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Transcript of Chapter 4
Juan de Onate led spanish settlers to establish European communities north of the Rio Grande. Pueblo Indians resisted white people. In 1680, a rebellion occured, led by El Pope, the natives drove the white people out of Mexico. The Spanish didn't reconquer this area until 1692. Hostility and failure to find precious metal cooled Spain's enthusiasm for the northern frontier. Concern over French encroachment in the Southeast led Spain to colonize St. Augustine(Florida) in 1565. This was the first permanent European settlement in what would become the United States. An impressive fort was built here, but attracted no migrants. California was not of great interest because it seemed to have only impoverished indians along the coast. Soon though, fear that Russians might seize the area caused Fra Junipero Serra and Don Gaspar de Portola to establish forts throughout the region. Spanish outposts in North America grew slowly because the fear of Indian attack discouraged most ordinary colonists. European women rarely appeared on the frontier, thus Spanish males formed relationships with Indian women, forming mestizos; children of a mixed race. The spanish, unlike the British backcountry exploited Native American labor, they were considered slaves for the most part. The Spanish also tried to convert the Indians to Catholicism. They resisted greatly, often killing priest that became too intrusive. The resources necessary to secure the northern frontier was never available to the Spanish, their forts were mainly to discourage other European powers from taking Spain's territory. William Byrd accepted a commission to help survey an area of North Carolina. He kept
a journal and recorded daily events. Byrd met many different types of people, Including a Hermit living in the "freedom" of the woods. As they went further into the backcountry, they encountered men and women of European descent "living like savages". The journey also brought Byrd's party into contact with Native Americans, distinguished as Catawba, Tuscarora, Usheree, and Sapponi Indians.
Everybody thought that the backcountry was a vast empty territory, even maps displayed it this way, but it was actually home to many isolated cultures.
During the 18th century Britain's 13 mainland colonies' population grew at unprecedented rates. German and Scots-Irish arrived in huge numbers, so did African slaves. Becoming less isolated, men and women expanded their horizons and become a part of a Anglo-American empire. They went from a "howling wilderness" to purchasing European manufactures, reading English journals, participating in imperial wars and sought favors from a growing number of resident royal officials. A second large body of settlers, more than 100,000 people, came from the Rhine Valley. Most of these migrants, belonged to small Protestant sects that had views similar to that of the Quakers. They moved to the New World primarily for religious toleration. Under the guidance of Francis Daniel Pastorius, Mennonites established a prosperous community in Pennsylvania. By midcentury, German migrants began to move to the New World to improve their material lives instead of moving for religous toleration. Henry Melchior Muhlenberg led the Germans through a difficult adjustment. Although the stimulus for coming to America may have been for economic independence, backcountry families, flocked to evangelical Protestant preachers, to Presbyterian, and later Baptist, fulfilling the settlers spirtual needs. Tensions in The Backcountry Although these interactions were a "middle ground" both sides took advantage of each other when possible. During the first encounter with white men, one had to talk to the Chief or tribal elder, but as time went on, individual Indians began to trade and negotiate for themselves. Also at the begining of interactions between the two groups, the tools and weapons Indians got from the white men were just luxuries. Soon though, the Indians became dependent on these tools and needed them for survival. The British defeated the French in 1763, and they felt it unessasary to keep "old allies" happy. Also contagious disease continued to take a fearful toll. Between 1685 and 1790, the Indian population dropped 72%. Exact population from the colonial period is hard to find(the first annual census did not occur until 1790) but it is believed that the white population of the original 13 colonies rose from about 250,000 in 1700 to 2,150,000 in 1770. Because the population growth was so sudden 1/2 of the population was under 16. The newcomers to America generally hoped to obtain their own land and become independent farmers. Often settling to the backcountry, surviving in this area was more difficult than they had anticipated. They plunged into a complex, fluid, and often violent society that included Native Americans, African Americans, as well as other Europeans.
