Thursday, September 1, 2011

The British Empire in America (1660-1750)

The British Empire in America (1660-1750)

The Politics of Empire (1660-1713) 

The Restoration Colonies 
  • Charles II (son of Charles I) became king of England ◊ gave away lots of land (in lots of debt) 
  • Gave the Carolinas to nobility/ upper class who supported him
  • Gave his brother -James, the duke of York - territory between the Delaware and Connecticut Rivers 
    • James took possession of Dutch New Netherland and renamed it New York 
    • James gave New Jersey to two aristocrats
The Carolinas 
  • NC – poor families from VA lived on small family farms and raised tobacco and grain 
  • SC – white settlers used African slaves and Native American slaves to raise cattle and crops to export to the West Indies
William Penn and Pennsylvania 
  • King Charles II gave William Penn the colony of Pennsylvania to pay off a large debt he owed to Penn’s father 
  • Penn was a Quaker and made PA a refuge for other Quakers 
    • Quakers are pacifists and were persecuted in England
    • for not serving in the army
    • would not pay taxes that went to the Church of England
Were also persecuted in Mass Bay. (why? – different beliefs – spiritual equality – men and women could speak in meetings, God was directly available to all people – no ministers, salvation was open to everyone – very different from Puritans!)

Characteristics of Pennsylvania:
  • Colony was pacifist towards NA – goes with pacifist beliefs 
  • Allowed religious toleration in PA – gave religious freedom to all Christians
  • All white, male landowners could vote and hold office
  • Land was sold cheaply to attract Europeans to the area
  • Pennsylvania had a diverse population – German and Dutch migrants
From Mercantilism to Dominion
Remember mercantilism –

Excerpt from the long title of the Sugar Act.
  • England wants to use colonies to increase wealth 
  • Used mercantilist policies to regulate colonial commerce and manufacturing, so that it benefits the mother country ◊ Navigation Acts
  • Colonies produced goods which were sent to mother country  ◊ mother country makes money 
  • Started passing more Navigation Acts in 1660s to strengthen the English traders’ monopoly on trade with colonies 
  • Colonists did not like the mercantilist policies, started to refuse to obey ◊ beginning to set the stage for revolution
The Dominion of New England
  • New king in England (1685) – James II (James, Duke of York – brother of Charles II) – wanted more control over colonies
  • Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and RI all had their charters revoked ◊ became one royal province (region controlled by the king)  
  • New York and New Jersey were added two years later
All together formed the Dominion of New England

Characteristics of the Dominion:
  • Governor appointed by King James II 
  • Colonial elected assemblies were NOT allowed – king ruled by decree (made formal orders)
  • Promoted worship in the Church of England
Significance? colonists do not like this, again setting the stage for revolution
  • Before the Dominion, even though their commerce was being controlled, they still had some political independence – no longer
The Glorious Revolution of 1688
  • In a bloodless overthrow of government, James II was exiled in 1688 
  • His daughter Mary and her husband, William agreed to rule as constitutional monarchs 
  • limited royal power, increased parliamentary power
  • Parliamentary leaders used the ideas of Enlightened philosopher John Locke
[Remember: Contract Theory]
The Glorious Revolution in England sparked rebellion in the Dominion of NE

  • The new monarchs broke up the D of NE and created a new royal colony – Massachusetts (included Mass Bay, Plymouth, and Maine) 
  • Elected assembly was restored, but did not have to be church member to participate – white, male, property owner
New York experienced 10 years of violence and political conflicts
  • In the end, NY had a royal governor and an elected representative assembly
When rebellion sparked in Maryland changes were made
  • Catholic officials removed 
  • Royal government was established
  • Church of England became the official church
  • Dominion of NE is no longer ◊ a sense of self-government is restored

The New Politics of Empire
Inspired by the Glorious Revolution colonial representative assemblies: 

  • wanted to limit the power of the monarchs, 
  • appointed leaders – more power for the elected assemblies
By the 1750s, most colonies had assemblies that responded to the people and were less under British control
  • During the reigns of King George I and II (1714-1760), leaders in England were concerned about affairs in the mother country ◊ turned their attention away from the colonies ◊ salutary neglect
Salutary neglect
  • Salutary = healthy, favorable, beneficial, good 
  • Colonies developed their own governments, economies, militias, and taxes 
  • Colonists liked this (sets stage for rebellion when England does get involved again)
  • Colonial assemblies had greater power within the colony and greater independence from the mother country 
  • set the stage for colonial demands to have political equality within the British empire (when they are not listened to = rebellion)
Georgia and War with Spain
  • The colony of Georgia was established to be a refuge for Britain’s poor (prisons in GB were overcrowded with??) 
  • The leaders of Georgia wanted GA to consist of small farms worked by independent landowners and white indentured servants
  • Land grants were limited in size and slavery was outlawed (this ban would later be lifted)
  • GA was also supposed to be a buffer between Spanish FL and the prosperous SC
Making Spain Angry
  • Spain already did not like British presence in SC 
  • Spanish Mesoamerica was buying lots of English goods from the colonies ◊Spanish money was going to the British
  • British movement into GA only made the Spanish more mad (territory conflict)
  • 1739 – Spanish naval forces set off The War of Jenkins’s Ear by cutting off the ear of Robert Jenkins, an English sea captain
  • This war in the colonies became part of a larger conflict in Europe : War of Austrian Succession 
  • The conflict was ended (in the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle) secured GA as a British colony