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Chapter 4

Experience of Empire

Taylor Ricketts

on 2 October 2012

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Transcript of Chapter 4

Chapter 4 Experience of Empire
Eighteenth-Century America, 1680-1763 Constructing an Anglo-American Identity:
The Journal of William Byrd Until 1821 when Mexico declared independence from Madrid, Spanish authorities struggled to control a vast northern frontier
Spanish empire in North America included widely dispersed settlements
In the borderland communities, European colonists mixed with peoples of other races and backgrounds, forming multicultural societies Spanish Borderlands of the Eighteenth Century Religious Revivals in Provincial Societies The Impact of European Ideas on American Culture 1st national census in 1790
Total white population of 13 colonies rose from 250,000 in 1700 to 2,150,000 in 1770
Natural reproduction was main cause of growth, so most of the colonial population was young; 1/2 of the population was under age 16
Population became more dispersed and heterogeneous Tensions in the Backcountry Land was not vast empty territory awaiting European settlers
Maps often depict cities and towns clustered along the Atlantic coast, suggesting a "line of settlement" and blank land beyond it
The empty space on these maps was the homes of Indians and various nomads
Population grew rapidly because German, Scots-Irish, and African slaves arrived in large numbers
Americans were less isolated, and became part of Anglo-American empire
Colonists started purchasing manufactures, reading journals, participating in imperial wars, and asking favors of the growing number of resident royal officials
Cultural, economical, and political ties with London stronger with time
Americans began to develop genuine nationalist sentiment and to seriously consider what it meant to be American Constructing an Anglo-American Identity:
The Journal of William Byrd Americans wanted a government like the British
Colonists claimed unwritten constitution of England preserved their rights and liberties
More the colonists attempted to become British, the more aware they became of major differences Clash of Political Cultures Founders of England's mainland colonies had engaged in intense local conflicts with Indians
Colonists were increasingly involved in hostilities that originated on the other side of Atlantic, political and commercial rivalries between Britain and France Century of Imperial War English rulers thought they could dominate Catholic Ireland by transporting thousands of lowland Scottish Presbyterians to northern Ireland
Became known as the Scots-Irish
Plan failed
Anglican English officials discriminated against the Presbyterians by passing laws that placed them at a disadvantage when they traded in England and taxed them
In the 1720s, many Scots-Irish began to emigrate to America, hoping to find freedom and prosperity
Presbyterian congregations followed ministers intent on replicating a distinctive, independent culture in the New World
150,000 Scots-Irish migrated to the colonies
The new immigrants created farms on Pennsylvania's
Colony proprietors originally welcomed the new settlers, but the Scots-Irish settled on whatever land looked best
Colony officials pointed out that large tracts had already been reserved
The immigrants argued and wherever they located, Scots-Irish established authority Scot-Irish Flee English Oppression More than 100,000 people came from the upper Rhine Valley
Some migrants belonged to small pietistic Protestant sects whose religious views were similar to those of the Quakers
Germans moved to find religious toleration
Francis Daniel Pastorious helped Mennonites establish a prosperous community in Pennsylvania known as Germantown
Lutherans transferred to Middle Colonies, were interested in improving material lives
Lutheran Church in Germany tried to control distant congregations and migrants tried to preserve traditional German culture, but were forced to accommodate to new social conditions
Henry Melchior Muhlenberg helped German Lutherans through a difficult cultural adjustment
In 1748 he organized a meeting of local pastors and and lay delegates that ordained ministers of their own choosing, an act of spiritual independence
German migrants began reaching Philadelphia in large numbers after 1717 and by 1766, Germans accounted for more than 1/3 of Pennsylvania's population
Germans were considered the best farmers in the colony
Usually remained wherever they found unclaimed land
Wherever they settled, usually lived beyond the effective authority of colonial governments
Backcountry residents petitioned for assistance during wars against the Indians but preferred to be left alone
Backcountry families originally wanted economic independence and prosperity, but ended up flocking to evangelical Protestant preachers, Presbyterian, and later Baptist and Methodist ministers. These leaders fulfilled the settlers' spiritual needs and gave them the idea of moral character that survived long after the colonial period Germans Search for a Better Life Various Indian groups that contested the English settlers for control of the coastal lands suffered terribly, war and more often from contagious diseases
Several hundred thousand Native Americans made their homes in the territory between the Appalachian Mountains and the Mississippi River
The Indians migrated the area to escape continuous confrontation with advancing European invaders, or because they were refugees of Native American groups who had lost so many people they couldn't sustain an independent cultural identity
Survivors joined with other Indians to create new multiethnic communities
Stronger groups mostly welcomed refugees, most strangers were formally adopted to replace relatives killed in battle or overcome by sickness
Native Americans relied on white traders to provide essential metal goods and weapons and never intended to isolate themselves completely from European contact
