing famine and war
    • Settled mainly between NY and SC, most in PE
    • Benjamin Franklin believed Germans were “the most stupid of their
    • Warned that “unless the stream of [German] importation could be
      turned from this to other colonies…they will soon outnumber
      us,…[and] all the advantages we have, will in my opinion, be not able to
      preserve out language, and even our government will become
 Increase   in tribal tensions due to competition for
   • Introduction of European weaponry made conflicts worse
 Furtrade spread epidemics and depleted game
 Change in tribal political organization
   • Trade, diplomatic contact and war required coordinated
     policies that replace loose confederations
 Values didn’t change
   • Indians saw their culture as superior to Europeans
   • Frutrated English missionaries
 1750: French population = 70,000
 French developed system of small forts,
  trading posts and agricultural villages
 Male settlers arrived w/few French women
  • Indians were necessary for both trade and marriage
  • Marital alliances cemented trade relations
 1765:   LA Blacks outnumbered whites
     half of 1700s, Spain had largest empire in
 First
  • 1745: 10xs as many English in SC as Spanish in FL
 More  racial intermixture and social fluidity
  than in English colonies
       of American population increased
 Growth
 demand for British goods
  • British didn’t increase demand for American goods =
   Americans sought out other markets
 Molasses   Act
  • 1733
  • British tried to stop trade w/French West Indies
  • Ignored by colonists
New England exported timber, fish,
cotton goods to French Caribbean for
                                           New England ships brought
                                           molasses home to distill for
   Slaves transported to
   colonies via Middle
                                 Rum from New England
                                 shipped to West Indies where
                                 slave ships took rum to Gold
                                 Coast of Africa
 Communities of several thousand people in tight-knit
  farming families
 Mixed economy: logging (barrels, ships, houses), fishing,
 Middle colonies (PE, DE, NJ, NY) had much more fertile soil
  than New England
    • Produced corn, wheat, beef and pork
   In North, few were very rich or very poor
    • Most men had bought or inherited a farm of at least 50 acres (except
      indentured servants)
   Problems w/farm land
    • Growing population made land more scarce, esp in New England
    • Decreasing soil fertility due to poor farming techniques
    • Many New Englanders were forced to the frontier
   Europe vs. Colonies
    • Marriage
       1/10 women in Europe didn’t marry whereas unmarried colonial
        women were very uncommon
       English women married in mid-20s and colonial women married a few
        years earlier
         Average colonial family = 5 kids; English = less than 3
    • Property rights
       Single women and widows could make contracts, hold property,
        represent themselves in court and conduct business
       English women gave up these rights (and property) upon marriage
       Colonial women slowly gained right to consent to a marriage partner
   Worked alongside husbands
   Outnumbered men in church life
 Grazing animals took away ground cover in
  New Spain
 English colonies
  • Demand for wood depleted forests
     Summers became hotter and winters became colder
  • European animals (pigs, cattle) began to replace North
    American animals
  • Native fur-bearing animals (beaver, deer, bear, wolf,
    raccoon) quickly became extinct in settled areas
  • Consumption eliminated wild turkeys and deer in
    settled areas
 The   Tobacco Coast
  • Social transformation in Upper South
     Slaves replaced indentured servants
     Planters diversified
      Shift some tobacco fields to grain, hemp and flax, increased hers of
       cattle and swine, and developed iron, leather and textile production
    Population structure changed
      Increase of slaves
      Greater balance between women and men
      Became dominated by families
  • 1750: Majority of families owned no slaves at all
     Less than 10% of slaveholders owned 20+ slaves
  • Southern life marked by ritual display of wealth
 The   Rice Coast
  • 1740: slaves = almost 90% of region’s inhabitants
  • Centers of community gathering
     Courthouse - all classes would settle debts, land claims, sue/be
      sued and then socialize afterwards
     Church
 Backcountry
  • Germans and Scots-Irish initially created subsistence society
  • Gradually acquired slaves and pursued mixed
