Ch. 4 U.S.

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Chesapeake

disease ravaged; half the people born there did not survive to celebrate their 20th birthdays; others did not live to see their 50th; the great majority of immigrants were single men in their late teens & early 20s; women were outnumbered 6 to 1 in 1650; and 3 to 2 at the end of the century; families were few & fragile; most marriages were destroyed by the death of a partner within 7 years; scarcely any children reached adulthood; there were many pregnancies among unmarried young girls; hospitable to tobacco cultivation; black slaves here had a somewhat easier lot - tobacco plantations were larger & closer to one another than rice plantations (allowing for more contact with friends & relatives) & tobacco was a less physically demanding crop;the proportion of females began to rise, making family life possible; the slave population here was one of the few slave societies to perpetuate itself by its own natural reproduction

Virginia

in the 18th century was the most populous colony; had 59 thousand people

Maryland

had 30 thousand people & was the 3rd largest colony

tobacco

grown in the Chesapeake; seeking fresh field, cultivators of this plant moved up the river valleys, provoking Indian attacks; ships annually hauled 1.5 million pounds of this out of Chesapeake Bay by the 1640s & 40 million pounds by 1700; the enormous production of this depressed prices, causing tobacco growers to grow more

headright system

Virginia & Maryland employed this to encourage the import of servant workers; whoever paid the passage of a laborer received the right to acquire 50 acres of land; masters thus reaped the benefits of landownership from this;

merchant-planters

some masters soon parlayed their investments in servants into huge fortunes in real estates (because of the headright system); lords of vast riverfront estates that came to dominate the agriculture & commerce of the southern colonies

white slaves

indentured servants; Chesapeake planters brought some 100,000 of these to the region by 1700; represented more than 3/4s of all European immigrants to Virginia & Maryland in the 17th century; led a hard but hopeful life in the early days of the Chesapeake settlements; as prime land became scarcer masters became resistant to including land grants in "freedom dues"; misbehaving servants might be punished with an extended term of service; even after freedom was granted, the penniless freed workers had little choice but to hire themselves out for low wage to their former masters

freemen

mostly single young men; were frustrated by their broken hopes of acquiring land and their failure to find single women to marry; the Virginia assembly in 1670 disenfranchised most of them, accusing them of "having little interest in the country" & causing "tumults at the election to the disturbance of his majesty's peace"

Berkeley

Virginia's Governor; lamented his lot as ruler of the freemen "How miserable that man is that governs a people where six parts of seven at least are poor, endebted, discontented & armed"; crushed the Virginia uprising; Charles II complained, "That old fool has put to death more people in that naked country than I did here for the murder of my father"

(Nathaniel) Bacon

this man led a thousand Virginians to break out of control in 1676; 29 year old planter; died of disease during the war, allowing Berkeley to crush the uprising

Bacon's Rebellion

a thousand Virginians broke out of control in 1676 led by Nathaniel Bacon; most of the rebels were frontiersmen who had been forced into the backcountry in search of arable land; they fiercely resented Berkeley's friendly policies toward the Indians whose thriving fur trade the governor monopolized; when Berkeley refused to retaliate for a series of Indian attacks on frontier settlements, Bacon & his followers fell murderously upon the Indians, chased Berkeley from Jamestown & put the torch to the capital; chaos swept Virginia; Berkeley crushed the uprising when Bacon died of disease; Berkeley hung more than 20 rebels; ignited the smoldering unhappiness of landless former servants & he had pitted the backcountry frontiersmen against the haughty gentry of the tidewater plantation

