Political Life in the Colonies - KILBY - St. Andrew's College by gjjur4356


									            Political Life in the Colonies

                          Main Idea
British mercantilist policies and political issues helped shape
          the development of the American colonies.

                       Reading Focus
• What is mercantilism?
• How did the Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of
  Rights affect political developments in the colonies?
• How did government in the colonies change under the
  policy of salutary neglect?

• Colonists smuggled goods because they felt England was
  taxing them unfairly.
• The English felt taxing was fair because profit was the
  major incentive for colonizing America.
• Mercantilism: a nation’s power was directly related to its
• Balance of Trade: a goal of mercantilism; the colonists
  could supply raw materials to England and could buy
  English goods

• England prevented its colonies from trading with other
  nations to maintain balance of trade.
• England only wanted certain American products, such as
  fur and timber.
• Colonists produced other products like wheat and fish that
  the English did not want.
• Colonists often could get higher prices for their goods from
  the French, Spanish, or Dutch.

             English laws passed to control colonial trade
             •   Only English ships with English crews could take goods
Navigation       to England.
  Acts       •   Limited the products that could be shipped to England
                 or English colony
             •   All shipments to colonies had to go through England.
             •   Merchants had to pay a tax on certain goods; tax
                 collectors were sent to the colonies.

             •   Increased English profits, but also increased law
                 enforcement in America
  Effects    •   Lumber and shipbuilding business was up in the
                 colonies; England needed more ships for trade.
             •   Many colonists ignored the laws and smuggled.
           The Glorious Revolution and
             the English Bill of Rights

• New England colonists did not want to be governed in
  such a way that it hurt their own economies.
• Their industries began to compete with those in England.
• When Massachusetts refused to enforce Navigation Acts,
  the king made it a royal colony.
             The Glorious Revolution and
              The English Bill of Rights
  Dominion of              Glorious               Colonists’
  New England              Revolution              Reactions
• King James          • King James II was     Boston:
  created a             unpopular in
  supercolony of        England.              • Andros and his
  New England,                                  government were
  New York, and       • James’s daughter,       arrested and sent
  New Jersey            Mary, and her           to England.
                        husband, William,
• Sir Edmund            took over the         New York:
  Andros was            crown.                • Rebellion broke
  governor.                                     out
                      • This change of
• He wanted             leadership—the        • Royal rule
  colonial charters     Glorious                returned to New
  returned.             Revolution              York, but it was
• There was no        • William and Mary        granted an
  elected assembly.     accepted the            elected assembly.
                        English Bill of
• Andros enforced       Rights that limited
  Navigation Acts.      the monarchs’
               Government in the Colonies

       Toward Self-rule           • Salutary neglect: referred to
                                    the fact that many English
• During the English Civil War,     officials made colonial policies,
  colonists took small steps        but they did not rule the
  toward self-government.           colonies very strictly.
• In 1643 several colonies            Colonial Governments
  joined forces in the United                 in 1700s
  Colonies of New England.
                                  • Local governments more
• Though Parliament had more        influential in colonists’ lives
  power since Glorious
  Revolution, it dealt mainly     • Colonial assemblies were
  with mainland England.            bicameral like Parliament.
• The monarchs and their          • Governor’s council was the
  officials made most colonial      upper house.
                                  • Elected Assembly was lower
• When war with Spain broke         house like Parliament.
  out, colonial governments
  gained some independence.       • Each colony had a governor.
                The Colonial Economy

                         Main Idea
   A commerce-based economy developed in the northern
       colonies, while the southern colonies developed an
                      agricultural economy.

                      Reading Focus
• What were the characteristics of northern colonial
• What were the characteristics of southern colonial
• What was the impact of slavery in the colonies?
             Northern Colonial Economies

• Agriculture was the main economic activity in colonial America.
Farming in New England
• Soil was thin and rocky; winters were long, growing season
• Subsistence farming, growing just enough food for their own
  family. Some raised extra corn or apples or cattle to trade with
  their neighbors. Rarely enough to produce an export crop
Farming in the South
• Better land and milder climate. Grew enough wheat to sell grain
  and flour to other colonies and to send abroad
• Raised cattle and hogs for export
Most productive farmers
• German colonists also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. Used
  fertilizer and crop rotation. Women worked in the fields with the
            Northern Colonial Economies

