As we have noted already, the English were not the only Europeans interested in American colonies. While we have already briefly noted the French efforts in North America, it is worth taking a few moments to explore New France in a bit more detail. In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed up the St. Lawrence River looking for a Northwest Passage to East Asia (which he did not find). This episode got France interested in planting a colony, but took quite a while for New France to be established. By the 1580s, French trading companies had been set up, and ships were contracted to bring animal furs (mostly beaver) from North America back to France for use in garment and other textile manufacturing. Much of what transpired between the natives and their European visitors around that time in New France is not known for lack of historical records.
The fur traders moved about New France, either following herds, trading with different groups of Indians, or both, meaning that fixed French settlements with large numbers of French people living there would not come quickly. Early French attempts at establishing permanent settlements were failures. (Recall the 1560s, when Fort Caroline in Florida was destroyed by the Spanish; see Chapter One.) At this time, the French were involved heavily in the Caribbean and in their own internal affairs; thus it was only in the early 1600s that the French did succeed in their North American colonization project. Samuel de Champlain set up a trading post at Quebec City, an easily-defendable spot on the mouth of the St. Lawrence River. In 1642, the French founded Montreal, at the place in the river where ships could not travel any further upstream. And yet, the population of New France grew painfully slowly.
Despite the relatively small numbers of French colonists, the colony was an important source of revenue thanks to the fur trade. The basis of the economy was the fur trade, with beaver, otter, mink, and lynx pelts all in high demand back in Europe. The majority of French immigrants to New France were men—fur trappers, traders, and soldiers, who because there were so few French women, married Indians, who had children called métis. (Spanish soldiers and other [male] colonists also intermarried with Indian women, and their mixed-race children were called mestizos.) The French had some farming and had also set up forts, villages, and camps. But the growing price of gifts, transportation, and competition from the English, took a toll on the French.
The French approach to dealing with Indians sets them apart in some ways from the Spanish and English colonial projects. While it is true that French Jesuit (a Catholic order) missionaries, called the “Black Robes” after the costume they wore, did try to convert the Indians, the French were in a position where they needed the Indians’ assistance and willing participation in trade. That is, the French needed Indians for allies, friends, trade, sexual partners, for survival. Thus they (the French) could neither dictate to Indians nor ignore them. Indians were at the center of the action. The French were responsible for uniting the scattered tribes of the vast region. They (the French) were peacemakers, encouraging the Iroquois to be neutral in conflicts.
The French and the Indians had to rely on each other. They created a common world and had to appeal to the interests and culture of each other and to compromise. They learned to resolve conflicts so each side would be satisfied. When they didn’t, the middle ground broke down. Each time the French used force, they found out that only mediation, reconciliation, and gifts would work.
Sometimes, there were elaborately scripted solutions—rather than an eye for an eye, when a few Indians massacred settlers in Detroit, they “escaped.” When an Indian killed a Frenchman, the Indians offered to help the French in a war against a rival group of Indians. Of course, this approach by the French – more-or-less partnering with the Indians – could be more congenial than the English or Spanish approach to the Indians, since the French were not trying to clear Indians off of land for their (French) use to grow crops (like the English), nor where the French trying to exploit the labor of Indians to run their plantations (like the Spanish).
By 1750s, New France had expanded, but only to about 50,000, whereas, the British population numbered over one million people. Yet the French presence in North America would have important later consequences for the Revolutionary Era.
60-second Quiz #1: How did New France’s approach to dealing with Indians differ from the English and the Spanish? Why? Which of the following is NOT true?
