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Gordon D Warr

Colonization of America

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I was wondering about the colonies in a more general sense, teaching the Scarlet Letter as a lit text. I wonder if anyone can recommend a good site for setting the context for my students. They are A level, but something with simple terms and lots of pictures to generate a sense of the time rather than the detail of it would be great.

thanks

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One difference between the different original colonies was that the ones in the north tended to be founded by people with strong religious persuasions - mostly precursors of, or offshoots of various branches of non-conformist Protestant religious faiths - whilst the ones in the south tended to be business ventures (to bring crops like tobacco to the European market).

My take on this is that the northern colonies were originally less concerned with establishing colonies which would be viable for other people outside their faith group, since they were mainly focussed on creating a new Jerusalem, whilst the southern ones were started by more hard-headed business people.

I find it interesting that the Native Americans lasted much longer in the south than in the north …

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North eastern colonies: mostly protestant dissenters; Massachussets -- puritans; Rhode Island -- different dissenters who fell out with those in Mass; Pennsylvania -- Quakers

Middle colonies: varied: New York -- captured from Dutch (set up as profit-making enterprise); Delaware -- originally Swedish; Maryland -- Catholic refugees from England.

Southern colonies: varied: Georgia & Carolinas -- large number of convicts and bonded servants; Virginia -- originally set up as profit-making enterprise.

If you do a google search, you'll come up with millions of hits from different US schoold districts where they do a lot of this sort of thing...

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North eastern colonies: mostly protestant dissenters; Massachussets -- puritans; Rhode Island -- different dissenters who fell out with those in Mass; Pennsylvania -- Quakers

Middle colonies: varied: New York -- captured from Dutch (set up as profit-making enterprise); Delaware -- originally Swedish; Maryland -- Catholic refugees from England.

Southern colonies: varied: Georgia & Carolinas -- large number of convicts and bonded servants; Virginia -- originally set up as profit-making enterprise.

If you do a google search, you'll come up with millions of hits from different US schoold districts where they do a lot of this sort of thing...

One of the succinct answer!!! a perfect summary!!! I just wish that I had given such answer to a query in my classroom or in my written lecture.

I believe a further detailed explanation of each of thirteen colonies would bring out a good presentation. It can be a useful exercise in order to check ones own understanding and the share the sources from which answer to such questions can be made.

Once writing a lecture on the Causes of the Civil War in America, I just started with a line that “the Conflict which became the cause of the Civil War had its origin in the process of establishment of the various colonies. The cause of Sectional Conflict can only be studied and appreciated if we understand the origin and the rise of each colony.”

I scrapped those lines and then went for a general type of lecture. The above lines still remain on my computer from where I have copied them.

Google affair is good but I feel if one has understanding of such topics, he should come up his version and presentation.

Well, I will try.

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Once writing a lecture on the Causes of the Civil War in America, I just started with a line that “the Conflict which became the cause of the Civil War had its origin in the process of establishment of the various colonies. The cause of Sectional Conflict can only be studied and appreciated if we understand the origin and the rise of each colony.”

A Reference has been made by John Simkin about “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the History of America” by Thomas E. Woods. A glimpse of this book is given by the author himself about the book on the net on the link suggested by Raymond Blair.

After reading the above postings and the links I bring before the forum some observations which I have made in 1999 in my lectures based on The Great Republic by Baylin and History of America by Henry Bamford Parkes. It had been added to different sources from time to time. At present it stands as presented below. They are the books which have already discussed the contrary views claimed to have been given in his book by Woods.

I am also now confident of developing my view which I have previously made in the last posting here. I quote: “the Conflict which became the cause of the Civil War had its origin in the process of establishment of the various colonies. The cause of Sectional Conflict can only be studied and appreciated if we understand the origin and the rise of each colony.”

I think that the contents of my posting are more relevant here.

The first activity of exploring the North America for England was carried out by John Cabot between 1497 and 1498. He was a Venetian sailor who was employed by King Henry VII to explore America. The aim was not raise colonies there but to find a North West route to the Far East. After this attempt, no important activity was undertaken in the area. The route to Far East was not found. England gave more priority to the problems that faced her on the continent. There was no plan to establish colonies and therefore no interest in learning about what Cabot had done in the west.

