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Half-Way Covenant

Formally adopted by the Puritans in 1662, this granted limited membership in the Puritan church. "Limited" members and their children could be baptized, but were not originally allowed to take communion or have a voice in church affairs.

John Peter Zenger

An itinerant German printer who wrote critical articles about Pennsylvania's royal governor in the 1730s. He was arrested for seditious libel, but was acquired in a trial that became a celebrated defense of freedom of the press.

Pennsylvania Dutch

German Mennonites who migrated to colonial Pennsylvania and formed a politically influential faction in the Pennsylvania assembly.

Scotch-Irish

Presbyterian immigrants who migrated to the colonial backcountry in the early eighteenth century. They felt little loyalty to England.

quitrent

A small tax on each 50 acres of land granted under the headlight system that was much resented and hard to collect. This tax was used by English monarchs and colony proprietors to derive income from their colonies.

William Berkeley

The governor of Virginia for over thirty years. He and his policies were the targets of Bacon's Rebellion in 1676.

Ben Franklin

A philadelphia printer and critic of Pennsylvania's royal governors. He also expressed concern over the large number of clannish Germans who settled in the Pennsylvania backcountry.

declension

The decline of the Puritan experiment in Massachusetts Bay. It began in the 1660s and was marked by the loss of religious intensity. It was manifested in the adoption of the Half-Way Covenant in 1662.

Dominion of New England

A governing scheme devised in the 1680s to bring greater imperial supervision of the New England colonies and New York. Edmund Andros who made himself obnoxious to the Massachusetts Bay Puritans governed it.

Paxton Boys

An uprising in western Pennsylvania by farmers in 1763. It was triggered by eastern indifference to Indian attacks on the frontier and by the western district's under representation in the Pennsylvania assembly.

factors

Scottish and English agents who marketed colonial planters' crops, filled their orders for manufactured goods, and extended them credit. This system was very convenient for southern planters, but it prevented the development of a diversified economy in the South.

James Oglethorpe

An English philanthropist and a founding trustee of the Georgia colony in 1733. He hoped to make Georgia a reformed society free of slavery, strong drink, and unequal land ownership.

indentured servitude

A form of apprenticeship or bonded labor. It provided a way for Europeans who could not afford to pay their own passage to get to America. In return for payment of their transportation, servants agreed to work for several years. They were often abused and exploited, but eventually became free landowners.

Eliza Lucas

A South Carolina plantation owner who introduced the cultivation of indigo.

Cotton Mather

A Puritan minister who was Massachusetts's resident expert on demonology and a vindictive proponent go the execution of Salem's accused witches. He also recommended inoculation during the 1721 smallpox epidemic in Boston.

Bacon's Rebellion

An armed rebellion against the royal governor of Virginia, Sir WIlliam Berkeley, in 1676. The rebellion was the product of Berkeley's political favoritism, economic exploitation, and Indian policy.

triangular trade

Though misnamed, this term characterized the series of indirect routes used to conduct trade between colonies and England. The trade ultimately carried raw materials to England and manufactured goods to the colonies.

squatter's rights

A settlers privilege to buy land from its legal owner without paying for the improvements made upon it. These settlers were those who lived on the frontier land before it was legally claimed.

nuclear family

A form of social organization characterized by a one-family household consisting of parents, children, and immediate dependents.

Royal African Company

An English joint-stock company founded in 1672 for the purpose of providing slaves to English colonists in America.

town meeting

The usual form of government in colonial New England. Town businesses was decided at semiannual meeting were most adult males could select a representative to the assembly and decide issues related to land, taxes, the minister's salary, and provisions for the poor.

headright system

A headright was a system of land distribution used in the southern and middle colonies to boost settlement. Anyone entering the colony received 50 acres of land. It was often used in conjunction with indentured servitude to build large plantations and supply them with labor.

Glorious Revolution

In 1688 James II was exiled in order to secure English Protestantism and Parliament's power. In the American colonies, this event resulted in the collapse of the Dominion of New England and in several rebellions against governors appointed by James II.

Edmund Andros

Appointed governor of the Dominion of New England by James II in 1686. He attempted to abolish the Massachusetts assembly, enforce religious toleration, and collect the king's quitrents. He was deposed in the wake of the Glorious Revolution in 1688.

Leisler's Rebellion

An attempt to seize and retain control of New York's government in the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution in England in 1688. The leader was arrested and executed in 1690.

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