A History of the United States

A History of the United States



A History of the United States

The National Experience: A History of the United States Outline

Chapter 2: The Pattern of Empire

  • The English government, like every other European in the 15-1700s, followed mercantilism
  • They wanted the colonies to accompany it, not just be an outlet for dissenters



  • The state controls all internal economic activities and tries to be self-sufficient by allowing more exports than imports
  • England believed expansion would increase self-sufficiency


  • England wanted America to be a source of raw material like Richard Hakluyt said
  • The colonies would provide raw materials and buy English manufactured goods
  • This was mutually advantageous as neither was suited for what the other had


  • The English govt. needed to control the economic activities like they would at home to prevent the colonies from trading and profiting with other countries

England’s Imperial Delay

  • Early economic rules were usually not enforced largely due to distance


  • During the 1600s, when most colonies were founded, England went through political problems, mostly for control between the king and Parliament
  • After 1688, everyone realized the king was secondary to Parliament


  • The 12 colonies (exc. Georgia) had been founded by a king’s charter and had ambiguous relationships with Parliament
  • The colonies were secondary interests from 1607 (VA founding) to the mid-1600s


  • Oliver Cromwell was the first ruler to think seriously about the colonies, but he barely moved to the West Indies and the ban on foreign trade started Dutch war

The Navigation Acts

  • When Charles II came to power in 1660, the colonies developed enough to attract merchants’ attention, proposing a plan both the king and Parliament agreed with
  • Colonial trade would be directed into channels most profitable to England
  • The Navigation Acts, in 1660 and 1663, had 3 basic principles:
    1. Trade with colonies forbidden except in English/colonial ships
    2. “Enumerated commodities” could only go to England

                        Sugar, cotton, dyes, tobacco

    1. Colonies must only receive most goods from England
  • Modifications in the 1700s “enumerated” or limited or encouraged certain goods

                        Rice, naval stores, furs, coppers, Wool Act, Hat Act, Iron Act

  • The Acts started to criticism for benefiting one group, usually merchants, and harming another


  • Besides the merchants, the Acts added to the government’s revenue by collecting more taxed goods, though they never increased any taxes
  • The Acts were difficult to enforce due to distance and therefore needed to be enforced on colonists and foreign countries to be fully beneficial


The Dutch

  • The Dutch were England’s biggest enemy and on top of the world in the 1600s

                        Best traders, pirates, controlled lumber, fish, textiles, etc.

  • They did not fully expand into North America, but the location of New Netherland on the Holland River was strategic and powerful


  • The Dutch settlers surprisingly surrendered very quickly when Charles sent men to give their territory-from Maryland to Connecticut-to the Duke of York, in 1664
  • Holland declared war on England and violated the N.Acts, causing England to focus on controlling the colonies to enforce them


The Restoration Colonies

  • Proprietors who had full control of their colonies and charged settlers quitrents for living there, founded proprietary colonies founded in the last half of the 1600s


  • Many settlers did not come from England and were simply Europeans looking for the New World
  • Proprietors also eyed many Americans in the New World continually searching for their ideal place to live


New York

  • New York was the most important of these new colonies
  • Originally it was a bunch a trading posts and had advanced settlements, patroonship (estates, though with little profit) and Puritans


  • The Dutch West India Company governed with poor governors and no assembly

                        Woulter van Twiller, Wilhelm Kieft, Peter Stuyvesant

  • Duke simply improved the quality of governors, not changing the govt. structure
  • When Holland to did not reclaim the territory, its settlers tolerated the new govs.

                        Richard Nicolls, Francis Lovelace, Edmund Andros, Thomas Dongan

  • The Puritans were not happy with the governors even after Nicolls made the Duke’s Laws separate for them in 1665, modeled after New England
  • Since the colony attracted few, the Duke agreed to a representative assembly
  • The Charter of Liberties they made granted English rights to all citizens but was repealed when the Duke became King James II and the colony a royal one


New Jersey

  • James gave some of New Amsterdam to John, Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, who made many mistakes in ruling the area


  • Without knowing of this transaction, Gov. Nicolls moved a bunch of Puritans to the area to produce revenue and pay quitrents to James
  • Berkeley and Carteret moved more Puritans in by promising a rep. assembly