It was during the reign of Elizabeth, that the activity in the west was against started. The next person who came for England to North America was Martin Frobisher. He came in 1576 and explored Labrador. For next five decades, came John Davis, Henry Hudson, William Baffin and others. It was not royal house which had a plan for this region. They just gave the support and moral backing for such activities. The activities required finance which was provided by the private individuals. Such activities brought profit in form of furs from those areas which were explored under enterprises of the English individuals. In return, they gave only English name to the areas located by them. It was helpful latter only because that became the basis of the claim of the English world to acquire the land in the North America as their own. The main aim, which was to find a way to Far East was never achieved. Apart from giving English name to the places in the region and getting some profit from the Fur trade with the North American regions, they also benefited from the piratical activities against the holding of Spain. They also carried raid on the Caribbean islands. All such activities were justified on the basis of religious aims of Protestants.

Therefore, it can be concluded that America came on the way when the English were trying to find the route to the Far East. They did not find route to the Far East. However, in return they earned some money from the fur trade and looting the islands and the ships of Spain. The other result was that they learned about the region and gave them the English name which later became the basis of claiming those lands as their own.

In the meantime, those who had invested money in such enterprises got interested in the region which they have found in North America. They were getting fur profit from there. But they knew that it was not a permanent thing. They felt that the investment could be imparted some meaning if the colonization could be carried in that region and the used for getting some more profit by getting commodities from the agricultural activities which could be carried out in the colonies. Therefore, there was realization that there could be some more concrete activity in the west if colonies could be settled there. They started urging the royal house to help them in that direction. No doubt, the regions which had been discovered was the result of their financing of the expeditions to that regions. But the legal basis was that whichever new region was located and found was to be declared the property of the royal house.

The most powerful argument for raising colonies on North American continent came from Richard Hakluyt and Richard Hakluyt. They were two persons with the same name. They were relatives. They were uncle and nephew. The younger Richard Hakluyt was a scholar and clergyman. He gave written form to his argument. He wrote Principal Navigation, Voyages, Traffiques, and Discoveries of the English Nation. It was basically a collection of different works. Through this writing, Hakluyt directed the attention of the royal court towards the benefit of raising colonies in the newly found lands which was called the New World.

The Arguments of Richard Hakluyt:

1. The Colonies would work as the bases for pursuing the search for the North West route to Asia.

2. The colonies would facilitate the attack on Spain.

The Major Constructive Purpose of Colonies:

1. The enclosures and other economic changes like the factory system had created landless and unemployed population in Britain. They could create social problem. Such people could find new livelihood in America

2. The colonies could be used to produce commodities such as sugar, wine, Olive oil, silk, vegetable dyes etc. They could not produced in England because of the shortage of land because of the enclosure system. As a result, England was buying these products from Spain and other Southern countries and had become dependent on them. Such supplies could be produced in colonies. IN other words, Haklyut had suggested a role for colonies which was to be to serve the economy of Britain and exist for the benefit of Britain.

3. He also suggested that gradually the colonies would provide market for the growing English industries particularly the cloth industry. Hence, Haklyut was giving a subordinate economic role to colonies. Such an argument was bound to win many votaries both among the common man and the royal court.

Hence Haklyut envisaged that development of colonies would make England economically independent of foreign countries and would make her more rich and secure. No doubt, this was the main ideology and force behind pursuing the plan of raising colonies in America. This was also the core of the definition of mercantilism which was adopted by imperialistic countries. The colonies had to work as the economical adjunct to the main country. This was the role which was envisaged for the people of America who had been sent there from Britain. This was the position which the people of America never wanted to accept and it became the cause of the American revolution when they took the stand that there would be no taxation without representation.

