1620 - The first agreement for self-government in America. It was signed by the 41 men on the Mayflower and set up a government for the Plymouth colony.
A Pilgrim, the second governor of the Plymouth colony, 1621-1657. He developed private land ownership and helped colonists get out of debt. He helped the colony survive droughts, crop failures, and Indian attacks.
Pilgrims and Puritans contrasted
The Pilgrims were separatists who believed that the Church of England could not be reformed. Separatist groups were illegal in England, so the Pilgrims fled to America and settled in Plymouth. The Puritans were non-separatists who wished to adopt reforms to purify the Church of England. They received a right to settle in the Massachusetts Bay area from the King of England.
Massachusetts Bay Colony
1629 - King Charles gave the Puritans a right to settle and govern a colony in the Massachusetts Bay area. The colony established political freedom and a representative government.
1629 - The Puritan stockholders of the Massachusetts Bay Company agreed to emigrate to New England on the condition that they would have control of the government of the colony.
Many Puritans emigrated from England to America in the 1630s and 1640s. During this time, the population of the Massachusetts Bay colony grew to ten times its earlier population.
Church of England (Anglican Church)
The national church of England, founded by King Henry VIII. It included both Roman Catholic and Protestant ideas.
John Winthrop (1588-1649), his beliefs
1629 - He became the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay colony, and served in that capacity from 1630 through 1649. A Puritan with strong religious beliefs. He opposed total democracy, believing the colony was best governed by a small group of skillful leaders. He helped organize the New England Confederation in 1643 and served as its first president.
Non-separatists (which included the Puritans) believed that the Church of England could be purified through reforms. Separatists (which included the Pilgrims) believed that the Church of England could not be reformed, and so started their own congregations.
Protestant sect founded by John Calvin. Emphasized a strong moral code and believed in predestination (the idea that God decided whether or not a person would be saved as soon as they were born). Calvinists supported constitutional representative government and the separation of church and state.
Congregational Church, Cambridge Platform
The Congregational Church was founded by separatists who felt that the Church of England retained too many Roman Catholic beliefs and practices. The Pilgrims were members of the Congregational Church. The Cambridge Platform stressed morality over church dogma.
Contrast Puritan colonies with others
Puritan colonies were self-governed, with each town having its own government which led the people in strict accordance with Puritan beliefs. Only those members of the congregation who had achieved grace and were full church members (called the "elect," or "saints") could vote and hold public office. Other colonies had different styles of government and were more open to different beliefs.
Anne Hutchinson, Antinomianism
She preached the idea that God communicated directly to individuals instead of through the church elders. She was forced to leave Massachusetts in 1637. Her followers (the Antinomianists) founded the colony of New Hampshire in 1639.
Roger Williams, Rhode Island
1635 - He left the Massachusetts colony and purchased the land from a neighboring Indian tribe to found the colony of Rhode Island. Rhode Island was the only colony at that time to offer complete religious freedom.
Puritan teachings emphasized the biblical covenants: God's covenants with Adam and with Noah, the covenant of grace between God and man through Christ.
Voting granted to church members - 1631
1631 - The Massachusetts general court passed an act to limit voting rights to church members.
The Half-way Covenant applied to those members of the Puritan colonies who were the children of church members, but who hadn't achieved grace themselves. The covenant allowed them to participate in some church affairs.
Brattle Street Church
1698 - Founded by Thomas Brattle. His church differed from the Puritans in that it did not require people to prove that they had achieved grace in order to become full church members.
Clergyman, one of the founders of Hartford. Called "the father of American democracy" because he said that people have a right to choose their magistrates.
Fundamental Orders of Connecticut
Set up a unified government for the towns of the Connecticut area (Windsor, Hartford, and Wethersfield). First constitution written in America.
It organized town churches into county associations which sent delegates to the annual assembly which governed the colony of Connecticut.
Massachusetts School Law
First public education legislation in America. It declared that towns with 50 or more families had to hire a schoolmaster and that towns with over 100 families had to found a grammar school.
1636 - Founded by a grant form the Massachusetts general court. Followed Puritan beliefs.
New England Confederation
1643 - Formed to provide for the defense of the four New England colonies, and also acted as a court in disputes between colonies.
King Philip's War
1675 - A series of battles in New Hampshire between the colonists and the Wompanowogs, led by a chief known as King Philip. The war was started when the Massachusetts government tried to assert court jurisdiction over the local Indians. The colonists won with the help of the Mohawks, and this victory opened up additional Indian lands for expansion.
Dominion of New England
1686 - The British government combined the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, and Connecticut into a single province headed by a royal governor (Andros). The Dominion ended in 1692, when the colonists revolted and drove out Governor Andros.
