A common saying among Scots-Irish and Germans during the eighteenth century was “Pennsylvania is heaven for farmers [and] paradise for artisans.” Explain the attraction Pennsylvania held for immigrants. Include an analysis of the extent to which immigrants(Scots-Irish, Germans and Quakers) achieved success in this region. Also what was life like for African Americans in Pennsylvania?
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Notes pertaining to Chapter 5
- A Growing Population and Expanding Economy in British North America
- Phenomenal Population Growth—The colonial population grew from 250,000 in 1700 to well over two million by 1770. Colonial America was a heterogeneous society, with colonists of different ethnic groups, races, and religions living in varied environments under thirteen different colonial governments; the growth and diversity of the population derived from natural increase (which amounted to three-fourths of the total increase) and immigration (one-fourth); by 1770, only about half of the colonists were of English descent, while more than 20 percent descended from Africans.
- Expanding Economy—In 1700, almost all colonists lived within fifty miles of the coast; almost limitless wilderness to the West made land cheap; free colonists had a higher standard of living than the majority of people elsewhere in the Atlantic world.
- New England: From Puritan Settlers to Yankee Traders
- Natural Increase and Land Distribution
- New England Population Grew by Natural Increase—Nearly every adult woman married, and most married women had children; wives often had six or more babies.
- Limited Amount of Land—Growing New England population pressed up against a limited amount of land; New England had contested northern and western frontiers; original land allotments had to be subdivided to accommodate new generations, making them too small to support a family. During the eighteenth century, colonial governments stopped granting land to towns and instead sold it directly to individuals, including speculators; money, rather than church membership, determined whether a colonist could buy land, weakened ties of community, and put a new emphasis on individual choices.
- Farms, Fish, and Atlantic Trade
- Diversified Commercial Economy—New England farmers rarely got rich; as consumers, they participated in a diversified, Atlantic world economy; merchants stocked imported goods; fish accounted for more than a third of New England’s eighteenth-century exports; livestock and timber made up another third; two thirds of exports went to the West Indies.
- Atlantic Commerce—Atlantic commerce provided jobs for laborers, tradesmen, ship captains, clerks, merchants, and sailors; merchants dominated New England commerce.
- Wealth in New England—Most wealthy merchants lived in Boston; by 1770, the richest 5 percent of Bostonians owned half the city’s wealth; the poorest two-thirds of the population owned less than one tenth; the rich got richer, but the incidence of genuine poverty did not change much; overall, colonists were better off than most people in England; the contrast with English poverty had meaning because the majority of New Englanders traced their ancestry to England; there were more than 15,000 slaves by 1770, but still a 97 percent white majority.
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III. The Middle Colonies: Immigrants, Wheat, and Work
- German and Scots-Irish Immigrants
- German Migrants (“Pennsylvania Dutch”)—Germans made up the largest contingent of migrants from the European continent; colonists referred to them as Pennsylvania Dutch, an English corruption ofDeutsch; mostly farmers and laborers, but numerous artisans and a few merchants also emigrated.
- Scots-Irish Migrants—Hailed from northern Ireland, Scotland, and northern England; tended to be militant Presbyterians; like Germans, Scots-Irish were clannish, residing when they could among relatives or neighbors from the old country; flooded British North America in the years just before the American Revolution as economic conditions deteriorated at home.
- Redemptioners and Indentured Servants—Many German immigrants were forced to become redemptioners, a variant of indentured servants; a captain would provide transportation to Philadelphia; once there, redemptioners would either borrow the money to pay the captain back or, more likely, sell themselves as servants; Scots-Irish contracted themselves as indentured servants before the trip; both redemptioners and indentured servants endured dangerous voyages across the Atlantic; redemptioners typically served less time in servitude than indentured servants.
- “God Gives All Things to Industry”: Urban and Rural Labor
- Servants and Family Labor; Few Slaves—Only affluent colonists could afford slaves; most farmers in the middle colonies used family labor, not slaves; wheat usually required only family labor and a hired hand or two; slaves accounted for only 7 percent of the population by 1770; most slaves came from the West Indies; a small number of slaves gained their freedom, but free blacks did not escape whites’ convictions about black inferiority; blacks became scapegoats for whites’ suspicions and anxieties.
