1. Joint-stock companies: Merchants from England pooled resources to create a joint company. Many joint stock companies of the seventeenth century were created to last only a few years and then be sold quickly for a large profit; no one was thinking of a long-term investment of America. However, this out much pressure on American colonists because if they did not get riches to the company, they were abandoned. The companies were perfected in the 1600s, which allowed investors to pool together their money. An example of such a joint stock company was the Virginia Company of London that received a charter to settle America in the name of King James I.
2. Indentured servant: A person with little or no money who, in exchange for passage to America, was required to work for a certain number of years for the person who had paid for their voyage. A number of white indentured servants provided much of the labor on America’s tobacco crops in earlier settlement times. During the later part of the seventeenth century, these indentured servants began to be replaced by black slaves.
3. Melting pot: The term used to explain the blending of the many different cultures of the immigrants to America into one unifying culture. Although many of the settlers were English, there was always a mixing of many different cultures. Germans made up about six percent of the population, Scots-Irish about seven percent, Dutch about three percent, and finally about forty-nine percent English. Many of the original thirteen colonies were melting pots of people from many different cultures.
4. House of Burgesses: An assembly formed in 1619 authorized by The London Company that eventually allowed for the creation of many miniature parliaments to form in America. This was the first representative government of America that began in Virginia. However, James I was greatly opposed to this assembly and called it a “seminary of sedition.” In 1624, James revoked the charter of the Virginia Company and made Virginia a colony under his direct control partly because of their democratic views of government.
5. Primogeniture: A law that stated that only a man’s eldest son could inherit landed property. Because of this, younger sons who wanted to make a fortune were forced to think of other ways to do so. Although many were ineffective initially, the birth of the joint stock company allowed younger sons to break the bonds of primogeniture and allowed for the effort of English colonization of North America.
6. “Starving time”: The winter of 1609 to 1610 in Jamestown, Virginia where only sixty people survived the horrible living conditions. Many people were forces to eat “starving time foods” which included pets and even dead bodies. Although after this horrible time the remaining few tried to return to England, they were met by Lord De La Warr who imposed a harsh control and ordered the settlers to remain.
7. Maryland “Act of Toleration” (1649): Passed by the local representative assemble in 1649, the religious proclamation guaranteed religious toleration of all Christians. Because local Catholics were scared of the growing Protestant population, they greatly supported this movement. However, the document also stated death to all those who did not believe in the divinity of Christ including atheists and Jews. Although this meant less toleration than before, the Christian minority felt more at ease, allowing more Catholics to move to Maryland.
8. Barbados Slave Code: The Code of Slavery that was brought back with a group of English settlers from Barbados to America in 1670. This code denied many rights to slaves, while giving their masters almost complete control of their servants. The code eventually governed slavery throughout Britain’s mainland colonies, and a version was officially adopted by Carolina in 1696. This example shows the influence of the Caribbean islands on the slave system throughout America.
9. Iroquois Confederacy: A military alliance among Indians in current New York State that was called the “League of the Iroquois.” Made of five Indian groups, the Mohawks, the Oneidas, the Onondagas, the Cayugas, and the Senecas, the alliance was formed in the 1500s by the leaders Deganawidah and Hiawatha according to Indian legend. Although the Iroquois originally fought other Indians and other invaders, they were almost wiped out by new English settlers due to disease, alcohol, and guns. Although the five nations interacted and celebrated together, they were also quite independent. The alliance tried to take advantage of European rivals, but eventually was greatly destroyed by siding with the defeated British in the American Revolution. Many were relocated to reservations, where they suffered even more.
1. “visible saints”: The saved people according to Calvinism who led holy lives once they knew they had been chosen to go to heaven by God. These people underwent “conversion” where they had a personal experience with God where their destiny was revealed. These people felt grace within in, and were able to show other Puritans the grace. These “saints” became part of the church membership and were at first the only ones who were able to vote as they were the only ones considered “freemen.”