Sir Edmond Andros
Governor of the Dominion of New England from 1686 until 1692, when the colonists rebelled and forced him to return to England.
Joint stock company
A company made up of a group of shareholders. Each shareholder contributes some money to the company and receives some share of the company's profits and debts.
Virginia: purpose, problems, failures, successes
Virginia was formed by the Virginia Company as a profit-earning venture. Starvation was the major problem; about 90% of the colonists died the first year, many of the survivors left, and the company had trouble attracting new colonists. They offered private land ownership in the colony to attract settlers, but the Virginia Company eventually went bankrupt and the colony went to the crown. Virginia did not become a successful colony until the colonists started raising and exporting tobacco.
Headrights were parcels of land consisting of about 50 acres which were given to colonists who brought indentured servants into America. They were used by the Virginia Company to attract more colonists.
Helped found and govern Jamestown. His leadership and strict discipline helped the Virginia colony get through the difficult first winter.
John Rolfe, tobacco
He was one of the English settlers at Jamestown (and he married Pocahontas). He discovered how to successfully grow tobacco in Virginia and cure it for export, which made Virginia an economically successful colony.
1619 - The first African slaves in America arrive in the Virginia colony.
House of Burgesses
1619 - The Virginia House of Burgesses formed, the first legislative body in colonial America. Later other colonies would adopt houses of burgesses.
In the English Civil War (1642-1647), these were the troops loyal to Charles II. Their opponents were the Roundheads, loyal to Parliament and Oliver Cromwell.
1676 - Nathaniel Bacon and other western Virginia settlers were angry at Virginia Governor Berkley for trying to appease the Doeg Indians after the Doegs attacked the western settlements. The frontiersmen formed an army, with Bacon as its leader, which defeated the Indians and then marched on Jamestown and burned the city. The rebellion ended suddenly when Bacon died of an illness.
Led by Culperer, the Alpemark colony rebelled against its English governor, Thomas Miller. The rebellion was crushed, but Culperer was acquitted.
Georgia: reasons, successes
1733 - Georgia was formed as a buffer between the Carolinas and Spanish-held Florida. It was a military-style colony, but also served as a haven for the poor, criminals, and persecuted Protestants.
Founder and governor of the Georgia colony. He ran a tightly-disciplined, military-like colony. Slaves, alcohol, and Catholicism were forbidden in his colony. Many colonists felt that Oglethorpe was a dictator, and that (along with the colonist's dissatisfaction over not being allowed to own slaves) caused the colony to break down and Oglethorpe to lose his position as governor.
1665 - Charles II granted this land to pay off a debt to some supporters. They instituted headrights and a representative government to attract colonists. The southern region of the Carolinas grew rich off its ties to the sugar islands, while the poorer northern region was composed mainly of farmers. The conflicts between the regions eventually led to the colony being split into North and South Carolina.
John Locke, Fundamental Constitution
Locke was a British political theorist who wrote the Fundamental Constitution for the Carolinas colony, but it was never put into effect. The constitution would have set up a feudalistic government headed by an aristocracy which owned most of the land.
1690 - The first permanent settlement in the Carolinas, named in honor of King Charles II. Much of the population were Huguenot (French Protestant) refugees.
Staple crops in the South
Tobacco was grown in Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina. Rice was grown in South Carolina and Georgia. Indigo was grown in South Carol
Pennsylvania, William Penn
1681- William Penn received a land grant from King Charles II, and used it to form a colony that would provide a haven for Quakers. His colony, Pennsylvania, allowed religious freedom.
Liberal land laws in Pennsylvania
William Penn allowed anyone to emigrate to Pennsylvania, in order to provide a haven for persecuted religions.
William Penn's term for the government of Pennsylvania, which was supposed to serve everyone and provide freedom for all.
Frame of government
1701 - The Charter of Liberties set up the government for the Pennsylvania colony. It established representative government and allowed counties to form their own colonies.
New York: Dutch, 1664 English
New York belonged to the Dutch, but King Charles II gave the land to his brother, the Duke of York in 1664. When the British came to take the colony, the Dutch, who hated their Governor Stuyvesant, quickly surrendered to them. The Dutch retook the colony in 1673, but the British regained it in 1674.
Patronships were offered to individuals who managed to build a settlement of at least 50 people within 4 years. Few people were able to accomplish this.
The governor of the Dutch colony of New Amsterdam, hated by the colonists. They surrendered the colony to the English on Sept. 8, 1664.
The federation of tribes occupying northern New York: the Mohawk, the Oneida, the Senecca, the Onondaga, and the Cayuga. The federation was also known as the "Iriquois," or the League of Five Nations, although in about 1720 the Tuscarora tribe was added as a sixth member. It was the most powerful and efficient North American Indian organization during the 1700s. Some of the ideas from its constitution were used in the Constitution of the United States.
