England's Colonies

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Today’s Lecture:

England and Her Colonies



Lecture Organization: • Class Announcements

• Internet Stuff
• Summary of Last Time • The Significance of England • The English Colonies • The Colonies Mid-to-Late 1700 • The Structure of Colonial Governance

Class Announcements

Class Participation -- Some misunderstand this. -- Only hand in if you raise your hand and say something in class -- Don’t do it on purpose just to get the points

Class Announcements

PowerPoint slides -- they only download with Firefox -- let me show you how to print them

Class Announcements

fast lecture -- last time, we went kind of fast. I’m going to fix that today.


Part I: Why England is Relevant

Getting Perspective


The Greeks Hebrews

American Government

Old World

Monarchy Aristocracy

Divine Right Great Chain of Being Primogeniture Aristocracy
City-dwelling drunks Gentry

Peasants, Serfs



Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007


Old World

Monarchy Aristocracy

Government as a personification Subjects, not citizens No branches of government

Peasants, Serfs

City-dwelling drunks


Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007


New World

Monarchy Aristocracy

Inalienable Rights Social Contract

Science and reason; not superstition
Peasants, Serfs

consent of the governed removal of leaders who misgovern
City-dwelling drunks


Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007


New World

Monarchy Aristocracy

English revolution Beheading the King Then brining monarchs back again “constitutional monarchy”
Peasants, Serfs Gentry

City-dwelling drunks


Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007


The Statute

constitutional monarchy -- it works like this

(a) Parliament names the King (William and Mary)
(b) the King is subject to “the law” (e.g., no dispensing power) (c) Parliament is permanent institution that passes the laws (d) The (English) people have some basic rights that cannot be infringed by the King (e) there are elections where middle-class people can meaningfully participate in the lower house of government

constitutional monarchy (f) parliament has the right to remove the monarch if he/she violates the liberty of the people (John Locke) -- but the King retains certain powers, such as: (a) commander in chief (b) an absolute veto (c) power to “prorogue” (d) spoils and patronage Compare: if we had an hereditary (e) life-tenured job
presidency with an absolute veto (can’t override). Example: Kennedys

English Bill of Rights -- When, William and Mary ascended to the throne, they agreed to abide by a declaration of English rights …

English Bill of Rights -- When, Rights English Bill ofWilliam and Mary ascended to the throne, they agreed to abide by a declaration of English rights … • -- can’t tax the people without parliament’s approval • -- no detention of citizens without cause shown • -- no military in the private homes • -- limitations on when Martial law could be declared • -- King did not have the power to “suspend law” • -- No excessive bails, cruel-and-unusual punishments • -- jury trials in criminal cases (and other process)

The Significance Of England
The First Modern Country? -- England in early 1700: (a) Permanent Parliament (b) Central role for the House of Commons

(c) Party press (Whigs and Tories)
(d) “The Rights of an Englishman” (e) Significant amount ofVoting – voting:
1. 40 Shilling Franchise 2. 1722 – 330,000 males (1/5th of adult males) (5.8% of the population)

The Significance Of England
The rights of Englishmen -- couldn’t say that about other places (e.g., French, Russian) -- other countries in Europe thought that England was crazy.

The Significance Of England
social, cultural transformation radical ideas -- inalienable liberty, the origins of society (social contract), the right to sack the King if he misbehaves

-- religious reformation (democratizing religion)

The Significance Of England
social, cultural transformation finance capitalism, social mobility -- finance capitalism had created social mobility (some middle ranks became rich and powerful; some lords lost some power)

The Financial Revolution Completes the Glorious Revolution –
Investors became wealthy very fast, as well as government contractors whose goods were purchased with the money. There was a new investor class. It made a new class of men – moneyed men. They were not land owners. They made money out of money. These people were overwhelmingly Whig and were often dissenters. The Tories saw them as parasites. They were making money from the land tax which was going to fund the national debt. And worse, they were making money just from money. They owned no land yet they were taken into the government’s counsels. [Jonathan Swift, the famous writer, notes that “the country gentlemen are now at the mercy of the scrivener, who is a lawyer that receives half of the rents as interest and a mortgage on the whole.” These new practices seem shady and even conspiratorial. Swift writes, “Through the connivance and cunning of stockjobbers [brokers], there has been brought in such a complication of navary and cousinage, such a mystery of iniquity, and such an unintelligible jargon of terms to involve it in as were never known in any other age or country of the world.”
source – Robert Bucholz (paraphrased)

Social Mobility

Something fascinating occurs

Gentry Peasants, Serfs City-dwelling drunks

Some aristocrats are loosing ground Some Gentry are gaining ground
Whig higher-level Lower level Peasants are doing peasants doing better – extreme worse Political Parties! poverty grows.


Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007


The Whigs --

The Tories --

1. new financial institutions 2. letting the people participate JOHN LOCKE; more in picking leaders

1. liked the old world. 2. chains of being 3. land as power

3. the sovereign was Revolutionary Writings Whig 4. were against modernity – parliament because it was against the wrong believers; elected. against the expanding the vote 4. tolerant of religious dissenters 5. they were against the new financial institutions


Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007


The First Modern Country? Triennial act passed in 1694: requires an election every three years at least. (But he also said that elections were held 12 times from 1689-1715). There are more elections in this period than any other period in British history. Also, there are more contested elections than ever before. Thanks to inflation, more ordinary Farmers qualified for a vote under the “40 shilling franchise.” IN the local towns, each party tried to increase its memberships voting roles by manipulating the local charter. So what would happen is that one party would win and it would go through the borough charters and add its people. The net result is that you are starting to see the expansion of the franchise. By 1722, some 330,000 males had the franchise, which is 5.8 percent of the population, which is maybe a 1/5th or a quarter of the adult male population. This is by far the largest electorate in Europe. The English were the first to extend the right to Vote and the right to say things in print to the citizenry. The right to sack a ruler who didn’t rule them properly. The rest of Europe thought they were nuts. Hence the phrase, the rights of Englishmen. You couldn’t say that same phrase about the rights of a Frenchman or a Russian. England was first.
Source – Robert Bucholz (paraphrased)

The Significance Of England
The power sharing relationship -- out of the turmoil and social change of the 1600s, England had created a power sharing relationship based upon social sectors.

Monarchy Share Governing Power Each Institution represents a class Aristocracy having or sector Note the similarity power in the society here with Rome Gentry

Royal Governance House of Lords House of Commons

Peasants, Serfs CONSUL City-dwelling drunks SENATE
1/18/2007 (C) Copyright Sean Wilson. 2007.

Assembly of the Plebeians


The Defeat of the Spanish Armada Beheading of Charles Settling America The The GloriousModern Country? The First Revolution






CromwellParliament installs and the Protectorate; Outbreak William and Mary as of Religious Radicalism King and Queen; Constitutional Monarchy Established
1/25/2009 Copyright, Sean Wlson. 2007 28

The English Colonies
The New World -- The discovery of the “new world” was an important development for Europe -- Resources that could alter the balance of power

-- Columbus had landed in the new world by accident
Resources: gold, silver, timbers, resins, forest products, furs, fish – the resources of national power.


The English Colonies
two strategies to exploit the new world extraction: -- take and extract precious commodities back to the King. -- Spain, France did this. colonization: sent your people to live and expand your territory. You settle the place. • expand your land, your economy, tax revenue, etc.


• expand your culture, your people – like planting seeds.

The English Colonies
England’s colonization: • send dissenters over here • send paupers over here • send laborers who can’t find work in the countryside or in the cities (population boom -- land-labor problem) -- let’s look at a colonial map …

The Colonies of the mid-to-late 1700s
Population Growth -- Exponential growth; most of it is internal reproduction • 4 million by 1776 (500,000 African American slaves) compare: • French had 52,000 in all of New France by 1750

The Colonies of the mid-to-late 1700s
Population Growth -- most of the growth is internal reproduction Massachusetts study: • Women who married in the late 1700s (1780, 1789) in rural mass usually married at age 23 or 24 and could expect 7 or 8 live births.

Broader Emigration
-- In the later 1700s, English stop emigrating as much • Germans & Scots Irish

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Description: PowerPoint slides for Philosophy and Development of American Government. See http://ludwig.squarespace.com/amgovcourse-page/