The Spanish wanted to exploit the Indians for labor and/or convert them to Catholicism
The French wanted to trade with the Indians
The French wanted to clear the Indians off their lands to make way for French agricultural settlement
The English wanted to clear the Indians off their lands to make way for English agricultural settlement
The New England Colonies
As you may have discerned by now, we are essentially filling in the political map of colonial North America, as way of setting the stage for the American Revolution. So now as we turn back to the English colonies, let us begin with a few notes on the New England colonies about which there really is not much to say:
Connecticut was settled by Puritans from Massachusetts (see below) in the 1630s, and was actually two colonies: New Haven and Connecticut; New Haven was an extreme Puritan colony, with really strict, religiously-informed laws; in 1664, these two minor colonies decided to merge and thus formed what we consider today to be the area of the state of Connecticut.
Connecticut saw the first serious armed conflict between indigenous people and settlers in New England; the powerful Pequot tribe. Hostilities between the tribes of Southern New England escalated into war; the Indians raided and destroyed a settlement, killing thirty. In 1637, settlers and their Indian allies burned a Pequot village and massacred nearly 300 men, women and children. An estimated thirty or forty Pequots escaped. The ones who were captured were brought to Boston and sold into slavery in Bermuda. In the following weeks, the whites hunted down and killed the remaining warriors. The War ended with just a few surviving Pequots. (Today, the Pequots own and operate Foxwoods Casino.) The Pequot War opened up Connecticut to settlement, and was the first officially-recognized Indian War (the Jamestown Massacre was not considered a war).
New Hampshire was a similar case; it was also established in the 1630s as a fishing colony; it kept going back and forth from being part of Massachusetts or not, depending on the King and the situation in England. Finally in 1741, New Hampshire permanently broke free of Massachusetts.
Maine was founded in the 1620s as a fishing colony; there was some fishing and farming there and little else; it was one of the poorest colonies, and was actually considered part of Massachusetts.Now we can move on to the big show: the Pilgrims and the Puritans.
Pilgrims and Puritans: Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies
Way back in 1533, English King Henry VIII broke with the Roman Catholic Church and established the Church of England (the Anglican Church). You may have learned this story in HIST 1121; Henry wanted to divorce his wife and marry another but this event brought the Protestant Reformation to England. By the early 1600s, the issue of the king’s wives had retreated and English Christians were much more incensed over questions of worship, Biblical interpretation, church structure and governance, and even the relationship between the church and the state. While England was mostly Protestant (i.e. not Catholic), there was a small number of Catholics, as well as a small number of English Protestants who were displeased with the performance of the new Anglican Church.
The Plymouth Colony
Some people broke completely with the Church of England—these included the Quakers and the Pilgrims. The Pilgrims (sometimes called Separatists) formed in about 1590, left England, and settled in Holland in 1608, where there was religious freedom. But two things happened: 1) they became upset that their children were beginning to speak Dutch and adopt Dutch culture, and 2) The Netherlands was about to go to war with Spain, and if Spain conquered the Netherlands, these Puritans would be taken over by Catholics, and would be persecuted.
The Pilgrims and a group of private investors secured a land grant from the English Crown, and 102 people, half Pilgrims, half men seeking money, sailed to the New World and arrived in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.
Realizing they were too far north of their intended destination, and therefore out of the jurisdiction of English law, males signed the Mayflower Compact (the ship on which they had just sailed was named the Mayflower), the first constitution for a government in the United States. The Pilgrims arrived too late in the year to plant crops, and within 4 months, half of them had died.
Two friendly Native Americans, Squanto and Samoset (also known as Massasoit), helped the Pilgrims. Squanto taught them how to grow corn, and the following November, they celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Over the next dozen years, several more large groups of settlers arrived in the region, settling Salem, Massachusetts and Dorchester, Massachusetts. In 1690, Plymouth colony became part of the (much larger) Massachusetts Bay Colony.
2. The Massachusetts Bay Colony
Another group of English Protestants who did not like the Anglican Church were the Puritans, named so because they desired to “purify” the Anglican Church. They weren’t as strongly opposed to the Anglican Church as the Separatists, and they hoped to influence it to change. The Puritans felt that church services were too formal, and they objected to the stained glass windows and décor, and to bishops and archbishops and the hierarchy of the church (which still looked very much like the Catholic Church of old). The Puritans believed that each church should be independently governed. They also believed that, in order to join a Puritan Church, one had to stand up and relate an emotional conversion experience. This proved that you were a “visible saint” – someone whom God had predestined to receive his saving grace upon their death and be admitted to Heaven for eternity.