  • They did not have the authority to set up an assembly or appoint a gov., though were met with no opposition from the Duke or his brother, King Charles II
  •  Puritans were still unhappy with the proprietors and protested, even more so when New Jersey was divided into East and West and each sold to Quakers
  • The English govt. woke up reunited NJ in 1702 and made it a royal colony with its own rep. assembly and no proprietors to control its government


The Carolinas

  • Sir John Colleton found a group in Barbados planting sugar, with slaves, waiting to move to North America


  • Colleton realized they were perfect for a colony assembled a group of proprietors to convince the king to give them a charter for a colony

                        John and William (Gov. of VA) Berkeley, Carteret, Cooper (Earl of                                 Shaftesbury), Duke of Albemarle and Earls of Craven and Clarendon


  • They received their charter in 1663 and filled with settlers who grew tobacco
  • This colony of North Carolina was had a capital in Albemarle Sound with a rep. assembly and governor
  • The area south near the Cape Fear River, where another colony was planned, was previously populated by New Englanders and Barbadians, both of whom left
  • Cooper supplied enough settlers in 1669 to go to the Ashley River, moving to Charles Towne (Charleston) in 1680 between the Ashley and Cooper Rovers


  • The Fundamental Constitutions of the Carolinas was aristocratic and democratic, inspired by James’ Harrington
  • Settlers would pay quitrents for their 3/5 of land, have a governor, an upper house of nobles (could only initiate legislation) and lower house of commoners
  • South Carolina had a diverse population that produced pitch, tar, turpentine and rice, fought the Spanish and traded with the Indians to get slaved and deerskins
  • Charles Towne was the only city in the South and allowed SC to be successful


  • The lower house quarreled, claimed the right to initiate legislation and usually got its way, though it caused various troubles
  • In 1729, the proprietors surrendered and each Carolina was instituted a royal government with a king-appointed gov. and council and elected assembly

William Penn’s Holy Experiment

  • William Penn the younger, son of one of Cromwell’s embarrassed generals, was a friend of Charles, and founded the last colony in the 1600s


  • Penn was traditional in some ways, he untraditionally took certain ideas seriously
  • These ideas were often bizarre, like the early, more radical Quakers

                        James Naylor, who thought he was Christ

  • Though those Quakers, were dealt with, they left an impression even when most Quakers settled down and followed their ideas


  • Quakers lived by the Inner Light, known by other names like conscience
  • They avoided pride and war and embraced brotherly love and trust


  • These ideas may have gotten him expelled from his traditional Oxford schooling and sent him on a grand tour that only temporarily expelled them
  • Penn was one of the best supporters of Quakerism, in addition to freedom of religion, and was intelligent and friendly


  • Quakers were having a hard time in both England and New Jersey, so Penn asked for Pennsylvania in 1680 and later Delaware
  • Penn could govern as he liked, provided he enforce the Navigation Acts, get king’s approval for laws, allow courts’ appeals and provide Anglican ministers


  • He was the gov. when present with a deputy when absent, and ran the colony to show the advantages of his beliefs, but never had extensive power
  • Additionally, there was a council of the upper-class to initiate legislation and assembly of common people, both elected by the landowners
  • Quakers and non-Quakers came for the land, government and religious freedom
  • Penn was only there for a couple years, when he had to return to defend his border (later fixed by the Mason Dixon line) and the throne was passed twice


  • Pennsylvania was mostly successful, but the assembly saw its lack of power as cheating public rights, although they voted for both the assembly and council
  • Both branches disliked the governors, particularly John Blackwell, who was run out of the colony
  • Penn. Was taken away from Penn from 1692-94, after the fall of James II, when it received a royal govt. and the assembly the right to initiate legislation (start laws)
  • When he reacquired it in 1699, he asked the assembly to draft their own govt.
  • They eliminated the council’s right to set up the laws and gave the proprietor only ownership of ungranted land and the power to veto laws


  • This Charter of Privileges in 1701 made Penn. the only unicameral-single legislative body-colony and gave some counties a separate assembly
  • Penn returned to England and ended up in debtor’s prison, dying there in 1718

