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Chapter 3

England Discovers Its Colonies: Empire,


Liberty, and Expansion

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The Atlantic Prism and the
Spectrum of Settlement
• 17th Century Colonists of Americas and
Caribbean – diverse, fragmented unity
• Provinces: common traits with neighbors,
but few with other distant colonies
• Sugar and slave society of Barbados shared
almost nothing in common with Puritans of
Massachusetts

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Demographic Differences
• Life expectancies higher farther North
• Ratio of men to women highest in
plantation areas
• Northern colonies healthier than South or
Europe
• Elite in plantation colonies decades younger
than farther North

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Race, Ethnicity, and Economy
• Ethnic diversity varied among regions
• West Indies majority African slaves
• As plantation economy expands, African
slave population grows
• English minority Europeans in mid-Atlantic
• New England dominated by English
• Farther North = less diverse/Farther South =
more diverse
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Religion and Education
• Religious fervor and education level varied in same
pattern as diversity
• Most slaves kept illiterate
• South-- College of William and Mary (1693)
• Massachusetts
– Harvard College (1636)
– Public school required in every town (1642)
• Piety, public support for clergy, literacy, education,
and moral standards grew stronger from South to
North
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Local and Provincial
Governments
• Varied forms of government
• Parishes, boroughs (towns), and counties
were all established forms in the colonies
• Parish: Sugar islands and S.Carolina
• County: Chesapeake area
• Towns: New England

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Local and Provincial
Government Variations
• Local government • Provincial (or
• Parish: Sugar islands colonial) government
and S.Carolina • Royal govt.: West
Indies and Virginia
• County: Chesapeake
• “Corporate” forms:
area New England
• Towns: New England • Proprietary govt.: rest
of Mainland N.
America
Unique and Unifying Trends:
Language, War, Law and
Inheritance
• Despite diversity, distinctive and unifying
trends emerged in the colonies. Examples:
• Less variation in spoken English
• Warfare: Volunteers and terror tactics
• Simple legal systems (absence of lawyers)
• Rejection of primogeniture inheritance
• Chance at upward mobility

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The Beginnings of Empire
• English Civil War makes 1640s Chaotic
• England realizes the colonies overseas
brought few benefits to homeland
• England has no coherent colonial policy

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Upheaval in America: The
Critical 1640s

• England loses control of colonial trade


• Interruption of trade and supplies made
colonies more vulnerable to Indians
• New England Confederation (1643)

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default:

Mercantilism as a Moral
Revolution
• New morality of Greed: Greed = predictable,
stabilizing behavior
• Mercantilism the idea:
– World’s wealth is fixed
– Countries increase their wealth at expense of rivals
– Less destructive trade wars replace religious wars
• Mercantilism promoted a more modern concept of
law

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The First Navigation Act 1650s
• Motivation: London merchants’ demands to stifle
Dutch competition
• Limited foreign trading with countries other than
England
– Non-European imports to England or colonies only in
English ships with majority English crews
– Colonists wanted option to use lower cost non-English
shipping

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Restoration Navigation Acts

• Navigation Act of 1660


– Expands Mercantilist intent of previous Nav. Acts
– “enumerated commodities” only to England
• Staple Act (1663)– most imports to colonies must
come from England
• Plantation Duty Act (1673)– 1st time English govt.
customs officials sent to colonies

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Indians, Settlers, Upheaval
• Need for Indian trading partners
• 1670: No boundaries existed between
Indian lands and colonial settlements
– Boston, largest English colonial city only 15
miles from nearest Indian village
• Indian “mourning wars”
• Mutual trade dependency evolved between
Indians and some settlers

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Indian Strategies of Survival

• Five Nations of the Iroquois


– Edmund Andros
– “Covenant Chain”

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Puritan Indian Missions

• Thomas Mayhew, Sr. and Jr.


• John Eliot
• “praying towns”

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Metacom’s (or King Philip’s)
War
• New England settlers vs. Indians
• Wampanoags
– Metacom
– Firearms and iron forges
– Great Swamp Fight (1675)
• Internal dissension within colonies
• Indian allies of settlers
– “praying” Indians
– Mohawks and Mohegans

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Virginia’s Indian War
• Frontier Conflicts • VA Gov. Sir William
– Doegs Berkeley
– Susquehanncocks – Defensive strategy
– Fight
– John Washington
Susquehanncocks
provokes Indian
– Restricted fur trade
revenge
• Frontiersmen
– Offensive strategy
– War of plunder against
all Indians
– Nathaniel Bacon
Bacon’s Rebellion
• Bacon attacks friendly and non-friendly Indians
• Berkeley outlaws Bacon
• Bacon con vs. elected to Burgesses
• Civil War summer 1676: Bacon vs. Berkeley
• Rebellion ends
• Bacon dies
• Royal forces arrive
• Old order reestablished
Crisis in England and the
Redefinition of Empire
• Bacon’s Rebellion forces calling of
Parliament
• Charles II no legitimate children
• James Duke of York—a Catholic heir
The Popish Plot, the Exclusion
Crisis, and the Rise of Party
• Popish Plot
– Brings down the ministry
– Strengthens Parliamentary opposition
• Whigs (Country)
– Exclude James in favor of Mary and Anne
– Decentralized militia
– Toleration for all Protestants
• Tories (Court)
– James as heir
– Standing army
– Anglican church only, no toleration
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The Lords of Trade and Imperial
Reform

