Apush boyer Chapter 4 Notes

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APUSH Boyer Chapter 4 Notes

The Bonds of Empire, 1660-1750

  • George Whitefield- young Anglican minister from England, attacked the ministers in the southern colonies of abandoning piety in favor of reason, and that they were unsaved→intercolonial celebrity.
    ⇒Alexander Garden, the Church of England’s commissary (representative) there, accused Whitefield of jeopardizing stability of colonial society.

  • Close ties increasingly bonded Britain and America, especially economically→that with the quickly growing population let British North America grow and prosper

  • ⇒Movement of goods, people, news, ideas→British Empire a leading world power.


  • After the Restoration (1660), England tried to expand overseas trade and subordinate colonies to English commercial interests and political authority.

Royal Centralization, 1660-1688

  • Restoration monarchs didn’t like elected legislatures, so they had little sympathy for American colonial assemblies.

  • New York- the proprietor, James, Duke of York, forbade elected assemblies except between 1682-1686. Former army officers held most of the government positions (governor’s general) →by 1680, they ruled 60 percent of colonies.

  • New Englanders didn’t like outside meddling→1661- Massachusetts assembly declares citizens exempt from all laws and royal order except for a declaration of war, ignored Navigation Acts→1679- Charles II carved New Hampshire out of MA, 1684- made MA a royal colony and revoked charter (foundation of city upon a hill) →Puritan minister Increase Mather mad.

  • 1686- James II consolidated MA, NH, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Plymouth into the Dominion of New England→New York and Jerseys added in 1688→legislatures in colonies disappeared, governed by Sir Edmund Andros, a former army officer.

  • ⇒Andros suppressed legislature, limited towns to a single annual meeting, strictly enforced toleration of Anglicans and Navigation Acts, appointed some MA elites to high office to gain support ⇒colonists enraged.

  • New York- Catholics held prominent political and military posts. By 1688- Andros’s local deputy, Captain Francis Nicholson, allowed harbor’s forts to deteriorate & reacted skeptically to rumors of natives attacking ⇒colonists feared Catholic officials will betray New York to France.

The Glorious Revolution in England and America, 1688-1689

  • English also worried about monarchy’s actions→James & Charles II became Catholic, & ignored Parliament and its laws, making Catholics hold high office and worship openly, wanted to ally with France as Louis XIV launched persecutions of Protestant Huguenots⇒English Protestants horrified→1688- James’ wife bore a son, who would reign as a Catholic king→horrified, some political and religious leaders asked Mary (daughter of James) and husband William of Orange (head of Dutch Republic) to intervene→Nov. 1688- they lead a small Dutch army to Eng, bloodless revolution (Glorious Revolution).

  • ⇒limited monarchy created, Bill of Rights (1688)- summon Parliament annually, sign all bills, respect traditional civil liberties.

  • ⇒news reaches New Englanders→April 18, 1689- Boston’s militia arrests Andros and councilors.

  • William and Mary dismantled Dominion of New England and restored power to elect governors to Connecticut and Rhode Island, but kept royal authority in MA. They let MA absorb Plymouth & Maine, but not NH. 1691- MA’s new charter said crown chooses governor, and property ownership, not church membership, is the criterion for voting. MA also had to tolerate other Protestants (esp. Anglicans, Baptists, and Quakers).

  • New York- Leisler’s Rebellion- May 31, 1689- inspired by Boston, the militia (mostly Dutch and other non-English artisans and shopkeepers) seized harbor’s main fort→Captain Jacob Leisler of militia took command, repaired defenses, called elections for an assembly→1691- Leisler denied English troops entry b/c thought they were loyal to James II→Leisler arrested, charged with treason in face of popular outrage, found guilty and sent to gallows with son-in-law, Jacob Milborne.

