Colonial North America, 1690-1754 Flashcards Preview

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Mercantilism is an economic theory which posits that because the world's wealth is limited, trade is a "zero-sum" game, i.e. that the balance of trade in one nation's favor is another nation's loss.


How did the Navigation Acts of 1660 and 1663 restrict trade?

Passed by Parliament, and justified under the principle of mercantilism, the Navigation Acts required that all trade with the American colonies was to take place in Britain.  All goods imported to the colonies and certain goods exported to Europe had to pass through English ports first. This purpose of the Acts was to give England control of trade.


Why was the colony of Georgia established?

Georgia was the last of the 13 original colonies.In England, debtors who couldn't repay their loans were commonly imprisoned. It was established as a haven for debtors and to provide a buffer between prosperous South Carolina and the Spanish possessions in Florida.



What was the Dominion of New England?

In 1686, King James II established the Dominion of New England, under the command of Edmund Andros. The Dominion of New England combined New York, New Jersey, and the New England colonies into one unit.


Why did James II establish the Dominion of New England?

James II established the Dominion of New England in response to continued defiance of the Navigation Acts. Resistance to the Acts was particularly acute among the Dutch residents of New York and New Jersey.


What was the colonies' response to the Dominion of New England in 1686?

Since the Dominion of New England did away with the representative assemblies which governed the individual colonies, many of the colonists felt that the Dominion impeded upon their right of self-government, and they accordingly viewed the Dominion negatively.


What was the Glorious Revolution of 1688?

During the Glorious Revolution of 1688, Catholic King James II was deposed, and Protestants William and Mary were named by Parliament as co-regents. By deposing King James II, and naming monarchs of their choosing, Parliament demonstrated a willingness to act independently of the British monarchy.


What was the immediate effect of the Glorious Revolution on the American colonies?

In North America, the Glorious Revolution meant the end of the Dominion of New England. During the Boston Revolt of 1689, Edmund Andros was deposed and sent back to England.

Rumor has it that Edmund Andros attempted to escape from New England attired in a dress.


In 1675, _____ led a war against white settlers in New England, in which some 2,000 settlers lost their lives.

King Philip

Philip was a chief of the Wampanoag tribe, and his attack on the rapidly expanding New England settlements marked the last large-scale Indian resistance to colonization in New England.


How did the triangular trade system operate?

In the triangular trade system, rum was shipped from a North American port to Africa, where it was traded for slaves. The slaves were then carried to British colonies in the Caribbean in what was known as the Middle Passage. In the Caribbean, the slaves were traded for sugar cane, which was in turn carried to North America to be made into rum.


the Middle Passage

The Middle Passage was the journey of slaves from Africa to the Caribbean or North American plantations as part of triangular trade. Slaves were chained together for weeks at a time, poorly fed, and mortality was high. 


What was the Stono Rebellion?

In 1739, 100 slaves killed several plantation owners in South Carolina, resulting in harsher slave regulations. The slaves' primary motivation was to flee to Florida, where the Spanish offered freedom.

The Stono Rebellion marked the largest pre-Revolution slave uprising. Fearful because they were outnumbered by their slaves, whites in South Carolina and elsewhere used the Rebellion as an excuse to enact harsher slave regulations.


What was the Halfway Covenant?

As the children of Puritans increasingly displayed more concern with making money than with creating a god-fearing society, some Puritans established the Halfway Covenant, which allowed for a more limited church membership with minimal Puritan restrictions. 

The establishment of the Halfway Covenant represented an end to the Puritans' near-monopoly on religious worship in the New England colonies. In part, the decline of the Puritan churches paved the way for the Great Awakening.


What was the Great Awakening?

The Great Awakening was a religious revival that lasted from the 1720s to the 1740s. Led by speakers such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards, preaching during the Great Awakening focused on an individual's personal religious experience, and declared that all men were equal before God.


How did the Great Awakening impact the American Revolution?

The Great Awakening revivalists claimed that all men were equal before God. This egalitarian principle led many to question the monarchy and to espouse democracy.

In addition, the Great Awakening revivals took place throughout the American colonies, providing a shared, unifying experience.


What was the effect of the Great Awakening on American religion?