Broadly speaking, Puritanism was a form of Calvinism and, broadly speaking, most Americans in the present-day who identify as Christians belong to one or another Protestant sect that is related to Calvinism. (Catholics have long been, and still are, a minority in the U.S.; the other major branch of Protestantism is Lutheranism, which never gained a majority here; there are also Eastern Orthodox Christians and non-Christian religious groups but Calvinist-derived Christianity is most common.)
Of these Puritans, there were Presbyterians, Congregationalists, Baptists, and other groups. Presbyterianism emerged in Scotland. They believed bishops should be replaced and that churches should be organized into Presbyteries, and then into smaller groups called synods. They believed any one with a decent reputation should be admitted into church membership. Presbyterians share a common set of beliefs called the Westminster Confession of Faith. Congregationalists believed that each church should be independent, and that there should be no higher authority to govern each church. They required a dramatic conversion experience. Most Puritans that came to Massachusetts Bay were Congregationalists, which because of their independent nature, posed a problem. Baptists emerged in the 1600s; Baptists believed that once a person had been saved, only then could they be baptized. In other words, only adults could be baptized; to Presbyterians, children of members should be baptized as infants. What you should notice is that these English colonists did not all share one point of view or opinion on how their Christian faith should be organized and practiced.
Anyway, in 1629, a group of Puritans led by John Winthrop left England to provide an example of a godly society that might serve as a guide for England to copy. In the period 1630-1642, 25,000 Puritans came to Massachusetts; this was called the Great Migration (there were 1,000 who came in 1630 alone). Settling in the area of modern-day Boston, these Puritans established a religious state, the Massachusetts Bay Colony, with Boston as the capital. Church and state were one and the same in Massachusetts Bay. There was a secular governor and a two-house legislature, yet all citizens had to attend the established Puritan Church, and pay taxes. Only those who were full church members could vote or participate in government, and each village had a meetinghouse, or steeple, that was the center of town life. Remember, these people were Congregationalists, and thought that the independence of their churches was being sacrificed to this utopian experiment.
In many ways, Massachusetts Bay settlers lived in communities that were unlike what we have seen or will see in any of the other English colonies. For starters, religion was everywhere (see above). Secondly, Massachusetts colonists had a much greater sense of themselves existing in a
shared community. They lived close to each other and shared farmlands. They established a series of beliefs called “The Puritan Way,” and sought to be all on the same page, believing the same things. As a result, they established Harvard College in 1636, the first American college, to train ministers.
Thirdly, the types of people who migrated from England to Massachusetts were not the same as those who traveled to Virginia or Georgia. Massachusetts settlers were middle class, and middle aged, and traveled in family groups, mother and father, several children, sometimes entire communities. Fourthly, Massachusetts settlers had very high behavioral expectations for themselves. They did not allow anyone to take unfair advantage of anyone else in business or personal life. They expected moral behavior and honest business deals. They were also highly literate.
Daily life in Massachusetts was also heavily informed and affected by Puritans’ religious beliefs. Family values were vital to Puritanism—fathers were in charge and unlike the Quakers, women were subordinate. If the father failed to keep his children in order, public officials could step in. Public officials similar to police officers made house to house visits to check up on families. Homelessness was forbidden, and people usually took in elderly relatives, orphans, or single people.
Puritans lived the longest and healthiest lives of anywhere in the colonies. Puritan men typically married about age 25. On average, women married about 20 years old, and over ninety percent had children. On average, women could expect to have six or more children until about age forty. One in 30 births resulted in the death of the mother, and, so therefore about one in five women died in childbirth. Men and women remarried soon after being widowed, as family life was extremely important. Massachusetts Bay had the highest natural population increase of anywhere in the colonies.
