- 1700 and 1775, population in the thirteen colonies increased over 800%, from about 300,000 to 2,500,000 due to immigration and the practice of having large families.
- led to a shift in the balance of political and military power away from Britain and toward America
Structure of Colonial Society
- colonial society more flexible; possible for a poor person to achieve economic success and rise to a higher rank
- real class tensions - Paxton Boys
- largest group: yeomen farmers
-Jefferson argued that the yeomen farmers formed the basis for democracy.
- profitable trade circuit
- leave a New England port with a cargo of rum, travel to Africa, and trade the rum for slaves, then sail to West Indies and trade the slaves for sugar and molasses, which he took back to New England to be distilled into rum to start the cycle over again
John Peter Zenger
- a newspaper publisher who criticized the corrupt governor of New York and was charged with seditious libel
- Andrew Hamilton defended him, jury acquitted him - doctrine of freedom of the press
First Great Awakening
- sparked by Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield who brought a new passion and emotion to religion.
- broke down sectional boundaries and denominational lines, creating greater religious diversity
- people to decide things on their individual consciences rather than on the authority of the powerful. In this sense, it was a step toward the American Revolution.
- consists of governor(expected to protect the interests of the king or proprietor), a council made up of the colonial elite (appointed by the governor), and a lower house or assembly (elected by merchants and farmers who elected them).
- governors caught between king's wishes and laws passed by assembly
- right to vote was not universal.
- Restricted to free, white, adult. 10% to 20% of the total population could vote.
- To discourage trade with French West Indies, Parliament levied duties on molasses, sugar, and rum imported to the colonies from non-British sources.
- New England, especially, protested. When Parliament did not budge, the colonists proceeded to ignore the law and engage in wholesale smuggling.
Treaty of Utrecht
- ended Queen Anne's War (1702-1713); France gave Britain Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the Hudson Bay region
- ushered in a generation of peace during which Britain engaged in the policy of salutary neglect, allowing the colonies to develop a degree of independence
- Frontiersmen in North Carolina felt the colonial elite was not representing their interests, thus formed armed bands to halt foreclosures, etc., but were eventually defeated by the state militia.
- During Revolution became Loyalists because they saw the colonial elite as their main enemy
Attempts banning slave trade
- Slaves made up about 20% of the population overall in 1750
- some colonies concerned over slave rebellions and the injustice of slavery led some colonies to attempt to ban the international slave trade.
- British authorities blocked these efforts. Under a mercantilist system