  • Maryland- news of Glorious Revolution heartened Protestant majority, long irritated under Catholic rule→to prevent more uprisings, Lord Baltimore sent a messenger in early 1689 to command Maryland’s obedience to W&M→messenger died→Maryland’s colonists in fear that Lord Baltimore (Catholic) was a traitor who supported James II.
    ⇒John Coode + 3 others organized the Protestant Association to secure Maryland for W&M→July 1689- seized capital, removed all Catholics from office, got a royal governor (1691), made Church of England the established religion (1692) →Catholics lost right to vote and could only worship in private.
    ⇒Maryland in royal hands until 1715, when fourth Lord Baltimore joined C of E and regained proprietorship.

  • ⇒Revolutions b/w 1688-1689 reestablished legislative government & ensured religious freedom for Protestants, colonial elites had control over local affairs→assemblies worked w/ royal and proprietary governors⇒foundation for empire based on voluntary allegiance.

A Generation of War, 1689-1713

  • King William’s War (War of the League of Augsburg) - started b/c England joined general European coalition against France’s Louis XIV (1689). 1690- Invasions of Montreal and Quebec by New Yorkers and New Englanders⇒both failed, became cruel, inconclusive border raids against civilians. Five Nations Iroquois Confederacy bore bloodiest fighting→War ends 1697→Five Nations staggered under invasions by pro-French Indians until 1700→Iroquois population declined 20% over 12 yrs.

  • By 1700, Confederacy divided into pro-English, pro-French, and neutralists→two separate treaties (Grand Settlement of 1701) →made peace with France and its Indian allies in exchange for access to western furs, exclude military cooperation from British alliance⇒skillful negotiations let Iroquois keep control of lands & rebuild population.

  • Queen Anne’s War (War of Spanish Succession)- 1702- Eng. Vs Fra & Spa→reinforced Americans’ awareness of their military weakness b/c French & Indian raiders destroyed several towns in MA & Maine, 1706- Spanish invaded Carolina, warships captured many English colonial vessels and landed looting parties along Atlantic coast. Colonial sieges of Quebec and St. Augustine expensive failures. English forces seized Hudson Bay region, Newfoundland, Acadia→kept gains in Treaty of Utrecht (1713), but French and Indians kept hold on continent’s interior.

  • ⇒Imperial wars made Americans recognize their own military weakness and their dependence on the newly formed United Kingdom of Great Britain. War reinforced loyalty to crown and identities as British.


  • Peace in 1713→Britain, France, and Spain concentrated on competing economically, not militarily→Britain and France tried to integrate American colonies into single imperial economies, while Spain tried, but was limited in ability to control developments north of Mexico.

Mercantilist Empires in America

  • Mercantilism- policies aimed at guaranteeing prosperity by making a nation as economically self-sufficient as possible by not depending of foreign suppliers, damaging foreign competitors’ commercial interests, and increasing its net stock of gold and silver by selling more abroad than buying.

  • Navigation Acts- 1651- required colonial trade on English or colonial vessels to get control of trade from Dutch merchants. 1660 and 1663 (post-Restoration)- colonial merchants only allowed to export sugar, tobacco, ect. to England, and not allowed to import from non-English ships→1672- machinery enforces rules.
    Molasses Act of 1733- taxed all foreign molasses entering mainland colonies.⇒intended to be a tariff to protect British West Indian sugar producers at expense of French rivals.

  • ⇒1)All imperial trade limited to British-owned ships w/ mostly British crew→contributed to Britain’s rise as Europe’s foremost shipping nation, and foundations of American shipbuilding industry and merchant marine. →northern colonial economy diversified, more commercial, urbanization hastened b/c of need of centralized docks, warehouses, repair shops.

  • ⇒2)Export of certain goods (tobacco, rice, furs, etc.) to foreign countries forbidden unless through Britain first→Parliament also reduced burdens on exporters by giving tobacco growers a monopoly in Britain, and minimizing the added cost of landing tobacco and rice in Britain by refunding customs duties when the products were later shipped to other countries.