The stability and growth of the population fostered the growth of the colony itself. Over time, small towns fanned out from Boston. As European diseases killed the Native Americans off, and through phony land deals, Europeans accumulated vast tracts of land that they used for basic farming and cattle raising. The economy was not as prosperous as the South would be, and for the most part, the economy rested on fishing and whaling, and some lumber and livestock. It should be noted that the Puritans did force Native Americans to stop practicing their religions and force them into Praying Towns where they were indoctrinated in English religion and culture. The best examples of these were Natick, Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, and Nantucket.
Though Puritans came to establish a unified, godly community, within a short period of time, people with different views emerged:
Roger Williams began to doubt the validity of the conversion experience. He argued for a complete separation of church and state. He opposed mandatory church attendance and taxes (which were used to support the official church), and believed that the title “Goodman” should be used only for the saved. He criticized the King and refused an oath of loyalty. Basically he was anti-English and anti-authority. Williams was banned from the colony in 1635. He went briefly to Plymouth colony, and joined the Pilgrims, but he offended them because he thought they were too kind to the Church of England. Williams eventually purchased land from the Narragansett Indians and founded Rhode Island.
Anne Hutchinson, an outspoken mother of eleven, became another critic of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She held prayer meetings in her home where she taught both men and women. She challenged the ministers’ authority and their teachings. Most significantly, she believed that a person was saved by God’s grace (predestination), and good works could do nothing to help a person be saved (which is what the ministers were teaching). By challenging the ministers’ authority, this threatened the leaders’ ability to keep the colony unified. Plus, she was a woman, and women were not supposed to speak out against men or to preach to men. After a public hearing in which she announced that she received direct revelations from God, Anne Hutchinson was banished from the colony to Rhode Island. Dozens of her followers joined her. She later went to Long Island (New Netherlands) and was massacred by Indians.
So, early on the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay faced religious division, but there were other problems. By 1660, it was clear that the “city on a hill” mission was a failure. By mid-century, fewer people were becoming church members. Remember, in order to become a Church member, you had to get up and relate your conversion experience.
Fewer people did this; maybe it was embarrassing, or maybe they did not have conversion experiences because there were many other things on their
mind besides God. Unless something was done, church members would die out and Puritan rule in Massachusetts Bay would end. In 1662, the Puritans allowed the children of non-members to be baptized; this is called the Half-Way Covenant.
Over time, with less land available because of partible inheritance, communities broke apart and families split. Younger children went west to create new communities. Originally, Puritans believed in sacrificing for the good of the community, hence the idea of the barn-raising, etc., but as they became more prosperous merchants, especially in the seaport towns, they became more materialistic, and gave up on many of the ideas of the Puritan Way. The Church simply could not oversee, discipline and control a larger more scattered population. The influence of religion decreased, and the clergy began to preach fire and brimstone sermons, warning people that they were materialistic and self-centered.
There was widespread conflict with Indians; in fact all of New England faced the most destructive war on American soil in the colonial era: King Philip’s War. This seemed to be further proof of God’s disfavor and of the failure of the Puritan “errand into the wilderness.” The great Wampanoag Indian Metacomet, also known by the English name Philip, waged a fierce and bitter struggle against the settlers of New England in 1675-1676. He nearly succeeded in driving the English out of New England in a war that inflicted greater casualties in proportion to the population than any other war in American history.
The basic conflict with the Indians in Massachusetts was the same as nearly everywhere else in the English colonies: whites invaded Indians’ land and established permanent settlements. Later, after a period of trade and friendly relations, the Indians realized that they were being swindled out of their lands, and when they resisted, they met Europeans’ superior forces. Metacomet (sometimes simply called “Metacom”)/Philip was the second son of Massasoit/Somoset, the sachem of the Wampanoag who had befriended the pilgrims at Plymouth in 1620, and he (Metacomet) grew up to see the relationship between Indians and whites continue to decline.
