Table of Contents:
A. Early European Claims to North America
B. Corporate Colonies
C. The Chesapeake Colonies
D. New England
E. Restoration Colonies
F. Mercantilism
G. Slavery

A. Early European Claims to North America:

1. Dutch Claims:
-Netherlands first began “New World” explorations in the 1600s
-Henry Hudson (English seaman) was hired to find a northwest passage

  • New Amsterdam: In 1609, Hudson sailed up a river (later appropriately named the Hudson River) and established Dutch claims over the surrounding area (New Amsterdam). This area would later be known as New York.
-The Dutch West India Company took control of the area through the use of a private joint-stock company* to ensure economic gain

2. French Claims:
-France’s earliest interest in North American exploration was shown in 1524 when Giovanni da Verrazano (Italian navigator) was hired with the goral of finding a northwest passage that extended from America to Asia.
-Early French claims to American land were gained from Jacques Cartier’s exploration of the St. Lawrence River (1534-1542)
-However, in the 1500s, France was involved in many European wars and a religious battle between the Protestant Huguenots and the Roman Catholics
-Samuel de Champlain (became known as the “Father of New France”) established the first French settlement at Quebec in 1608
-1673: Father Jacques Marquette and Lois Jolliet explored the Mississippi River
-In 1682, Robert de La Salle ventured into the Mississippi basin and named it Louisiana.

3. Early English Claims:
-John Cabot explored Newfoundland under contract with King Henry VII. England did not follow up this initial exploration with a settlement because of complications caused by King Henry VIII’s split from the Roman Catholic Church.
-During Queen Elizabeth I’s reign in the 1570s and 1580s, Spanish shipping practices were threatened by the British.
-Sir Francis Drake stole gold and silver from Spanish ships and attacked Spanish settlements off the Peruvian coast
-Sir Walter Raleigh attempted tried to create a settlement on Roanoke Island in 1587 but his attempt wasn’t successful.

4. Reasons for English Settlement:
-Defeat of the Spanish Armada (Spanish fleet), indicating England’s strong naval power
-Rapid population growth which put a strain on the economy.
-Unemployment. Many people were landless and saw America as a land of tremendous economic opportunity
-Used joint-companies which pooled people’s savings to support trading expeditions that appeared to be potentially profitable.

~Spanish Armada

B. Corporate Colonies (funded by joint-stock companies)

1. Jamestown:
In 1607, Jamestown was established by the Virginia Company (joint-stock company) and soon became the first colony in America. Settling in Jamestown did not prove a simple task, seeing as the first winter, settlers experienced famine, disease (malaria and dysentery), and they were subject to Native American attacks that resulted in many fatalities. Many settlers were not used to the strenuous work necessary to create and maintain a farming colony, since many of them were British gentlemen. Others came to America seeking gold and were not interested in farming or hunting in the New World. Due to a lack of dependable and able-bodied workers, food became scarce and many people died as a result.
However, Captain John Smith and John Rolfe joined forces to kick start a fruitful tobacco industry in Jamestown, which was a huge contributing factor to the eventual survival of the Jamestown colony. Rolfe and Pocahontas (his wife) harvested a type of tobacco that gained popularity in Europe and provided a sustainable and profitable lifestyle for Jamestown colonists. As a greater demand was felt productivity levels had to accommodate this, and more workers were needed to work in tobacco fields. The Virginia Company shipped indentured servants* to the colonies, and the labor system eventually grew to accommodate both free (indentured servants) and forced (slave) labor.

a. Political Climate:
The Virginia Company allowed representative government in the Jamestown colony and used it as incentive to get more people to settle there by promising the same rights in America as they would receive in England. In 1619, the first representative assembly (House of Burgesses) was created by Virginia colonists. This was only 12 years after Jamestown was settled.

After falling into debt, the charter originally granted to the Virginia Company was revoked and King James I took full control over the Jamestown colony. Jamestown was the first royal colony.

b. Religious Impetus for Migration:
The Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies were settled not for economic purposes, but as a means of escape for those being religiously persecuted in England. Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay were founded by leaders who believed strongly in Calvinist teachings of the English Protestant faith. This was primarily characterized by predestination*. The Church of England, created by Henry VII, was a Protestant church but it was functionally much closer to a Roman Catholic Church, although it was not under the control of the Pope and it was influenced by monarchs. The early 1600s resulted in a large group of people requesting a change in rituals that would be closer to Calivinism, and they were interested in altering the governing structure of the Church as well. Interested in purifying the church, this group of people became known as Puritans during the reign of King James I.