During the 17th century, English rulers thought that they could dominate Catholic Ireland by sending thousands of Scottish Presbyterians. These settlers became known as the Scots-Irish. The plan however, failed. Scots Irish migrated back to America, an estimated 150,000 migrated back to the colonies before the revolution. Most of the Scots-Irish landed in Philadelphia, but then carved out farms on Pennsylvania's western frontier. They squatted on whatever land looked best, often challenging authority. Spanish Borderlands of The Eighteenth Century The Impact of European ideas on American Culture The Journal of William Byrd During much of the 17th century, various indian groups who contested the English settlers for control of coastal lands suffered terribly, sometimes from war, but more often from disease. The two found it difficult to live near one another. Even against such odds the Indians survived. Some Native Americans, who's tribe had lost so many people they could no longer sustain a cultural identity, joined other Native American tribes. Stronger groups of indians generally welcomed them, using them to replace fallen tribe members. The "middle ground" is a term that refers to a geographical area where two distinct cultures interact with neither of them holding a clear upper hand, this helps us understand how indians held their own in the backcountry beyond the Appalachian Mountains. Native Americans did not wish to be isolated, they depended on white traders for weapons and other goods. The 18th century is commonly referred to as the Age of Reason, new ideas about God, Nature, and society were abundant. This intellectual revolution is known as the "Enlightenment". Colonists welcomed experimental science, but still defended the traditional views of Christianity. The thinkers of the Enlightenment shared basic assumptions. They(philosophers) replaced the original view of sin with a much more optimistic one; a God, having set the universe in motion, gave humans the power of reason to enable them to comprehend the orderly workings of his creation. Everything, including human society revolved around this set of rules. It was possible to achieve perfection in this world. Suffering was the result of people losing touch with fundamental insights of reason. For many Americans, the Enlightenment was a time to develop ideas and inventions to improve human life. The experiments of the people of this created very few earth shattering discoveries, but gave others of future generations incentive to make discoveries of their own. Benjamin Franklin European thinkers considered Benjamin Franklin a fellow "philosphe"; a person of reason and science. He had little formal education, but as a young man working in his brother's print shop, he kept up with the latest intellectual currents. After he moved to Philadelphia in 1723 he devoted himself to finding useful ideas and knowledge that would increase the happiness of his fellow Americans. Franklin never denied the existence of a God. Rather, he pushed the idea aside, making room for free exercise of human reason. His investigation of electricity brought him world fame, although Franklin was never satisfied with his work until it held real world applications. He invented the lightening rod and an efficient stove that we still use to this day. In Philadelphia, he organized groups that discussed the latest English literature, philosophy and science. In 1727 for example, he "form'd most of my ingenious Acquaintances into a Club for mutual improvement which we call'd the Junto". Four years later, Franklin helped develop the Liberty Company which helped people to pursue "useful knowledge". Economic Transformation Population was growing at an unprecedented rate. Even with so many additional people to clothe and feed, per capita income did not decrease. Abundance of land and the growth of agriculture accounted for their economic success. Farmers could not only provide for their families, but also sell to European and West Indian markets. At mid century, colonial exports flowed along well establish routes. More than half of American goods produced for export went to Britain. The Navigation Acts were still in effect, and "enumerated" goods had to be first landed at a British port. The White Pines Acts passed in 1711, 1722, and 1729 forbade Americans to cut down white pine trees without a license. This was to reserve the best trees for the Royal Navy. The Molasses Act of 1733 placed a heavy tax on molasses imported from foreign ports. The Hat and Felt Act of 1732 and the Iron Act of 1750 attempted to limit the production of goods that competed with British exports. These legislatures however were not strongly enforced and for the most part, ignored. Birth of a Consumer Society The Consumer Revolution began when colonists began more and more English goods. This boosted the British economy greatly, crude earthenware was replaced by China; imported cloth replaced homespun. Certain things were being produced easier and cheaper than ever before. This changed American culture substantially. The temptation to own English finery blinded most people to hard economic realities. American debt was growing quickly. Colonial leaders tried several different resolutions. Issuing paper money, for example. These efforts delayed crisis, but did not simply get rid of the debt problem.
Intercoastal trade also increased, southern planters sent tobacco and rice to New England and the Middle colonies where these were exchanged for meat, wheat, and goods imported from Britain. Western Pennsylvania backcountry farmers also carried their grain to market along an old Iroquois trial that became known as the Great Wagon Road. Long, graceful Conestoga wagons carried most of their produce.