- Availability of Land—Immigrants swarmed to the middle colonies because of the availability of land; Pennsylvania’s policy of negotiating with Indian tribes to purchase land reduced conflict, but the Penn family did sometimes push land agreements to the limit and beyond; when local Indians granted them the land that a man could walk in a day and a half, the Penns sent out three runners to claim the most land possible (the “Walking Purchase”); standard of living was higher in middle colonies than any other agricultural region of the eighteenth-century world.
- Philadelphia—Stood at the crossroads of trade in wheat exports and British imports; by 1776, Philadelphia was the second most populous city in the British empire, trailing only London; merchants held the top stratum of society, and the wealthiest merchants were Quakers; Benjamin Franklin began publishingPoor Richard’s Almanackin 1733, and its popularity indicated that many Pennsylvanians thought more about profit than religion; the Almanack was full of aphorisms about work, discipline, and thrift.
- The Southern Colonies: Land of Slavery
- The Atlantic Slave Trade and the Growth of Slavery
- Southern Colonies: Upper South and Lower South—Southern colonists clustered into two distinct geographic and agricultural zones; the upper South specialized in growing tobacco; nine out of ten southern whites and eight out of ten southern blacks lived in the upper South; the lower South specialized in growing rice and indigo.
- African Population Increases Exponentially—The number of southerners of African ancestry, nearly all slaves, increased from just over 20,000 in 1700 to over 400,000 in 1770; growth occurred through natural increase and the Atlantic slave trade; imported slaves came from many different African cultures; mortality during the Middle Passage varied from ship to ship but on average, about 15 percent of slaves died; sometimes half or more perished; they suffered from virulent epidemic diseases but also acute dehydration caused by fluid loss and a severe shortage of drinking water. Olaudah Equiano published an account of his enslavement and voyage through the Middle Passage across the Atlantic.
- Demand for Slaves—Individual planters purchased a relatively small number of newly arrived Africans and relied on already enslaved Africans to help new slaves become accustomed to their new surroundings; this process was called seasoning; the demand for slaves led slaveowners to encourage slave women to bear children; by the 1740s due to natural increase, the majority of southern slaves were country born.
- Slave Labor and African American Culture
- Harsh Working and Living Conditions—Planters forced slaves to work from sunup to sundown and beyond; constantly threatened physical punishment of slaves who did not follow orders; colonial law did not limit the force masters could use against slaves.
- Evidence of Resistance and Rebellion—Some slaves escalated acts of resistance into direct physical confrontation with the master, mistress, or overseer; organized rebellion was rare because whites held the balance of power in the South; in 1739, a group of about twenty slaves launched an unsuccessful rebellion at Stono, South Carolina; the failure of the rebellion illustrated that eighteenth-century slaves had no chance of overturning slavery and little chance of defending themselves.
- Slaves Seek Autonomy—Slaves maneuvered constantly to gain a measure of autonomy within the boundaries of slavery; in the lower South, the task system allowed slaves discretion in how they spent their time after completing an individual task; these slaves could fish, hunt, spin, or cook once the master’s work was done; eighteenth-century slaves also planted the roots of African American lineages; slaves established kinships and incorporated other features of their West African heritage, such as diet, music, dance, and religion.
- Tobacco, Rice, and Prosperity
- Products of Slave Labor—Slaves’ labor brought wealth to masters, British merchants, and the monarchies; the southern colonies supplied 90 percent of all North American exports to Britain; in 1770, southern tobacco represented almost one-third of all colonial exports; Navigation Acts ensured that nearly all of it went to Britain, where it was marked up and sold to the rest of the continent.
- Southern Colonies Richest in North America—Exports made the southern colonies the richest in North America by far; per capita wealth of free whites in the South was four times greater than that in New England and three times greater than that in the colonies; differences in wealth among rich and poor southerners engendered envy and tension but remarkably little open hostility; white yeomen sensed the gentry’s condescension, but they appreciated the gentry for granting favors, upholding white supremacy, and keeping slaves in their place; race was a more powerful unifier than wealth was a divider; slaveholding gentry dominated the politics and economy of the South and also set the cultural standards; southerners entertained lavishly and gambled regularly.
- Unifying Experiences
- Commerce and Consumption
- Development of Mass Markets in Atlantic World—Colonial products spurred the development of mass markets throughout the Atlantic world; declining prices allowed ordinary colonists, not just the wealthy elite, to buy things they wanted along with things they needed.
