American history I: final exam review



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AMERICAN HISTORY I: FINAL EXAM REVIEW

  • Spanish Exploration

  • In 1492, Genoese explorer Christopher Columbus convinced Spain to back his effort to reach Asia by sailing west across the Atlantic – a route he believed would be shorter and quicker than sailing around Africa

  • This route led to the discovery of the American continents and established Spain’s claim to a “new world”

  • Oct. 1492: Columbus landed in the West Indies (islands in the Caribbean Sea, near Florida)

  • Columbus enslaved and tortured the natives and made them mine for gold

  • Named governor by the Spanish king, Columbus was removed from office due to corruption and abuse of power

  • Within 50 years of his arrival, 90% of the natives had died from exposure to European diseases like smallpox, measles, and influenza

  • Was Columbus First?

  • Asiatic nomads arrived between 10,000 and 30,000 years ago (the Native Americans)

  • The Vikings established trading outposts in Newfoundland (Canada) around 1000 AD

  • Plus, there is some limited evidence to support that the Chinese, Japanese, Africans, and/or Polynesians arrived in the Americas BEFORE Columbus

  • The Spanish Conquistadores

  • Following Columbus’ establishment of permanent Spanish settlements in the Caribbean, the Spanish sent military expeditions into the continental Americas to explore and conquer

  • Spanish conquistadores quickly toppled the large Native empires of the Aztec and Inca peoples and expanded Spanish control of both the people and resources of the Americas

  • Spanish Advantages Over Natives

  • So how did a few hundred Spaniards defeat millions of natives?

    • superior military technology (horses, armor, guns & cannons)

    • rivalries between native groups kept them from cooperating

    • disease decimated the native population and destroyed their religious faith systems

  • The Spanish Empire

  • Spain developed an American empire stretching from Northern California to South America

  • Spain’s rivals (primarily England and France, but also the Dutch Republic, Portugal, and even Sweden) began to show an interest in creating their own American empires

  • Spanish wealth came from exploiting American gold, silver, & sugar resources using slave labor

  • The Five G’s

  • What were the primary motivating forces that drew Europeans to the Americas?

    • God: The opportunity for religious freedom, or to act as Christian missionaries to the Native Americans

    • Glory: To build empires or to become famous

    • Gold: To get rich

  • What primary advantages allowed them to reach these goals?

    • Germs: Diseases wiped out much of the Native population

    • Guns: Military advantage over the Natives

  • Early French Settlers

  • In 1524, France sent Giovanni da Verrazano to map the North American coastline and search for the Northwest Passage— a hoped-for northern route around North America to the Pacific Ocean.

  • The Fur Trade

  • Despite having laid claim to Canada for nearly 70 years, no real effort had been made to colonize the region.

  • By 1600, however, beaver fur had become very fashionable in Europe and French merchants became interested in colonization to expand the Canadian fur trade.

  • In 1602 the French king authorized a group of merchants to establish colonies in North America.

  • Since New France was founded for the fur trade, large numbers of settlers were not needed to clear land or start farms. Consequently, the population grew slowly.

  • Most of the fur traders did not even live in the colony, but among the Native Americans with whom they traded.

  • The Mississippi & Louisiana

  • In 1663, the French government introduced plans designed to increase the colony’s population and strengthen France’s claims to North America.

  • The French also began exploring North America’s interior; Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette explored the Mississippi River, and René-Robert Cavelier de La Salle followed the river to the Gulf of Mexico and claimed the region, which he named Louisiana, for France.

  • French Settlements

  • Settlements, including New Orleans and St. Louis, were established in Louisiana over the next few decades.

  • The French quickly realized, however, that crops suitable for the region required hard manual labor, which few settlers were willing to do.

  • By 1721 the French in Louisiana began importing enslaved Africans and forcing them to work the plantations.

  • Spain Counters in Florida

  • The Spanish established the town of St. Augustine, Florida, in 1565 to protect their claim to the region after the French tried to settle the Carolinas. St. Augustine became the first permanent settlement established by Europeans in the present-day United States.

  • After the French arrived at the mouth of the Mississippi River, the Spanish established a mission in eastern Texas to attempt to block French expansion into that region.

  • The English Reformation

  • In the early 1530s, King Henry VIII of England abandoned the Catholic Church and joined the Protestant Reformation by creating the Church of England (or Anglican Church), with himself as head of the Church.

  • Henry outlawed Catholicism and ordered his entire population to practice only Anglicism; this move angered both loyal Catholics and the members of other Protestant branches of Christianity.