  • ⇒3)Economic diversification encouraged- British tax revenues used to pay bounties to Americans producing silk, iron, dyes, etc. which Britain would otherwise had to import from foreign countries. →also put tariffs on commercial rivals’ imports. Trade laws also prohibited Americans from competing with large-scale British manufacturing of products like clothing, but they were free to make them in households or small shops. Colonists also free to produce iron.

  • ⇒4)Acts made colonies a protected market for low-priced consumer goods and other exports from Britain. Demand for colonial products→prosperity→white colonists consume larger amounts of clothing, dishware, tea, etc. produced in Britain. Shops and peddlers sprang up, selling items. Some traders went to natives to trade for fur. Mercantilism gave rise to consumer revolution in British America.

  • Cheap imported goods→middle-class colonists emulated lifestyles of British (e.g. making tea). Standard of Living high.

  • France- Colbert and successors had trouble implementing mercantilist policies. New France gradually developed agricultural self-sufficiency, exported some wheat, fish, timber. Main imports wine and brandy, main exports furs even if they weren’t very profitable, b/c they needed native military support for another war. Also had a sizable army in Canada, but Canada attracted little private investments. French Canadians enjoyed comfortable if modest standard of living, but lacked private investment, extensive commercial infrastructure, vast consumer market, and manufacturing capacity.

  • France’s greatest success in West Indies, where planters emulated English by importing many African slaves to produce sugar→success b/c planters defied mercantilist policies and made own molasses and sold it to British colonies. France tried to duplicate success in Louisiana, but was also unprofitable.

  • Spain- squandered wealth from conquistadors and early colonists, but recovered there and in Latin America, not North America, where colonists did little overseas commerce. Traders in Texas traded with Louisianans, Spaniards in Florida traded with English, French and the Indian allies of both. The North American colonies might not have survived if the local trade and trade of illegal goods didn’t flourish.

  • Britain, France, and Spain governed according to mercantilist principles, but in France and Spain, most wealth controlled by monarchy, nobility, or Catholic Church, and most private wealth was in the form of land. Britain was a mercantile-commercial economy, and a lot of the wealth was held by merchants who reinvested it in commercial and shipping enterprises, to enhance commerce→benefitted Britain and colonial entrepreneurs and consumers.

Immigration, Population Growth, and Diversity

  • Britain’s economic advantage reinforced b/c they had so much more people than the French or the Spanish.

  • Spanish and French didn’t really go to North American colonies, and nonslave immigration was limited to Roman Catholics, making French Huguenots go to the English colonies instead.

  • English colonies boasted good farmland, healthy economies, and a willingness to absorb members.

  • Military played large role in both French and Spanish colonies, and missionaries worked to enhance relations with natives.

  • Spain- immigrants mostly from Mexico and other Spanish colonies.

  • France- New France’s population growth mostly natural, not due to immigrants, and Louisiana’s population growth was due to the government sending people and exporting slaves there.

  • Britain- More natural growth, but also large immigration, especially slaves.

  • 1713-1754- many more slaves poured into mainland North America, mostly southern. Still more went to West India, Brazil, etc. Masters with less male slaves than wanted purchased women slaves and protected investments by maintaining the slaves’ health.

  • Numbers of creole (African-born) slaves grew→they spoke English, and were familiar with the environment→as more wealthier, longer-established planters developed more elaborate lifestyles, they had favored creoles do work such as shoeing horses, preparing and serving meals, taking care of the children, etc.

  • Rising employment and wages in England→less immigrants from there, but still immigrants from other places with economic hardship→population diversified. Most 18th century immigrants were poor indentured servants.

  • Many Irish, Scots-Irish, German newcomers.

  • Land most scarce & expensive in New England, New Jersey, and Lower New York→most immigrants went to Philadelphia→upper NY, western Maryland or Charles Town→Carolina Piedmont to raise grain, livestock, tobacco without slaves.

  • Many people also went to the Piedmont region.

