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  1. 18th Century British America:

  2. 3 variations of colonial society • Farming Society of the North • Plantation Society of the South • Urban society of the seaboard commercial towns

  3. Northern Agricultural Society • Tightknit farming families • Organized in communities of several 1000s people • Mixed economy • Farmers of the middle colonies- • Richer soil than New Englanders • Settling area cleared by Natives • Broad ownership of land distinguished farming societies from every other agr. Region of western world • Gradual social stratification but truly rich or poor were few & gap remained small • Problems with many people owning land: • (1) Rising population – family farms could not divided & subdivided indefinitely • 1730s- average farm had shrunk by 2/3rds • (2) Decreasing fertility of the soil – reduce fallow period • RESULT: Move to the frontier (western or north) • Northern cultivators engaged in agriculture work: • Less work intensive than South • Growing season much shorter • Less burdensome

  4. Northern Society (cont’d) • Changing Values • Piety & Moral rectitude replaced by worldliness • Develop modern principles: • Ambitious outlook • Individualistic behavior • Love of material things • European outlook: • No frontier: view life not a quest for achievement but as a perpetual struggle against famine and disease • Colonial outlook: • Starvation was almost unknown • Few obstacles held people back from uncharted expanses of land • Concept of afterlife: • Fewer men & women saw daily existence as a preparation for the afterlife • Regard land not simply as a source of livelihood but as a commodity to be bought & sold for profit • Capture through Poor Richard’s Almanack (Ben Franklin) • “Time is Money” • “Lost time is never found again” • Advocate not morality, but practicality

  5. Southern Society

  6. Family Life in the South • Male and female roles • Gradually became more physically & functionally separated • Balanced sex ratio • RESULT: women lost their leverage in the marriage market • Growth of slavery • Work role of women changed = Domestic manager in the “Great house” • Role of Planter’s Son change = • Not only about horsemanship, use of gu • Also… ordering & disciplining slaves • Women’s life on family farms (2 sides) • Similar to northern women- labor in fields

  7. Transition between 1680 & 1750 • Before: Frontier Society marked by: • High immigration rate • A surplus of males • Unstable social organization • After: Settled Society marked by: • Native-born families • 3 distinct regions developed • Tobacco Coast • Rice Coast • Backcountry

  8. Tobacco Coast (Virginia, Maryland) • Stagnation of Tobacco Productivity • Tobacco production in Virginia and Maryland expanded rapidly in the 1600s • Exports = 25 million pounds annually (1680s) • Late 1600s = war in Europe & America • RESULT: Increase transport & decrease demand for tobacco • Stagnation in market from mid 1680s until 1715- Upper South: • Social Transformation- WHY?: • SLAVES replaced indentured servants • DIVERSIFICATION OF CROPS: b/c of decrease tobacco sales • Grain, hemp, flax • Increase herds, • Develop local industry-iron, leather • By 1720s- profitable tobacco trade with France • POPULATION CHANGES: • Black slaves: 7 % to 40 % of region’s pop (1690 to 1750) • Drastic imbalance between white men & women disappear • Families rather than single men

  9. Tobacco Coast (cont’d) Slave Ownership • Slave ownership was NOT universal • 1750- most families DID NOT own slaves • Slave owners: only 1/10th held more than 20 slaves • Goal for most southerners: Large plantation with black slaves • Gentry Lifestyle: = “Money, Negroes, & Land” • STATS: • 100s of slaves • 1000s acres • 10,000 pounds of wealth • Displays of Wealth • Racing horses • Brick mansions : “Greathouses”

  10. Tobacco Coast (Cont’d) • Businessmen • Obtain credit • Deal in land & slaves • Schedule planting & harvesting routines • Conferring with overseers • Discipline slaves • Arrange leases with tenants • Tobacco Cultivation • Intense all year round- no break • Need to be personalized – stamp emblem • Plantation Wives • Shouldered many responsibilities: • Cloth production • Preparation of food • Rule over household: kids, slaves, visitors • Isolated b/c plantations are so large: “solitary & unsociable existence”

  11. Rice & Indigo Cultivation (Lower south-Carolinas, Georgia) • Climate: similar to sugar-producing West Indies • Population • Dependent on slave labor: 90% of regions’ inhabitants • Whites: decline as wealthy planters left their estates in hands of overseers • Plantation South Socialization • Courthouse: central gathering place for males • Church: center of community gathering • Entry into church depended on wealth

