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FRONTIERS OF EMPIRE: EIGHTEENTH-CENTURY AMERICA. America: Past and Present Chapter 4. Experiencing Diversity. 1700-1750--colonial population rises from 250,000 to over two million Much growth through natural increase Large influx of non-English Europeans. Forced Migration .


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America: Past and Present

Chapter 4

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Experiencing Diversity

  • 1700-1750--colonial population rises from 250,000 to over two million

  • Much growth through natural increase

  • Large influx of non-English Europeans

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Forced Migration

  • Transportation Act of 1718 allows judges to send convicted felons to American colonies

  • 50,000 convicts to America 1718-1775

    • Some felons were dangerous criminals

    • Most committed minor crimes against property

    • Life difficult for transported convicts

  • British praise system, colonists deplore it

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Ethnic Cultures of the Backcountry

  • 800 miles along Appalachian Range from western Pennsylvania to western Georgia

  • Already populated by Native Americans and African-Americans

  • Large influx of European immigrants in the eighteenth century

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Scotch-Irish Flee English Oppression

  • Many from Northern Ireland

  • Concentrate on the Pennsylvania frontier and Shenandoah Valley

  • Often regarded as a disruptive element

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Germans Search for a Better Life

  • Fled from warfare in Germany

  • Admired as peaceful, hard-working farmers

  • Tried to preserve German language, customs

  • Aroused the prejudice of English neighbors

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Native Americans Define the Middle Ground

  • Many eastern Indians moved into trans-Appalachian region

    • a "middle ground" where no colonial power was yet established

  • Remnants of different Indian peoples regrouped, formed new nations

  • European trade eventually weakened collective resistance to European aggression

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Spanish Borderlands of the Eighteenth Century

  • Spain occupied a large part of America north of Mexico since sixteenth century

  • Range from Florida Peninsula to California

  • Indian resistance, lack of interest limited Spanish presence

  • Never a secure political or military hold on borderlands

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Conquering the Northern Frontier

  • 1692—final establishment of Spanish rule in New Mexico after Popé’s revolt (1680)

  • 18th-century St. Augustine a Spanish military outpost unattractive to settlers

  • 1769—belated Spanish mission settlements in California to prevent Russian claims

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Peoples of the Spanish Borderlands

  • Slow growth of Spanish population in borderlands

  • Spanish influence architecture, language

  • Spanish influence over Native Americans

    • Spanish exploit native labor

    • Indians live in proximity to Spanish as despised lower class

    • Indians resist conversion to Catholicism

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British Colonies in an Atlantic World

  • Change in eighteenth-century colonies

  • Growth of urban cosmopolitan culture

  • Aggressive participation in consumption

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Provincial Cities

  • Urban areas included Boston, Newport, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston

  • Economies were geared to commerce

  • Inhabitants took lead in adopting new fashions, the latest luxuries

  • Emulated British architecture

  • Cities attract colonists seeking opportunity

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American Enlightenment

  • An intellectual movement stressing reasoned investigation of beliefs and institutions

    • Optimistic view of human nature

    • View cosmos as orderly result of natural laws

    • Belief in perfectibility of the world

    • Search for practical ways of improving life

  • Mixed reception in America

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Benjamin Franklin

  • Franklin (1706-1790) epitomized provincial, urban culture

  • Became a writer by emulating British literature

  • Achieved wealth through printing business

  • Dedicated to practical uses of reason, science

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Economic Transformation

  • Rising demand for English, West Indian goods

  • Colonists paid for imports by

    • exporting tobacco, wheat, and rice

    • purchasing on credit

  • Dependence on commerce led to colonial resentment of English regulations

  • England restricted colonial manufacture or trade of timber, sugar, hats, and iron.