Problems of Enforcement

  • Penn. completed England’s control of the east coast from Canada to Florida
  • Each colony had a uniquely shaped govt. that was beyond England’s control, except Virginia


  • During the N. Acts, Charles II gave power away to colonies regarding their government and officials instead of using it for imperial enforcement
  • Charles also granted local legislation, consisting of elected reps., to satisfy the settlers and make the colony a success
  • Despite their usefulness, assemblies could also be defiant against higher authorities, especially in New England



Recalcitrant Colonists

  • New England was not suited for mercantilism, as it had few, unwanted resources
  • It went into trade, with many formidable merchants to distribute goods


  • They discovered illegal trade with other countries brought better profits
  • Disobedience of England also came out of suspicion of the non-Puritan Charles II
  • They brushed off attempts of control, such as Archbishop Laud’s commission and other laws passed by both Charleses, Cromwell and Parliament


  • Charles II demanded Mass. revise their laws to conform with England’s, a term in its charter, which went ignored in 1662
  • The men he sent to capture New Netherland in 1664 were also sent to investigate New England regarding boundaries, govt. problems and enforcing of the N. Acts
  • The commissioners were welcomed in most areas except Boston
  • Their notes would be recurring themes in English history: the English themselves may be the hardest subjects to control, and the Mass. charter should be revoked


  • In order to do so, it had to be proven Massachusetts’ laws contradicted England’s
  • The General Court-Mass. assembly-supported England but did not send agents to defend itself when Charles ordered
  • They knew their laws-especially their most valued religious laws-did violate English laws and relied on distance to get away with them for a decade


  • Parliament passed an act in 1673 that made smuggling illegal goods harder, yet Massachusetts and other NE areas did it anyway
  • In 1675, Charles created the first administration primarily for colonial affairs: The Lords of Trade
  • The Lords first decided the king should help enforce the colonies to obey English law rather than their governments alone


  • Charles denied Massachusetts of New Hampshire, and gave it a royal govt., but they rightfully purchased Maine before he could prevent their spread there
  • The Lords got the agents they sent for, but they could not answer any of their questions, while the Court claimed Parliament had no authority over them
  • They agreed to enforce the N.Acts to avoid drama, but imprisoned Edward Randolph, the enforcer the king sent, and sent more ineffective agents
  • Legal proceedings began in 1683, the charter was revoked in 1684 and the Duke of York became King James II in 1685



The Dominion of New England

  • The Lords of Trade, envisioned one colony-The Dominion of New England from NJ northward, with no rep. assembly and a king-appointed governor and council
  • They did not realize the settlers, not just the assemblies, could also cause trouble


  • Bostonians reluctantly agreed to the idea to avoid jeopardizing their prosperity
  • Sir Edmund Andros took easily over by 1688, where he was lieutenant-governor for each colony
  • Although administrative, Andros lacked the social grace to lead the angry New Englanders/Puritans


  • The Lords falsely assumed many disliked their Puritan leaders, and Andros turned away the few that were in reality

                        Rose taxes, denied rights, declared all landownership to be null

  • His task of governing people who’d done so themselves, with very little enforcement, was impossible, and many started to regret their compliance


The Revolution of 1688

  • James II prevented many parliamentary actions, annoying the English, and was eventually run out in 1688 and replaced by William of Orange


  • Before William took over, when rumors of papal control surfaced, Bostonians responded by imprisoning their new government and restoring their old one
  • They sent minister, Increase Mather, to convince William to give them back their charter, but only succeeded in getting back their govt. until further investigation
  • Plymouth, Conn. and RI also resumed their old govts. While NJ went back to anarchy and NY had a less-than tidy revolution itself


  • Francis Nicholson, unpopular and a critic of public rights, was now left with NY
  • Jacob Leisler led the party that seized and took control of the govt. in May 1689
  • He was named commander-in-chief of the province by representatives in June
  • He claimed his authority from some vague letters to continue govt. from the king


  • Leisler led the colony well, though arbitrarily for almost 2 years
  • When he hesitated to hand his power in 1691, the new governor interpreted this as treason and he was hung that year


