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Colonization of the Americas
Transcript of Colonization of the Americas
Spain, France, and The Thirteen Colonies
France would gain the second most amount of land in this New World. Spain was able to explore and establish settlements in the New World throughout the 1500's after Columbus explored in 1492. France and England had been locked up in the Hundred Years War into the 1400's, so it took them a while to enter the Age of Exploration. France won the Hundred Years War, which caused England to overthrow their king and begin a series of civil wars called the Wars of the Roses in order to establish a new and better government of England. France explored for a Northwest Passage since Portugal was going to India around Africa and Spain was going Southwest around South America. Of course, a Northwest Passage through Hudons Bay and Arctic Ocean is impossible due to ice, but France was able to claim large chunks of land in Canada and Louisiana.
The entirety of this presentation has been planting seeds for future growth and building to this climax:
French and Indian War/Seven Years War
The explorations of all the Spanish explorers after Columbus netted Spain the most land in the Americas to colonize. Columbus established settlements on the islands such as Cuba, but fell from favor after he was unable to produce large quantities of gold or wealth. He was removed from power after imprisoning and executing greedy Spaniards who were determined to kill the Indians for their small bits of gold. Columbus was actually Italian, so he was removed in favor Spanish rulers. He was sent back to Spain in chains. It was becoming obvious he had not found India. The explorations of Amerigo Vespucci made maps and concluded this was a "new world." Balboa crossing Panama and discovering the Pacific Ocean prompted Spain to send Magellan around the world to see if it was still possible to trade with India across the entire Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It was not possible. A single boat returned 3 years later and even Magellan was dead.
So, Spain sent more explorers to find wealth in the New World. Ponce de Leon discovered Florida while searching for the "Fountain of Youth," Hernan de Soto discovered and crossed (but did not travel up or down) the Mississippi River while searching for gold across the gulf coast and Texas. Francisco Coronado discovered the Grand Canyon while searching the fabled "Seven Cities of Gold." Spanish explorers still saw themselves as medieval knights searching for these magical treasures and spreading the Christian faith as they went by converting Indians. Thus, Spanish settlements, forts and Catholic missions...like the Alamo...were established from Florida to Texas to California.
Spain did not hit the mother-load until Hernan Cortez conquered the Aztecs, though. We could spend a month on just Cortez. Cortez was an adventurous Spanish warrior-knight type who also quite the ladies man. He was carving out quite a living Spain with wealthy Spanish wives...until their husbands found out. He fled to Cuba in the New World to escape their wrath. He heard legends of El Dorado, a city of gold, existing further west on the Mexican mainland. He gathered about 500 adventurous soldiers, a dozen horses, a few cannons and set set sail to find and conquer this golden civilization. As he was leaving port, the Spanish authorities caught up with but the ships were already underway. When the ships landed at Vera Cruz, he ordered his men to burn them. There would be no retreat. They would conquer the Aztecs or die. Cortez had much luck on his side. The Aztec creation story prophesied their founder god Quetzacoatl, the feathered serpent...which meant a man with a beard... would return from the sea in year 1519. So, the Aztecs thought he was a god. They tried to buy him off with gold, but it only made Cortez greedier. He conquered Tenochitlan, the Aztec capital city of a million Aztecs on an island in a huge lake by using guns, germs, and steel. He then destroyed the city, filled the lake, and Mexico City was born. The Aztecs and local Indians were enslaved in the gold mines. Shipload upon Shiploads upon shiploads of gold and silver were sent to Spain.
One of Cortez's men, Francisco Pizarro, was not content with his share, though. He wanted the gold and glory of conquering his own Indian civilization. So, he gathered a thousand men with horses and cannon to find the Incan Empire in Peru. He was able to capture the Grand Inca and hold him hostage. He demanded a room full of gold and silver before he would give back the king. The Incans paid so fast that Pizarro then demanded a second room full of gold silver. The Incans paid up, but PIzarro then had the king baptized and cut his throat before returning him. From PIzarro's point of view, this was the most christian of favors to have the king forgiven of all sins and killed before he could sin again. The Spanish then used their guns, germs, and steel to wipe out the entire Incan army. The Incans were enslaved, forced to mine, forced to consume coca for energy rather than food, and just simply worked to death in the mines. The mine of Potosi was literally a mountain made of silver inside...and would inspire a later colonizer to name a town after it in the hopes of wealth, but it was more a mountain of lead in that later case. From Pizarro, more shiploads upon shiploads upon shiploads of gold were sent back to Spain.