Indian confederacies goal was to maintain strong independent voice in commercial and trade exchanges
Compelled everyone who came to negotiate in the "middle ground" to give them proper respect
Took advantage of rivals and compromised when necessary
European goods began to change traditional Native American authority structures by letting them become more independent
Independent commercial dealings weakened the Indians' ability to resist organized white aggression
Survival of the middle ground depended on factors Native Americans had little control over, such as imperial competition
Contagious disease continued to take its toll and in the southern backcountry between 1685 and 1790 the population dropped 72% Native Americans Stake Out a Middle Ground Spanish settlers, led by Juan de Onate established European communities north of the Rio Grande
Pueblo Indians resisted any invasion of colonists, soldiers, and missionaries
In a major rebellion led by El Pope in 1680, the native peoples drove the whites out of New Mexico
Spanish did not reconquer this area until 1692
By that time, Native American hostility and failure to find precious metal had calmed Spain's interest in the northern frontier
Worry over French intrusion in the Southeast led Spain to colonize St. Augustine in 1565, it was the first permanent European settlement
Pedro Menendez de Aviles brought 1,500 soldiers and settlers to St. Augustine and constructed an impressive fort, but colony didn't attract additional Spanish migrants
Adventurers saw no natural resources worth mentioning and since the area was hard to reach from Mexico City, California received little attention
Fear of Russians seizing the region sparked Spanish activity
After 1769 two men, Fra Junipero Serra and Don Gaspar de Portola, organized permanent missions and forts in San Diego, Monterey, San Francisco, and Santa Barbara Conquering the Northern Frontier Spanish outposts in North America grew slowly
Danger of Indian attack and a harsh physical environment discouraged ordinary colonists
Most European migrants were soldiers paid by the empire
Spanish males formed relationships with Indian women, fathering mestizos because women rarely appeared on the frontier
Spanish exploited Native American labor, reducing entire villages into servitude
A lot of Indians moved to the Spanish towns and lived alongside the Europeans, but they were still classified as the lowest social class, as objects of European contempt
Southwestern Indians resisted attempts to convert them to Catholicism, the Pueblo stuck to their own religious views and sometimes murdered priests who became too intrusive
Angry Pueblos at Taos reportedly fed the Spanish friars corn tortillas containing urine and mouse meat
Small military posts were intended to discourage other European powers from taking Spanish territory Peoples of the Spanish Borderlands Referred to as Age of Reason
Body of new, radical ideas swept through salons and universities, changing how Europeans thought about God, nature, and society
Involved work of Europe's greatest minds
While colonists welcomed experimental science, defended traditional Christianity
Philosophers replaced concept of original sin saying God gave humans the power of reason to enable them to understand the orderly workings of His creation, and everything operated according to these rules
Responsibility of right-thinking men and women was to make sure institutions such as church and state conformed to self-evident natural laws
Possible to achieve perfection - human suffering was result of people losing touch with fundamental insights of reason
Appeal of Enlightenment was its focus on a search for useful knowledge, ideas, and inventions to improve quality of human life
Spawned many scientific tinkerers and they encouraged fellow countrymen to apply reason to solution of social and political problems American Enlightenment 1706 - 1790
Philosophe, person of reason and science
Had little formal education, but kept up with latest intellectual currents working in his brother's print shop
Moved to Philadelphia in 1723
Devoted himself to pursuit of useful knowledge to increase the happiness of fellow Americans
Promoted spread of reason - organized groups that discussed latest European literature, philosophy, and science
1731 helped found the Library Company - voluntary association that allowed people to pursue "useful knowledge"
Members of these societies communicated with other Americans in other colonies to spread ideas and information Benjamin Franklin Even with a rapidly growing population, the per capita income did not decline
Except for poor urban dwellers, white Americans did well
Abundant land and growth of agriculture accounted for their economic success - new farmers could provide for their families and also sell their crops in the markets
Each year more Americans produced more crops and maintained a high level of individual prosperity without the need for an industrial base
More than half of American goods were exported to Britain
Crown officials generally new laws, allowing trade without having to go through England
New generation of buyers who possessed enough income to purchase American goods, risking demand was major market force that helped shape the colonial economy Economic Transformation Americans began buying more English goods - between 1740 and 1770 English exports to America increased 360%
Small factories produced goods more efficiently and more cheaply that colonists could
British industrialization reduced American handicraft and folk art
Colonists deferred payment by paying interest on their debts
Began to gamble, hoping crops would reduce their dependence on large merchant houses of London and Glasgow
American debt continued to grow while colonial leaders tried to make up for it by issuing paper money, the efforts delayed a crisis by did not solve anything
Intercoastal trade also increased, by 1760 30% of the colonists total tonnage capacity was involved in coastwise commerce