  12. Backcountry (Pennsylvania to Georgia- along Appalachians) • Land of settlers • Attract 250,000 inhabitants • Half of the southern white population • Germans & Scots-Irish • Frontier lifestyle = crude • Small farms • Mixed farming & cattle raising • Isolated from coast • Impressions of visitors- poor, dirty • Lack of schools, churches, and towns • Few household possessions & farm tools • Poor diet • Informal marriage & family life (common law marriages, etc…) • Social changes in 1760s • Development of small marketing towns (Camden, SC; Salisbury, NC, etc…) • Farms ship goods east • Develop Social life b/c increase in density of settlement (dances, log-rolling, etc..) • Narrow class distinctions remain

  13. Urban Centers

  14. Urban World of Commerce & Ideas • Only about 5 % of the 18th century colonists lived in town s as large as 2,500 • None of the commercial centers boasted a population greater than 16,000 (1750) or 30,000 in 1775 • But the urban societies were at the leading edge of social change

  15. Major Transitions • Economy • Before: Barter • After: Commercial • Social Status • Before: Based on assigned status • After: Based on achievement • Politics • Before: Rank-conscious & deferential • After: Participatory & contentious • Production • Before: Small-scale craftsmanship • Factory production • Education* • Cities were the centers of intellectual life • Ideas from European countries

  16. Cities as commercial centers • Half century after 1690: Boston, New York, Philadelphia, & Charleston • Colonial population rose & spread geographically- minor seaports increase in pop. (Salem, Newport, Providence, Annapolis)

  17. Role of Trade • Trade was indispensable to colonial economic life • Cities were trade centers • Colonial exports & imports flowed through cities • Merchants • Other Roles: • moneyholder (no banks existed yet) • Shipbuilder • Insurance agent • Land developer • Coordinator of artisan production • American economy was integrated into an Atlantic basin trading system • Advocate mercantilist trade policies • Mercantilism • Country should strive to gain wealth by: • increasing its exports • Levying duties on imports • Regulating production & trade • Exploiting its colonies to its own advantage • British policies- • control their colonial trade • require their colonies to supply them with foodstuffs, lumber & other nonmanufactured products • Selling the colonists British manufacturing goods

  18. Credit • Colonists could never produce enough exportable raw materials to pay for the imported goods they craved • Result: earn credits in England by supplying the West Indies and other areas with foodstuffs & timber products • Accumulated credit by providing shipping and distribution services • New England became the most ambitious participants in the carrying trade

  19. Artisans • More numerous than merchants • 2/3rds of urban adult males (excluding slaves) labored at handicrafts • Specialization • Work Patterns • Irregular • Dictated by: • Weather • Daylight • Erratic delivery of raw materials • Shifting consumer demand • Dreaded winter- harsh • View of themselves v. opinion of upper class • Took pride in their work • Viewed themselves as backbone of community – contribute essential products & services • Upper class viewed as mere mechanics, part of the “vulgar herd” • 3 step process to “master craftsman” • Placed a premium on achieving economic independence • Step One: Apprentice • 5 or more teenage years learning craft • Must fulfill contract • Step Two: Journeyman • Sold his labor to a master craftsman • Lived in the master’s house, marry daughter (sometime) • Complete within a few years • Step Three: Self-employment • Step up own shop • Control work hours • Critical factors of success • Success was not automatic, need: • Advantageous marriage • Luck in avoiding illness • Size of an inheritance

  20. Urban social Structure • Factors contributing to changes • Population growth • Economic developments • Series of wars • Urban land development – key to success • Thomas Hancock • example of how war could catapult an enterprising trade to affluence • Former bookseller in Boston • Marry daughter of merchant • Obtain government military supply contracts • Invested in privateers (engage in private warfare against enemy shipping & auctioned the enemy vessels they overpowered) • Urban poverty • Typical poverty “Victim” • War widows: with numerous children with no support • Rural migrants: seeking opportunities in the city • Recent immigrants: found fewer changes for employment • Role of government • Help poor without outrelief payments – built large almshouses where the poor could be housed and fed more economically • However, Women refused to leave home to work • Widening gap between rich & poor • Gains of the rich • top 5% of taxpayers increased their share of the cities’ taxable assets from 30% to 50% • Loses of the poor • Share of wealth decrease from 10 to 4 % • Gains of the middle class • Continued to make gains

  21. Entrepreneurial Ethos

  22. Old View • Collective Good • Importance of the community • Role of the government • gov’t should provide for the general welfare by regulating prices & wages • setting quality controls, licensing providers of services • supervising public markets • Such regulation seemed natural because a community was defined not as a collection of individuals, each entitled to pursue separate interests, but as a single body of interrelated parts where individual rights and responsibilities formed a seamless web • Supporters (clergy) • “let no man seek his own, but every man another’s wealth

  23. New View • The subordination of private interests to the commonweal became viewed as loftly but unrealistic ideal • Importance of individual gain • If people were allowed to pursue their own material desires competitively, they would collectively form a natural, impersonal market of producers and consumers that would operate to everyone’s advantage • Impact of transatlantic market • Indifferent to individuals and local communities • Responded only to the invisible laws of supply and demand • Supporters (merchants, etc..)