So, in the end Spain got rich beyond their wildest dreams from the boatloads upon boatloads upon boatloads of gold. Spain would squander the money on hopeless wars to defend the Catholic Church during the Protestant Reformation and against England for going Protestant so Henry VIII could divorce his Spanish princess in his efforts to have a male heir. The destruction of the Spanish Armada in 1588 by Francis Drake and the English navy began a cataclysmic spiraling decline for Spain which lasted until 1898. Spain collapsed into weakness and civil war after 1898 and were not factors in World War I or World War II.
The Spanish Empire consumed almost all of South America (just not Brazil, which was awarded to Portugal by the pope) and all of Central America until 1898. Mexico was the centerpiece of the Empire with its capital at Mexico City. Spanish settlements were established were established as early as the 1565 in St. Augustine, Florida; 1607 in Santa Fe, New Mexico; 1718 in San Antonio, Texas; and missions across California in the 1500's-1600's.
Spain was solidly rooted in America LONG before the Pilgrims or Jamestown. Keep in mind, the Alamo was an OLD Spanish mission and pretty much abandoned and in disrepair when the Texans made their famous last stand.
Spain would gain even more land in the French and Indian War. They would get all the land west of the Mississippi River, but lose it to France again after Napoleon Bonaparte conquered Spain and sold the Louisiana Purchase to America in 1803.
Spanish colonies also began revolting while Spain was weak under Napoleon in the early 1800's. Mexico revolted in 1810 and then, one by one, the modern countries of Central and South America were established by revolting against Spain. American then took advantage of Mexican weakness as they were getting established as a nation and suffering from ongoing internal revolutions. We conquered HALF of Mexico in 1848...and it was the "good half." Just the economy of California is the 5th largest world economy. We would then drive the final nails in the coffin of the Spanish Empire in 1898 when we took the last remnants of Puerto Rico, Philippines, dozens of other Pacific Islands and freed Cuba from Spanish rule in the Spanish-American War of 1898
Jacques Cartier established the French Colonial Empire by claiming Canada for the French. Samuel de Champlain would then establish the first permanent colony of Quebec on the St. Lawrence River. France was going through a time period in which Louis XIII and Louis XIV were establishing absolute monarchy in France after Louis XIII's father, Henry IV had been assassinated by a religious fanatic. Louis XIII and XIV were determined to increase royal power, make Paris the central power, and make sure ALL in France understood who was in power and did it their way. Thus, some French decided this was a good time to leave. The French in Normandy (future WWII D-Day site) are what we might call the more independent and resistant French. They were descendents of medieval Vikings and William the Conqueror who invaded and seized England in 1066. These physically and mentally tough northern French went to Quebec to start a more independent life. From Quebec they began exploring the river systems which would led them into the heartland of America.
The heartland of America is the Mississippi River Valley. French explorers spread out across the Great Lakes. They then found the Illinois River and followed it south until it connects to the Mississippi River. The Mississippi can then be used as super highway to explore the entire heartland of the continent. The northern upriver trek took them into Minnesota where the river begins. The Ohio branches east along the modern borders of Illinois Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and into its two feeding rivers in Pennsylvania. The Missouri River and its branches carried French explorers through the Dakotas, Wyoming, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Idaho, and the Rocky Mountains.
Marquette and Joliet were the first French explorers to pass along the banks of the future French settlements of Kaskaskia, St. Louis, Cahokia, Sainte Genevieve, and Cape Girardeau. The Indians got more scary to the south they returned north after reaching Arkansas.
Robert Cavalier de la Salle would finish the job, though, and make his way to the mouth of the mighty Mississippi. This gave France a special claim. According to the rules of exploration, finding the mouth of the river gave France claim to ALL land drained by the river. This means the French gained ALL the land from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains drained by the Mississippi River.
They called this land Louisiana after King Louis XIV. Be careful with this term. It is NOT the state of Louisiana. It is NOT the Louisiana Purchase which is half of Louisiana later. It is ALL the land from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains drained by the Mississippi River.
But what would make France rich from this huge empire?
The answer is fur, fur, and more fur. The French sent boatloads upon boatloads upon boatloads of fur back to France. Fur built the Palace of Versailles, which is the most decadent and lavish palace in the world. Go to http://theruch.weebly.com/the-age-of-absolutism.html for a picture tour.
The French were smart enough to make friends with the Indians in order to establish a fur trade. The rivers provided a highway system for French fur traders, or coureurs de bois. These mountain men explored all of Louisiana and brought their traded fur back to trading towns such as Portage de Sioux, St. Louis, Cahokia, Kaskaskia, Prairie du Rocher, Sainte Genevieve, and all the other French sounding names up down the Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio Rivers.