2. Anne Hutchinson: An intelligent woman who presented a challenge to Puritan orthodoxy. She believed in a challenging heresy called antinomianism that went to the extreme in terms of the Puritan belief of predestination. Antinomianism believed that the saved do not need to follow the rules of God or man. When she was arrested and brought to trial in 1638, she claimed to have a direct revelation from God, another heresy. She was then banished, and her family moved to first Rhode Island, then to New York. She and her family were eventually killed by Indians.
3. John Winthrop: A wealthy gentleman who became the first governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. He believed he was called by God to head the new religious experiment, and served for nineteen years. In part because of his leadership, Massachusetts was able to prosper. However, he objected to democracy, and did not have faith in the common people.
4. William Bradford: A prominent leader of the Puritans who was well renowned, especially in the languages. He was very popular, and was reelected thirty times to be governor for the Plymouth Colony. However, one of his greatest fears was that other settlers would come and “ruin” his religious experiment in America.
5. Plymouth Colony: The colony founded by the pilgrims who came on the Mayflower in 1620. The settlers were squatters because they were outside the region of the Virginia Company and had no legal right to own the land. However, this allowed the people to form a self-representative government by signing the Mayflower Compact. Although the first winter was hard, the following fall had a great harvest and the First Thanksgiving. Although the colony was always small and not a great area of trade, it had prominent leaders and was a center of religion.
6. Navigation Laws: The laws intended to make America more tied to England by preventing American trade with countries other than those owned by the English crown. The Dominion of New England helped improve efficiency of the laws in the colonies, and showed the rivalries among the colonies in the seventeenth century. The colonists rejected these laws, and commonly resorted to smuggling. Sir Edmund Andros headed the dominion of New England, who was considered immoral by the colonists and used violence as a preferred means of advance; he also enforced the Navigation Laws as much as possible. After the Glorious Revolution in England, the colonists revolted against the close hand of the British and sent Andros back to England. This led to the Navigation Laws only being weakly enforced.
7. “Great Migration” (1630s): A time when about seventy thousand people left England in part because of unrest in England. However, not all of these people were Puritans fleeing to Massachusetts. Many went to the West Indies where the main crop was sugar. Many educated gentlemen went to the Massachusetts Bay Colony to become part of a successful colony.
8. Massachusetts Bay Colony (1629): A colony established by a group of Puritans in 1629. The Puritans claimed to not want to break with the Church of England, but only wanted to escape the impurities, which was looked down upon from those in the Church in England. The colony had a great boost of people to start with, and many more came in the Great Migration of the 1630s. The colony became quite successful and had many educated leaders such as John Winthrop. Although there was a provincial government, it was not a democracy; commoners were generally not allowed in politics. Although religious leaders were powerful, there was the start of separation of church and state. The colony was also part of the first step towards unity within the colonies, the New England Confederation, and resisted the oppressive rule of England.
9. Mayflower Compact: A short document signed by the Pilgrim leaders in the Plymouth Colony that later became the precedent for later constitutions. Although not a constitution but an agreement to form a simple government enforcing the will of the majority of the people, this agreement was the first step towards self-government. It was signed by forty-one adult males, no females, and the male settlers soon made laws from open discussions.
10. New England Confederation (1643): When four colonies, all Puritan, joined together in 1643 in union. Because England was full of unrest, the colonies only could depend upon each other, and made the Confederation mainly as protection against the Indians, French, and Dutch. Each colony had two votes and the Confederation also dealt with colonial issues such as runaway slaves. This was the first step towards unity between the colonies, which is why Charles II tried to regain control of the colonies and the colonies, especially Massachusetts, resisted.
11. King Philip’s War (1675–1676): A war which was started when an Indian named Metacom, called King Philip by the English, made an alliance between different Indian tribes and attacked the English in a number of battles. Many people fled to Boston, and by the end of the war, fifty-two Puritan towns had been attacked and many had died. Metacom’s family was sold into slavery, and Metacom himself was killed and put on display. Because of this war, many settlers stopped penetrating western New England. However, the Indians were destroyed and could no longer truly resist colonists’ attempts to settle.