  24. Great Awakening

  25. Religious implications of the Enlightenment: • Work of individuals such as Newton & others implied the assumption that human beings had the ability to discover the secrets of the universe • Thereby, humans were capable of exerting some control over their own destiny • If human beings could in fact think the thoughts of God--if they could discover and read the blueprints whereby God had made and ordered the world--the result was a lessening of the gulf between God and man. • This tended to undercut traditional Calvinism, which held that the gap between the Deity and his creatures was quite large. • This affirmation of human ability and reason had an extremely corrosive effect on the reigning orthodoxy, which held that one's destiny was solely in God's hands. • The result was a growing emphasis on man and his morality, with religion becoming more rational and less emotional.

  26. Great Awakening • Not a unified movement • Series of revivals that swept different regions between 1720 & 1760 • Varying degrees of intensity

  27. Why did religion “fall asleep” in the colonies? • Colonists were mix of Protestantism: (Puritans – Mass, Quakers- Penn, Anglican- Virginia, Baptist/Methodist, Presbyterians) • But only 1/3 colonists were Protestantism • Majority of colonists did not attend church • Church was voluntary not compulsory • On the frontier, the settled parish system of England-- which was employed by Puritan and Anglican alike--proved difficult to transplant. • Clergy – difficult to tighten organization & discipline • Example: Anglican ministers had to be ordained in England & gentry often challenge ministers to their own advantage • Communication & discipline difficult to enforce due to # of small farms & plantations • Lived great distances from a parish church- membership & participation suffered • Concern for survival too priority over theological issues • Any authoritarian structures were met with great resistance • Why should anyone preach? Certainly not to elicit a decision for Christ. • Such decisions had been made before the foundation of the world according to Calvinist orthodoxy. • If preaching were simply for the edification of the Saints, then it was like preaching to the choir, in that you were preaching to the already converted • By 2nd & 3rd generation vast majority of the population was outside the membership of the church

  28. Compromises • By the 1660s: religious apathy was a pressing problem, result: • Half-way Covenant: Children of church of members might join church the church even if they could not demonstrate that they had undergone a conversion experience but they could not vote in church affairs • But clergy still appealed too much to the mind & not enough to the heart

  29. First Signs of the Awakening • The first stirring (1720s) came in New Jersey • Theodore Frelinghuysen • Gilbert Tennent: Presbyterian minister. • Father was William Tennent – called prayer meetings known as the Refreshings around the 1730s & est’d Log College, which had teachers educated in all areas of study • Gilbert delivered harsh sermon, “The Dangers of Unconverted Ministry,” in which he criticized conservative ministers who opposed the fervor of the Great Awakening • RESULT: 1741- Schism in the Presbyterian Church between the “Old Lights” & the “New Lights.” • From New Jersey spread to Pennsylvania (1730s) • Spread especially among Presbyterians

  30. Pennsylvania to Connecticut • Jonathan Edwards: • Warned parishioners them of the fate of “Sinners in the hands of an Angry God” (sermon) • Graphic pictures of the hell • Used the image of a spider dangling by a web over a fire to describe the human predicament • Prepare individuals for conversion experience in which they would be “born again” • Wrote: Faithful Narrative of the Surprizing Work of God (1736): described his town’s awakening • Tremendous outpouring of response to his preaching • IMPACT: Produced people professing conversion • Why did people listen to Edwards? • (1) Puritans who were growing deeply concerned by what they perceived to be a striking decline in piety. • (2) Sermon: A Careful & Strict Enquiry into… one must have a personal faith relationship with Jesus Christ to gain salvation instead of an afterlife in hell • (3) What Edwards said in these sermons was pure Calvinism. "You can't control salvation." But Puritans heard him say, "if you try, God will aid your salvation.“

  31. George Whitefield • AKA “Great Itinerant” • Loud voice, dramatic man • Master of emotional open-air preaching • 1000s turned out to see him • Ben Franklin impressed by him • What was his appeal? • (1) Genius in dramatic performance- spontaneous preaching, wild body movements • (2) Ability to simplify theological doctrine- preached in terms of everyday experience • preached “college educated clergy” too intellectual & tradition bound • (3) Offered a new quality to the prevailing view of how one gains citizenship in the Kingdom of God • centered on conversion experience • “Lay exhorting” -emotional experience of conversion • Lasting impact: reduced Christianity to it’s lowest common denominator • Those sinners who love Jesus will go to heaven • Denominational distinctives were down played