  • Many English colonists didn’t like the immigration of “aliens” into their colonies.

Rural White Men and Women

  • True wealth was inherited, and success was gained only with hard work, if any at all.

  • Children of rural families didn’t inherit much land, had to work to save up for farming equipment→young husbands usually rented farms from richer landowners⇒high birth rate + shortage of productive land = more young men turned to the frontier, the port cities, or the high seas to make their livings, and many farmers with their own land did other jobs to earn more money. Families worked off their debts slowly. Women worked doing many things to earn money too.

  • Women very constrained, usually lost control of dowry when married. Widows controlled some land, and few owned and managed large estates.

Colonial Farmers and the Environment

  • 18th century colonists had to clear land before using, since not land cleared by natives→deforestation→forest animals driven away while attracting grass-eating animals, warmer summers, colder winters, heavier flooding, less fish, etc.

  • Deforestation and continued intense cultivation dried and hardened the soil, depleting it of vital nutrients⇒harvest goes down, especially tobacco→Chesapeake tobacco growers moved inland to hillier areas→contributed to increased soil erosion.

  • Shortage of land and resources→rich farmers turned to conservation and “scientific” farming, but most colonists didn’t b/c couldn’t afford it or believed that the land will still sustain them.

The Urban Paradox

  • Colonial prosperity→economic success elusive for people in Philadelphia, New York, and especially Boston→many poor people went there from Europe and the colonial countryside→high population density & poor sanitation→many contagious diseases.

  • Recessions more frequent after 1720→more unemployment→more difficult to afford rents, food and firewood.

  • ⇒poverty becomes a major problem, many people need public assistance to survive.

  • Wealth highly concentrated→polarization of status and wealth.

  • Southern cities- most little more than large towns, except for Charles Town. South Carolina’s capital offered gracious living to wealthy planters, and the poor were sheltered. The colony encouraged white immigration, but most immigrants couldn’t find work except as badly paid temporary laborers. Like in the northern ports, Charles Town’s poor whites competed for work with urban slaves.

  • Middle-class women in cities and large towns had somewhat less manual drudgery than in the country, but still managed complex households. Many had household servants to help with cooking, cleaning, laundering, which require more attention than in the country because of the higher urban standards of cleanliness and appearance.

  • Poor wives and widows had fewest opportunities, and poor widows with children looked to the community for relief.

Slavery’s Wages

  • Slaves treated very badly, far worse than how white indentured servants were treated. They were expected to mostly take care of themselves, and they mostly toiled in the farms until they died.

  • Africans and creoles were resourceful at maximizing opportunities in this harsh, confining system, demanding gifts and tips.

  • In the South Carolina and Georgia rice country, slaves working under the task system (caring for a quarter-acre each day) were able to control about half of their waking hours, letting a few slaves keep hogs and sell surplus vegetables on their own.

  • In Chesapeake, the gang system used on tobacco plantations offered slaves less free time.

  • Black majority in Carolina→whites increasingly used force and fear to “control” them with dress codes, curfews, patrols→slaves responded with increased arson, theft, flight, and violence.

  • Stono Rebellion- South Carolina, 1739- blacks got guns and headed south towards Spanish Florida, burning plantations and killing whites along the way→militia surrounded slaves, cut them down. Other uprisings took longer to suppress.

  • ⇒new slave code kept South Carolina slaves under constant surveillance, threatened masters with fines for not disciplining slaves, legislative approval for manumission (freeing of slaves)⇒reinforced South Carolina’s racism and rigid, fear-ridden society.

  • Southern urban slave owners rented out labor of slaves, some as artisans. Some earned an income of their own. Slaves in northern cities often unskilled.

  • City afforded slaves greater freedom, but when rebellious, many were hanged, tortured, sold, etc.→still racial restrictions.

The Rise of Colonial Elites

  • British America’s upper class, or gentry, mostly inherited advantages, but added to them by producing plantation crops, buying/selling goods or carrying them on ships, or being lawyers.