2. Plymouth:
A group of Separatist Puritans who not only wanted reformation of the Church of England, but a complete split from the church itself through the establishment of a different church that did not rely on royal support. After these Separatists (later known as Pilgrims), were met with an unsuccessful settlement in Holland due to a cultural gap and economic difficulties, they moved to a colony that was created by the Virginia Company in America. They traveled on the Mayflower in 1620, and surprisingly enough, less than half of the total number of settlers traveling on the Mayflower was actually Separatists. The rest were traveling to America in pursuit of land or money. The Pilgrims settled at Plymouth, which was on the Massachusetts coast.
Traditional hardships were encountered with the first winter, with nearly half of those settlers dying, but with the assistance of Native Americans they became more effective farmers, and men like Governor William Bradford and Captain Miles Standish played integral parts in leading the people of Plymouth through the hardships they encountered in a foreign land. Economically, lumber, fish, and fur were prosperous here.

Click Here to Read "The Flesh and The Spirit" by Anne Bradstreet. Anne Bradstreet was a young Puritan woman who was somewhat skeptical of pre-destination and Calvinism within the Puritan religion.

a. Political Climate:
After a few men devised and signed the Mayflower Compact on the voyage to America on the Mayflower, it was decided that all decisions for the people would be made by the people with a majority rule. The Mayflower Compact is historically significant because it outlines for the first time in American history, a written constitution that lays a frame work for the functions and responsibilities of the government. This influenced other written constitutions that followed.
i. "In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, e&. Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience. In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620." -Full text of The Mayflower Compact

3. Massachusetts Bay Colony:
Policies put in place by Charles I led to even more wide-spread persecution of Puritan people in England, and this led to the fleeing of a group of non-Separatist Puritans who were granted a royal charter to form a colony with funding from the Massachusetts Bay Company. In 1630, John Winthrop and other settlers created many towns off of the Massachusetts coast, including Boston. British civil war in the 1830s led to a Great Migration of settlers to the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

a. Political Climate:
Men who were members of the Puritan church were allowed to vote in annual elections that determined who would be governor, who would assist him, and who be members of the representative assembly. This was a form of representative government.

4. Political Commonality amongst Jamestown, Plymouth, and Massachusetts Bay:
Women and landless males were excluded from representative government in these colonies, and similarly full rights under the law were not given to these groups. Free and forced laborers were given no rights at all.

"She came, not as a guest, but as a rightful inmate, into the
household that was darkened by trouble; as if its gloomy twilight were a medium in which
she was entitled to hold intercourse with her fellow-creatures. There glimmered the
embroidered letter, with comfort in its unearthly ray. Elsewhere the token of sin, it was the
taper of the sick-chamber. It had even thrown its gleam, in the sufferer’s hard extremity,
across the verge of time. It had shown him where to set his foot, while the light of earth
was fast becoming dim, and ere the light of futurity could reach him " -The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

~As you all know from reading The Scarlet Letter earlier this year, Hester Prynne, a woman in a small Puritan town in New England, is forced to wear a scarlet 'A' when she is convicted of adultery. While Hester is initially scorned and alienated by the townspeople, by committing an act so clearly sinful, she is allowed access to the darkest parts of humanity that no other "good" Puritan can reach. By sinning, Hester is freed to a certain extent, of the pre-destined cycle of Calvinist pre-determination. In this sense, it is Hester's sin and the mark of this sin that allows her to escape from the confines of the tightly buttoned Puritanical society.

C. The Chesapeake Colonies
King Charles I divided what used to be the Virginia colony in 1632, and granted control to George Calvert (Lord Baltimore) as the proprietor. Maryland and Virginia became the resulting colonies.
1. Maryland:
To regain control over the colonies, the king made Maryland a proprietary colony in order to exercise more control over colonial people and their governments. Although the first Lord Baltimore died before he could accumulate wealth from his colony or create the safe haven for Catholics that he wished for, his son Cecil Calvert was more successful.
a. Act of Toleration
English Catholics set up residence on large plantations in Maryland to escape persecution and ridicule from the Puritan population. Because of the large number of Protestant farmers, Protestants still held the majority in representative government. To protect the interests of the Catholics, Calvert forced the assembly to institute this act promising tolerance of all members of the Catholic faith. Eventually this was repealed when Protestants revolted in a brief civil war, and this resulted in the Catholic loss of the right to vote.