  • Eventually, strict limits on religious freedom would drive many English dissenters, including Puritans, Quakers, and Catholics, to seek to create new colonies in North America

  • Economic Forces

  • By the early 1600s, a changeover from grain farming to sheep ranching by wealthy English landowners had left hundreds of thousands of Englishmen impoverished and unemployed. Many of these would seek the opportunity of a new life in America.

  • English merchants also needed new markets as English industries began overproducing goods. Many organized joint-stock companies, pooling the money of many investors for large projects, such as establishing colonies.

  • Military Rivalry With Spain

  • To more easily attack Spanish ships in the Caribbean, England wanted to establish colonies in America.

  • Walter Raleigh was sent by Queen Elizabeth I to explore the American coastline. In 1585, his ships landed on Roanoke, an island in present-day North Carolina, and he named the surrounding land Virginia, in honor of the “virgin” queen.

  • The “Lost Colony”

  • The colony established at Roanoke in 1587, consisted of 115 men and women.

  • When a relief ship returned to the island in 1590, no trace of the colonists remained and their fate remains a mystery to this day.

  • Jamestown

  • In 1606, King James I of England granted the Virginia Company, a joint-stock company, a charter to establish a colony in Virginia.

  • In 1607, 104 men established the settlement of Jamestown on an island in the James River in modern-day Virginia.

  • While Jamestown would become the first permanent English colony in North America, it had to overcome many problems in order to survive.

  • Jamestown, since it was founded by a joint-stock company, was intended to be profitable

  • As a result, the settlers spent more time looking for gold or other valuables than they did creating a safe, stable, self-sustaining colony

  • Jamestown had also been poorly sited – the area was swampy and mosquito ridden, so the settlers forced to battle disease as well as hunger

  • To make matters even worse, the local Algonquin Indians were often openly hostile, forcing the settlers to spend time building a fort (which they needed in case of Spanish attack, as well)

  • Captain John Smith

  • The strict discipline of Captain John Smith and the assistance of the friendlier Powhatan Indian Confederacy, helped the Jamestown colony survive, but neither Smith nor the Indians were very popular with the settlers

  • The Pocahontas Legend

  • According to Smith’s account, he was able to convince the Powhatan to help the colonists only after being captured by the Indians

  • The Indian chief, Powhatan, was going to kill Smith, but Powhatan’s daughter Pocahontas begged her father to spare him and help the colonists

  • Modern historians doubt Smith’s account – Smith was a glory-seeking adventurer who stood to profit greatly from being the man who “saved” Jamestown and he recorded the story only after returning to England and writing a book in 1616.

  • The Starving Time

  • The Jamestown Company offered free land to people who worked for the colony for seven years. New settlers arrived (and John Smith left) in 1609, but there was not enough food to support them.

  • The new settlers stole food from the Powhatan, who retaliated by attacking them if they left the safety of the fort.

  • Recent evidence suggests that the colonists resorted to cannibalism to survive.

  • By spring of 1610 only 60 out of about 500 settlers survived at Jamestown.

  • In June 1610, the survivors decided to abandon the town. It was only the arrival of the new governor, Lord De La Ware, and his supply ships that brought the colonists back to the fort and saved the colony.

  • Although the suffering did not totally end at Jamestown for decades, some years of peace and prosperity followed after the wedding of the Indian princess Pocahontas to colonist John Rolfe (although Pocahontas died in 1617).

  • Tobacco Saves the Colony

  • It was this same John Rolfe who had developed a strain of tobacco that was marketable in England, providing Jamestown with the ability to finally turn a profit for its investors.

  • The Jamestown settlers soon began growing large quantities of tobacco, but needed to import slave labor to maximize production. The first African slaves arrived in Jamestown in 1619.

  • The House of Burgesses

  • To attract more settlers to Jamestown, the Virginia Company gave the colony the right to elect its own general assembly. The elected representatives were called burgesses, and the legislative body was called the House of Burgesses.

  • The Virginia House of Burgesses was the first representative law-making assembly in the New World.

  • A Growing Population

  • The Virginia Company also introduced the system of headrights. Under this system, new settlers who bought a share in the company or paid for their passage were granted 50 acres. They received more land for each family member or servant they brought to Virginia.

  • The Native Americans near Jamestown grew alarmed at the increasing population. In 1622, they attacked the settlements around Jamestown, killing nearly 350 settlers.

  • The attack, coupled with evidence of mismanagement by the Virginia Company, led King James to declare Jamestown a royal colony.

  • Maryland

  • Catholics were persecuted in England for their religious beliefs. Lord Baltimore, a Catholic member of British Parliament, decided to found a colony in America where Catholics could practice their religion without persecution.

  • The king granted Baltimore an area of land northeast of Virginia, which Baltimore named Maryland. Baltimore legally owned Maryland, making it the first proprietary colony.