The shifting patterns of trade had immense effects on the development of an American culture. First, the flood of british imports eroded local and regional identities. Americans were increasingly drawn into a sophisticated economic network centralized in London. Second, the expanding coastal and overland trade brought colonists of different backgrounds into more frequent contact. Ideas between Americans from different areas were shared more often than before because of the ships sailing to different places. Religious Revivals in Provincial Societies The Great Awakening was a sudden spontaneous series of Protestant revivals in the mid 18th century. Many Americans had realized that religion had lost a lot of meaning. Ministers didn't seem to "touch the heart" of people. The Great Awakening was unexpected in Northampton. It was sparked by Jonathan Edwards who subscribed to the ideas of Calvinism. He reminded people that a God had determined their fate and there was nothing they could do to save themselves. Edwards did not possess the dynamic personality to sustain the revival. This task was given to George Whitefield. While Whitefield was not an original thinker, he was an outstanding public speaker. His audiences included all kinds of people; rich/poor young/old rural/urban. Whitefield described himself as a Calvinist, but welcomed all Protestants. Crowds flocked to hear George Whitefield while his critics grumbled about the "commercialization of religion". Evangelical Religion Itinerant Preachers traveled from settlement to settlement throughout the colonies spreading their message. Gilbert Tennent was the most famous, his sermon "On the Danger of an Unconverted Ministry" insulted ministers by saying that they did not understand true religion. Men and Women who flocked to hear the Itinerants were known as "New Lights" During the 1740s and 1750s some congregations split between those "New Lights" and those who regarded the movement as dangerous nonsense. Some "old lights" reported the people listening to Itinerant preachers were even killing themselves because they were being told that they were doomed to go to hell. In 1746, to keep these preachings alive New Lights established the College of New Jersey(later Princeton University)
The Great Awakening also taught those who were taught to remain silent before traditional authority figures to speak up. They could no longer relay on priests or ministers, individuals stood before God alone. Expressive Evangelicalism was popular among African Americans. Itinerants spoke to large groups of slaves. Richard Allen, the founder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church reported owing his freedom to a traveling Methodist preacher who convinced his owner that slavery was sinful. Thousands of African slaves converted. The Great Awakening was a "national" event long before a nation even existed. Clash of Political Structures Political history of the 18th century involves a lot of tensions. Americans of all regions repeatedly stated their desire to replicate British political institutions. Although England has never had a formally written constitution, they did over the centuries develop a system of legal checks and balances that, in theory, kept the king from becoming a tyrant. Colonists claimed that this helped reserve their rights. The more they attempted to become British, the more aware they became of major differences.
The colonists assumed that their own governments were modeled on Britain's balanced constitution. They saw colonial assemblies as American reproductions of the House of Commons and expected them to preserve the people's interest against those of the monarch and aristocracy. Colonists soon discovered that general theories about a mixed constitution were less relevant in America than they were in Britain. By mid century most of the mainland colonies had a governor appointed by the crown, they held a very large amount of power, including the ability to veto legislature and dismiss judges. The governors also were the military commanders for each province. Royal governors were advised by a council of about 12 wealthy colonist selected by the Board of Trade.....on the recommendation of the governor. The council's ability to exercise independent authority declined in the 18th century. It's members didn't represent a distinct aristocracy within American society in the way the House of Lords did in Britain. High percentages of people able to vote in the colonies make scholars to view the colonies as "middle class democracies". Even with the ability to vote, most only voted on serious topics. Colonial Assemblies Elected members of the colonial assemblies believed they had an obligation to preserve colonial liberties. Representatives took no criticism. They were so aggressive in seizing privileges, determining procedures, and controlling money bills that historians have described the political development of 18th century America as "the rise of the assemblies." Colonial legislatures had no reason to cooperate with Royal Governors. Alexander Spotswood, for example attempted to institute a new land program backed by the crown, persuasion and gifts failed. The members of the House of Burgesses refused to support anything that didn't suit their own interest. William Shirley and a few other governors tried to recreate the political structure of Patronage, but these practices clashed with the colonists views of perception of politics. A major source of shared political information was the weekly journal. In New York and Massachusetts especially, weekly journals urged readers to preserve civic virtue and be vigilant against the spread of privileged power. During the century the law became increasingly English in character. The colonial legal system by 1750 "was substantially that of the mother country." Century of Imperial War King Williams War Queen Anne's War King George's War French and Indian War 1689-1697 1702-1713 1743-1748 1756-1773 The Threat of the French: King Louis XIV of France had an army of about 100,000 well armed troops, but he dispatched a few of them to the New World. He left the defense of Canada and the Mississippi Valley to the companies engaged in the fur trade.
For most of the 18th century the theoretical advantages the English enjoyed did them little good. While the British settlements processed a larger and more prosperous population, they were divided into separate governments that sometimes seemed more suspicious of each other than of the French. Although the population of New France was comparatively small, it was concentrated along the St. Lawrence, so while the French found it difficult to mount effective offensives against the English, they could easily mass the forces to defend Montreal and Quebec. During the early 18th century, the English settlers believed that the French planned to "encircle" them. The English noted as early as 1682 La Salle had claimed for the King of France a territory-Louisiana. In 1718 the French settled New Orleans. King George's War and it's Aftermath In 1743, The Americans were dragged into King George's War. In which the colonists scored a magnificent victory over the French. Louisbourg, a gigantic fortress on Cape Brenton Island, guarded the approaches to the Gulf of St. Lawerence and Quebec. New England troops under William Pepperell captured Louisbourg in June 1745. The French were not prepared to surrender an inch, but the English colonies were growing more populous, and the English processed a seemingly inexhaustible supply of manufactured goods to trade with the Indians. The French decided in the early 1750s therefore to seize the Ohio Valley before the Virginians could do so. They established forts throughout the region.