  32. The Urban North • Awakening again- revival tended to be an urban phenomenon • Flamboyant & highly emotional appeared in Puritan churches • Boston- religious revival midst political controversy • Problem: depreciating paper currency – need to remedy • (1) Land bank to issue private bills of credit backed by land (support by traders, artisans, poor) • (2) Silver bank to distribute bills of credit backed by silver (supported by merchants)

  33. Whitefield’s arrival • Coincided with currency furor • At first Boston’s elite applauded his ability to all the masses to worship • Thought he might restore social harmony by redirecting people from earthly matters (currency problem) to concerns of the soul • But Whitefield was succeeded by individuals who were more critical of the “unconverted” clergy & self-indulgent accumulation of wealth

  34. Arrival of James Davenport • Great grandfather was a founder of New Haven • His father was a respected Congregational minister in Connecticut • Took revival to the extremes • Burned books • Claimed to be able to distinguish the elect from the damned. He greeted the former as "brethren" and the latter as "neighbors." • He was obviously mentally unbalanced, and leaders of the Awakening tried to keep their distance from him. • In Boston- every church was closed to him • He preached daily on the Boston Common • Respectable people grew convinced that revivalism had gotten out of hand • Ordinary people were verbally attacking opponents of the land bank in the streets • Over all impact on Boston: • A revival that had begun as a return to religion among backsliding Christians had overlapped with political affairs • RESULT: Threatened social culture, which stressed order & discipline from ordinary people

  35. The Rural South • The Great Awakening was ebbing in New England the Middle Colonies by 1744 • In South- G.A- more of a frontier phenomenon • Little impact on Anglican (the Tidewater) areas b/c the residents of these areas had just enough religion to inoculate them from catching the real thing & authorities better able to enforce the est’d church & protect them from the evangelists • But in the piedmont & mountains of Virginia & North Carolina the revival had a wide open field • These areas were populated by less prosperous settlers from the tidewater moving beyond the fall line & by Scots-Irish & Germans coming down the Shenandoah Valley • The result was a population that had few ties to the Anglican establishment

  36. Virginia • Virginia- Great Awakening took place from the mid- 1740s onward • As in Boston, the Awakeners challenged and disturbed the gentry-led social order • Traveling “New Light” Preachers: • Samuel Davies: great organizer & propagator of the Revival • He was a Presbyterian • He fought for the legal toleration of dissenters • Moderate variety or preaching • Virginia’s leaders despised traveling evangelists B/C they conjured up a world without properly constituted authority • “New Light” Presbyterianism challenged the religious monopoly of the gentry-dominated Anglican Church

  37. Baptists & Methodists • Evangelical cause advanced further with the rise of the Baptists (1760s) • Shubal Stearns – brought Separate Baptist movement to the region • Baptists reached out to 1000s of un-churched people • Focus on conversion experience • Preachers were uneducated farmers & aritisans who called themselves “Christ’s Poor” • Stressed equality in human affairs • Insisted that heaven was always more populated by the humble poor then by the purse-proud rich • Highly attractive to slaves • Baptist movement also became a movement among ordinary folk & a rejection of the gentry’s social values • Methodists gain a foothold in the South • Led by Devereux Jarratt

  38. Both Methodists & Baptists had an advantage over Presbyterians b/c • Presbyterians insisted on an educated ministry & ordered worship • M & B were better able to address the needs of frontier communities with “lay” preachers- go where there was a need & be quickly deployed without waiting to complete their education • M & B more open to emotional & unrestrained nature of worship in the revivals • Presbyterians were uncomfortable with they viewed to be excesses of the revivals

  39. Reaction Against the Awakening

  40. Whitefield also attacked established ministers for leading their flocks into Hell by not demanding an experience salvation of people, • This led the established clergy to attack Whitefield and the unchecked enthusiasm of the revivals in general, and the Great Awakening in particular.

  41. Leader of this counterattack was Charles Chauncywho led the attack from the pulpit of First Church, Boston. • His sermon, Enthusiasm Described and Cautioned Against, sparked the opposition to action. • Anyone, Chauncy claimed, can have one good sermon. • Established preachers could not compete with these itinerant evangelists, and their preaching threatened to undermine loyalty of parishioners. • Tended to view these evangelists as ignorant and filled with zeal. • The rising opposition to the Awakening had a major impact on the direction of American Christianity. • The old Puritan synthesis of head and heart--of a religion that appealed to both mind and spirit--broke apart. • The "Old Lights"--as followers of Chauncy came to be called--unencumbered by the emotionalism of the revivalists moved in the direction of a greater rationalism in theology, and would latter give rise to Unitarianism. • While the evangelists--cut adrift from their intellectual heritage--were often given to excess.