The Reorganization of 1696

  • England became preoccupied and the colonies were neglected for 7 years

                        Lords of Trade given wider duties, William preventing war with France

  • In 1696, Parliament forced all governors to sweat to enforce the N. Acts
  • They also gave each colony customs officers to search for smuggled goods by force and prosecute smugglers without the normally-required juried courts


  • The Lords of Trade were replaced by the Board of Trade (Lords Commissioners of Trade and Plantation) to inform and advise the king of colonial matters in 1696
  • The Board stayed throughout the colonial period, forming most imperial policies
  • Parliament objected to taking away assemblies but agreed to giving colonies, who had not had them, before royal governors, as did the settlers of those colonies
  • Most colonies eventually became royal

                        Maryland, NJ, the Carolinas, and Massachusetts with Plymouth and Maine

  • The king had more direct control in these royal colonies and appointed a gov. and council to serve as the upper legislative house to veto the laws of the lower house
  • Though their laws could be vetoed by more than the upper house, the elected lower house kept most control and could use their tax authority to get their way


The Old Colonial System

  • The 3 ways to enforce the N. Acts were thwarted, but the Board was still useful

                        Juried/admiralty courts, customs officials, royal governors

  • Colonial merchants were more than happy to be in business with England, creating a lucrative relationship for both sides
  • The Old Colonial System depended on this balance and although it was not airtight, it helped England become the most powerful country


The Contest for the Continent

  • As English colonies increased, their populations did more so and came into conflict with other groups for land


Indian Warfare

  • Northeast Indians were too late to realize the land they sold would not be shared


  • They themselves were too divided to fight the Europeans, who were depended on for weapons and metals anyhow
  • VA took on the Powhatan Confederacy after their own massacre while the Puritans wiped out the Pequots


  • The only serious attack wasn’t until 1675 by the Wampanoag chief Metacomet, who lost the battle

Rivalry with France and Spain

  • The French were interested in internal North America, sending missionaries and coureur de bois- skilled woodsmen for furs
  • The explored and settled in Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Illinois


  • French were better with fur and Indians-teaching Catholicism and English hatred
  • The govt. made New France the equivalent of a royal colony but discouraged the coureurs’ activities, making many work elsewhere

                        Radisson and Chouart found Hudson’s Bay Company for England

  • King Louis XIV wanted the colony to be made of settled down, civilized farmers
  • He sent women, limited trading grants and excommunicated any who left their farms, but in the end only a few settlements were made and few came to them

                        Nova Scotia, St. Lawrence River, Louisiana

  • Govs., such as Count Frontenac, ignored these orders, encouraged coureurs and had them and Indians attack the English, who were allied with the Iroquois


  • When England and France were at war, coureurs and Indians would raid the English, who would capture French property, until the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713

                        War of the League of Augsburg, War of the Spanish Succession

  • In the south, SC allied themselves with the Yamasee, Creek and Cherokee and pushed back the Spanish and French, before the Creek and Yamasee attacked
  • After they failed, they moved elsewhere while the Spanish threatened to return to areas they had abandoned before
  • English Fort King George was useless, causing settlers simply to return to living and replacing Indians in America


The Founding of Georgia

  • English colonies reached a million in population after the Treaty of Utrecht


  • Georgia was founded to protect the southern flank and give the poor and unappreciated a new, better place to live by Gen. James Oglethorpe
  • Oglethorpe gathered other generous men to get a charter from the king in 1732


  • It had a strong start, with self-paying immigrants from all over, and chosen peasants, all eager to go to and be equipped for they land they called paradise
  • They tried to ban sins like rum and slavery, but eventually gave in and handed the colony to the king a year before their charter mandated it in 1252


  • Georgia was barely a military success, with 1 venture that accomplished nothing
  • During the War of the Austrian Succession in 1740-48, New England garnered attention for capturing the Louisburg from the French
  • Although they returned it, it was the only English victory and gave respect to the American English


  • Eventually, most of the 1.5 million Americans, while proud to be British subjects, started having their own ideas about some things


Source: http://www.course-notes.org/sites/www.course-notes.org/files/the_national_experience_chapter_2_outline_0.doc

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