Natural resources
• When the number of fur-bearing animals declined, the
   colonists turned to timber (planks, shingles, and siding for
   ships and houses) and fish.
• Because of Navigation Acts, many coastal towns were
   centers for shipbuilding. It was the largest single group in
   the workforce.
• Some of the fish was exported to Europe and the West
   Indies. In early 1700s whaling industry began in New
   England. Whale products: lamp oil and materials used in
   perfumes, candles, and women’s corsets
           Northern Colonial Economies

Colonial industries
English goods were expensive, so colonists made things
at home. Small industries developed:

• Mills run by waterpower ground grain into flour.
• Distilleries for rum and other alcoholic beverage were
  major businesses
• Ironworks developed when there were local supplies of
  iron ore.
• Bricks, leather goods, and glass were made by small
• Cloth was woven (wool and linen) for personal use and
  for sale to merchants.
           Northern Colonial Economies

Trade and commerce
• Good harbors, inexpensive ships, and a tradition of
  seafaring encouraged the development of commerce.
• Port cities of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia were
  thriving centers of trade.

• Trade routes that linked the Americas, Europe, Africa,
  and the West Indies are often described as the
  triangular trade.

• The Middle Passage is the name used by historians to
  describe the journey that enslaved Africans made from
  West Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to the West
                 South Colonial Economies

• Southern colonies produced valuable cash crops (agricultural
  products grown to be sold).
    – tobacco, the most valuable export
    – indigo (used to make blue dye) and rice
    – naval stores were also produced: rope, tar, and turpentine which
      were used to maintain wooden ships. These products were in great
      demand in England and produced a great profit.
Plantation system
• Plantation system developed in Virginia and Maryland as the tobacco crop
   increased in importance.
• Planters were wealthy and influential, dominating southern society and
• Plantations needed workers: a few huge plantations had hundreds of
   workers, either indentured servants or slaves.
• Most farms were smaller and had less than 30 workers.
• Most worked in the fields, though on larger plantations, men and women
   performed other tasks, such as shoemaking, weaving, and carpentry.
              South Colonial Economies

Rice and Indigo                  Small Farms
• Biggest crops in South         • Some farmers had a few
  Carolina                         enslaved Africans who
• Low coastal areas were           worked in the fields
  ideal for growing rice.          alongside them.
• Slaves were used; many         • Independent yeoman
  knew how to grow rice and        farmers
  many had more resistance           – raised livestock and
  to malaria.                          exported beef and port
• Indigo first successful crop       – grew corn, wheat,
  grown by Eliza Lucas in              fruit, and vegetables
  South Carolina. She was              for the home market
  only 18 years old.                 – grew tobacco, sold it
                                       through large planters
                 The Impact of Slavery

           •   By the 1600s Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, and
               England were involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
 African   •   Most captured Africans were taken to colonies in the
  Slave        Caribbean and South America, then to North America.
  Trade        Only a small percentage came directly to the North
               American colonies.
           •   The Middle Passage (the voyage across the Atlantic)
               was a horrifying experience where men, women, and
               children were packed in the ships’ below-deck quarters.

           •   A former slave, wrote a book about his life in slavery
Olaudah    •   His description of the Middle Passage horrors
Equiano        encouraged readers to call for the end of slavery.
                   The Impact of Slavery

Why slavery continued
• At first many African workers were treated as indentured servants, but
  the terms of indenture grew longer until they lasted a lifetime.
• White indentured servants were freed while black servants were not. In
  some colonies, black servants lost other rights.
• The English settlers considered themselves superior to the Africans.
• Historians disagree about why slavery continued:
• For planters, holding slaves cost less than indentured servants.
• Slaves’ children supplied the next generation of workers.
• The number of people wanting to serve as indentured servants dropped.
Resisting slavery
• Many slaves used physical resistance, sabotage, or ran away.
• Stono Rebellion: In 1739, 100 enslaved Africans in South Carolina took
  weapons from a firearms shop and killed several people.
• Some skilled artisans bought their freedom by hiring out their labor.
     The Enlightenment and the American

Enlightenment: European movement that emphasized a
search for knowledge. Also called the Age of Reason