Crops in the Middle Colonies
The middle colonies produced staple crops, primarily grain and corn.
New York and Philadelphia as urban centers
New York became an important urban center due to its harbor and rivers, which made it an important center for trade. Piladelphia was a center for trade and crafts, and attracted a large number of immigrants, so that by 1720 it had a population of 10,000. It was the capital of Pennsylvania from 1683-1799. As urban centers, both cities played a major role in American Independence.
1689 - When King James II was dethroned and replaced by King William of the Netherlands, the colonists of New York rebelled and made Jacob Leiser, a militia officer, governor of New York. Leisler was hanged for treason when royal authority was reinstated in 1691, but the representative assembly which he founded remained part of the government of New York.
Printer, author, inventor, diplomat, statesman, and Founding Father. One of the few Americans who was highly respected in Europe, primarily due to his discoveries in the field of electricity.
John Bartram (1699-1777)
America's first botanist; traveled through the frontier collecting specimens.
Pennsylvania, Maryland, Rhode Island - founders established churches
Pennsylvania: Founded by William Penn, a Quaker, to provide protection for Quakers. Maryland: Formed as a colony where Catholics would be free from persecution. Rhode Island: Formed to provide a haven for all persecuted religions, including all Christian denominations and Jews.
Great Awakening (1739-1744)
Puritanism had declined by the 1730s, and people were upset about the decline in religious piety. The Great Awakening was a sudden outbreak of religious fervor that swept through the colonies. One of the first events to unify the colonies.
Jonathan Edwards, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, a Careful and Strict Inquiry Into...That Freedom of Will
Part of the Great Awakening, Edwards gave gripping sermons about sin and the torments of Hell.
Credited with starting the Great Awakening, also a leader of the "New Lights."
A strong Presbyterian minister and leader during the Great Awakening. Founded a college for the training of Presbyterian ministers in 1726.
William Tennant's son. Developed a theology of revivalism.
Old Lights, New Lights
The "New Lights" were new religious movements formed during the Great Awakening and broke away from the congregational church in New England. The "Old Lights" were the established congregational church.
Founded the colony of Maryland and offered religious freedom to all Christian colonists. He did so because he knew that members of his own religion (Catholicism) would be a minority in the colony.
Maryland Act of Toleration (Act of Religious Toleration)
1649 - Ordered by Lord Baltimore after a Protestant was made governor of Maryland at the demand of the colony's large Protestant population. The act guaranteed religious freedom to all Christians.
The religion of the Enlightenment (1700s). Followers believed that God existed and had created the world, but that afterwards He left it to run by its own natural laws. Denied that God communicated to man or in any way influenced his life.
French Protestants. The Edict of Nantes (1598) freed them from persecution in France, but when that was revoked in the late 1700s, hundreds of thousands of Huguenots fled to other countries, including America.
SPG - Society for the Propagation of the Gospel (in Foreign Parts)
A group which worked to spread Christianity to other parts of the world through missionaries in the late 1800s.
Mercantilism: features, rationale, impact on Great Britain, impact on the colonies
Mercantilism was the economic policy of Europe in the 1500s through 1700s. The government exercised control over industry and trade with the idea that national strength and economic security comes from exporting more than is imported. Possession of colonies provided countries both with sources of raw materials and markets for their manufactured goods. Great Britain exported goods and forced the colonies to buy them.
Navigation Acts of 1650, 1660, 1663, and 1696
British regulations designed to protect British shipping from competition. Said that British colonies could only import goods if they were shipped on British-owned vessels and at least 3/4 of the crew of the ship were British.
British courts originally established to try cases involving smuggling or violations of the Navigation Acts which the British government sometimes used to try American criminals in the colonies. Trials in Admiralty Courts were heard by judges without a jury.
The backbone of New England's economy during the colonial period. Ships from New England sailed first to Africa, exchanging New England rum for slaves. The slaves were shipped from Africa to the Caribbean (this was known as the Middle Passage, when many slaves died on the ships). In the Caribbean, the slaves were traded for sugar and molasses. Then the ships returned to New England, where the molasses were used to make rum.
Merchants / Markets
A market is the area or group of people which needs a product. Colonial merchants took goods produced in the colonies to areas of the world that needed those goods. Also, the colonies served as a market for other countries' goods.
One company sells another company's products, and then gives the producing company most of the profits, but keeps a percentage (a commission) for itself.
Molasses Act, 1733
British legislation which taxed all molasses, rum, and sugar which the colonies imported from countries other than Britain and her colonies. The act angered the New England colonies, which imported a lot of molasses from the Caribbean as part of the Triangular Trade. The British had difficulty enforcing the tax; most colonial merchants ignored it.