12. Society of Friends/“Quakers”: A religious group of dissenters who came about in England in the 1600s, and who were exiled and dismissed by the orthodox Puritans. The Quakers believed in peaceful resistance, and separation of church and state, which, among other beliefs, made them unpopular. Although exiled and outlawed in many places because of their beliefs, the Quakers were offered refuge in Rhode Island, established by Roger Williams, who allowed complete religious toleration even when he disagreed with the beliefs. Additionally, William Penn, a Quaker, established Pennsylvania as a place where Quakers could worship freely, and where they were able to rule democratically.
1. head right system: This system encouraged the immigration of servant workers from England to fill the labor shortage growing tobacco. The system allowed the person who paid for the voyage of the worker to have fifty acres of land, which meant only masters received benefits and not the workers. This system also allowed the masters to amass great amounts of land, and make much money growing tobacco. This in turn ate up available land for the servants, and while the masters gained a work force, the laborers were trapped working for low wages.
2. middle passage: The passage was the sea voyage that brought slaves to America. The journey began with a march to the African coast, and ended with a hike through America’s interior. The middle part of the journey was hard and treacherous, which is where the passage got its name. This passage was also usually the leg of the triangular trade that brought people from Africa to be slaves in America.
3. Bacon’s Rebellion: A rebellion against Virginia’s Governor William Berkeley led by Nathanial Bacon. Many single, poor men lived in the governor’s region who were upset with the Governor’s inaction towards the Indians. Bacon led an upheaval that resulted in the killing of many Indians, chasing Berkeley out of town, and burning the town. A wild uproar ensued, but when Bacon suddenly died, the governor fiercely executed many rebels. Partly because of this rebellion, landowners grew wary of the laborers and looked to African slaves as their new labor source.
4. Half-Way Covenant: A new way for Puritan church membership in 1662 because of a decreasing number of the elect and conversions. This covenant allowed the unconverted children of members to receive baptism, but not full communion. This also weakened the spilt between the people and the elect and made the elect seem less pure than before. Eventually, everyone was welcome was welcome into church whether a member or not, and there was no longer a distinction between regular people and the elect. The Puritans therefore sacrificed purity to gain more participants.
5. Congregational Church: The group of Puritan adult males who belonged to different Puritan congregations, which eventually became one church. The Church that grew out of Puritanism became quite influential and became established in all of the New England colonies except Rhode Island. The Congregationalists had the highest percentage of people in a single religion, with about seventy thousand more than Anglicans. They were tax supported by England, and usually controlled education in New England. Eventually, however, they were highly involved in the Revolution, and the ministers frequently preached about politics.
6. Salem witch trials (1692): A witch-hunt that resulted from a group of girls in Salem, Massachusetts claiming some older women had bewitched them. Twenty people were hanged in 1692 who were accused of witchcraft. There was already a witch-hunt in Europe, which had also spread to the colonies. The event came from superstition, age prejudice, and from social and religious unrest in Salem. The hunt ended in 1693 when the governor stopped the persecution, and twenty years later made retribution for their deeds.
7. Anne Hutchinson: An intelligent woman who presented a challenge to Puritan orthodoxy. She believed in a challenging heresy called antinomianism that went to the extreme in terms of the Puritan belief of predestination. Antinomianism believed that the saved do not need to follow the rules of God or man. When she was arrested and brought to trial in 1638, she claimed to have a direct revelation from God, another heresy. She was then banished, and her family moved to first Rhode Island, then to New York. She and most of her family were eventually killed by Indians.
8. Roger Williams: A popular Puritan minister who posed a threat to Puritan leaders. Because he was a separatist, he wanted to make a complete break with the Church of England and questioned the Bay Colony as being unfair to the Indians. He was also against the government regulating religious behavior, and because of his ideas, was banished in 1635. Williams fled to Rhode Island in 1636 to build the first Baptist Church where there was complete religious toleration. Williams created a safe place for the outcasts of society where they enjoyed many freedoms and rights, and became individualistic and independent.
1. melting pot: The term used to explain the blending of the many different cultures of the immigrants to America into one unifying culture. Although many of the settlers were English, there was always a mixing of many different cultures. Germans made up about six percent of the population, Scots-Irish about seven percent, Dutch about three percent, and finally about forty-nine percent English.