  • Although Maryland was founded as a Catholic refuge, most of the colony’s settlers were Protestant.

  • The Settlement of New England

  • Separatist Puritans (Today, we call them the Pilgrims)

  • Religious dissenters who fled England for Holland in 1608

  • Once there, they worried that they were losing their English way of life

  • September, 1620: 102 passengers set sail for Virginia on board the Mayflower

  • Hardships: blown off course, food ran out, much illness, 1 death

  • Arrived off Cape Cod in November and landed at Plymouth

  • The Mayflower Compact

  • The settlers, understanding that they were now outside of English law, on land that they knew little about, agreed to “solemnly and mutually in the presence of God and of one another” create a new government and to obey its laws

  • Plymouth Colony

  • The Pilgrims were industrious and planned on staying, unlike the Jamestown settlers who were just looking for wealth

  • Began building a village, but plague killed off half the settlers within the first few months

  • A friendly Native American named Squanto took pity on the settlers and instructed them in farming corn and how to locate good fishing grounds

  • Squanto had once been captured by English traders and had lived in England, so he spoke English

  • Squanto also negotiated a peace agreement between the settlers and the local tribes

  • The Pilgrims celebrated their one-year anniversary of survival and their alliance with the local Natives by holding a “Thanksgiving” festival, sometime in autumn 1621

  • After 1625, religious persecution of Puritans in England increased, driving more of these dissenters to flee to America

  • Economic problems in England’s wool industry at this same time also increased the number of settlers

  • John Winthrop

  • John Winthrop, an investor in the Massachusetts Bay Company (a joint-stock company which held a royal charter to create a colony in New England), led 900 Puritan settlers to New England in March 1630

  • Winthrop delivered a rousing sermon, A Model of Christian Charity: “The Lord will make our name a praise and glory, so that men shall say of succeeding plantations: The Lord make it like that of New England. For we must consider that we shall be like a City upon a Hill; the eyes of all people are upon us.”

  • As conditions in England grew worse, thousands more Puritans left for the New England colony, mostly for its new capital of Boston.

  • By 1643, New England had an estimated 20,000 settlers

  • Governance

  • Only those settlers who owned stock in the Massachusetts Bay Company could participate in elections and in making the law

  • Winthrop, as the first governor, briefly tried to run the colony as a dictatorship, but after only four years was forced to share power with a representative assembly

  • Winthrop did manage to tie the government of the colony to the Puritan church

  • Church attendance was required by law; taxes were used to support the church; gambling, blasphemy, adultery, and drunkenness were all severely punished

  • Heretics (those who disagreed with the church) were banished from the colony

  • Roger Williams

  • 1631: Roger Williams began ministering in Salem, Mass., but was critical of the church, of the King, and of John Winthrop

  • Winthrop, fearful of losing his royal charter if word got back to the king of Williams’ criticism, had Williams banished

  • Williams went south and founded the colony of Providence, a settlement of greater religious tolerance

  • Anne Hutchinson

  • Devout Puritan who also began to criticize certain leaders of the church and was thus charged with heresy

  • Claimed that God spoke to her and revealed to her which ministers were correct and which wrong

  • Puritans believed that God only spoke through the Bible; Hutchinson was convicted of heresy and banished

  • Hutchinson headed south with her followers and founded the town of Portsmouth

  • Rhode Island

  • More “heretics” joined Williams and Hutchinson, founding the towns of Newport and Warwick

  • In 1644, the four settlements came together as the new colony of Rhode Island

  • Rhode Island’s charter specifically created a separation between church and state

  • Thomas Hooker

  • Puritan minister who led his congregation to settle on the Connecticut River

  • Hooker and his followers were frustrated with their inability to find good land in Massachusetts and by the requirement that one must hold stock in the Bay Company in order to vote

  • In 1639, Hooker’s settlement, along with others in the valley, adopted the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, the first written constitution in the American colonies

  • Biggest difference: all adult men were allowed to vote for Governor and the General Court (legislature)

  • The Pequot War

  • After the Pequot tribe was blamed for the death of 2 Massachusetts traders in 1637, white-native tensions began to rise

  • Massachusetts sent a military force to retaliate against the natives, prompting an uprising

  • The white settlers, allied with other Native American groups who were enemies of the Pequot, carried out a brutal extermination of the Pequot

  • Over 400 of the tribe were massacred, despite trying to surrender, and the survivors were sold into slavery

  • New Hampshire & Maine

  • Settlers also left Massachusetts heading north.