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Birth of a Consumer Society

  • English mass-production of consumer goods stimulated rise in colonial imports

  • Wealthy Americans began to build up large debts to English merchants

  • Intercolonial, West Indian trade earn colonists the surplus needed for imports

  • Inter-colonial commerce gave Americans a chance to learn about one another

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Religious Revivals in Provincial Societies

  • The Great Awakening a series of revivals

    • revival: a phenomenon among Protestant Christians characterized by large meetings where large numbers experience religious conversion in response to gifted preaching

    • Awakening occurred at different places at different times

  • Revivals encouraged participants to question values of themselves and society

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The Voice of Popular Religion

  • George Whitefield symbolized the revivals

  • Whitefield preached outdoor sermons to thousands of people in nearly every colony

  • Itinerants disrupted established churches

  • Laypeople, including women and blacks, gain chance to shape their own religious institutions

  • The Awakening promoted a democratic, evangelical union of national extent

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The Awakening, Education, and Patriotism

  • Most revivalists well-trained ministers

  • Revivalists found Princeton, Dartmouth, Brown, and Rutgers

  • Revivalists held optimistic attitudes toward America's religious role in world history

  • Fostered American patriotism

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Clash of Political Cultures

  • Colonists attempted to emulate British political institutions

  • Effort led to discovery of how different they were from the English people

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The English Constitution

  • The British Constitution universally admired

    • Not a written document, but a system of government based on statute and common law

  • Believed to balance monarchy, aristocracy and democracy

  • Balance believed to guarantee liberties

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The Reality of British Politics

  • Less than 20% of English males could vote

  • Members of Parliament notorious for corruption and bribery

  • “Commonwealthmen” criticized corruption, urged return to truly balanced constitution

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Governing the Colonies: The American Experience

  • Colonists attempt to model England’s balanced constitution

  • Royal governors

    • Most incompetent

    • Most bound by instructions from England

    • Possessed little patronage for buying votes

    • Little power to force their will

  • Governors’ councils steadily lose influence

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Governing the Colonies: Colonial Assemblies

  • Elected officials depended on popular sentiment

  • Assemblies more interested in pleasing constituents than in obeying the governor

  • Assemblies controlled all means of raising revenue

  • Assemblies jealously guarded their rights

  • Assemblies held more popular support than governor

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Broader Horizons, Tighter Bonds

  • Commerce, communication, religion broaden colonists’ horizons by 1754

  • Colonial law courts increasingly adopt English usage

  • Growing awareness of ideas, institutions, problems shared with England, each other

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Century of Imperial War

  • British Americans increasingly drawn into European conflict during eighteenth century

  • Main opponents: France and Spain

  • Wars led to greater inter-colonial association and cooperation

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King William's and Queen Anne's Wars

  • King William’s War (1689-1697): French frontier raids on New York, New England

  • Queen Anne’s War (1702-1713): French frontier raids on North, Spanish South

  • Wars settled nothing

  • France subsequently extended her American empire from Canada into Louisiana

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King George's War (1743-1748) and Its Aftermath

  • Embroiled colonists more extensively than earlier wars

  • 1745--New England troops captured Fort Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island

  • 1748--Louisbourg returned to France by Treaty of Aix-la-Chappelle

  • 1750s--fresh conflict over Ohio Valley

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Albany Congress and Braddock's Defeat

  • Albany Congress, 1754--Benjamin Franklin propose plan for a central government

  • Albany Plan disliked by English and Americans, fails

  • 1755--General Edward Braddock leads force to drive French from Ohio Valley

  • Braddock’s army ambushed, destroyed

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Seven Years' War

  • 1756--England declares war on France

  • Prime Minister William Pitt leads English to concentrate on North America

  • 1759--Quebec captured

  • 1763--Peace of Paris cedes to Great Britain all North America east of Mississippi

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Perceptions of War

  • Colonists realize how strong they could be when they worked together

  • English learn that Americans took forever to organize, easier to command obedience

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Rule Britannia?

  • Most Americans bound to England in 1763

  • Ties included

    • British culture

    • British consumer goods

    • British evangelists

    • British military victories

  • Empire seemed bound by affectionate ties