Colonial America

"The Great Awakening was . . . the first truly national event in American history. Thirteen once-isolated colonies, expanding to the north and south as well as westward, were merging."


   I. Religious Landscape of Colonial America
       A. Anglican Church (aka Church of England)
            1. Founded during 1530s under Henry VIII
            2. Official religion in Southern Colonies & New York
       B. Puritans
            1. Followed teachings of John Calvin
            2. Advocated purification of Anglican Church
            3. Dominated New England (esp. Massachusetts)
            4. John Winthrop's "city upon a hill" (1630)
            5. Predestination (good works & wealth = "signs")
            6. No clear separation between church & state
            7. Roger Williams & Anne Hutchinson
            8. Halfway Covenant (1662)
       C. Separatists
            1. Radical Puritans (inc. Pilgrims)
            2. Sought complete break from Anglican Church
       D. Quakers (aka Society of Friends)
            1. Rejected predestination & original sin
            2. No ministers, rituals, churches
            3. William Penn's "Holy Experiment" (1681)
            4. Religious tolerance (no coercion of soul)
       E. Roman Catholicism
            1. Most numerous in Maryland
            2. Lord Baltimore's Toleration Act (1649)
       F. Judaism
            1. Scattered among the colonies
            2. Largest group lived in New York City
  II. Colonial Religious Movements
       A. Salem witchcraft trials (1692)
            1. Witchcraft explained life's calamities
            2. Clash between Salem Town & Salem Village
            3. Many arrested & tried; 20 executed
            4. Increase (father) & Cotton (son) Mather
            5. Last witchcraft persecutions in America
            6. Arthur Miller's The Crucible (1953)
       B. Great Awakening = emotional trend, esp. frontier
            1. Late 1720s thru early 1760s; peaked in 1740s
            2. Primarily affected New England & Virginia
            3. George Whitefield & Jonathan Edwards
            4. Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians all gained
            5. Marked beginning of Christianization of blacks
            6. First truly nat'l event in American history
       C. Enlightenment = intellectual trend, esp. urban
            1. Direct observation & human reasoning (Deism)
            2. Assault on blanket power & prestige of clergy
            3. Increased personal responsibility for afterlife
            4. Benjamin Franklin
 III. Colonial Political Structure
       A. Basic pattern to support imperial control
            1. No two colonies exactly alike
            2. Colonies had some autonomy over local affairs
       B. Crown and colonies had different priorities
            1. Some degree of grievance inherent in colonists
            2. Not a source of high conflict
            3. England's sovereignty was not questioned
       C. System ultimately empowered colonists
            1. Assemblymen were civic leaders w/ voter support
            2. Lower legislative house controlled finances
            3. Governors were prisoners of circumstances
       D. Voter = male, white, free, Christian (any), landowner
       E. Privy Council & Board of Trade
 IV. Internal Conflicts of Varying Flavors
       A. Bacon's Rebellion (1676, Virginia)
            1. Frontier settlers distressed w/ Indian attacks
            2. Marched against Gov. Berkeley; Jamestown burned
            3. Inc. many indentured servants (hastened hard slavery)
            4. Unhappy westerners vs. unresponsive easterners
       B. Dominion of New England (1686-89, six colonies)
       C. Leisler's Rebellion (1689, New York)
       D. Coode's Revolt (1689, Maryland)
       E. Trial of John Peter Zenger (1735, New York)
       F. Stono Uprising (1739, South Carolina)
       G. Paxton Boys Uprising (1763, Pennsylvania)
       H. Regulator War (1771, North Carolina)
  V. Economic Climate of Colonial America
       A. Colonies = raw materials & markets for goods
       B. Triangular trade system (inc. Middle Passage)
       C. Theory of mercantilism
            1. Gold & silver bullion (via mining, war, trade)
            2. "Favorable balance of trade" (exports > imports)
       D. Navigation Acts (1650s)
            1. Enumerated articles
            2. Effects lessened by "salutary neglect"
       E. "New" policies reflected commercial status quo
       F. Brought joint prosperity to Great Britain & colonies
       G. Relationship continued after Revolutionary War
 VI. Colonial Wars
       A. King William's, Queen Anne's, King George's
       B. Albany Conference (1754)
            1. Iroquois Confederation + 7 colonies + Crown
            2. Origin of "Join, or Die." cartoon
       C. French and Indian War (1754-63)
            1. Geo. Washington's defeat at Ft. Necessity (1754)
            2. Appointment of Wm. Pitt as Prime Minister (1758)
            3. Quebec Campaign (1759) & Plains of Abraham
            4. Treaty of Paris (1763) = France exits N. America
            5. Britain's vast new land = administrative & financial woes
            6. Pivotal change in relationship between colonies & Crown
VII. Trans-Appalachian Settlement
       A. Proclamation of 1763
            1. Control settlement west (ignored existing pattern)
            2. Pacify area Indians (considered mere occupants)
       B. Indian resistance
            1. Pontiac's War (1763)
            2. Lord Dunmore's War (1774)
       C. Land speculation
            1. Vandalia (Samuel Wharton)
            2. Transylvania (Richard Henderson & Dan'l Boone)
       D. Watauga settlements
       E. Statehoods → Kentucky #15, Tennessee #16, Ohio #17


  1. Which was the most ethnically heterogeneous region throughout Britain's colonies in North America?
    1. Middle Colonies.
    2. Atlantic seaboard.
    3. Western frontier.
    4. New England.

  2. The Puritans believed that an individual's salvation after death depended on
    1. ritual forgiveness by the Church.
    2. earthly good works on the part of the individual.
    3. predestination by God.
    4. divine fortuity determined by local clergy.

  3. Maintaining a "favorable balance of trade" meant that
    1. exports were greater than imports.
    2. imports were greater than exports.
    3. exports and imports were roughly equal.
    4. it did not matter whether exports or imports were comparatively greater or lesser, so long as they were not equal.

  4. The two chief export crops of the South during the mid-1700s were
    1. tobacco and cotton.
    2. wheat and rice.
    3. indigo and turnips.
    4. tobacco and rice.

  5. The early Colonial Wars
    1. were fought by European powers almost entirely on North American soil.
    2. caused huge amounts of New World territory to be exchanged.
    3. were largely European affairs not measurably impacted by the colonies.
    4. led directly to colonial aggression against Great Britain.


1.  Describe the impact of the Enlightenment on colonial America. Why can Benjamin
     Franklin be accurately described as "the symbolic American" of the time?

2.  The governmental structure implemented by Great Britain in her colonies tended to
     strengthen the influence of the colonies over time. Explain how this came about.

3.  The North American colonies were important to Great Britain because they could
     yield a variety of raw materials as well as provide a market for manufactured
     products of the mother country. Explain this dual role.

4.  "Great Britain's wars for empire, far more than its mercantilistic policies, dictated the
     economic fortunes of England's North American colonies in the eighteenth century."
     Assess the validity of this statement.

5.  Analyze the cultural and economic responses of two of the following groups to the
     Indians of North America before 1750—British; French; Spanish.

"Witchy Woman"   by The Eagles