Chapter 5 Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution
Theme: Diversity, Have/Have Nots, Religion, Globalization, Economics Background on growing colonies • The colonists are doubling in population every 25 years! Shhhawing! • Population was mostly English, but many Germans in Pennsylvania, the Scots-Irish all across the Appalachians (fought against Natives with no remorse) • Paxton Boys (philly)- protest against quaker’s lenient policy toward Native Americans. • Michel-Guillaume de Crevecoeur said America is a “strange mixture of blood, which you will find in no other country” • Stratification begins to appear in the colonies: war made merchants rich. They profited from military supplies • A class of widows and orphans created due to war. Almshouses sprung up in Philly and NY • In the South, Huge gap between rich and slave. But few whites were rich. The rest (majority) were tenant farmers. Slaves were at the bottom of the totem pole with no rights. Whites always scared of a rebellion. • Most honored = ministers. Doctors were not looked highly upon. They bled patients. Plagues were rampant • FOUR WORLD – PLAGUES : This got people ready for Great Awakening • Colonies got rich off of commerce and land speculation. • Triangle Trade: new England rum goes to Africa. African trades for slaves. Then takes slaves to west indies to exchange for molasses, which he would carry back to New England, where it’ll be distilled into rum. • Tons of lumber from New England • Tar, pitch, rosin, and turpentine were necessary to build boats and Old England pushed for these.
Theme: Globalization, Economics, uses/abuses of power Triangular Trade
Problem: Trade Imbalance • Fast-breeding Americans demanded more English products ---- yet the slow-breeding old English population didn’t need anymore of our product. • How could the colonists sell the goods to make the money to buy what they wanted in England? Theme: Economics
Theme: Globalization, Politics/Citizenship, Identity Answer: Foreign Trade • Colonists filled pipes in France with tobacco from the Chesapeake • Did tons of trade with the French in the West Indies by providing them with food stuffs and timber • Molasses Act – tried to stop North American trade with the French West Indies. This would ruin the colonists’ standard of living. But colonists bribed and smuggled their way around the law. (Which Theme? Headstrong Americans revolt rather than submit)
Roads in Colonial America Roads were horrible and did not connect major cities until 1700. Using waterways was faster. Taverns popped along the roadside and were important because politics were discussed there while men get their drank on. Four Worlds: Tavern
Theme: Religion Dominant Denominations • Anglican Church & Congregational Church • Anglican was more worldly, less strict, sermons shorter. (Church of England) • Congregational Church (Puritan) preached rebellion in political issues from the pulpit. Anglicans were tied closer to the King and supported him. • Many Americans did not go to church and they did not care at all.
Theme: Religion, American Identity The Great Awakening
People were getting less passionate about God than 100 years earlier. Bored people, idea of saving yourself through good works, Arminians (individual free will determines your fate, not God) • Life gets easy, they forget about God. • Great Awakening started in Northampton, Massachusetts by Jonathan Edwards. Was against salvation through good works and we need to depend on God’s grace. Described hell and eternal torments • “Sinners in the hands of an angry God.” – Edwards • George Whitefield – voice boomed over thousands saying humans are helpless. Emotional and theatrical revivals • Even Native Americans and slaves came to these meetings. This founded new schools like Princeton, Brown, Rutgers, and Dartmouth. • First significant mass movement of the American people. • Helped Americans break down sectional boundaries and realize they are united as one, by common history and experiences.
Theme: Have/Have nots, Identity Schools and Colleges • School is only for the aristocrats, not for commoners, and for males • In Puritan New England, it was for religious reasons so that everyone could be able to readthe bible (be an individual worshiper and not rely on the priest) • Most schools were all about doctrine and dogma, not on experiment and reason • Ben Franklin - helped start Upenn – first univ free from denominational control
Theme: Culture Culture and the Arts discouraged – Who has time for this when you need to chop down trees? The invention of the devil • John Trumbull – Connecticut • Charles Willson Peale – Portrait of G. Washington • Benjamin West • John Singleton Copley • Phillis Wheatley – slave girl who published a book of poems • Benjamin Franklin – wrote autobiography and “Poor Richard’s Almanack,” showed that lighting is a form of electricity
Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack • “Three may keep a secret, if two of them are dead.” • “A friend in need is a friend indeed!” • “Wine...a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” • Any society that will give up a little liberty for a little security will deserve neither and lose both.”
Pioneer Presses • Americans were too poor to buy books. • Hand-operated printing presses cranked out pamphlets, leaflets, and journals. The colonial newspapers served as a powerful agency for airing colonial grievances and get people rallied up against the British • John Peter Zenger (1734-1735) – his newspaper attacked the corrupt royal governor. Zenger was charged with seditious libel. He was defended by Alexander Hamilton (ex-indentured servant) got him a victory for freedom of the press • Allowed more public discussion. Helped establish doctrine that true statements about public officials could not be prosecuted as libel. • Four Worlds – John Peter Zenger case