The French definitely left a cultural mark stretching from the Appalachians to the Rocky Mountains. The would later lose the Empire, but the French and the culture stayed. The French and Indian War, or Seven Years War as the rest of the world calls it, cost Louis XV the French Empire. England would take Canada all the land East of the Mississippi River and Spain would take all the land West of the Mississippi River. American would gain the east through American Revolution. The loss of the empire would bankrupt France. They spent their last dime helping America in the American Revolution in the hope of regaining some of this land. They did not, so the French Revolution broke out in 1789. France was in chaos until Napoleon Bonaparte took over. He conquered Spain and would sell the western half of Louisiana to America for gun money. Then we would later conquer the northern half of Mexico to expand sea to shining sea.
So, what happened to the French if they were so rooted in this area?
I would like to dive deep into this topic for it is a history I have deeply researched and lived for a lifetime. I need to keep it short, though, and can hopefully expand it in future semesters. I have a job tonight in which I am going to live it.
Much like the Cajuns of Louisiana, the French left a unique cultural mark on our area through music and language:
Music goes where people go. We always make music portable whether we are in the 1980's or 1780's. These French traveler coureurs de bois were only able to bring one instrument with them: fiddles!! Everything else was too large for their canoes. Guitars were not a thing yet. Banjos came later with African influence. Fiddles were the iPod of the day.
Thus, French colonialism left a unique imprint on the music and language of our area. If you dig deep enough around the Old Mines area you can still find people speaking a French dialect straight from the French and Indian War time period. They were not part of Louis XIV's France when he made everyone speak the "king's French." So, in our terms, it would sound like someone speaking straight out of a Shakespeare play in old English. La Guignolee is a 250 year old French fiddle tradition which you will still hear in the Old Mines/Potosi/De Soto area and on New Years Eve in Sainte Genevieve and Prairie du Rocher.
Here is a sample video of the tradition from last New Year's Eve. This has been happening in Sainte Genevieve annually for a solid 250 years.
Mike Papin Interview of La Guignolee
So, there is a point to learning all of this French and Spanish background. Most of what is now the United States began as Spanish and French Colonial Empires. The English got a thin sliver of Thirteen leftover colonies east of the Appalachian Mountains. Yet, the English and later Americans would expand beyond those mountains, absorb or conquer the Native American, Spanish, and French cultures; and become the richest most powerful nation on Earth. This is the main story of the class!!!
This is a great image to see how little England got in the exploration game compared to Spain and France. Don't even count the red north of French blue in Canada. It is all frozen wasteland.
England was last and got the leftovers. The recovery from the Hundred Years War and the additional 30 years consumed by the Wars of the Roses put England behind. Henry VII captured the throne because he was the heir to both the Houses of York and Lancaster who were fighting for power in England. He began English exploration, but England's efforts were then wrecked by the marriage and religious drama of Henry VIII.
English background...hmmmm....let me take this way too far back to give you some context. In 1066, England was living under the original Anglo-Saxons kings. The current king was Harold. Across the English Channel, the French Duke of Normandy, William the Conqueror, had ambitions of becoming a king so he invaded England while Harold was worn down by Vikings. So, in 1066 William invaded England and Harold took an arrow in the eyeball at the Battle of Hastings. William the Conqueror became King of England. This was the last time England would ever be successfully invaded...an point Napoleon and Hitler should have studied more in their history classes. But out main point is that England and France were bound together now. The English kings were more French than English. Especially after Henry II married the French princess Eleanor of Aquitaine. Their sons were Richard I who fought the Third Crusade and blew all of England's money in that loss. He took a crossbow bolt in the throat after the Crusades, so England's money troubles were left to his little brother John I. John was forced to sign Magna Carta in 1215 which began limiting the power of English kings so they couldn't just blow all the money. The English and French were still bound together because these English kings were heir to the lands of William and Eleanor who were from France. Then the French king died in the 1300's with no heir. Based on family history, Edward III of England claimed to be the nearest relative and invaded France to capture both thrones. The French resisted but were losing the Hundred Years War. Especially when super knight warrior Henry V was King of England. His son, though...Henry VI was not so hot. Joan of Arc, a 16 year old French peasant girl told the King of France god sent her to him to win the war. The French were so desperate they let a sixteen year old girl lead their armies. Joan rallied the French national spirit and they won the war. A little gunpowder traded from China through the Muslims also helped. Henry VI looked like a completely weak idiot, though. So his "friends" decided he needed help ruling England.
The Wars of the Roses were the result of two branches of Henry VI's family trying to help him by getting control of him and ruling England through him. The poor guy was captured by both sides several times and forced to rule their way. Meanwhile his French wife was running around England, Scotland, and Europe trying to save him. The were very twisted and cruel. Henry VI was either murdered or just died in the Tower of London while under the control of Edward IV. But Edward died young with two young sons. His brother Richard III murdered the two young princes in the Tower of London, but was himself killed in the Battle of Bosworth Fields when Henry VII took control of England. Henry VII was able to gain control because he was heir to both warring factions.