    farming/cattle raising
  • Filled w/poverty, lacked schools, churches and towns
  • Women worked alongside men
 Two   established faiths
  • Church of England or Anglican Church
     Official faith in VA, MD, NC, SC, GA, part of NY
     Branch of royal authority
     Less intense than Puritanism
  • Congregational Church
     Prominent in New England
     Initially supported through taxes
 Others
  • Presbyterian Church
  • Quakers
  • Jews
 Firstmass social movement in American
 Primary issues
  • Liberal ideas challenged old religion
  • Issues with clergy – salary, political control
 Awakening   was reaction against elaborate
  theological doctrines, emotional stagnation
  and liberal doctrines
  • Arminianism – man is not helpless in achieving
 Jonathon    Edwards (1703 – 1758)
  • Credited w/starting Great Awakening
  • Believed in complete dependence on God’s grace
  • Eternal damnation
 George   Whitefield (1714 – 1770)
  • Most influential figure in Great Awakening
  • Old Lights vs. New Lights
     Old Lights – skeptical of emotionalism and theatrics
     New Lights – supported Awakening for revitalizing American
 Results of Great Awakening
   • Split denominations = more choice
      Promoted idea that all denominations were equally legitimate
       and led to the separation of church and state
   • Legitimized community diversity, especially in MA and CT
   • Increased faith and a subtle change in values
      Created a new feeling of self-worth
      People assumed new religious responsibilities
   • Founding of “new light” colleges: Dartmouth, Brown,
     Rutgers and Princeton
      None were controlled by an established church, had governing
       bodies made up of men of different faiths and all admitted
       students regardless of religion
 New   England
  • Most dedicated to education
 Middle   colonies
  • Some tax-supported and some privately owned schools
  • Spread out population made good school system difficult
 South
  • Educational opportunities limited
 Higher   education
  • Primary focus = training new clergy
  • University of Pennsylvania = first non-denominational
   American college
 Most   Americans too busy working to spend
  time on art
 Phillis Wheatley (1753 – 1784)
  • Was a slave taught to read and write
  • First important African American writer in America
  • Used by abolitionists as proof that blacks weren’t
   intellectually inferior
 Benjamin    Franklin
  • May be only first-rank scientist produced in colonies
     Experiments w/electricity
     Bifocals
     Franklin stove
  • Wrote Poor Richard’s Almanac
     More widely read than any book except the Bible
     Emphasized thrift, industry, morality and common sense
 Pamphlets  were effective for airing social
  grievances to British
 Zenger Case (1735)
  • Paved the way toward freedom of expression
  • John Peter Zenger’s newspaper had criticized the
    corrupt royal governor
  • Charged w/libel and brought to trial
  • Claimed he was printing the truth
  • Jury ruled in favor of Zenger = newspaper editors
    received some freedom
 Structure   of Colonies – 1775
  • Royal Colonies
     8 colonies w/royal governors appointed by crown
  • Proprietary Colonies
     3 colonies led by proprietors who chose governors
     Maryland, Pennsylvania, Delaware
  • Charter Colonies
     Elected own governors
     Under self-governing charters
     Connecticut and Rhode Island
 Bicameral legislature most common
   • Upper house or Council – normally appointed by the
    crown or proprietor
  • Lower house or Assembly – elected by property
 Colonialgovernments had more direct
  representation and less corruption
  • New England – town hall meetings
  • South – county governments
  • Middle – combination of above
 Voting   restrictions
  • Upper class opposed democracy
  • Property and/or religious qualifications were imposed
  • As much as 50% of white males couldn’t vote
 Governors
  • Assemblies often controlled governors’ salaries
 Development     of Democracy
  • Equal opportunities more pronounced than in Europe
  • Freedom of speech, press and assembly
 Stressed that reason can be used to improve human
 Promoted liberty and equality
 Important thinkers
    • John Locke
       Natural rights to life, liberty and property
       Natural right to rebellion
    • Baron de Montesquieu
       Separation of power
    • Thomas Jefferson
       Idea of natural rights
       Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident that
        all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with
        certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of

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