black slaves

10 million Africans were carried to the New World in the 300 years after Columbus's landing; only 400,000 of them ended up in North America, the great majority arriving after 1700; by the mid 1680s, these slaves outnumbered white servants among the plantation colonies' new arrivals; accounted for nearly half the population of Virginia by 1750; in South Carolina, they outnumbered whites 2 to 1; most of the slaves came from the west coast of Africa; were originally captured by African coastal tribes who traded them in crude markets on the shimmering tropical beaches to itinerant European & American flesh merchants; usually branded & bound, they were taken aboard ships for the middle passage; a few of the earliest of them gained their freedom & some became slaveowners themselves; life for them was especially harsh in the South; blacks in the tobacco-growing Chesapeake region had a somewhat easier lot; helped to build the country with their labor; a few became artisans, but chiefly they performed the sweaty toil of clearing swamps, grubbing out trees & other menial tasks; revolts in New York City & South Carolina; the first American slaves were mostly males, sent off to small isolated farms where social contact with other Africans, especially women was an unheard-of luxury; some were able to buy their freedom in the 17th century; by 1740, American-born slaves outnumber African-born & the importation of African slaves slowed; female slaves were forced to perform double duty - to work & care for their family; women used knitting & weaving time to develop close bonds; most slaves became Christians, but added African-influenced music & rituals to the services; Methodism (one of the most popular denominations in slave quarters) banned dancing as sinful, but they still clapped & beat time with their feet (led to ringshouting); rejected predestination & emphasized the lowly early place of Jesus, & earthly deliverance of Joshua, Daniel & Moses

Royal African Company

in 1698, this lost its crown-granted monopoly on carrying slaves to the colonies

middle passage

African slaves were taken aboard ships to America; death rates ran as high as 20%;

slave codes

statues appeared that formally decreed the iron conditions of slavery for black; these made blacks & their children the property for life of their white masters; some colonies made it a crime to teach a slave to read or write; not even conversion to Christianity could qualify a slave for freedom;

Gullah

on the sea islands off South Carolina's coast, blacks evolved this language; probably a corruption of Angola, the African region from which many of them had come; blended English with several African languages, including Yoruba, Ibo, & Hausa; through it many African woulds have passed into American speech - such as goober (peanut), gumbo (okra) & voodoo (witchcraft)

ringshout

a West African religious dance performed by shuffling in a circle while answering a preacher's shouts; was brought to colonial America by slaves & eventually contributed to the development; someone would walk around the ring, singing in unison; derived from African religions (used in the African Methodists meetings)

Anthony Johnson

a slave who bought his freedom; of Northampton County, Virginia; actually became a slaveholder himself

First Families of Virginia (FFVs)

just before the Revolutionary War, 70% of the leaders of the Virginia legislature came from families established in Virginia before 1690; Fitzhughs, the Lees & the Washingtons; for the most part they were a hardworking businesslike lot, laboring long hours over the problems of plantation management

small farmers

the largest social group in the South; they tilled their modest plots & might own 1 or 2 slaves; lived a ragged, hand-to-mouth existence

landless whites

most of these were luckless former indentured servants; low on the social scale in the South; beneath them were indentured servants

South

life here revolved around the great plantations, distantly isolated from one another; waterways provided the principal means of transportation; roads were so wretched that in bad weather funeral parties could not reach church burial grounds; fragility of southern families advanced the economic security of southern women, especially of women's property rights;

New England

clean water & cool temperatures retarded the spread of killer microbes here; settlers here added 10 years to their life spans by migrating from the Old World; "a sip of New England's air is better than a whole draft of old England's ale"; the first generation of Puritan colonists had a 70 year lifespan; many migrated in families; family was the center of this life; the population grew from natural reproductive increase; early marriages - women wed by their early 20s & produced babies about every 2 years thereafter until menopause; dying from childbirth was not uncommon; children grew up in nurturing environments where they received love & guidance from their parents & grandparents - this novel intergenerational continuity has inspired the observation that New England "invented" grandparents; low premarital pregnancy rates; women usually gave up their property rights when they married; women were generally denied rights of inheritance; evolved a tightly knit society, the basis of which was small villages & farms; Puritanism made for unity of purpose; the crusade for abolishing black slavery sprang from the New England conscience, with Puritan roots; grew in a more orderly fashion - new towns were legally chartered & the distribution of land was entrusted to the steady hands of sober-minded town fathers (proprietors); towns of more than 50 families were required to provide elementary education & a majority of the adults knew how to read & write; democratic; back-bending toil put a premium on industry & penny-pinching frugality, for which New Englanders became famous; 3 stages of progress were "to get on, to get honor, to get honest"; less ethnically mixed; summers were hot & winters very cold; tobacco did not flourish, black slavery could not exist profitable on small farms (although attempted); the English settlers condemned the Indians for "wasting" the earth by underutilizing its bounty & used this logic to justify their own expropriation of the land from the native inhabitants - they "improved" the land by clearing woodlands for pasturage & tillage, building roads & fences & laying out permanent settlements; introduced livestock - pigs, horses, sheep & cattle (there heavy hooves compacted the soil, speeding erosion & flooding; the growing herds needed more pasturelands, so the colonists cleared forests); became experts in shipbuilding & commerce; exploited the codfish (the fishy "gold mines of New England which yielded more wealth than all the treasure chests of the Aztecs); tried to recreate on a modified scale the social structure they had known in the Old World