I know, I know....too many Henrys, Edwards and roman numerals. Here is the point. ENGLAND WAS A MESS AFTER 150 YEARS OF WAR. Henry VII got England exploring and got them on good financial ground again, but was old and dying after so many years of trying to gain the throne. So, basically on his death bed he begs his son Henry VIII to NOT let England slip back into Civil War and keep the throne in the family.
Henry VIII and his Big Dilemma
So, Henry VIII is given a giant death-bed guilt trip mission on his father's death bed. Basically, "son...don't mess up everything I spent a lifetime fighting for. I fought for this throne for YOU!" So, Henry's first mission is to get married and have a son to keep the throne in the family. By this time, Spain had boatloads of gold rolling in, so Henry killed two birds with one stone by marrying the Spanish princess Catherine of Aragon. Spain had money and he could have a male heir quick. If you are a parent, then you know how long the process can be of having children. There were no ultrasounds back then or any technology to determine health or gender. Catherine got pregnant SIX times. Henry VIII waited week by week, month by month for almost a year each time to hear the news of a male heir. Each time he was disappointed by a still-born child. They had one son who died within weeks. Their only surviving child was a girl they named Mary. They tried for over 20 years to have a male heir. Henry was getting desperate to fulfill his death bed promise to his father. So, Henry VIII turned to drastic measures.
Henry VIII's Drastic Measures
Henry asked the pope for a divorce. This put the pope the in a BAD spot. Divorce is still considered not a thing in the Catholic church, but especially so in the 1500's. And doubly especially so when Catherine was a Spanish princess. Spain was the most Catholic of countries and super powerful from their boatloads of gold. The pope of course said, "NO!" Henry took matters into his own hands and declared to be the head of the Church of England. The Protestant Reformation had just begun in Germany when Martin Luther nailed his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenburg. Revolting agasint the Church was a big deal, but now Henry VIII could grant himself a divorce. He then married Anne Boleyn. He went through the suspense again, but alas, it was girl. So, Henry now had to two daughters: Mary who would be super Catholic and refused to do things her fathers way and Elizabeth who would be super protestant. Henry concluded Anne was cheating so she was beheaded. He then married Jane Seymour and endured the suspense again...and it was a BOY!!! But, Jane died due to complications and the boy was weak and sick. So Henry kept on trying. He married Anne of Cleves based on a portrait picture, but divorced her after raising the veil and seeing her real face. Catherine Howard was also caught cheating, so she was beheaded. Catherine Parr was his final choice and he died happy knowing he had a son....who died at age 15 before he could really be king.
Mary versus Elizabeth
So, in the end, Henry VIII only succeeded in adding 50 more years of turmoil to the 150 years of war. It would not get better. Mary, the super Catholic daughter of Spanish princess, takes the throne and demands everyone return to the Catholic church. She earned the nickname Bloody Mary by executing those who refused. She died quick, though, which brought Elizabeth to the throne. Elizabeth demanded all return to the protestant Church of England like her mother and father during her 45 years as queen.
The point is all this religious flip-flopping kept England in turmoil for another 50 years. Plus, Elizabeth would have Francis Drake steal Spanish gold which added insult injury after England divorced out their Spanish princess. It would lead to war and more turmoil.
Sooooooooooooo....in the quest for peace and religious freedom...people began leaving England for the New World....geeez....finally getting to the point.
The Thirteen English Colonies
I do realize I give a LOT of background history for context. I am systematically planting seeds. Its a lot, but each piece is planting seeds to help understand future pieces of history. I promise!!!
The Thirteen English Colonies are divided into three sections: New England, Middle and Southern Colonies.
The Southern Colonies
The Southern Colonies were first. They were on a mission to make money for England and money is the theme seed we are planting which will flower into the Civil War. These colonies included Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maryland. They all had one giant seed in common. In order to make a profit, they came to rely on slave labor.
Virginia is the mother pearl of the thirteen colonies. Virginia would always be the largest, most populous, and richest of the colonies. Thus, Virginia carried the most weight at the Continental Congresses and Constitutional Conventions. If Virginia wasn't happy, then nobody was happy. This is why the commander-in-chief of the Continental Army during the revolution and the president/chairman of the Constitution Convention was from Virginia. Virginia would produce 4 of the first 5 presidents and be politically dominant until the Civil War.