Great Wagon Road was a rough, hilly highway that stretched 735 miles along the Blue Ridge Mountains - Conestoga wagons carried most produce for trade along this road to the markets - wagons invented by German immigrants
Flood of British imports eroded local and regional identities
Commerce helped to "Anglicize" American culture by exposing colonial consumers to British manufactured goods
Americans were increasingly drawn into a sophisticated economic network centered in London
Expanding coastal and overland trade brought colonists of different backgrounds into more frequent contact
Ships provided dispersed Americans with a way to exchange ideas and experiences on a more regular basis Birth of a Consumer Society William Byrd II Lived from 1674-1744 Tidewater planter
From Virginia
Helped survey disputed boundary with North Carolina
Kept a journal of daily events that's now regarded as a classic of early American literature Spontaneous series of Protestant revivals in the mid 18th century
Many Americans complained that organized religion had lost vitality
Congregational ministers seemed obsessed with dull, scholastic matters so they no longer touched the heart, in the Southern Colonies, there were simply not enough ordained ministers to tend to religious needs of the population
Sparked by Jonathan Edwards, a local congregational minister
Edwards accepted traditional teaching of Calvinism - taught there was nothing anyone could do to save themselves and they were totally dependent on the Lord's will
Thought fellow ministers had let people down by giving the mistaken impression that sinners might avoid damnation by doing good works
George Whitefield, preacher from England who toured the colonies speaking to any audience who would listen
Brilliant entrepreneur, published many books with Benjamin Franklin, possessed intuitive sense of how to make people believe him
Used latest technology to spread his teachings, like power of the press to spread revival The Great Awakening Itinerant preachers traveled from settlement to settlement throughout the colonies to spread their message
Most famous was Gilbert Tennent, Scots-Irish Presbyterian, who had been educated in the Middle colonies
Sermon "On the Danger of an Unconverted Ministry" set off protests from established ministers who were insulted by assertions that they did not understand true religion
Men and women who gathered to hear the preachers called "New Lights"
1740s and 1750s, many congregations split between defenders of new emotional preaching and those that disregarded the movement as dangerous nonsense
Charles Chauncy, minister of First Church of Boston questioned how people could be sure God sparked the Great Awakening? and that the itinerant preachers relied too much on emotion
New Lights founded several colleges to train young men to carry on good works of Edwards, Whitefield, and Tennent
1746, College of New Jersey, later known as Princeton University
Eleazar Wheelock founded Dartmouth 1769
Others founded Brown in 1764 and Rutgers in 1766
Great Awakening encouraged men and women to speak out and take an active role in their salvation
No longer rely on ministers or institutions, individuals stood alone before God
Many responses from African Americans
Richard Allen - founder of African Methodist Episcopal Church, says he owed his freedom in part to traveling Methodist minister who persuaded Allen's master that slavery was sinful
Evangelical religion was one of several forces at work that brought scattered colonists into contact with one another for the first time
With God's help, social and political progress was possible Evangelical Religion Colonists argued that government was like Britain's because the governor corresponded to the king and the governor's council to the House of Lords
Viewed colonial assemblies as American reproductions of House of Commons
Most mainland colonies had royal governors appointed by crown
Many governors were career army officers
Royal governors possessed enormous power, could do things in America a king could not do in England, like veto legislation and dismiss judges
Governors also served as military commanders in each province
Royal governors were advised by council, usually about 12 wealthy colonists chosen by Board of Trade in London on recommendation of governor
Colonial assemblies had little resemblance to House of Commons, major difference was size of American franchise - most adult white males who owned a little land could vote
Colonies considered "middle-class democracies," run by moderately prosperous yeomen farmers that used independent judgement
Not modern democracies, Americans participated in elections when major issues were at stake, but usually content to let members of rural and urban gentry represent them in assemblies
Colonial politics did not include women and nonwhites in voting
American voters always had the power to expel legislative rascals - kept political figures from straying to far from will of people Governing the Colonies: The American Experience Elected members of colonial assemblies believed the had obligation to preserve colonial liberties
Long series of imperial wars that demanded large public expenditures transformed small, amateurish assemblies into more professional, vigilant legislatures
Alexander Spotswood, Virginia governor 1710-1722, attempted to institute new land program backed by crown, members of House of Burgesses refused to support plan because it did not suit their own interests
William Shirley, held office in Massachusetts 1741-1757
Political success because connection to people who held high office in Britain
Practices clashed with colonists perception of politics, colonists believed in purity of balanced constitution, insisted on complete separation of executive and legislative authority
Law became more English in character
Local legal practices had been widespread, became standardized
Many men who served in colonial assemblies were either lawyers or had received legal training
