Chapter 3: American Societies Take Shape, 1640-1720
Chapter 3 deals with events in the British colonies in North America from 1640 to 1720. But it is important to recognize the themes and interpretations offered in this chapter and to see the facts as evidence used to support those themes.
The theme of the interaction among different cultures, important in Chapters 1 and 2, continues in Chapter 3, but the focus shifts to the period 1640 to 1720. As in the previous chapters, it is not just the fact of interaction that is important, but what the participants bring to the interaction (their frames of reference), the way in which the participants affected each other, and the way in which they change and are changed by each other.
Keeping that in mind, we deal with the impact of the English Civil War (1642-1649) and the Interregnum (1649-1660) on the relationship between England and its colonies. These periods of political turmoil were followed by the Stuart Restoration (1660-1685), which brought Charles II to the English throne. The return to political stability during Charles's reign witnessed the founding of six new proprietary colonies, known as the Restoration colonies. Discussion of the reasons for the founding of these colonies, their political, social, and economic evolution, and the interaction of peoples within them demonstrates the emergence of an even more diverse and heterogeneous colonial society.
We then consider a second interaction theme: relations between Europeans and Indians. The subject is complex because of the variety of Indian cultures and because of their interaction with various European countries vying for power in North America. The discussion centers on the economic uses the Europeans made of Indian cultures. The dynamics of six specific white-Indian relationships are discussed: (1) the Europeans of the Northeast and the Hurons and Iroquois of that region; (2) the French colonists in the areas of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley and the Indians of those regions; (3) the Spanish and the Pueblos of New Mexico; (4) the colonists of the New England coastal region and the Indian tribes of that region; (5) the colonists of Virginia and the Indians of that area; and (6) the colonists of North and South Carolina and neighboring Indian peoples.
Another interaction theme, the emergence of chattel slavery in colonial America, is considered in the sections entitled "The Introduction of African Slavery," "The Web of Empire and the Atlantic Slave Trade," and "Enslavement in North America." We discuss the factors that led the English to enslave Africans, the emergence of mainland slave societies, how the slave trade was organized and conducted, and the consequences of the interaction between English and Africans. These consequences include the impact of the interaction on (l) West Africa and Europe, (2) enslaved Africans, and (3) the development of colonial society and of regional differences between North and South.
In the last section of the chapter, we return to the relationship between England and its colonies. In the discussion of the general political evolution of the colonies, we discover that England was no longer merely acting on its colonies but was beginning to react to colonies that were maturing socially, politically, and economically. As a consequence, those colonies became increasingly difficult to administer. In addition, the fact that England was engaged in a war with France-a war fought in Europe and in North America-was a complicating factor. At the end of the chapter, the impact of this complex set of interrelationships on New England society is discussed through an analysis of the Salem Village witchcraft crisis.
- Discuss developments in England between 1640 and 1720, and explain their impact on colonial society.
- Explain the reasons behind the new wave of English colonies founded after 1660, and identify the major characteristics of those colonies.
- Examine the relations between white Europeans and North American Indians between 1640 and 1720.
- Discuss the causes and consequences of Bacon's Rebellion.
- Explain the introduction and evolution of African slavery in the North American British colonies.
- Describe the mechanics of the Atlantic slave trade, the characteristics of North American slavery, and the impact of slavery on those enslaved.
- Examine the social, political, economic, and cultural impact of slavery on American, West African, and European societies.
- Explain the political and economic bases for the relationship between England and its colonies from 1640 to 1720.
- Discuss the development of colonial political structures from 1640 to 1720.
- Analyze the forces responsible for the Salem Village witchcraft crisis.
Between 1640 and 1720, the mainland colonies became increasingly involved in a network of trade and international contacts that led to territorial expansion and economic growth. The introduction of slavery, changing relations with England, and conflicts with their neighbors shaped this colonial development.
- The Restoration Colonies
- New York
- Founding of New Jersey
- Pennsylvania: A Quaker Haven
- William Penn's Indian Policy
- Founding of Carolina
- 1670-1680: A Decade of Crisis
- New France and the Iroquois
- French Expansion into the Mississippi Valley
- King Philip's War
- Bacon's Rebellion
- The Introduction of African Slavery
- Labor-Supply Problems in the Chesapeake
- Why African Slavery?
- Atlantic Creoles in Societies with Slaves
- The Beginnings of Mainland Slave Societies
- The Web of Empire and the Atlantic Slave Trade
- Atlantic Trading System
- New England and the Caribbean
- The Human Tragedy of the Slave Trade
- Equiano's Story
- West Africa and the Slave Trade
- European Rivalries and the Slave Trade
- Navigation Acts
- Board of Trade and Plantations
- Enslavement in North America
- Enslavement in the Chesapeake
- Impact of Slavery on the Anglo-American Chesapeake
- Enslavement in South Carolina
- Rice and Indigo
- Indian Enslavement in North and South Carolina
- Slaves in French Louisiana
- Enslavement in the North
- Colonial Political Structures
- A Tradition of Autonomy Challenged
- Dominion of New England
- Glorious Revolution in America
- King William's War
- The 1692 Witchcraft Crisis
Your outline notes should include information on all of these:
- Pedro Menìndez de Avilìs
- Juan de O§ate
- Quebec and Montreal
- The Black Robes
- New Netherland
- Iroquois-Huron War
- the Greater Antilles
- the Lesser Antilles
- English population boom
- Henry VIII
- Martin Luther and John Calvin
- the doctrine of predestination
- the divine right of kings
- the Virginia Company
- joint-stock companies
- Captain John Smith
- the starving time
- the Powhatan Confederacy
- tobacco cultivation
- headright system
- House of Burgesses
- Cecelius Calvert
- indentured servitude
- the "seasoning process"
- Chesapeake families
- Congregationalist Puritans
- Mayflower Compact
- the Massachusetts Bay Company
- John Winthrop
- the doctrine of the covenant
- communal land-grant system of Massachusetts
- Pequot War
- John Eliot
- codes of conduct in Puritan New England
- Roger Williams
- Anne Marbury Hutchinson
- Split the class into three groups and have each group present an overview of how the different European nations developed their holdings in North America prior to 1720.
- Convene a hypothetical meeting of the Virginia House of Burgesses or the General Council of South Carolina to debate a proposal to outlaw slavery. You might have some students discuss allowing slavery to exist but under different forms; for example, not allowing it to be perpetual or hereditary.
- Divide the class into groups and assign each group an instance of Indian resistance, such as the Pueblo Revolt or King Philip's War. Have the groups research their topic and make an oral presentation.
- What led to the founding of the proprietary colonies? Did fundamental similarities exist among these colonies? What differences existed? How does the emergence of these colonies mark a fundamental shift from the creation of the earlier settlements?
- Why might the English have engaged in little or no debate over the moral issue of slavery? What concerns did shape the development of slavery in the mainland colonies? How did the presence of a large number of Africans influence the southern settlements? Why did so many fewer slaves live in the North?
- In which of the "original" thirteen colonies would each student prefer to have lived? Why? Which colony would be least attractive? Why?
- What advantages did the British system of mercantilism offer the mainland colonies? What advantages existed for the mother country? What disadvantages did each group face? What made mercantilism such a contentious issue?
- How did the Glorious Revolution influence Americans' views of their world? How did it alter their perceptions of the Empire? Did the Glorious Revolution "foretell" American independence? If so, why and how? Or, why not?
- What were the causes of the witchcraft crisis at Salem Village? Why did people believe the accusations? Are there other examples of witch-hunt hysteria in American history?