The Scientific Revolution
• Scientists began using observation and experiments to
  look for natural laws that governed the universe.
• Some scientists studied physical laws, while others
  looked for order and method in nature.
      The Enlightenment and the American
The Enlightenment in Europe
• Thinkers in Europe admired the new approach to science.
  They thought that logic and reason could also be used to
  improve society, law, and government.
• English philosopher John Locke said it was the duty of
  government to protect the citizens’ natural rights: life,
  liberty, and property.
• French Baron de Montesquieu suggested that the powers
  of government be divided.
• French writer Voltaire criticized intolerance and prejudice.
• Other thinkers wanted to use new ideas to reform
  education, which in turn would improve society, criminal
  justice, and conditions for the poor.
     The Enlightenment and the American

The Enlightenment in America
John Locke’s writings were widely read in America. They
influenced Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin,
among others.

• Jefferson used Locke’s theories when he wrote the
  Declaration of Independence.
• Other American leaders used Enlightenment ideas when
  they drafted the United States Constitution.
• Franklin and Jefferson were also interested in science
  and invention, applying reason to ask questions and find
• Enlightenment thinkers questioned common beliefs and
  deep-rooted superstitions.
                 The Great Awakening

• Enlightenment ideas also led some people in the
  colonies to question long-accepted religious beliefs,
  looking for rational, scientific explanations for how the
  universe worked.

Changes in religious attitudes
• Strict groups such as the Puritans were upset by the
  growing tolerance for other beliefs.
• Some religious leaders worried that material values and
  concern for making money had displaced spiritual
  values. Clergy looked for new ways to bring people back
  to the church.
                  The Great Awakening

A revival of religion
• Great Awakening was a religious revival movement in the
• Jonathan Edwards, Puritan minister, was one of the movement
  leaders, preached about the agonies that sinners would suffer if
  they did not repent.
• He was influenced by John Locke and Sir Isaac Newton.
• George Whitefield, British Methodist minister, preached
  throughout the colonies. His strong voice moved people to cry
  and confess their sins.
• Led to increase in church membership in the 1700s
  New Protestant religions grew in America: Congregational
  Church, Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian
• Was one of first links uniting the colonies
• Led to creation of several colleges
          The Colonies Become More Diverse

• Scots and Scots-      • Religious unrest in     • Jewish
  Irish settled           Europe and religious      communities
  mainly in the           tolerance in colonies     grew.
  middle colonies         attracted more
  and Carolinas.          people.                    -   Newport
• Strict                • German colonists           -   Philadelphia
  Presbyterians           (skilled farmers and       -   New York
• Did not like the        artisans)                  -   Charleston
  English               • French Huguenots
  government              (craftsmen and
• Were ready to           scientists)
  fight for political
                Life in Colonial America

Colonial cities
• Some cities had cobblestone streets lit by oil lamps. Ships from
  foreign ports were in the harbors. People enjoyed reading mail
  from relatives and English newspapers and magazines.
• Many cities had libraries, bookshops, and impressive public
• Places where colonists could see plays and hear concerts
• Markets to shop for produce or European luxury goods
• Schools that taught music, dancing, drawing, and painting in
  addition to traditional classes
• City life for women: no hard farm work, but still had household
  tasks to perform
  Prosperous women had more time for reading and writing.
• Men and women spent many hours writing letters to friends and
               Life in Colonial Economies

Popular culture
• Quilting bees and barn            • First American printer was in
  raisings were examples of           Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  work in sociable ways.
                                    • Influential newspapers
• Northern colonists went ice-
  skating and sledding in winter.     published in Boston, New
                                      York, and Philadelphia.
• Horse racing and hunting
• Visiting neighbors was favorite   • John Peter Zinger, New York
  pastime                             printer, published articles that
• Social events: dancing,             criticized the royal governor.
  listening to music                • Zinger was arrested, and his
                                      newspapers were burned.
Communications                      • He was tried in court and won
• Printers printed and                the first important victory for
  distributed newspapers,             freedom of the press in the
  books, advertisements, and          America colonies.
  political announcements.
               Life in Colonial America

           • Strong family structure despite the fact that real
African      families were split apart. Kinship networks were
American     essential.
Culture    • Religion was another strength of the community.
             Many were Christian, but also kept older African
           • The slave community preserved music and dance
           • African music, foods, and other traditions
             gradually became a part of American culture.

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