The first attempt to settle Virginia was in 1587. John White led a ship of colonists to settle at Roanoke. The colonists were dropped off with instructions to build shelter, defense, and plant crops. The shipped returned to England to gather additional supplies and settlers. However, history intervened. Spain's anger with England had reached a boiling point after Henry VIII divorced their Spanish princess and insulted the Catholic faith. Plus, Elizabeth found it was easy to send privateers (pirates working for a nation) such as Francis Drake and Henry Morgan to rob those boatloads and boatloads of Spanish gold. Spain launched the infamous Spanish Armada to attack England. The goal was for these 130 huge warships laden with 3,000 cannon to destroy the English navy. The Spanish Armada would then pick up the Spanish army in the Netherlands and invade England to destroy and punish them. However, big heavy ships are slow ships. Drakes fast moving "pirate" ships whipped the Spanish Armada in 1588. It took all of England's efforts, though. When the dust settled after a year of war the English remembered Roanoke. When they returned, there was nothing. No bodies, no sign of violence or disease. Just nothing. Twenty years would pass before England even tried again.
England tried again in 1608 with settlers of Jamestown. If you saw the Disney movie Pocahontas, the beginning is somewhat right. They jumped off the boat with shovels seeking gold and diamonds in the Virginia hills. They found acorns when they should have been building homes and planting crops. Jamestown had a savior, though. John Smith took charge. Smith was a loud mouth blowfish braggart who talked about himself so much on the ship voyage they had him locked in the brig below decks. Nobody liked John Smith, but he had big talk and charm. He conned the Indian village led by Powhatan into giving Jamestown food while they were starving. This gave Smith power in Jamestown. He was giving the orders to build homes and defenses because he had power over the food, but the settlers resented John Smith.
The John Smith story really heats up when one day he swagged into Powhatan's village and the big warriors grabbed him, tied him to a pole, and surrounded him with firewood. They were dancing around him with torches. John Smith believed this was the fiery end of his adventures. But, much to his relief and surprise, the chief's twelve year old daughter ran out his house (yes...I said house. Eastern Indians were farmers, so they had not use for mobile teepees). She flung her arms around John Smith and refused to allow him to be killed. The chief came out to see about the ruckus and demanded Smith be freed. So Pocahontas and John Smith got married and lived happily ever after....
Geez...she was twelve. John Smith and Pocahontas were NEVER a thing. He was still the Big Man on Campus in Jamestown, but the resentments were building. Another settler set Smith's powder horn on fire...you know, the container of gunpowder these guys wore at their hip? It exploded and blew half of Smith's butt off. He had to return to England for some serious medical attention. This left Pocahontas to marry John Rolfe.
Who the heck is John Rolfe? He is the guy that finally made England RICH!! He discovered Indian use of tobacco. They dried the leaf and tucked it into their lip for a mild speed effect. The English, of course, found a way to make it "better." They ground it up and snuffed it. Before long all of Europe was addicted to tobacco snuffing and smoking. Tobacco was better than gold for England. It is a renewable resource and as chemically addicting as heroin. Spanish gold mines would run dry. The French would deplete the animals providing fur. Tobacco can be endlessly grown.
Tobaco made England rich beyond their wildest dreams, but it has TWO CONSEQUENCES:
1. Tobacco is labor intensive. It required slaves. Indian slaves just ran away and could survive in their own woods. Thus, the importation of an easily identifiable slave labor force who would be dependent on the their owners for survival was required to grow tobacco. Thus, the importation African slaves was born. The importation would only grow when the Industrial Revolution demanded cotton to make clothing in English textile mills. The cotton gin would only make slavery grow more by making cotton easier to process. More had to be planted, cultivated and picked by hand...slave hands. Hand cotton picking would be the foundation of the southern economy until a machine was developed in the 1960's. If you were a black slave before the Civil War or black/white poor after the Civil War you were going to pick cotton.
2. Tobacco is nutrient sucking from the land. The Thirteen colonies are trapped between the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachian Mountains. The tobacco would suck the soil dry. There was demand for new land....land beyond the mountains...but the French would have to be fought to have it.
North and South Carolina
Tobacco was making England rich. The more tobacco, the richer England got. So, North and South Carolina were colonized to grow more tobacco to make England richer. Simple story, no heroes or adventures. But now that the English colonies had value...the Spanish in Florida were a threat.
The Spanish in Florida were a threat to Virginia and the Carolinas. Spain was getting desperate after losing the Spanish Armada in 1588. The gold mines were running dry in Mexico and South America. France became the world power in the 1600's due to fur. Spain could attack Virginia and the Carolinas to regain their power. So, James Oglethorpe had an idea. Create the colony between Virginia/Carolinas and Spanish Florida. English prisons were overflowing. The prisoners could be given their release and settled in Georgia. Basically, the idea was to create a buffer zone to slow down a possible Spanish invasion. While the settlers of Georgia were being slaughtered, Virginia and the Carolinas could prepare a defense. These were mostly debt prisoners. England imprisoned debtors until they could replay. Makes not sense, right? So the prisons filled up. This is why we have bankruptcy laws to escape debt. The Spanish invasion never happened and the Georgia colonists learned to grow peaches.