2. tenant farmer: A person who farmed the landowner’s land and paid rent with cash or by a portion of the crops produced. Tenant farming was important in America from the 1870s to today, and the tenants usually used their own tools and animals. A tenant farmer was different than a hired hand and a sharecropper and was an in between stage between being hired as additional labor as a younger person while gaining knowledge through experience. The tenant farmer was motivated while gaining experience and possessed an incentive to purchase their own land to become interdependent in the farming community.
3. triangular trade: A trade route in the shape of a triangle that was quite profitable for those who controlled it. Usually a sailor might go to Africa with rum to trade for slaves, and then transport the slaves to the West Indies to trade for molasses, which he would bring to New England to be made into rum, then he would repeat the cycle; the sailor would be able to make a profit at each stop.
4. George Whitefield: A parson that began a different type of evangelical preaching in America, which affected the spiritual life in the colonies because of his great oration. His belief was of human helplessness and of divine power, and people became entranced with his message. People soon copied his style of preaching, abusing sinners and exciting the attendees. He was able to become inspired by Jonathon Edwards, and began preaching in 1738.
5. John Pete Zenger: A newspaper printer who was part of a popular legal case in 1734 to 1735. Based in New York, Zenger’s newspaper criticized the corrupt governor and was arrested. Zenger was defended by a former indentured servant and Philadelphian lawyer, Andrew Hamilton. Zenger claimed he only printed the truth, and eventually the jury declared him not guilty. Zenger’s case helped further the cause of freedom of the press and democracy, even if what was printed was about public officials.
6. Great Awakening (1730s—1740s): A religious revival in the colonies in the 1700s that quickly spread throughout America. Beginning in Northampton, Massachusetts by a pastor named Jonathan Edwards, people responded favorably to his preaching in 1734. Later, parson George Whitefield also revolutionized preaching with fiery passion, which also was later imitated. Although orthodox, “old lights” where against the new emotional preaching, “New light” ministers embraced the ideas. Many Congregationalists and Presbyterians split over the new preaching style, and the Awakening had a lasting impact on America that included undermining the old authority, beginning the competition of American churches, and encouraging missionaries. Lastly, the Great Awakening was the first mass movement that united the American people across divisions.
7. Old and New Lights: The Old Lights were the orthodox clergy who were against the Great Awakening because of its emotion and theatrics. However, the New Light ministers defended the Great Awakening because they believed its revitalized religion in America. While this issue sometimes split religions such as Congregationalists and Presbyterians, the Great Awakening overall allowed the American people to unite across geographical and denominational lines.
8. Jonathan Edwards: The pastor that began the Great Awakening in Northampton, Massachusetts. Edwards was against the idea of salvation through good works and believed completely in the need for dependence on God’s grace. He completely abused sinners and pained a horrible picture of hell through his words. However, people became mesmerized by his words, and Edwards soon had people following his style of preaching. He had a warm reception in his parish in 1734, and four years later George Whitefield became inspired by his preaching skills.
9. Pennsylvania “Dutch”: A primarily Lutheran sect of German immigrants who were about one third of America’s population. They were numerous enough that in Philadelphia, the street signs were in both English and German. The Dutch, because they had no loyalty to the British crown as they were never English, stuck primarily to their own German language and customs. The Dutch moved into the backcountry of Philadelphia and are known for their industry and prosperity through their impressive stone barns.
10. Poor Richard’s Almanack: The paper written by Benjamin Franklin edited from 1732 to 1758, which he was best known for by his contemporaries. The Almanack contained sayings from thinkers of the time as well as emphasizing thrift, industry, morality, and common sense. Franklin was able to shape the expectations of an American, and his paper was well known in both Europe and America.
Question: How does this material fit with the idea of America as a “new world” different from England? Was there a fundamental difference between those Englishmen who essentially tried to re-create their world way of life and those who saw life in America as a radical departure? What tensions might have resulted between these two groups?
Q: Compare and contrast the New England and Southern colonies. Consider the motives for founding, religious and social composition, and/or political development. Note specifically differences between Southern and New England Society. (Consider that many of these distinctions constituted the seeds of future discord and many of them persist to this day.)