As the years went by, the Wampanoag felt more pressure from the English. In 1661, Massasoit died, and Metacomet/Philip and his brother became the sachems. Metacomet/Philip’s brother soon died, which left Philip in charge; he was only in his early 20s. As whites kept encroaching on Indians’ land, there were several conflicts between the Indians and the whites over pigs (English settlers’ livestock would basically roam free through the forests and thereby find and eat crops planted by the Indians).
New Englanders expressed a sort of paranoia that Metacomet/Philip was planning a widespread conspiracy, a widespread war. He wasn’t.
Yet in 1671, they forced Metacomet/Philip to sign a treaty of friendship and tried to make his men give up their guns, but of course the Indians wouldn’t. They also forced him to sign a treaty subjugating Indians to the colony of Plymouth’s laws. Metacomet/Philip badmouthed the colonial authorities. When a white spy was found murdered, whites quickly captured three Indians on poor evidence, and Metacomet/Philip was implicated in the murder of the white. After a few raids and skirmishes, an all-out war broke out, fought throughout New England. The conflict spread.
Metacomet/Philip led a war party of only about 300 Indians, yet seemed to be everywhere at once. The English tried to capture him. The Nipmucs and the Narragansetts joined in. But the Niantics, Pequots, and Mohegans, three Connecticut tribes, signed on with the English as scouts, guides and warriors, and other smaller tribes did the same or remained neutral, hoping that they might have something to gain.
Indians hadn’t planned for war, they ran out of food and supplies, and they became demoralized. Metacomet/Philip went to New York to try to convince the Mohawk Indians to join in, but they refused. In 1676 after a rough winter, many Indians surrendered, but King Metacomet/Philip refused. Metacomet/Philip’s wife and nine-year old son were captured and sold into slavery in the West Indies.
Finally, in an ironic, almost cruel coincidence, Metacomet/Philip was killed by a “white” Indian, an Indian who had become a white, and to make an example out of him, the English hacked up his body and placed the head on a stake in Plymouth where it stayed for 25 years. In the war, 3,000 Indians and 6,000 whites died, 50 English towns were completely destroyed, several hundred Indians were sold into slavery in the West Indies, and the Wampanoag and Narragansett Indians—pretty
much all the Indians south of Boston yet near the coast, were wiped out.
Hundreds of white men, women and children were also taken captive and held for ransom; the best example of this is Mary Rowlandson, a minister’s wife who was kidnapped and held hostage for eleven weeks, during which time she traveled all around New England with the Indians. She later wrote a harrowing account of her experiences, which became a religious text, an inspirational story of a woman’s faith and courage and of God’s saving mercy.
In addition to conflict with the Indians, social and economic change also brought tensions to Massachusetts Life; in 1692, Salem Village was divided between wealthy people who embraced commerce and less-well-to-do farmers who were more old-fashioned. They accused anyone who did not fit their traditional standards of witchcraft, and the result was the Salem Witch Trials. Outspoken women, tavern keepers, etc., anyone associated with social change, was accused. 100 men and women were arrested and 19 were executed.
60-second Quiz 2: What role did religion and the question of religious freedom play in the New England colonies? Which of the following is TRUE?
All people living in Massachusetts Bay Colony had the freedom to practice whatever religion they preferred.
All English people living in Massachusetts Bay Colony had the freedom to practice whatever religion they preferred.
All English people, who were Puritans, living in Massachusetts Bay Colony had
the freedom to practice whatever religion they preferred.
All English people who, were Puritans, and who did not question the Puritan Church leaders, living in Massachusetts Bay Colony had the freedom to practice whatever religion they preferred.
A couple of final notes on New England, both of which will be important later:
In 1684, King Charles II seized control of all New England colonies, New York and New Jersey. The Colonists had refused to allow Anglicans (those who belonged to the “regular” Church of England, which was headed by the King of England) freedom to practice their religion (which involved obedience to the King), and had refused to obey England’s trade restrictions. Charles II replaced the governments with the Dominion of New England, with a dictator-like governor, Sir Edmund Andros.