William Phips

Massachusetts governor; was one of 27 children, all by the same mother

proprietors

the distribution of land in New England was entrusted to the steady hands of sober-minded town fathers; after receiving the grant of land, they would move themselves & their families to the designated place & laid out their town - the town usually consisted of a meetinghouse, which served as the place of worship & the town hall, surrounded by houses; also marked out was a village green where the militia could drill; each family received several parcels of land

Harvard (College)

in 1636 (just 8 years after Massachusetts founding) the Puritans established this; today the oldest corporation in America; originally established to train local boys for the ministry

William and Mary

only in 1693 (86 years after the founding of Jamestown) did the Virginians establish their first college, known as this

town meeting

the freemen met together & each man voted (in New England); exhibited democracy in its purist form; villagers from the outset gathered regularly in their meetinghouses to elect their officials, appoint schoolmasters & discuss such mundane matters as road repairs; Thomas Jefferson said this was "the best school of political liberty the world ever saw"

jeremiad

new form of sermon was heard form Puritan pulpits in the middle of the 17th century; taking their cue from the doom-saying Old Testament prophet Jeremiah, earnest preachers scolded parishioners for their waning piety;

Half-Way Covenant

in Congregational Church; troubled ministers in 1662 (because of the decline in conversions) announced this new formula for church membership; offered partial membership rights to people not yet converted; dramatized the difficulty of maintaining at fever pitch the religious devotion of the founding generation; as time went on, Puritan churches swung fully open to all comers, whether converted or not (gradually erased the distinction between the elect & other members of society); in effect, strict religious purity was sacrificed somewhat to the cause of wider religious participation; from this time onward, women made up a larger proportion fo the Puritan congregations

Salem witch trials

a group of adolescent girls in Salem, Massachusetts claimed to have been bewitched by certain older women; a witch hunt ensued, leading to the legal lynching in 1692 of 20 individuals (18 of whom were hanged & one of whom was pressed to death); 2 dogs were also hanged; most of the accused witches were associated with Salem's prosperous merchant elite; their accusers came largely from the ranks of the poorer families in Salem's agricultural hinterland; this reflected the widening social stratification of New England as well as the anxieties of many religious traditionalists that the Puritan heritage was being eclipsed by Yankee commercialism; ended in 1693 when the governor, alarmed by an accusation against his own wife & supported by the more responsible members of the clergy, prohibited any further trials & pardoned those already convicted; this marked an all-time high in American experience of popular passions run wild; "witch hunting" passed into the American vocabulary as a metaphor for the often dangerously irrational urge to find a scapegoat for social resentments

Nutmeg State

Connecticut came in time to be called this because some of the traders palmed off wooden nutmegs

Boston

righteous New Englanders boasted that this was "the hub of the universe" - at least spiritually; a famous jingle came about

farmers

the majority of colonists were this; they planted in the spring, tended their crops in the summer, harvested in the fall & prepared in the winter to begin the cycle anew; usually rose at dawn & went to bed at dusk; chores might be performed after nightfall only if they were "worth the candle"

women

wove, cooked, cleaned & cared for children

men

cleared land, fenced, planted & cropped it; cut firewood; butchered livestock as needed

children

helped with their parent's tasks & picked up such schooling as they could

Leisler's Rebellion

in New York; animosity between lordly landholders & aspiring merchants fueled this; an ill-starred & bloody insurgency that rocked New York City from 1689 to 1691

"meaner sort"

American blue bloods resented the pretension of these people & passed laws to try to keep them in their place; Massachusetts in 1651 prohibited poorer people from "wearing gold or silver lace"; in 18th century a tailor was fined & jailed for arranging to race his horse - "a sport only for gentlemen"

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