When Americans from different regions met, discovered they shared commitment to preserving English common law
Political developments made Americans more aware of each other Colonial Assemblies King Louis XIV of France left defense of Canada and Mississippi Valley to companies engaged in fur trade
New France only contained 75,000 inhabitants compared to the 1.2 million in Britain's mainland colonies
British settlements possessed larger and more prosperous population, but they were divided into separate governments that sometimes seemed more suspicious of each other than of French
When war came, French officers and Indian allies exploited these jealousies
Population of New France was small but concentrated along St. Lawrence River, French found it difficult to create effective offensives, easily defended Montreal and Quebec
English colonists came to believe French planned to encircle them
La Salle had claimed Louisiana for France, included all people and resources located on streams and rivers flowing into Mississippi River
French constructed forts on Chicago and Illinois rivers
1717 established military post 200 miles up Alabama River
1718 settled New Orleans
French suspected rivals intended to seize all of North America, land speculators and frontier traders pushed into territory claimed by French and owned by Native Americans The French Threat No one in England or America possessed leadership necessary to drive French from Mississippi Valley
Cabinet of George II lacked will to organize and finance sustained military campaign in New World
Colonial assemblies balked every time Britain asked them to raise men and money
Britain officially declared war on French May 18, 1756. known as French and Indian War or Seven Years' War
William Pitt, most powerful minister in King George's cabinet
Believed he alone could save British empire
Became head of ministry in December 1756
1757 advanced new imperial policy on commercial assumptions
Determined to expel French from continent
Selected 2 officers, Jeffrey Amherst and James Wolfe, to direct grand campaign
July 26, 1758, forces recaptured Louisbourg
Victory cut Canadians' main supply line with France
Small population of New France could no longer meet military demands
French forts in Ohio Valley began to fall
Duspuesne abandoned when French and Indian troops retreated toward Quebec and Montreal
Summer of 1759 French surrendered key forts at Ticonderoga, Crown Point, and Niagara
Quebec fell September 1759
Peace of Paris signed February 10, Britain took empire stretching around world
Guadeloupe and Martinique were given back to French
Louisiana passed out of French control into Spanish
Treaty gave Britain title to Canada, Spanish Florida, and all land east of Mississippi River
80,000 French-speaking Canadians became subjects of George III Seven Years' War 1743-1748
AKA War of the Austrian Succession
Colonists had victory over French
New England troops under William Pepperell captured Louisbourg June of 1745, demonstrated the British colonists could fight and mount effective joint operations
English possessed seemingly inexhaustible supply of manufactured goods to trade with the Indians
French decided early 1750s to seize Ohio Valley before Virginians, built Fort Duquesne at strategic fork in Ohio River, later renamed Pittsburgh
France and Britain had not officially declared war, British officials advised governor of Virginia to repel force by force
1754, militia companies under George Washington constructed Fort Necessity
French and Indian allies overran exposed outpost on July 3, 1754
Setback showed that single colony couldn't defeat the French
Franklin created Albany Plan, envisioned formation of Grand Council made up of elected delegates from the colonies to oversee matters of common defense, western expansion, and Indian affairs
Required support of separate colonial assemblies and Parliament, received neither
Assemblies were jealous of fiscal authority and British thought the scheme undermined crown's power over American affairs
1755, Ohio Valley became scene of fierce fighting
Still no formal declaration of war
British destroyed Fort Duquesne
Major General Edward Braddock led 2,500 British redcoats and colonists to humiliating defeat
Nearly 70% of Braddock's troops were killed or wounded, general himself died in battle, French remained in firm control of Ohio Valley King George's War and Its Aftermath Newcomers generally hoped to obtain their own land and become independent farmers
Most people traveled to the backcountry to settle down
Planned to follow customs they knew in Europe, but found it more demanding to survive on the frontier War had forced colonists to cooperate on unprecedented scale
Drew them closer to Britain
Became aware of being part of great empire, military and commercial
Acquired more intimate sense of America that lay beyond plantation and village
Conflict carried thousands of young men across colonial boundaries, exposing them to vast territory full of opportunities for booming population
War trained corps of American officers, learned British were not invincible
British officials later accused Americans of ingratitude, claimed they had sent troops and provided funds to liberate colonists from threat of French attack
Charges were later used in general argument justifying parliamentary taxation in America Perceptions of War James Thomson composed words in 1740 British patriots proudly sang - Rule Britannia, Britannia rule the waves, Britons will never be slaves.
Colonial Americans of British background joined with them
Took political and cultural cues from Britain
Fought in its wars, purchased its consumer goods, flocked to evangelical preachers, and read its publications
Empire gave colonists compelling source of identity
New immigrants that felt no loyalty to Britain and no affinity for its culture had to assimilate to some degree to dominant English culture of colonies Rule Britannia?
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