Woolens Act, 1699
Declared that wool produced in the colonies could only be exported to Britain.
Hat Act, 1732
Declared that hats made in the colonies could not be exported.
Iron Act, 1750
Declared that no new iron forges or mills could be created in the colonies.
Currency Act, 1751
This act applied only to Massachusetts. It was an attempt to ban the production of paper money in Massachusetts, but it was defeated in Parliament.
Currency Act, 1764
This act applied to all of the colonies. It banned the production of paper money in the colonies in an effort to combat the inflation caused by Virginia's decision to get itself out of debt by issuing more paper money.
Salem witch trials
Several accusations of witchcraft led to sensational trials in Salem, Massachusetts at which Cotton Mather presided as the chief judge. 18 people were hanged as witches. Afterwards, most of the people involved admitted that the trials and executions had been a terrible mistake.
These were the two British legal doctrines governing the inheritance of property. Primogeniture requried that a man's real property pass in its entirety to his oldest son. Entail requried that property could only be left to direct descendants (usually sons), and not to persons outside of the family.
Nominal taxes collected by the crown in crown colonies, or by the proprietor(s) of proprietary colonies.
People who could not afford passage to the colonies could become indentured servants. Another person would pay their passage, and in exchange, the indentured servant would serve that person for a set length of time (usually seven years) and then would be free.
Poor Richard's Almanack, first published 1732
Written by Benjamin Franklin, it was filled with witty, insightful, and funny bits of observation and common sense advice (the saying, "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise," first appeared in this almanac). It was the most popular almanac in the colonies.
Phillis Wheatly (1754-1784)
An African domestic in the colonies, and a well-known colonial poet. Her poetry was ornate and elaborate.
Ann Bradstreet (1612-1692)
A Puritan and the first colonial poet to be published. The main subjects of her poetry were family, home, and religion.
Magna Carta, 1215
An English document draw up by nobles under King John which limited the power of the king. It has influenced later constitutional documents in Britain and America.
Petition of Right, 1628
A document drawn up by Parliament's House of Commons listing grievances against King Charles I and extending Parliament's powers while limiting the king's. It gave Parliament authority over taxation, declared that free citizens could not be arrested without cause, declared that soldiers could not be quartered in private homes without compensation, and said that martial law cannot be declared during peacetime.
Habeas Corpus Act, 1679
British law had traditionally provided a procedure that allowed a person who had been arrested to challenge the legality of his arrest or confinement, called the Writ of Habeus Corpus, or the Great Writ. The Act imposed strict penalties on judges who refused to issue a writ of habeus corpus when there was good cause, and on officers who refused to comply with the writ.
Bill of Rights, 1689
Drawn up by Parliament and presented to King William II and Queen Mary, it listed certain rights of the British people. It also limited the king's powers in taxing and prohibitted the maintenance of a standing army in peacetime.
Board of Trade (of the Privy Council)
Advisors to the king who regulated British trade during the 1600s and 1700s.
Prime minister of Great Britain in the first half of the 1700s. His position towards the colonies was salutary neglect.
Prime Minister Robert Walpole's policy in dealing with the American colonies. He was primarily concerned with British affairs and believed that unrestricted trade in the colonies would be more profitable for England than would taxation of the colonies.
A philosophical movement which started in Europe in the 1700's and spread to the colonies. It emphasized reason and the scientific method. Writers of the enlightenment tended to focus on government, ethics, and science, rather than on imagination, emotions, or religion. Many members of the Enlightenment rejected traditional religious beliefs in favor of Deism, which holds that the world is run by natural laws without the direct intervention of God.
Theories of representative government in legislatures: virtual representation, actual representation
Virtual representation means that a representative is not elected by his constituents, but he resembles them in his political beliefs and goals. Actual representation mean that a representative is elected by his constituents. The colonies only had virtual representation in the British government.
Rise of the Lower House
Most of the colonial legislatures had two houses: a lower house elected by the people of the colony and an upper house appointed by the governor. Over time, the lower house became more powerful because it reflected the needs and desires of the people, while the upper house was merely a figurehead.
Proprietary, charter, and royal colonies
Proprietary colonies were founded by a proprietary company or individual and were controlled by the proprietor. Charter colonies were founded by a government charter granted to a company or a group of people. The British government had some control over charter colonies. Royal (or crown) colonies were formed by the king, so the government had total control over them.
These were representatives sent to England by the colonies during the 1600s and 1700s. They served as a link between England and the colonies.
A purely democratic form of government common in the colonies, and the most prevalent form of local government in New England. In general, the town's voting population would meet once a year to elect officers, levy taxes, and pass laws.