The Great Awakening led to splits among American religious groups between the Old Lights and the New Lights. Several Christian groups, including Presbyterians and Methodists, formed their own congregations.


During and after the Great Awakening, the American religious community was divided between "Old Lights" and "New Lights." What was the difference between the two?

Old Lights rejected the Great Awakening, preferring more staid and formalistic religious preaching, while the New Lights were more evangelical and embraced the principle of joy in one's relationship with God. 

The New Lights believed that man himself could talk directly to God, without the intervention of a priest or pastor.


What was the purpose of the earliest American universities?

Most universities existed to train candidates for the ministry. Harvard (1636), William and Mary (1694), and Yale (1701) were the first three American universities. During the Great Awakening, Princeton, Columbia, Rutgers, Brown, and Dartmouth Universities were founded as "New Light" colleges.


The European intellectual movement known as the _____ emphasized rationalism.


Instead of explaining human problems through religion, rationalism was a belief that all problems could be solved through deductive reasoning and scientific inquiry. 



Deism is the belief that a god exists, but that he chooses not to intervene in actions or events in the universe.


Who was John Locke?

John Locke was an English Enlightenment thinker, who theorized that although government was supreme, it was required to follow certain natural laws; rights to which all human beings were entitled, simply by virtue of their humanity. Any infringement of these rights justified the overthrow of that government.

Locke's natural laws appear in the Declaration of Independence, which states that "mankind is endowed with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."


natural law

First expounded by John Locke, the principle of natural law claimed that merely by his existence, man was endowed with rights which could not be taken or abridged by government. 

Natural law's principles provided a justification for the American Revolution, and were listed in the Declaration of Independence. ("We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.")


Who was the most famous American Enlightenment figure?

Benjamin Franklin

Admired on both sides of the Atlantic, Franklin invented bifocals and a centralized stove, experimented with electricity, published an influential newspaper, and wrote the famous Poor Richard's Almanack, as well as numerous essays, including Fart Proudly.

Franklin was also one of the founders of the University of Pennsylvania, the first secular university in the colonies.


What was the Albany Plan of Union?

The Albany Plan of Union was proposed by Benjamin Franklin. Seven colonies sent representatives to Albany in 1754, with the intention of organizing resistance to attacks by the Iroquois Confederacy.

Although Franklin's call for an intercolonial government with the power to raise taxes for common defense was rejected by the seven colonial legislatures, it marked the first attempt to organize the colonies.


Who was John Peter Zenger?

John Peter Zenger was a newspaper publisher who printed statements critical of New York's governor in 1734. Libel law provided that one who published critical statements could be jailed, regardless of whether the statements were true. Despite this law's existence, a jury found Zenger innocent.

The Zenger trial did much to establish freedom of the press in the colonies.


Between 1700 and 1750, the population in the American colonies increased from 250,000 to 1,250,000. From where did most immigrants arrive?

Although many immigrants still came from England, a significant portion of the population was Scottish, German, or Scotch-Irish (settlers who'd been removed from Ireland back to Scotland in the 16th century).

The black population also rose, and by 1750 numbered 200,000.


How was voting limited in the American colonies?

Women and blacks were completely barred from voting. White males were restricted from voting unless they owned property. Most candidates for public office came from the upper levels of society, and power was restricted to a privileged few.

Despite these restrictions, life in the American colonies was more democratic than in Europe.


How was local government in the North different from that of the South?

In the North, farms were smaller and closer to towns. Thus, the common form of government was the town meeting, which resolved public issues by a direct vote.

In the South, farms and plantations were far from one another, and government was usually established in the form of an elected sheriff and officials who would serve a wide area.


What percentage of the population lived in rural areas in 1750?

Approximately 90% of North America's population was rural with people living on small farms.

In the North, poor soil conditions for growing crops meant that most farmers lived in poverty. In the South, many poorer farms owned no slaves, but larger plantations used slaves to farm cash crops, such as tobacco, rice, and indigo.


What was the experience of women in the American colonies?

Women in the American colonies had few legal rights; most women could not own property and could not vote. Some 50% of colonial women died in childbirth.

In the South especially, marriage was looked upon as a business transaction; a woman's father was approached regarding marriage and the woman (often as young as age 14) was rarely consulted.