• Lords Committee of Trade and Plantations (Lords


of Trade)
– James Duke of York’s idea
– Enforced Navigation Acts
• Royal Government imposed on island colonies
• The Jamaica Model:
– Permanent Revenue Act to fund Governor
– Legislature with right to initiate and amend legislation
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James Imposes Absolutism on
the colonies
• Revocation of New York Charter of Liberties
• The Dominion of New England and Gov. Andros
– Consolidation of Puritan colonies, New York and the
Jersey colonies
– No elective assembly
– Religious toleration imposed, even on Puritans
– Strictly enforced Navigation Acts
– New property taxes (quitrents)
• Alienates most Northern colonists

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The Glorious Revolution
• James has Catholic son
• Whigs and Tories invite William of Orange
(stadholder in Netherlands)
• James flees to France
• William & Mary take English throne
• English throne again becomes Protestant

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The Glorious Revolution in
America

• Rebellion against Andros & the


Dominion
• Old charters brought back
• Jacob Leisler in New York
• Maryland’s Catholic government
overthrown

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The English Response
• Royal government for Maryland
• Leisler executed
• Increase Mather and reorganization of Puritan
colonies
– Increased royal power
– Toleration to all Protestants
– Property, not church, qualifications for voting
– Only 4 Puritan colonies after 1691: MA, NH, RI, CT

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The Salem Witch Trials
• Salem, Massachusetts
• Samuel Parris, Reverend and village minister
• Accusers came from families supporting Parris
• Accused were old women opposed to Parris
• Indian wars on frontier
• 19 hanged (women and some men)
• Trials: last gasp of Puritan rule

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The Completion of Empire

• Transition to royal government in colonies


• Navigation Act of 1696
– Plugs loopholes to orthodox Mercantilism in earlier
Navigation Acts
– Advisory only Board of Trade replaces Lords of Trade
• England and Scotland to merge parliaments to
become kingdom of Great Britain 1707

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Imperial Federalism
• 1689-1707: transitions defined the structure of the
British Empire until American Revolution
• Parliament rarely regulated anything except trade
in the colonies
• Minimal compliance from colonists when
Parliament did try to regulate inland affairs
• De facto federalism:
– Arrangement of convenience for England
– To colonists became right to consent to taxes and local
laws

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The Mixed and Balanced
Constitution
• Government of “King, Lords, and Commons”
• Liberty = limitation of government power
• 18th Century English politics: Court vs. Country
– Court (powerful central govt. to make war)
– Country (liberty, weak central govt._
• Cato’s Letters
– John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon
– Corruption of powerful ministers threatens liberty
– Popular in northern colonies

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Contrasting Empires: Spain and
France in North America
• 1689, Spain and France were primary
enemies of England
• Spain and France:
– Catholic
– American empires

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The Pueblo Revolt
• Causes
– Increasing Spanish oppression and enslavement
– Drought
– Raids by neighboring tribes
• Popé (revolt leader)
– Pueblo must abandon Christianity and return to
traditional religion
– Attack Spanish settlements
– Revolt collapses when traditional religion does not
solve problems either and Spanish return in force

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New France and the Middle
Ground

• Iroquois vs. Algonquians


• French help Algonquians
• Peace and the “Middle Ground” 1701
• French use Indian methods of diplomacy

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French Louisiana and Spanish
Texas
• Early French exploration of the Miss.
– Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet
– René-Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle
• Choctaws vs. Chickasaws and Creeks
• French help Choctaws
• Spain’s response
– Pensacola
– Texas

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An Empire of Settlement: The
British Colonies
• 1700: 250,000 settlers and slaves living in
British mainland colonies
• Population doubled every 25 years
• 1700: 14,000 settlers in New France
• Spanish missionaries declined
• Britain's great advantage: its growing
population

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The Engine of British Expansion:
The Colonial Household
• The American way: rejection of entail and
primogeniture
• By mid-1750s new land needed to continue the
American way
• Household ideal
– Produced surplus
– Long-term debt free

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The Voluntaristic Ethic and
Public Life
• Few freemen could be coerced – must be
induced or persuaded
• Local official served without pay –
frequently ignored orders they did not agree
with
• Few colonists accepted military service or
would re-enlist

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Three Warring Empires, 1689-
1716

• King William’s War (1689-1697)


• Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713)
– Deerfield, Massachusetts
– Esther Wheelwright (Esther Marie Joseph de
L’Enfant Jésus)
– Slave raids into Spanish Florida

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Conclusion
• Britain and colonies mutually dependent
– Trade beneficial to both England and colonies
– Colonists need English protection against hostile
Indians and internal discord
• Political values of England and colonies converge
after Glorious Revolution
– Property scared and is guarantor of liberty
– Government by consent
– Toleration for Protestants
• Racism
– Common settlers anti-Indian, elites accommodating
– Elites anti-African, commoners less so
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