With the glorious Revolution in 1688, when William and Mary took the throne, the Dominion of New England ended.
Slavery was never a factor in New England; only the rich had slaves and used them as servants; and there was some antislavery rumbling in New England. In 1690, there were only 1,000 slaves in New England, about 1% of the total population, and in 1720, that number had risen, but only to 3% of the population.
III. The Middle Colonies: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware
Now we can turn to the area “in the middle” – between the northern colonies and the southern colonies (from Chapter One). We refer to this area as “the middle colonies.”
New York began as New Netherlands, a Dutch colony (see the Introduction), and like New France, New Netherlands remained small and largely confined to a river valley and some small settlements. The Dutch West India Company established an outpost called Fort Orange on the site of present-day Albany, New York in 1614. In 1624, they founded a city on Manhattan Island called New Amsterdam. As we’ll see, it later became New York City. Like the French, the Dutch sought beaver belts and they competed with the French in the region, meaning that (again, like the French), the Dutch aimed primarily at trade rather than settling large numbers of Europeans in North America. In time, the Dutch took over New Sweden, a settlement of Swedes and Finns in part of Southern New Jersey and Delaware, and their capital, Fort Christina, (today Wilmington, DE). There were corrupt dictator-like governors, and was no elected assembly. Few migrants arrived; in 1664, there were only 9,000 people in New Netherlands.
In the 1660s, English King Charles II awarded his supporters with colonial land. It was at this time that six of the thirteen colonies were established (NY, NJ, PA/DE, NC, and SC). James II, the Duke of York, King Charles II’s brother, organized an invasion to conquer New Netherlands for the English but New Netherlands surrendered without a fight and England took New York, Long Island, NJ, and Delaware, from the Dutch. James renamed it New York.
Obviously, New York already had non-English people living there, but it was diverse beyond the Dutch settlers from the beginning. Puritan New Englanders lived on Long Island. Dutch, Germans, and French-speaking Belgians were scattered across the territory, and there were even Italians! In addition, the Dutch had a large number of African slaves—perhaps 1/5 of New York City was African, one of the highest percentages of Africans in any colonial area in 1664. James gradually phased out Dutch forms of local government. He did not take away people’s land, though, and he kept the legal system the way it was. Each town could decide what its official church was: Dutch Reformed, Congregational, or Church of England. The population grew slowly until 1720, because it had a poor governor.
After they conquered New Netherlands, Charles II split New Jersey into two and gave the two halves to two friends: George Carteret and Lord John Berkeley. New Jersey offered large land grants, freedom of religion, representative assembly, in exchange for quit rents, annual taxes on the land. New Jersey attracted mainly settlers from elsewhere, not from England—Puritan New Englanders, Barbadians, and Dutch New Yorkers. The economy rested on farming, and the population grew rapidly. Within 20 years, in the 1670s, Carteret and Berkeley sold to separate groups of private investors, who were Quakers. The non-Quakers were furious and formed their own communities. New Jersey became a Quaker-controlled colony, a close ally of Pennsylvania, but more diverse. It also became the first refuge in the colonies for small numbers of Quakers, but was not as well-organized and not as well-publicized as Pennsylvania would become.
Pennsylvania was an oddity—Pennsylvania was founded as a religious safe- haven for Quakers. We’ve mentioned them several times so we should pause and explain who the Quakers are:
In approximately 1650, a young weaver named George Fox broke from the Puritan Church and established a new religion, known as the Society of Friends, or The Quakers.The name Society of Friends comes from John: 15.15 where Jesus told his followers, “I have called you Friends, for all that I have heard from my Father, I have made known to you.”
The name “Quaker” was something of an insult hurled by those who opposed or the Friends, because these Friends were so moved by their faith that they would often shake and otherwise appear to be overcome with the holy spirit (or something like that). However, The Society of Friends came to use this name (Quakers) to refer to themselves, because they liked knowing that people thought they serious about practicing their faith.