The Role of Royal Court:

Queen Elizabeth knew this argument and had full support for such an enterprise. However, the royal court was not ready to undertake such enterprise on the royal expenses. But the private people were eager to offer the finance. No doubt, the whole of the process of colonization of America was undertaken by the private citizens. Some where it was the profit motive and on the other hand, an urge to give practical shape to the utopian ideas which were product of Enlightenment. People were taken there or sent there because England wanted them to move out. Therefore, each settlement which later developed into colonies had their unique character with the common aim of making profit there. However, the responsibility of making such enterprises a profitable venture was left with people who were sent to that bewilderness.

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First of all. A good link (apparently) for using while teaching Hawthorne

Hawthorne in Salem

The best tome I have read that helps explain the differences in colonial America split the region into New England, the Middle colonies, the South, and the backcountry.

It is called Albion's Seed.

Link

There are a variety of things to take into consideration when looking at the initial formation of the different colonies.

The southern colonies were generally set up to make wealth for their owners.

The colonists tended to be royalists or cavaliers and they peaked in migration during the English Civil War.

After the English glorious revolution the basic pattern of many of the colonies was set and they grew under of policy of salutary neglect by the British Empire until around the time of the beginning of the Seven Years War.

Over time all of the colonies became royal colonies.

Religion, climate, arable land, and the goal of the colony were among the different factors that led to different development.

Economic also played a role. The poorest of British society could not afford to come over for the most part. This system was more set in place after the uprising of discontented former indentures and others who could not find easily profitable land (Bacon's Rebellion) The elite tended to be secure in their position in England and saw no reason to go to a cultural backwater in the Americans. They were above that. For this reason the American colonies tended to consist more of the middle ranks of society with more in common and less differentiation. Somewhat by luck, the impulse in America became democratic. As land was extremely available in the colonies, it was the many, not the few, who could exercise political rights as landholders.

South Carolina had some of the best land and the harshest plantation conditions, many of its leading citizens came in from the island model of plantations from Barbados.

Georgia was initially set up as a bizarre and misguided social and mercantile experiment to make silk (so as to not give $$ to the far east and wine (France and South Europe) It was a buffer zone so granting its utopian founders a place to try out their experiment with debtors and other convicts served the purpose of providing a buffer zone from the Spanish in case of war.

Maryland was set up as a haven for Catholics (for Lord Baltimore) but quickly got overwhelmed by the success of the Virginia colony as aspiring planters from that colony search for land near water.

North Carolina was an in between colony without good navigable rivers or large swaths of good bottomland for plantations. It was mostly a backcountry pattern of a colony.

Pennsylvania in the middle was a gift from Charles II to the Penn family for their support in the Restoration. William was a heretic Quaker and he set out to create a colony of openness and tolerance. He was well ahead of his time and Pennsylvania alone reflected the freedom of religion that is present today. They had the best policies toward native Americans (save perhaps Rhode Island) and they allowed settlers from most communities to come to their colony. This helped establish Philadelphia as a thriving seaport, and it attracted a host of settlers that filled into the backcountry to set up a freer way of life. Freedom was more of a priority in this colony that profits for the founders, although the Quaker element held onto political power as long as it could into the 18th century.

Delaware kind of fell off from PA later.

New Jersey was part of a gift to the Duke of York and was a proprietary colony that became a gift to his associates including George Carteret, the governor of Jersey.

It was an in between colony in the sense that revenues tended to come in import duties and the port cities of New York and Philadelphia captured the lion share of those duties.

It was nicknamed the Garden State and now is the most densely populated state in the country. (And my birth place!)

New York had been a Dutch colony. There the Dutch hoped to set up a system with wealthy landlords and tenants. But with so much land available to land lord class could not hold onto its tenants. With England's star rising, the aspiring Dutch Empire could not hold onto its New Netherlands through a series of 17th century wars and it was taken as a proprietary colony for James the Duke of York. The colony became royal when James became king.

It is the northernmost of the middle colonies. These colonies tended to have better farmland than New England but shorter growing seasons than the south. They could produce food in abundance (wheat, apples and others) but did not have a need or the scale for slave labor. Their commercial centers propelled the region to some wealth and standing.