2. Virginia:
Although technically already a colony (grew outward from the original Jamestown colony), Virginia experienced a series of setbacks that were both economic and political. Economically there was 1) overproduction and low tobacco prices 2) London merchants responded to our raised prices by raising their own on exports to the Americas.
Politically, Sir William Berkeley (royal governor) valued large planters and issued policies that benefited them while alienating smaller planters because he did not attempt to protect them from Native American attacks. Nathanial Bacon led a rebellion against Berkeley’s corrupt government. And he raided Native American villages on the Virginian frontier. Bacon successfully burnt down the Jamestown settlement.
Colonial Virginia was never able to recover completely from these economic, political, and social hardships, and class divisions between larger farmers and small planters persisted as well as colonial resistance to royal governmental influences.

3. Free and Forced Labor in the Colonies:
The Chesapeake population grew very slowly due to an unfamiliar climate and high death rates. Gender imbalances (most of the early settlers were men) did not help either. Settlers had to out source for laborers using 1) Indentured servants (free labor) signed a contract in which they agreed to work on a farm/plantation for ‘x’ amount of time. Once this time was up, they gained their freedom and could work for money or buy land for their own farm. 2) The headright system was used for any immigrants who paid for their own passage into America or a plantation owner who paid for their passage, and 50 acres was given to them to cultivate the land. 3) Slavery (forced labor) was at first not very different from indentured servitudes and there were only about 400 slaves in Virginia in 1650. However, the House of Burgesses created discriminatory laws that made African slaves lifelong servants.

D. New England:

Stemming from the highly Puritanical Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth colonies, any people who strayed from Puritan teachings were banished from these colonies and labeled dissidents. These dissidents went on to create colonies that morph into Rhode Island and Connecticut.

1. Rhode Island:
Roger Williams founded Providence in Narragansett Bay in 1632 after he was banished from the Massachusetts Bay colony. He paid for the use of Native American land and practiced complete religious tolerance for all faiths. Anne Hutchinson, another dissident, founded Portsmouth in 1638 not far from Providence only to be killed shortly after in an Indian attack. In 1644, Roger Williams was allowed a charter from the British Parliament, combining Providence and Portsmouth into the Rhode Island colony.

external image WilliamPenn1.jpg
~Roger Williams
~Anne Hutchinson

2. Connecticut:

Thomas Hooker and other Boston Puritans settled the Harford colony in 1636 and they were responsible for the first American constitution called the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut. There was a legislature determined by a popular vote and a governor chosen by the legislature. John Davenport established a similar settlement named New Haven very close to Hartford in 1637, and in 1665 the two were combined under a royal charter to form Connecticut.

3. New Hampshire:
King Charles II created New Hampshire by separating a few Boston settlements from the Massachusetts Bay Colony and establishing it as a royal colony to increase control over the colonies.

4. Halfway Covenant
In an effort to maintain a strong Puritan community amongst the second generation youths of the original New England Puritans, certain clergymen accepted the halfway covenant because it kept the Puritan population strong and members of the church did not have to exhibit full religious commitment or total belief in Christ. More traditional ministers refused this, but eventually many succumbed to weakening strict Puritan theology in order to keep the faith alive.

5. New England Confederation
A military alliance formed amongst Connecticut, New Haven, Plymouth and Massachusetts bay to thwart attacks from the Dutch, the French, and the Native Americans. It dealt with the return of slaves/servants, border disputes and any deals with Native Americans. This was the first intercolonial pursuit for a common purpose, which would prove to be more important as the colonists entered the Revolutionary War. The New England Confederation played a vital role in King Philip’s War (1675-1676), by killing Metacom (King Philip) and many other Wampanoags, ending violence in the New England for a while longer.

E. Restoration Colonies (refers to colonies created during the Restoration Period in England when an English monarch (Charles II) took back England from Puritan leader Oliver Cromwell.)