Quakers’ beliefs are interesting and maybe to us a little strange: they glorified “plainness” and simplicity. They did not have ministers; all of the academic degrees and learning in the world, they believed, could not make a person a minister; it is their relationship with Christ and their ability to share their faith with others that makes one a minister. They believed that every person was possessed with an inner spirit, the “Light of Christ.” They refused to bow and show signs of deference to their superiors, and they hated titles that suggested that anyone was any better than anyone else. Most people were on a first name basis, no matter how rich or poor the two people were. They often times would sit in silent prayer before starting a religious service. They believed in full equality for women, and women played an active role in their religious meetings. Many Quakers were city merchants. As an interesting aside, they believed in charging a fair price for a product, and so a shopkeeper set a price and that was it—no haggling.
Because their views differed so much from the Church of England, Quakers faced severe persecution, and by 1680, 10,000 Quakers had been imprisoned, 243 had died in jail from torture or mistreatment. Quaker missionaries also met fierce persecution in the colonies; they started arriving in the 1650s; in Boston, for example, four Quakers got hanged in the public square. At about this time, 1681, the King granted a massive tract of land to a family friend, William Penn, a prominent leader of the Quakers. Penn’s father had been a supporter of the royal family. William Penn and the family held it under a proprietorship until the Revolution. Was this a favor to a family friend, or was the king trying to get ride of the Quakers? It might have been a little bit of both.
Penn offered land to all, toleration of all religions (though only Christians could vote), guaranteed the same rights as Englishmen, set up a representative assembly, and advertised Pennsylvania in foreign countries. Pennsylvania had a massive migration, on the scale of Massachusetts Bay, and attracted large groups of Welsh, German, Dutch, and French immigrants as well as people from other colonies.
He also welcomed Anabaptists— similar to the Baptists, these were Pacifist-believing people like the Amish and the Mennonites. It attracted an especially large number of indentured servants, especially from Ireland and England, until the 1750s. In 1682, Penn purchased Delaware, which had a population of 1,000, mainly Swedes and Finns leftover from New Sweden. Delaware became a territory, sort of, of Pennsylvania, and maintained some political freedom; it had its own assembly, for instance. With rapid migration and friendly policies, Pennsylvania’s population grew rapidly. Philadelphia, which means the city of brotherly love, soon rivaled Boston in size and wealth.
Penn was a Pacifist, meaning he didn’t believe in war, and as a result, Pennsylvania had good relationship with the Indians. Penn learned to speak the Delaware Indians’ language. He purchased land from the Delaware for a fair price. Penn forbade the sale of alcohol to Indians. The Delaware happened to be really friendly, so that made things easier. Gradually, Indians migrated westward across Pennsylvania. Yet in the late-colonial and revolutionary period, they would clash with the new arrivals—the Scots-Irish and Germans who didn’t share the values of William Penn.
60-Second Quiz #3: What characteristics united the northern colonies? How were they similar to and different from the southern colonies?
Which one is TRUE?
Slavery only existed in the southern colonies.
English settlers and Indians only fought in the northern colonies
Religion was a greater concern in more northern colonies than in most southern colonies
Trade was the most important economic activity in both northern and southern colonies.
KEY for 60-second Quizzes:
1.) c – there were no large agricultural settlements created by the French in New France
2.) d – Anne Hutchinson and Roger Williams prove that freedom to practice the religion of one’s choosing in Massachusetts extended only to those who were Puritans and who did not question the church leadership. This is important because modern-day arguments invoking “freedom of religion” as a historic American tradition usually do not recognize the sharp limitations on religious practice among the Puritans.
3.) c – religion was not absent from the south but it was less important in explaining the existence of the southern colonies. Trade was more important in the north, economically speaking; agriculture in the source. Indians fought with colonists in both places and slavery was present in both places.