- British Consumer Goods—British exports to North America multiplied eightfold between 1700 to 1770; British merchants extended credit; consumer products included mirrors, silver plates, spices, linens, tea services, and books; despite differences among the colonists, the consumption of British exports built a certain material uniformity across region, religion, class, and status; colonists looked and felt more British.
- Significance of Individual Choice—Consumption compelled colonists to think of themselves as individuals who had the power to make decisions that influenced the quality of their lives; significant shift considering the degree of hierarchy in British North America.
- Religion, Enlightenment, and Revival
- Wide Varieties of Protestant Faith—Almost all colonists were Protestants, but there existed wide varieties of Protestant faith; the middle colonies and southern backcountry included militant Baptists and Presbyterians; New England Puritanism splintered; prominent urban colonists belonged to the Church of England.
- Deism and the Enlightenment—Many educated colonists became deists; they looked for God’s plan in nature more than in the Bible; deists were informed by Enlightenment ideas, which encouraged people to study the world around them, to think for themselves, and to ask whether disorderly appearance masked the principles of a more profound natural order; Philadelphia was the center of Enlightenment thought; American Philosophical Society formed there in 1769.
- Great Awakening—Most colonists seldom went to church, but they considered themselves Christians; ministers were alarmed by religious indifference, denominational rivalry, and comfortable backsliding; they responded with a new style of preaching that appealed more to the heart than the head; historians call this wave of revival the Great Awakening; most famous revivalist was English preacher George Whitefield, who visited North America seven times and attracted thousands of people to his sermons; revivals refreshed the spiritual energy of colonists struggling with the anxieties of eighteenth-century life; communicated the message that every soul mattered and that people could choose to be saved; like consumption of goods, revivals contributed to a set of common experiences that bridged colonial divides of faith, region, class, and status.
- Trade and Conflict in the North American Borderlands
- British Power Defends the Colonies—British power defended the diverse inhabitants from its colonies from Indian, French, and Spanish enemies on their borders, as well as foreign powers abroad; royal officials constantly monitored the possibility of an alliance between the Indians and New Spain or New France.
- Competition for Indian Fur Trade—The fur trade linked Indians and settlers; Indians traded furs for guns, ammunition, clothing, and more; British, French, Spanish, and Dutch officials monitored the fur trade to prevent their competitors from directing the flow of furs toward their own markets; Indians recognized this and played one trader and empire off another; shifting allegiances struck a fragile balance along the frontier; but the threat of violence from all sides was ever present, and events like the Yamasee War of 1715 ensured that all parties had to be prepared for the worst; before the 1760s, neither the British colonists nor the British themselves developed a coherent policy toward the Indians, but both believed Indians made deadly enemies, profitable trading partners, and powerful allies.
- Spanish Missions—To block Russian access to present-day California, officials in New Spain built forts (called presidios) and missions there; first California mission founded in 1769; by 1772, Spain had founded other missions along the path from San Diego and Monterey; for Indians, missions had horrific consequences; missions helped spread European diseases, Spanish soldiers raped Indian women, and missionaries beat Indians and subjected them to near slavery.
- Colonial Politics in the British Empire
- Restrictions on Colonial Trade—Britain kept the door to its colonies open to any immigrants, but the open door did not extend to trade; Navigation Acts continued to restrict colonial trade to British ships and traders.
- Colonists Resist Royal Interference in Internal Affairs—British attempts to exercise political power in their colonial governments was successful so long as officials were on or near the sea; colonists acknowledged British authority to collect customs duties, inspect cargoes, and enforce trade regulations; but colonists resisted interference in internal affairs on land; the king appointed royal governors in nine colonies, but governors were not kings, and the colonies were not Britain; governors had trouble developing relations of trust and respect with colonists, since most governors were from England or living in England; in addition, with terms of office averaging only five years, governors could not secure friendships through patronage positions.
- Colonial Governors’ Political Position—Colonial governors were obedient and loyal to their superiors in Britain; this brought them into conflict with colonists over governors’ vetoes of colonial legislation, creation of new courts, and other local issues; British policies did not clearly define the colonists’ legal powers, so colonial assemblies made their own rules; gradually established a strong tradition of representative government; by 1720, assemblies had won the power to initiate legislation, including tax laws and authorizations to spend public funds; heated struggles between governors and assemblies taught colonists to employ traditional British ideas of representation; they also learned that the power in the British colonies rarely belonged to the British government.
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Last Updated on April 25, 2020 by Essay Pro