Massachusetts was settled by two communities hoping to set up religious utopias where they would be free to practice their religion. This colony quickly became dominated by the Puritan (as opposed to the Separatist Pilgrims that came on the Mayflower) because of the size of its members. Its greatest period of growth came before the English Civil War because during that time there were great opportunities for English Puritans. They tended to oppose the royal families.

They came in families and intended to create a sustainable community, not to find quick wealth. There was an attempt to create a theocratic government but the anti-authoritarian nature of its faith made it more like local democratic dictatorships. It was the congregation that was the center political unit in Puritan society, and issues were hashed out until there was a unanimous consent.

People of other faiths were not welcome and did church membership was the path to political rights. Heretics were banned or if they kept coming back, executed.

Famous dissenters Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson found themselves banished for their religious views and set up Rhode Island. The smallest and most defiantly independent of the colonies.

Connecticut split off from Massachusetts mostly for logistical reasons. The rivers of the Connecticut valley poured out in a different direction.

New Hampshire and Maine were both hashed out in the court rooms of England as to whether they were under the control of Massachusetts or they had been given out to proprietors. The court ruled against Mass. but the family that inherited Maine allowed that territory to fall back under the control of Mass where it remianed until the Missouri compromise of 1820.

As the first generations of true believers died out, declension became a big problem. Those born into the Congregational religious community had not chosen a rigorous religious life for themselves and many could not meet the criteria for becoming members in the church.

The Calvinists faced a strange dilemma when the strict life of hard work (idle hands are the devil's work shop) creating a burgeoning society of traders. The wealth created seemed to create people who were diverted by material things, but the material blessings had come by god's providence.

New England became increasingly secular into the 18th century. This caused a difficult transition from Congregationalist rule that had symptoms such as the incident in Salem in 1692. After the Glorious revolution Mass became a royal colony (It had tangled with the government under the Restoration) and New England society evolved under the growing port city of Boston.

In the country the existence was hardscrabble. The land was hard to work so it stayed in the hands of yeoman farmers. The system of even distribution of the land among sons made parents search westward for new farms for their younger children as they came of age and the settlement spilled into the west and south west. (New York, Ohio) New England merchants gained a level of wealth only surpassed by the wealthiest of South Carolina and Virginia planters (with slaves counted in as a $$ figure)

Probably too much information, but I had fun.

I apologize for any errors or misperceptions left in in my haste this AM.

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First of all.  A good link (apparently) for using while teaching Hawthorne

Hawthorne in Salem

The southern colonies were generally set up to make wealth for their owners.

The colonists tended to be royalists or cavaliers and they peaked in migration during the English Civil War.

After the English glorious revolution the basic pattern of many of the colonies was set and they grew under of policy of salutary neglect by the British Empire until around the time of the beginning of the Seven Years War.

Over time all of the colonies became royal colonies.

Religion, climate, arable land, and the goal of the colony were among the different factors that led to different development.

Probably too much information, but I had fun.

I apologize for any errors or misperceptions left in in my haste this AM.

First of all thanks you for the write up especially for the lines which you have written and quoted above. I can not elaborate why I am thankful. It is just satisfying to know that I am not the only person who has the observation or understanding as it is presented by you. Or in other words, I am going on the right course in my study of American history.

The whole article, even if written in haste, I think, gives the complete answer to the original query.

I may only like to add that it should be substantiated by the thesis given by Bernard Bailyn in "The Great Republic - History of America" in the section one, chapter 1 sub section: Points of Contrast : Spain in America. It will complete the picture.

I have been also writing only long postings.

It is my feeling that such type of exchange serves the purpose of this forum. The other members undertake it some time in JFK debate or in ICT future prospects. They do the real job only in such sections of this forum. But it is not enjoyable when they adopt particular way of exchange in the Holocaust debate or some other similar debates.

It is a desire that such an exchange continue in future on different topics also.

The link of Institute for historic review is another good link. It seems to be worth exploring.

I am also in hurry.

(just a personal note to Raymond Blair: My year of birth is also 1966 but there is factor 8 in your case. That is other thing that my son was also born on 17th.)

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