British officials advised Virginians to "repel force by force", they needed little encouragement. They were eager to make good on their claim to the Ohio Valley. In 1754, militia companies under a promising young officer, George Washington, constructed Fort Necessity not far from Fort Duquesne. The French and their Indian allies overran the exposed outpost(July 3, 1754) The humiliating setback revealed that a single colony could not defeat the French.
Benjamin Franklin appreciated the need for intercolonial cooperation. When British officals invited representatives from Virginia, Maryland, and the northern colonies to Albany (June 1754) to discuess relations with the Iroquois, Franklin used the occasion to present a blueprint for colonial union. His Albany Plan envisioned the formation of a Grand Council, made up of elected delegates from the colonies, to oversee matters of common defense, western expantion, and Indian affairs. The first reaction to the Albany Plan was enthusiastic. To take effect, however, it required the support fo the separate colonial assemblies and Parliament. It received neither. The British thought the scheme undermined the crown's power over American affairs. In 1755 the Ohio Valley again became the scene of fierce fighting. Even though there was no formal declaration of war, the British resolved to destroy Fort Duquesne. In command was Major General Edward Braddock. On July 9th Braddock led 2,500 British Redcoats and colonists to humiliating defeat. Nearly 70% of Braddocks troops were killed or wounded. General Braddock himself even died in battle. The French suffered very little casualties maintained strong control over the Ohio Valley. Seven Years' War Britain's imperial war effort had hit rock bottom. Nobody seemed to have the leadership necessary to drive the French from the Mississippi Valley. The cabinet of George II lacked the will to organize and finance a sustained military campaign in the New World. On May 18,1756, the British officially declared war on the French. A conflict called the French and Indian War in America and in Europe it was referred to as the Seven Years War. Had it not been for William Pitt, this military stalemate might have continued. Pitt publicly express his belief that he could alone save the British empire. He became the effective head of ministry in December 1756. Regardless of costs, Pitt was determined to expel France from the continent. To direct the campaign, Pitt selected two relatively obscure officers, Jeffery Amherst and James Wolfe. On July 26, 1756 forces under their direction captured Louisbourg. This victory cut Canadians' main supply line with France. The small population of France could no longer met the military demands placed on it. As the situation became more desperate, the French forts in the Ohio Valley and The Great Lakes began to fall. Duquesne was abandoned in late 1758. During the summer of 1759, the French surrendered key forts at Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and Niagara. Quebec itself fell in September 1759.
The Peace of Paris of 1763, signed on February 10th, almost filled Pitt's dreams. Britain took possession of an empire that stretched around the globe. Only Guadalupe, Martinique, the Caribbean Sugar Islands were given back to the French. After a century long struggle, the French were driven from the mainland of North America. The treaty gave Britain title to Canada, Spanish Florida, and all of the land east of the Mississippi river. Moreover, 80,000 French speaking Canadians, most of them Catholics, became the subjects of George III. Samuel Davies, a Presbiterian who brought the Great Awakening to Virginia, declared that the long awaited victory would inaugurate "a new heaven and a new earth." Perceptions of War The Seven Years War brought Americans into closer contact with the British. The war trained a corps of American officers, people like George Washington, who learned that the British were not invincible. The Americans cheered the British, but dragged their feet at every stage, refusing to pay the bills. These charges were later incorporated into a general argument justifying parliamentary taxation in America. The colonists were slow to provide men and materials to fight the French. Nevertheless they did contribute to the war and can at least be considered as junior partners in the empire. Conclusion: Rule Britannia? James Thomson, in 1740, he composed words that British patriots have proudly sung for 2 centuries:
"Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves,
Britons will never be slaves"
By mid-century, colonial Americans took their political and cultural cues from Great Britain. They fought in it's wars, purchased it's consumer goods, flocked to hear its evangelical preachers, and read its publications. The empire gave the colonists a compelling source of identity. Americans hailed Britannia. In 1763, they were the victors, the conquerors of the backcountry. In their moment of glory, colonists assumed Britain's rulers saw Americans as "brothers," equal partners in the business in the empire. Only slowly would they learn the British had a different perception. For them "American" was another way of saying "not quite English." American Stories: A History of The United States
Second Edition, Combined Volume
Brands, Breen, Williams, Gross
(online textbook) Sources: