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Chapter 5– Colonial Life. Section Notes. Video. Political Life in the Colonies The Colonial Economy America’s Emerging Culture The French and Indian War. Colonial Life. Maps. Thirteen Colonies, 1750 Triangular Trade The French and Indian War in New York

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Chapter 5– Colonial Life

Section Notes


Political Life in the Colonies

The Colonial Economy

America’s Emerging Culture

The French and Indian War

Colonial Life


Thirteen Colonies, 1750

Triangular Trade

The French and Indian War in New York

European Claims in North America

History Close-up

South Carolina Rice Plantation, 1730–1750

Quick Facts


Rising Tensions between England and America, 1651–1689

Key Political Thinkers of the European Enlightenment

Visual Summary: Colonial Life

Phillis Wheatley

African Population in the Colonies, 1700

Political Cartoon: Join, or Die

The Old Plantation

political life in the colonies
Political Life in the Colonies
  • Main Idea
  • British mercantilist policies and political issues helped shape the development of the American colonies.
  • Reading Focus
  • What is mercantilism?
  • How did the Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights affect political developments in the colonies?
  • How did government in the colonies change under the policy of salutary neglect?
mercantilism practice of creating and maintaining wealth by carefully controlling trade
Colonists smuggled goods because they felt England was taxing them unfairly.

The English felt taxing was fair because profit was the major incentive for colonizing America.

Mercantilism: a nation’s power was directly related to its wealth

Balance of Trade (exporting more that you import): a goal of mercantilism; the colonists could supply raw materials to England and could buy English goods

Mercantilism Practice of creating and maintaining wealth by carefully controlling trade
England prevented its colonies from trading with other nations to maintain balance of trade.

England only wanted certain American products, such as fur and timber.

Colonists produced other products like wheat and fish that the English did not want.

Colonists often could get higher prices for their goods from the French, Spanish, or Dutch.

  • English laws passed to control colonial trade
  • Only English ships with English crews could take goods to England.
  • Limited the products that could be shipped to England or English colony
  • All shipments to colonies had to go through England.
  • Merchants had to pay a tax on certain goods; tax collectors were sent to the colonies.


  • Increased English profits, but also increased law enforcement in America
  • Lumber and shipbuilding business was up in the colonies; England needed more ships for trade.
  • Many colonists ignored the laws and smuggled.


the glorious revolution and the english bill of rights
New England colonists did not want to be governed in such a way that it hurt their own economies.

Their industries began to compete with those in England.

When Massachusetts refused to enforce Navigation Acts, the king made it a royal colony.

The Glorious Revolution and the English Bill of Rights
the glorious revolution and the english bill of rights1
The Glorious Revolution and The English Bill of Rights
  • Dominion ofNew England
  • King James created a supercolony of New England, New York, and New Jersey
  • Sir Edmund Andros was governor.
  • He wanted colonial charters returned.
  • There was no elected assembly.
  • Andros enforced Navigation Acts.
  • Glorious Revolution
  • King James II was unpopular in England.
  • James’s daughter, Mary, and her husband, William, took over the crown.
  • This change of leadership—the Glorious Revolution
  • William and Mary accepted the English Bill of Rights that limited the monarchs’ powers.
  • Colonists’Reactions
  • Boston:
  • Andros and his government were arrested and sent to England.
  • New York:
  • Rebellion broke out
  • Royal rule returned to New York, but it was granted an elected assembly.
government in the colonies
Toward Self-rule

During the English Civil War, colonists took small steps toward self-government.

In 1643 several colonies joined forces in the United Colonies of New England.

Though Parliament had more power since Glorious Revolution, it dealt mainly with mainland England.

The monarchs and their officials made most colonial policy.

When war with Spain broke out, colonial governments gained some independence.

Salutary neglect: referred to the fact that many English officials made colonial policies, but they did not rule the colonies very strictly.

Colonial Governments in 1700s

Local governments more influential in colonists’ lives

Colonial assemblies were bicameral like Parliament.

Governor’s council was the upper house.

Elected Assembly was lower house like Parliament.

Each colony had a governor.

Government in the Colonies
privy council
  • Group of royal advisors
  • Set English policy in the colonies
  • Allowed most colonies to run their affairs
  • Reviewed colonial law to make sure it followed English law
  • Each colony had one
  • Served as head of government
  • Selected by monarch in royal colonies
  • Chosen by officials of proprietary colonies
  • England’s national law making body
  • Bicameral
colonial assemblies
Colonial Assemblies
  • worked like the lower house (raise taxes & organize local gov’ts)shared control of military with governor
  • Virginia’s (1619) 1st in North America
house of burgesses1
House of Burgesses
  • Virginia’s 2nd house
  • Members elected by colonists
town meetings
Town Meetings
  • People of the town talk about and decide issues of local interest
  • Regulated issues of ownership and use of unsettled lands
  • Selected officials that would execute decisions
john peter zinger
John Peter Zinger
  • Was arrested for what was called “libel”, or tearing down a political opponent by “digging up dirt” on them; won the case
  • Established colonist’s right to freedom of speech
dominion of new england
Dominion of New England
  • James II (1685)
  • United northern colonies under one government
  • Sir Edmond Andros
  • “without liberty for an assembly”
glorious revolution
Glorious Revolution
  • James II -Catholic
  • Parliament asks Mary (P) and William to rule England
  • Leads to passage of English Bill of Rights
    • Parliament gained power
    • Monarchy lost power
glorious revolution impact on the colonies
Glorious Revolution Impact on the Colonies
  • Colonies remove Andros
  • Dominion dissolved and original charters restored
    • Except Mass (election of governor)
    • Men no longer had to be a member of the church to vote.
the colonial economy
The Colonial Economy
  • Main Idea
  • A commerce-based economy developed in the northern colonies, while the southern colonies developed an agricultural economy.
  • Reading Focus
  • What were the characteristics of northern colonial economies?
  • What were the characteristics of southern colonial economies?
  • What was the impact of slavery in the colonies?
northern colonial economies
Agriculture was the main economic activity in colonial America.

Farming in New England

Soil was thin and rocky; winters were long, growing season short.

Subsistence farming, growing just enough food for their own family. Some raised extra corn or apples or cattle to trade with their neighbors. Rarely enough to produce an export crop

Farming in the South

Better land and milder climate. Grew enough wheat to sell grain and flour to other colonies and to send abroad

Raised cattle and hogs for export

Most productive farmers

German colonists also known as Pennsylvania Dutch. Used fertilizer and crop rotation. Women worked in the fields with the men.

Northern Colonial Economies
northern colonial economies1
Natural resources

When the number of fur-bearing animals declined, the colonists turned to timber (planks, shingles, and siding for ships and houses) and fish.

Because of Navigation Acts, many coastal towns were centers for shipbuilding. It was the largest single group in the workforce.


Some of the fish was exported to Europe and the West Indies. In early 1700s whaling industry began in New England. Whale products: lamp oil and materials used in perfumes, candles, and women’s corsets

Northern Colonial Economies
northern colonial economies2
Northern Colonial Economies

Colonial industries

English goods were expensive, so colonists made things at home. Small industries developed:

  • Mills run by waterpower ground grain into flour.
  • Distilleries for rum and other alcoholic beverage were major businesses
  • Ironworks developed when there were local supplies of iron ore.
  • Bricks, leather goods, and glass were made by small companies.
  • Cloth was woven (wool and linen) for personal use and for sale to merchants.
northern colonial economies3
Northern Colonial Economies
  • Trade and commerce
  • Good harbors, inexpensive ships, and a tradition of seafaring encouraged the development of commerce.
  • Port cities of Boston, New York, and Philadelphia were thriving centers of trade.
  • Trade routes that linked the Americas, Europe, Africa, and the West Indies are often described as the triangular trade.
  • The Middle Passage is the name used by historians to describe the journey that enslaved Africans made from West Africa across the Atlantic Ocean to the West Indies.
south colonial economies
Southern colonies produced valuable cash crops (agricultural products grown to be sold).

tobacco, the most valuable export

indigo (used to make blue dye) and rice

naval stores were also produced: rope, tar, and turpentine which were used to maintain wooden ships. These products were in great demand in England and produced a great profit.

Plantation system

Plantation system developed in Virginia and Maryland as the tobacco crop increased in importance.

Planters were wealthy and influential, dominating southern society and politics.

Plantations needed workers: a few huge plantations had hundreds of workers, either indentured servants or slaves.

Most farms were smaller and had less than 30 workers.

Most worked in the fields, though on larger plantations, men and women performed other tasks, such as shoemaking, weaving, and carpentry.

South Colonial Economies
south colonial economies1
Rice and Indigo

Biggest crops in South Carolina

Low coastal areas were ideal for growing rice.

Slaves were used; many knew how to grow rice and many had more resistance to malaria.

Indigo first successful crop grown by Eliza Lucas in South Carolina. She was only 18 years old.

South Colonial Economies
  • Small Farms
  • Some farmers had a few enslaved Africans who worked in the fields alongside them.
  • Independent yeoman farmers
    • raised livestock andexported beef and port
    • grew corn, wheat, fruit, and vegetables for the home market
    • grew tobacco, sold it through large planters
the impact of slavery
The Impact of Slavery
  • By the 1600s Portugal, Spain, France, Holland, and England were involved in the trans-Atlantic slave trade.
  • Most captured Africans were taken to colonies in the Caribbean and South America, then to North America. Only a small percentage came directly to the North American colonies.
  • The Middle Passage (the voyage across the Atlantic) was a horrifying experience where men, women, and children were packed in the ships’ below-deck quarters.


  • A former slave, wrote a book about his life in slavery
  • His description of the Middle Passage horrors encouraged readers to call for the end of slavery.

Olaudah Equiano

the impact of slavery1
Why slavery continued

At first many African workers were treated as indentured servants, but the terms of indenture grew longer until they lasted a lifetime.

White indentured servants were freed while black servants were not. In some colonies, black servants lost other rights.

The English settlers considered themselves superior to the Africans.

Historians disagree about why slavery continued:

For planters, holding slaves cost less than indentured servants.

Slaves’ children supplied the next generation of workers.

The number of people wanting to serve as indentured servants dropped.

Resisting slavery

Many slaves used physical resistance, sabotage, or ran away.

Stono Rebellion: In 1739, 100 enslaved Africans in South Carolina took weapons from a firearms shop and killed several people.

Some skilled artisans bought their freedom by hiring out their labor.

The Impact of Slavery
america s emerging culture
America’s Emerging Culture
  • Main Idea
  • Enlightenment ideas and the Great Awakening brought new ways of thinking to the colonists, and a unique American culture developed.
  • Reading Focus
  • What impact did the Enlightenment have in the colonies?
  • How was the Great Awakening significant?
  • How did the colonies become more diverse in the 1700s?
  • What was life like in colonial America?
the enlightenment and the american colonies
The Enlightenment and the American Colonies

Enlightenment: European movement that emphasized a search for knowledge. Also called the Age of Reason

  • The Scientific Revolution
  • Scientists began using observation and experiments to look for natural laws that governed the universe.
  • Some scientists studied physical laws, while others looked for order and method in nature.
the enlightenment and the american colonies1
The Enlightenment in Europe

Thinkers in Europe admired the new approach to science. They thought that logic and reason could also be used to improve society, law, and government.

English philosopher John Locke said it was the duty of government to protect the citizens’ natural rights: life, liberty, and property.

French Baron de Montesquieu suggested that the powers of government be divided.

French writer Voltaire criticized intolerance and prejudice.

Other thinkers wanted to use new ideas to reform education, which in turn would improve society, criminal justice, and conditions for the poor.

The Enlightenment and the American Colonies
the enlightenment and the american colonies2
The Enlightenment and the American Colonies

The Enlightenment in America

John Locke’s writings were widely read in America. They influenced Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, among others.

  • Jefferson used Locke’s theories when he wrote the Declaration of Independence.
  • Other American leaders used Enlightenment ideas when they drafted the United States Constitution.
  • Franklin and Jefferson were also interested in science and invention, applying reason to ask questions and find answers.
  • Enlightenment thinkers questioned common beliefs and deep-rooted superstitions.
the great awakening
The Great Awakening
  • Enlightenment ideas also led some people in the colonies to question long-accepted religious beliefs, looking for rational, scientific explanations for how the universe worked.
  • Changes in religious attitudes
  • Strict groups such as the Puritans were upset by the growing tolerance for other beliefs.
  • Some religious leaders worried that material values and concern for making money had displaced spiritual values. Clergy looked for new ways to bring people back to the church.
the great awakening1
A revival of religion

Great Awakening was a religious revival movement in the colonies.

Jonathan Edwards, Puritan minister, was one of the movement leaders, preached about the agonies that sinners would suffer if they did not repent.

He was influenced by John Locke and Sir Isaac Newton.

George Whitefield, British Methodist minister, preached throughout the colonies. His strong voice moved people to cry and confess their sins.


Led to increase in church membership in the 1700sNew Protestant religions grew in America: Congregational Church, Methodist, Baptist, and Presbyterian

Was one of first links uniting the colonies

Led to creation of several colleges

The Great Awakening
the colonies become more diverse
The Colonies Become More Diverse
  • Scots and Scots-Irish settled mainly in the middle colonies and Carolinas.
  • Strict Presbyterians
  • Did not like the English government
  • Were ready to fight for political rights
  • Religious unrest in Europe and religious tolerance in colonies attracted more people.
  • German colonists (skilled farmers and artisans)
  • French Huguenots (craftsmen and scientists)
  • Jewish communities grew.
    • - Newport
    • - Philadelphia
    • - New York
    • - Charleston
life in colonial america
Colonial cities

Some cities had cobblestone streets lit by oil lamps. Ships from foreign ports were in the harbors. People enjoyed reading mail from relatives and English newspapers and magazines.

Many cities had libraries, bookshops, and impressive public buildings.

Places where colonists could see plays and hear concerts

Markets to shop for produce or European luxury goods

Schools that taught music, dancing, drawing, and painting in addition to traditional classes

City life for women: no hard farm work, but still had household tasks to perform Prosperous women had more time for reading and writing.

Men and women spent many hours writing letters to friends and family.

Life in Colonial America
life in colonial economies
Popular culture

Quilting bees and barn raisings were examples of work in sociable ways.

Northern colonists went ice-skating and sledding in winter.

Horse racing and hunting

Visiting neighbors was favorite pastime

Social events: dancing, listening to music


Printers printed and distributed newspapers, books, advertisements, and political announcements.

Life in Colonial Economies
  • First American printer was in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • Influential newspapers published in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.
  • John Peter Zinger, New York printer, published articles that criticized the royal governor.
  • Zinger was arrested, and his newspapers were burned.
  • He was tried in court and won the first important victory for freedom of the press in the America colonies.
life in colonial america1
Life in Colonial America
  • Strong family structure despite the fact that real families were split apart. Kinship networks were essential.
  • Religion was another strength of the community. Many were Christian, but also kept older African beliefs.
  • The slave community preserved music and dance traditions.
  • African music, foods, and other traditions gradually became a part of American culture.


the french and indian war
The French and Indian War
  • Main Idea
  • The French and Indian War established British dominance in North America but put a strain on the relationship with the colonists.
  • Reading Focus
  • How did France develop an empire in North America?
  • Why did Spain and England clash in North America?
  • What were major events in the French and Indian War?
  • What were the effects of the French and Indian War on all those involved?
france in north america
France in North America
  • 1608—Champlain started permanent French settlement at Quebec
  • Late that century, La Salle claimed Mississippi basin for France.
  • French Presence
  • Champlain made allies of the Algonquians and the Hurons to protect the fur trade. French helped the allies against the Mohawks.
  • French traders lived in Native American villages; learned the language; and married local women.
  • By the early 1700s, French forts at Detroit, Niagara, Kaskaskia, and New Orleans bordered the English colonies to the west.
  • Power struggle with the English meant constant frontier battles.
spain and england clash
They clashed over the area known as La Florida: much of Georgia, South Carolina, the Florida peninsula, and land along the Gulf Coast.

Spain wanted to guard the sea routes for Spanish treasure ships returning from Mexico.

Since the 1500s, there were Spanish missions along the Atlantic coast. By the 1600s, they had nearly 40 missions in Florida and Georgia.

As English colonies expanded southward, Spanish missions and settlements were threatened.

Carolina slave traders began to attack the missions.

By 1700, the Spanish presence was only in the areas of San Augustine and Pensacola

Spain and England Clash
the french and indian war1
The French and Indian War

French and Indian War (1754–1763) became part of a larger war between France and Britain, the Seven Years’ War. War broke out in the colonies first, then spread to the European continent.

  • The Iroquois League
  • Alliance of Native Americans that was allied with Britain: Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora
  • The Alliance had a constitution and a council of leaders.
  • Most northeastern Native Americans allied with the French.
the french and indian war2
The French and Indian War
  • French built Fort Duquesne in Ohio River Valley, present-day Pittsburgh.
  • British wanted to build a settlement there.
  • In 1754 an unsuccessful attempt by the British militia (led by George Washington) to take the land from the French was the first skirmish of the French and Indian War.
  • The Albany Plan
  • Proposed by Benjamin Franklin
  • Each colony would keep its own constitution, while grand council would deal with military issues, Native American relations, and western settlement.
  • Was never approved
  • First attempt to unite the colonies
the french and indian war3
The war continues

The first years of the war went badly for the British. The French won battle after battle.

British officers in America

Forced colonists into the army

Seized supplies

Sent soldiersto stay in colonists’ houses

When colonists resisted these actions, more British soldiers were sent from England to fight in the war.

In 1758, the British began winning the war.

When the British took Quebec in 1759, it was the turning point in the war.

France surrendered in 1760.

The French and Indian War
the french and indian war4
The peace treaty

1763—Treaty of Paris ended the Seven Years’ War in Europe and the French and Indian War in North America.

Britain gained all French land east of the Mississippi River, including much of what is now Canada.

Spain had allied with France. It gave up control of Florida to Britain. France gave Spain the Louisiana Territory.

France kept two islands near Canada and regained some Caribbean islands.

The French and Indian War
effects of the war
Effects of the War
  • Ironworkers, shipbuilders, and farmers profited by supplying the army.
  • Carolinian and Georgian slave owners benefited from the acquisition of Florida because runaway slaves could no longer seek haven there.
  • The war forced colonists to work together.
  • British officials thought the colonists should pay some of the war expenses.
  • George Grenville, the British prime minister in 1760, had strict policies that alienated the colonists more.
  • Pontiac’s Rebellion
  • Pontiac, an Ottawa chief, wanted to drive the British out.
  • In 1762 Pontiac allied with most of the Native Americans in the Upper Midwest.
  • They attacked British forts and settlements for several years, but the British held on.
  • The chief agreed to a peace treaty in 1766.
effects of the war1
Proclamation of 1763

Reserved the land west of the Appalachian Mountains for Native Americans

Gave British officials control of westward migration

Slowed movement out of cities that were centers of trade and prosperity

Effects of the War
  • Effects on Native Americans
  • Weakened by war
  • British felt the Iroquois did not fully support them and no longer felt friendly toward them.
  • Proclamation of 1763 took native lands.
  • Settlers often ignored the Proclamation.