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Transcript of Chapter 4
Pre - Revolutionary sources indicate that the total white population of Britain's 13 mainland colonies rose from about 250,000 to 2,150,000 in only 70 years. Natural reproduction was responsible for most of the growth. More families bore children who in turn lived long enough to have children of their own. because of this sudden expansion, approximately one-half of the population at any given time was under the age 16 Unlike the seventeenth-century English settlers in search of religious sanctuary or instant wealth, the newcomers generally hoped to obtain their own land and become independent farmers. These people often traveled to the backcountry, a region stretching approximately 800 miles from western Pennsylvania to Georgia. They plunged into complex and often violent society that included Native Americans, African Americas, as well as other Europeans. After several poor harvests in the 1720s, many Scots-Irish began to emigrate to America, where they hoped to find the freedom and prosperity that had been denied them in Ireland.
An estimated 150,000 Scots-Irish migrated to the colonies before the Revolution. A second large body of non-English settlers, more than 100,000 people, came from the upper Rhine Valley the German Palatinate. Some of the migrants belonged to small Protestant sects. These Germans moved to the New World primarily to find religious toleration. Under the guidance of Fancis Daniel Pastorius. Unlike members of the protestant sect, these men and women were not in search of religious freedom. Rater, they traveled to the New World to improve their material lives. The concept of a middle ground is a geographical area where two district cultures interacted with neither holding a clear upper hand. The Native Americans never intended to isolate themselves completely from European contact. They relied on white traders, French and English to provide essential metal goods and weapons. Native Americans took advantage of rivals when possible and they compromised when necessary. It is best to imagine the Indians' middle ground as an open, dynamic process of creative interaction. The Survival of the middle ground depended ultimately on factors over which the native Americans had little control. Imperial Competition between France and Great Britain enhanced the Indians' bargaining position. But after the British defeated the French in 1763, the Indians no longer received the same attention. During the eighteenth century, the spanish empire in North America included widely dispersed settlements such as San Francisco and San Diego in Colifornia; Santa Fe, New Mexico; San Antonio, Texas; and St. Augustine, Florida. In the late sixteenth century, Spanish settlers, led by Juan de Onate, established European communities north of the Rio Grande. Concern over French enroachment in the Southeast led Spain to colonize St.Augustine in 1565. This was the first permanent European settlement in what would become the United States, predating the founding of Jamestown and Plumouth by decades. The Impact of European Ideas on American Culture The Intellectual revolution, called the Enlightenment involved the work of Europe's greatest minds, men such as Newton and Locke, Voltaire and Hume Enlightenment thinkers shared basic assumptions. Philosophers of the Enlightenment replaced the concept of original sin with a much more optimistic view of human nature. For many Americans, the appeal of the Enlightenment was its focus on a search for useful knowledge, ideas, and inventions to improve the quality of human life. Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) European thinkers regarded him as a fellow philosophe, a person of reason and science, a role that he self consciously cultivated when he visited England and France in later life. After he moved to Philadelphia in 1723, Franklin devoted himself to the pursuit of useful knowledge, ideas that would increase the happiness of his fellow Americans Franklin promoted the spread of reason. In Philadelphia, he organized groups that discussed the latest European 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 found the Library Company, a voluntary association that for the first time allowed people like him to pursue " useful knowledge." The colonial economy kept pace with the growth in population. Abundant land and the growth of agriculture accounted for white Americans economic success. More than half of American goods produced for export wen to Britain. The Navigation Acts were in effect and items such as tobacco hadto be landed first at British ports. The White Pines Acts passed in 1711, 1722 and 1729 forbade Americans from cutting white pine trees without a license. The Molasses Act of 1733 placed a heavy duty 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 colonial goods that competed with British exports. After midcentury, Americans began buying more English goods than their parents or grandparents had done, giving birth to a consumer revolution. Between 1740 and 1770, English exports to the American colonies increased by 360 percent. Intercoastal trad increased in the eighteenth century. Southern planters sent tobacco and rice to New England and the Middle Colonies, where these staples were exchanged for meat, wheat, and goods imported from Britain. Religious Revivals in Provincial Societies The Great Awakening arrived unexpectedly in Northampton, a small farm community in western Massachusetts. It was sparked by Jonathan Edwards, the local Congregational minister Whitefield's audiences came from all groups of American society: rich and poor, youn and old, rural and urban. Jonathan Edwards did not possess the dynamic personality to sustain the revival. That role fell to George Whitefield, a young, inspiring preacher from England who toured the colonies from New Hampshire to Georgia Other American-born itinerant preachers, who traveled from settlement to settlement throughout the colonies to spread their message, followed Whitefield's example. The Great Awakening encouraged men and women who had been taught to remain silent before traditional authority figures to speak up, to take an active role in their salvation. Americans of all regions repeatedly stated their desire to replicate British political institutions. Although England has never had a formal written constitution, it did develop over the centuries a system of legal checks and balabces that, in theory at least, kept the monarch from becoming a tyrant Clash of Political Cultures The founders of England's manland colonies had engaged in intense local conflicts with the Indians, such as King Philip's War (1675-1676) in New England. After 1690, the colonists were increasingly involved in hostilities that originated on the other side of the Atlantic, in political and commercial rivalries between Britain and France. In 1743 the Americans were dragged into King George's War (1743-1748), known in Europe as the war of the Austrian succession, in which the colonists scored a magnificent vicory over the French Although France and Britain had not officially declared war, British officials advised the governor of Virginia to " repell force by force." When British officials incited representatives from Virginia, Maryland, and the northern colonies to Albany to discuss relations with the Iroquois, Franklin used the occasion to present a blueprint for colonial union. His Albany Plan encisioned the formation of a Grand Council to oversee matters of common defense, western expansion, and Indian affairs. The first reaction to the Albany Plan was enthusiastic. To take effect, it need the support of the separate colonial assemblies and Pariament. It received neither. Seven Years War On May 18, 1756 the British officially declared war on the French, a conflict called the French and Indian War in America and the Seven Years' War in Europe. Had it not been for William Pitt, the most powerful minister in King George's cabinet, the military stalemate might have continued. When he became effective head of the ministry in December 1756, Pitt could demonstrate his talents. In Pitt's judgment, the critical confrontation would take place in North America, where Britain and France were struggling to control colonial markets and raw materials. The Peace of Paris of 1763, gave Britain possession of an empire that stretched around the globe. Only Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Caribbean sugar islands, were given back to the French Perceptions of War The Seven Years' war made a deep impression on American society. Even though Franklin's Albany Plan had failed, the war had forced the colonists to cooperate on an unprecedented scale. It also drew them into closer contact with Britain. They became aware of being part of a great empire, military and commercial, but in the process of waging war, they acquired a more intimate sense of an America that lay beyonnd the plantation and the village. Thank you for "enjoying" this Bailey Thomas production!