  1. The Carolinas
Granting the land to eight nobles, the royal colonies of North and South Carolina were eventually born.
    1. South Carolina:
Colonists and planters from England and Barabados started a strong southern economy that grew from one of fur trading, to one that relied heavily on rice production on huge plantations that were run by African slaves. South Carolina was reminiscent of the West Indies at this time.
    1. North Carolina
Fostered by New England and Virginia farmers, small tobacco farms were created. Life was very different compared to South Carolina because of poor transportation (could not rely on large plantations) and very few harbors (did not rely heavily on slaves).
  1. New York
Charles II enlisted the Duke of York (James II( to take over the Dutch’s New Amsterdam, so he could consolidate and connect the land between New England and the Chesapeake Colonies. The area was renamed New York and the remaining Dutch were granted religious freedom. However, James II called for taxes and duties without consulting any representative assembly and initially forbid a representative assembly. Taxation without representation was met with strong opposition and he granted loose civil and political rights to the people through the N.Y. governor, including a representative assembly.
  1. New Jersey
James decided New York was too large to govern, so he divided the section between the Delaware and Hudson River and gave the land to Sir George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley. While originally each proprietor took one part of the land and created East and West New Jersey, the proprietary interests were soon to sold to Quakers and land titles and property lines were somewhat obscure. General confusion contributed to the need for the king to combine them in 1702 and make New Jersey.
  1. Pennsylvania
    1. Quakers: As a part of the Religious Society of Friends, they were nonviolent, anti-military, and believed in equality for all. They thought that salvation was determined by individuals and not by the Bible. They were often persecuted for their radical belief system.
    2. William Penn and “The Holy Experiment”: In 1681, Penn, a Quaker, received a royal charter for a land grant in the colonies. He called his colony Pennsylvania. While Penn was interested in accumulating wealth, he wanted to provide a safe haven for persecuted Quakers and people of other religious faiths. With a Frame of Government, people were promised a representative government elected by everyone who owned land, and freedom of religion was promised in the written constitution called the Charter of Liberties. He created grid pattern streets and treated Native Americans respectfully.
  2. Delaware
The lower three counties of Pennsylvania were given their own representative assembly, thus creating Delaware.
  1. Georgia
In 1732, Great Britain created this final colony as a buffer protecting South Carolina from Spanish Florida. Also, because so many people were being imprisoned for debt, this colony was used as a place to relocate people from overcrowded prisons so the debtors could start new lives. This is the only colony that was created through complete royal intervention. James Oglethorpe was the first governor and he banned rum and slavery, but due to a constant fear of Spanish attack, Georgia did not prosper.

F. Mercantilism
a. A theory practiced by the British on the U.S, in which trade, colonization, and the resulting wealth was the strength of a country’s politics and military. The sole purpose of the colonies in the scenario was to provide the “mother country” with more goods do their foreign market and economy could flourish as a result.
1. Navigation Acts (1650-1673)
a.Goods being traded to/from the colonies could only be carries on British/colonial ships run by British/colonial crew members
b.Goods could only pass through British ports
c.Certain “enumerated” goods could be received only by the British. Tobacco is an example.
2. Impact of Navigation Acts:
a. Positive: There was a larger ship building market, the British protected the colonists, and the colonies had a tobacco monopoly in Britain.
b. Negative: Manufacturing in the colonies became limited, low prices were received for the crops because America has no other reliable trading partners other than England, and colonists paid high prices on British goods. Colonists began to grow hostile towards the British because of these acts, and many New England colonies started smuggling foreign tea in protest.
d. Initially enforcement of these acts was not strict, although the Massachusetts Bay charter was revoked when people there were accused of smuggling.
3. Dominion of New England: In an effort to increase royal control, James II consolidated New York, New Jersey, and other New England colonies into the Dominion of New England, until the Great Revolution waged against James II in 1688 brought an end to his rule and the shortly lived Dominion.

G. Slavery
The slave population grew very quickly and there was a higher demand because 1) there was reduced migration from Europe, 2) forced labor was dependable, and 3) forced labor was free
a. Laws were made so slave status became heritable, and in 1641, Massachusetts recognized it as a lawful practice. White women could not marry black men and baptism did not change the status of a slave. Whites were seen as racially superior.

b. The triangular trade (from New England to West Africa to the West Indies and back again) involved the exchange of rum, slaves, and sugar, with each market feeing into the next