Most of you will not consider Maryland a southern colony. However, the defining characteristic is slavery. The norther border of Maryland is the Mason-Dixon line.
Maryland is a bit different, though. Remember England is in religious turmoil. They had no religious freedom. You were at the mercy of the reigning monarch and going to church was a LAW, not a choice. Really, mandatory attendance at your local church and mandatory money paid. Henry VIII made England protestant, Mary made them Catholic, and Elizabeth made them protestant again. So, a fellow named George Calvert established Maryland as a safe place for Catholics to settle. Maryland actually adopted religious freedom.
I hope you can see the religious turmoil of England is why America was so determined to establish freedom of religion in our constitution and keeping church and state separated.
New England Colonies
The focus of New England colonies is religion, religion, and more religion. We say they came for religious freedom, but the real truth is they came for freedom to dictate their own religion rather than the king's religion.
A MAJOR theme is the stark contrast between Southern and Northern colonies from the very beginning. This course is basically building toward the Civil War. The division was set from DAY ONE!!!!
Massachusetts is the ring leader of the New England colonies. The religious turmoil of England splintering the people into religious factions. Many English were dedicated to the Catholic church of the old days, but they were losing in England. Queen Elizabeth stood by the Church of England created by her father which was the official church of Virginia. It became known as the Anglican in England and the Episcopalian in America. However, the Church of England was really identical in ritual to the Catholic. The name and leadership changed. There were those in England who wanted to "purify" the church of the Catholic ritual. These "puritans" wanted simple buildings, no stained glass, no fancy clothing for the priest, no gold, and no ceremonial ritual followed since the Middle Ages. These are the beginning of the simple white church buildings and service you might find in a country Baptist or Methodist church. The Puritans were persecuted in England for being neither Catholic or Church of England. They were die hard and stuck to their beliefs...even when being burned alive. So, they were highly motivated to leave England...to travel abroad seeking religious freedom....a phrase summed up in the term Pilgrim.
The pilgrims first sought relief from English persecution by going to Amsterdam, the most liberal place on Earth even today. But, if you know anything about modern day Amsterdam, can you imagine religious die hards moving there? The Pilgrims feared for the future of their children, so they asked the King of England for permission to settle in Virginia. He granted permission to settle in VIRGINIA. The Mayflower missed Virginia by about 500 miles and landed at Plymouth Rock in Massachusetts in 1620. Keep in mind, Columbus made four voyages across the wider South Atlantic and found his way with precision 128 years prior to the Pilgrims. Ships might get a bit off course, but 500 miles is not a bit. The Pilgrims were deliberately seeking to escape from royal authority. They envisioned building a shining city on a hill as shining beacon to the world of a religious utopia. Their vision was not really religious freedom. It was the freedom to build a community where their religion was the absolute dictated law.
You of course know about the starving time and how Squanto emerged from the woods speaking English and showed the Pilgrims how to plant corn and survive in the harsh climate and rocky soil of New England. Don't you find it weird that Squanto spoke English? He had been captured and enslaved by English fishermen years before and made his way back. The Pilgrims survived, had their first Thanksgiving, and were followed by more Puritans who shared the belief in religious law.
They settle Boston and Salem. They had witch trials and burned teenage gossipy girls at the stake. PLEASE read The Scarlet Letter and Young Goodman Brown to get the full flavor of how RELIGION WAS THE LAW to these people. They believed separation of church and state was abhorrent.
Rhode Island, Connecticut, and New Hampshire
Roger Williams arrived in Massachusetts believing he could preach the Bible according to his own beliefs and religious freedom. He learned quickly the Puritan leaders completely dictated church sermons and interpretation. So, he was kicked out of Massachusetts and founded a settlement in Rhode Island for true religious freedom. He was followed by Anne Hutchinson. She was a woman who was foolish enough to hold Sunday afternoon discussions interpreting the sermon and the Bible. The Puritan elders were NOT into letting a woman discuss such things, so she also moved on to Rhode Island.
Others kicked out of Massachusetts for holding their religious beliefs established settlements which would become Connecticut and New Hampshire. Vermont would split from New Hampshire later. Maine was a piece of Massachusetts until 1820. The Missouri Compromise made Missouri a slave state in 1820, so Maine was separated to create a balancing free state to keep the Senate evenly divided.
Again, I do realize I dump a LOT of context, background, and detail on you which is perfectly organized and makes sense in my brain on how it applies. It really will all come together as we build toward the Civil War.
1. New England colonies are ALL about religion and having it absolutely their way or the highway. There was no tolerance and no compromise. They went to New England to ESCAPE royal authority from Day 1. The problems which led to the American Revolution began in BOSTON among these anti-authority non-compromising, authority escaping stubborn people. Later, they would get it into their heads slavery was a moral religious sin issue rather than a legal issue. Once that notion was in their head, they started a holy crusade to abolish slavery and were willing to die in the name of god to abolish slavery. Lincoln was a compromiser. New England abolitionists were NOT.
2. Southern colonies were ALL about money. The tobacco and cotton trade would make them richer and richer. They traded their goods to England in return for fine English things. They were quite happy with the system. They needed England to buy their tobacco and cotton. Revolution was NOT in their best interest. Their way of life required black African slaves. They knew it was wrong, but cash is king. Let's face it...if I offered each and every one of you a suitcase full of $10 million for EACH of you. But, I told you up front the money was dirty drug cartel money made from the addictions of the poor and the minorities; and was earned with gang violence and murder; how many of you turn down the money on moral and religious principle? How many of you would take and then justify taking it by saying you would do good things with it to help the poor, minorities, and victims of gang violence? How many would just take it for their own greed? The South new slavery was wrong, but who can give away their family fortune? George Washington was the ONLY founding father who freed his slaves in his will upon his wifes's death. He never divided families by selling surplus, which cost him money.
The Middle Colonies
If the North is all religion and the South is all money, then what about the Middle Colonies? BOTH!!!! A mix of money and religion is found in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
New York and New Jersey
It is time to start over-simplifying. New York was all about money. The Dutch actually owned it after Henry Hudson explored and claimed land on the Hudson River. This would be before he found Hudson Bay, where his men dumped him and his teenaged son in a life boat and went home. The Dutch bought Manhattan Island for that famous box of glass beads thinking they got a deal. The Indians had no concept of private property landownership, so they thought it was a deal, too. Paid for something you can't own!
The joke was on both the Dutch and the Indians. The King of England's Brother, the Duke of York wanted a military reputation and street cred, so England attacked the Dutch and took it. They renamed New Amsterdam as New York in honor of the Duke.
New Jersey was added to make more money.
Pennsylvania and Delaware
Back to that religious turmoil stuff. While the Catholics, Church of England, and Puritans were in turmoil in England, some smaller groups developed. The Quakers and Shakers were too groups who were persecuted for the body movements they exhibited in their service. The Quakers were actually called the Society of Friends. They believed all men were equal, so a service was in a circle and there was no appointed "minister." Anyone could speak when moved. They also hated slavery due to their democratic equality beliefs.
Elizabeth I died with no children, this is why Virginia is named Virginia. Her royal cousin James I of Scotland was brought down to be King of England. He was fine, but Charles I followed him and caused the English Civil War because he tried to be a total monarch. He borrowed money from the Penn family for his war and was unable to pay back the money before getting his head chopped off...checks and balances like Magna Carta limited the power of the king. So, William Penn was repaid by being given the colony of Pennsylvania. See it in the name? I could put a picture of William Penn here or you could go to your pantry and look at a box of Quaker Oats. He made Pennsylvania a haven for Quakers and bought Delaware for access to the Atlantic Ocean for trade. This guy must have had some serious bank.
Pennsylvania is a BIG colony. Philadelphia would serve as the capital during the Revolution. New England was ALL for revolution, but the South was anti-revolution. Ben Franklin was a key figure in getting the peaceful Quakers of Pennsylvania fired up for the revolution. Quaker hatred of slavery would also make Pennsylvania key in the Civil War to support abolitionists of New England in making the Civil War a holy crusade against slavery.
Causes of the French and Indian War
1. The Age of Exploration began in 1492 and we are now in 1755. Almost all the land of the world had been "finders keepers" claimed by Spain, France or England. The only way to expand empire now was to fight for it.
2. Tobacco was wearing out the land east of the Appalachians. Wealthy plantation/slave owners were hungry for the rich tobacco land of Kentucky and Tennessee. The Ohio River Valley areas of Indiana, Illinois and Ohio were rich in farmland.
3. Scottish and Irish immigrants who were too poor to buy the land already all taken up by wealth slave owning plantation owners were in need of farmland. They had settled in the Appalachians and were evolving into a unique American culture I am just going to call the "hillbillies." This is not a put down. They needed the rich farmland of the Ohio Valley, too. They needed the Mississippi River to transport their corn crops to world market.
The Dreaming Colonel
Much of the French and Indian War story revolves around a character I shall the Dreaming Colonel and Fort Duquesne. Fort Duquesne was a French fort at the point where two small rivers converge to make the Ohio River. Scottish and Irish hillbillies had been using the rivers to leave the Thirteen Colonies to settle in the rich Ohio River Valley where they were generally lost to mankind. The French were offended, though, and feared allowing English settlement in Louisiana would eventually cost France the land and the fur trade. So, France, put a fort in this strategic place to cannon blast foreign settlers heading into Louisiana. When the French and Indian War broke out, England knew Fort Duquesne was the key strategic point to control the Ohio River...which means control of the Mississippi River....which means control of the Missouri River....which all together control of the rivers means control of Louisiana.
The English simply needed a military man who knew the land and could capture Fort Duquesne. So, the Dreaming Colonel enters the stage of history.
The Dreaming Colonel
I hope you can see in this picture what I mean by the Dreaming Colonel. He is youthful, upright, optimistic in his stance as he day dreams in this portrait. The Dreaming Colonel's family had moved into the Thirteen Colonies several generations before his birth. He was in fact born into plantation wealth. His father, Augustine, owned several plantations of tens of thousands of acres with dozens of slaves. The father's first marriage produced an older brother named Lawrence who was even sent back to England for an Oxford education. The first wife died, though, so the the Dreaming Colonel was a productd of a second marriage. The father died when the Dreaming Colonel was 11. Thus, the older brother Lawrence inherited bulk of the wealth. The Dreaming Colonel and his mother were left with a small plantation and had to fend for themselves. The Dreaming Colonel never finished his education and took a job as a land surveyor. He surveyed the Virginia country side and became very familiar with the land on each side of the Appalachians. He had, in fact, marked land for acquisition beyond the mountains should the land ever come into English possession. The Dreaming Colonel had ambitions, but not the means to achieve them. He studied manners from books, had littler formal education, and tried to raise himself socially by attending social functions at a neighboring plantation owned by the extremely wealthy Fairfax family.
Oh, but what was the Colonel's dream? He dreamed of being an officer in the regular British army. He served in the Virginia militia, but was looked down upon by the mother country as a colonial nobody. He read military books and attended weekend training, but the British were NEVER going to appoint a lowly colonial as an officer in the British army. He had to settle for land surveying. Nothing kills a the fire in person's soul more than settling for less than your dreams.
Then fate intervened with the French and Indian War. The British need someone with military experience to capture Fort Duquesne. What better than a colonel in the Virginia militia who knows the land beyond the mountains? So, the Dreaming Colonel is given an opportunity. He believes if he succeeds he will gain his most coveted appointment. So the Dreaming Colonel marches with his militia through the mountains. He attacks Fort Duquesne and utterly fails. He returns home in shame and failure.
Worse yet, arrogant and cocky British General William Braddock demands the Dreaming Colonel lead a force of British regulars to Ft. Duquesne so he can "show him how it is done." The Dreaming Colonel reluctantly performs this duty, but the the British are whipped and Braddock dies on the battlefield. The Dreaming Colonel rounds up the survivors and leads them home, which restores some of his dignity...but it is not victory. His dreams and ambitions are lost forever.
He learned a valuable lesson, though. If you play the game, you may lose. The only sure way to not to lose is to not play the game. Sad lesson, eh?
So, England was sucking at the French and Indian War. Parliament got scared and changed leadership. William Pitt become prime minister. Spit a little bit when you say William Pitt to capture his personality. Pitt was determined to win. He knew how to win, too. Tax, tax, and tax some more the English people to completely rebuild the British army and navy. It worked.
He appoints generals of ability rather than royal connections. General Jeffrey Amherst captures Montreal, while General James Wolfe faced off with the French General Montcalm at Quebec. Wolfe and Montcalm both die on the Heights of Abraham at the Battle of Quebec, but England wins.
The French surrender on September 8, 1760.
Treaty of Paris 1763
1. The Colonial world is re-organized. England takes Louisiana east of the Mississippi River.
2. England makes a deal with Spain. England gets Florida, Spain gets Louisiana west of the Mississippi River...including St. Louis and Sainte Genevieve and most of your home areas.
3. France loses its empire under the leadership of Louis XV. France will continue to spend, though, by taxing their own people to ridiculous amounts...like 95% for some people. Louis XVI takes the throne in completely bankruptcy. He will spend France's last dime helping America revolt in the hope of regaining some land. We won, but didn't share. Louis XVI will lose his head in the resulting French Revolution.
4. But here is the climax of the whole unit....
England gains a world empire they viciously defend by building the most powerful navy in the world
Louis XV loses the French Empire so France backslides like Spain into weakness until they lapse into the French Revolution..this will impact America 1789-1815
England concludes the high taxes and loans which were used to win the war and would be need in the future were unfair for only the people in England to pay....
See it coming yet?
The Thirteen Colonies!!!!!