  • In 1679, New Hampshire was granted the status of a royal colony and broke away from Massachusetts

  • Maine, despite having a distinct population, remained part of Massachusetts until 1820

  • Tensions Build

  • Generally, New England native tribes and their white neighbors lived together peacefully, engaging in trade

  • As time passed, however, white settlers increasingly encroached on native lands and the colonial governments began to demand that natives obey their laws

  • King Philip’s War

  • In 1675, Plymouth colony arrested, tried, and executed 3 Wampanoags for murder, leading to an attack by the natives

  • This led to a brutal war between whites and natives, known as King Philip’s War (King Philip was the name given by settlers to the Indian chief Metacomet)

  • By 1678, New England’s native population had been defeated and driven west, leaving the region entirely in the hands of the settlers

  • The Dutch

  • Explorer Henry Hudson had explored the Hudson River area for the Dutch government in 1609 and reported that the region was rich in fur-bearing animals

  • In 1614, the Dutch established the trading post of New Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, at the mouth of the Hudson

  • The Dutch colony grew very slowly, and only had a population of about 1500 by 1646

  • To increase the size of the colony, the Dutch opened it to settlers of any nationality

  • By 1664, over 10,000 settlers had arrived from all over Europe, including the first Jewish settlers to reach American soil and about 1000 African slaves

  • The English Response

  • The Dutch colony was seen as a threat by the English, as it provided a safe haven for smuggling goods in and out of the British colonies without the collection of taxes

  • In 1663, King Charles II declared the area to be a British possession and authorized his brother, James, the Duke of York to use military force to seize New Netherland

  • Lacking sufficient defense, the town of New Amsterdam was forced to surrender to the British in 1664 and was promptly renamed New York

  • To reward some of his supporters, James granted a portion of New Netherland to Sir George Carteret, a region which came to be called New Jersey

  • To attract English settlers, Carteret and his associate Lord John Berkeley offered generous land grants, religious freedom, and the right to elect a legislative assembly

  • This resulted in an influx of Puritan settlers to the new colony

  • William Penn

  • King Charles II had gone into debt, partly to fund the military expedition to seize New York, to a supporter named Admiral William Penn.

  • Penn’s heir, also named William Penn, offered to settle the debt in exchange for the granting of a colony covering the gap between New Jersey and Maryland

  • Charles reluctantly agreed, due to concerns over Penn’s religion – he was a Quaker

  • Quakers

  • Believe there is no need for church buildings or ministers, because everyone receives their own “inner light” from God

  • Object to secular authority (government) and often refuse to pay taxes

  • Believe in pacifism, or opposition to all violence, including war, so they do not serve in the military

  • The religion had been banned by King Charles, leading most Quakers to flee to America

  • Pennsylvania

  • Penn gave his fellow Quakers a safe haven in his newly chartered colony of Pennsylvania

  • Penn believed in complete political and religious freedom

  • He also vowed to treat the Native Americans with respect and friendship

  • After signing the Treaty of Shackamaxon with the local Native tribe, Penn established his capital at Philadelphia, “the city of brotherly love”

  • Penn made land readily available to attract colonists, drawing over 7000 colonists by 1684

  • Pennsylvania’s Government

  • Penn established a government in which he appointed the governor, but allowed all men who owned land or paid taxes (so long as they were Christian) to vote for a legislative assembly

  • Non-Christians were still welcome and tolerated in Pennsylvania, but were not allowed to vote

  • Delaware

  • In 1682, to increase his holdings, Penn purchased the region of Delaware from the Duke of York

  • Initially administered as part of Pennsylvania, Delaware quickly became its own separate colony

  • Carolina

  • In an effort to block Spanish expansion northward, or French expansion eastward, Charles awarded the region south of Virginia, known as “Carolina” to several of his friends and political allies in 1662

  • North Carolina

  • The colony developed slowly due to poor access from the sea (all potential harbors were blocked by the Outer Banks)

  • By 1700, only 3000 colonists had settled, mostly tobacco farmers who had moved down from Virginia

  • South Carolina

  • First settlers arrived in 1670, quickly establishing the port of Charles Town (Charleston)

  • Attempts were made at creating sugar cane plantations, but the climate wasn’t right

  • First successful exports were deerskins and Indian slaves

  • James Oglethorpe

  • In the 1720s, James Oglethorpe petitioned King George II for a colony south of Carolina for the purpose of resettling English poor who had been imprisoned for failure to pay their debts

  • George granted the request, seeing this new colony of Georgia as a way to protect English South Carolina from Spanish Florida

  • Oglethorpe arrived at the mouth of the Savannah River with his first settlers in 1733, establishing the port of Savannah

  • Oglethorpe, in the interest of helping these poor debtors start a new life free of the sins of their past, banned rum, brandy, and slavery in the colony and limited plantations to 500 acres

  • The bans, however, were unpopular and did not last into the 1740s
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