  • Gentleman- expected to behave with degree of responsibility, display dignity and generosity, and to be a community leader. His wife, a “lady”, was to be a skillful household manager and a refined yet good hostess.

  • Before 1700, class structure not apparent b/c elites used resources buying land, servants, and slaves instead of luxuries.

  • British mercantilist trade flourishes→higher incomes→elites display wealth more openly, such as in houses. Elite also imitate “refinement” of upper-class Europeans→colonists’ growing tastes for British fashions and consumer goods.


  • Europeans competed in expanding their territorial claims, intensifying both trade and warfare with natives.

France and Native Americans

  • Louisiana was France’s focus of imperialism→strongest allies Choctaws, divided between pro-English and pro-French.

  • Life dismal in Louisiana, corrupt govt. and sluggish export economy→people hunted, fished, and gathered wild plants, cultivated gardens.

  • Louisiana depended on trade with natives in order to “stay out of difficulties”

  • Upper Louisiana (Illinois) better off, main export wheat→like Pennsylvania, but remote→exports limited, attracted few whites→depended on France’s native allies to defend them from native enemies.

  • Expanded trade activities hoping to secure commercial and diplomatic ties with natives in Ohio Valley, to counter British influence there→French posts grew into sizable villages housing Indians, French, and mixed-ancestry metis, but English had better goods at lower prices, and most Indians were independent.

  • Fought the Carolina-supported Chickasaws, the Mesquakie (Fod), and the Natchez Indians, enslaved many natives captured in wars and used them for labor.

  • Trade with French and British→Indians such as the Lakota Sioux and Comanches adopted new ways of life, such as the horse and gun.

Native Americans and British Expansion

  • Conflict in Carolina- Tuscatora Indians vs British→most Tuscatora killed or enslaved, surrendered. Carolina’s Indian allies, esp. the Yamasees, resented growing number of abuses (cheating, violence, and enslavement) and land encroachments by English→Yamasees led attacks by Catawbas, Creeks, etc. against English→lost→Catawbas also vulnerable→escaped, but faced conflict with Iroquois→turned back to South Carolina, ceded land and helped defend for guns, food, clothing→relationships w/ English strengthened them, but limited their autonomy.

  • North- Iroquois Confederacy supported English expansion and consolidated power among natives→late 17th century- Iroquois and other colonies made series of treaties called Covenant Chain- Confederacy helped colonies Indians in lands English wanted. →at same time, est. buffers against potential English expansion in own lands.

  • ⇛Pennsylvania joins in 1737→1729-1734- made Delaware sell much of land→then colony’s leaders produced a fraud treaty from 1686 that said Delawares agreed to sell land as much as a man can walk in a day and a half→1737- Walking Purchase- more land sold to Penn., Delaware forced to move under Iroquois supervision→proprietors sold lands to settlers and speculators at large profit.

British Expansion in the South: Georgia

  • 1732- Parliament authorizes Georgia after buying land from Creek Indians, meant to be a refuge for honest debtors→directly funded by British government.

  • James Oglethorpe (tough-minded idealist) dominated provincial board of trustees first 10 yrs→1733- founded Savannah, port of entry→by 1749, some colonists, many from Germany, Switzerland, and Scotland, who got trip paid for by govt., came.

  • Oglethorpe hated slavery, thought it degraded blacks, made whites lazy, presented a terrible risk (slave revolts which the Spanish can exploit), and undermined economic position of poor whites⇛Georgia the only colony where slavery was outlawed. Also landholding no larger than 500 acres so that rural Georgia would mostly be populated by white, independent farmer-soldiers who would defend the colony and would not do real estate or build slave-labor plantations.

  • ⇛Oglethorpe’s plans failed completely b/c few debtors arrived b/c Parliament set extremely harsh conditions for release from prison, and immigration discouraged by limitations on settler’s rights to sell or enlarge holdings, ban on slavery. Raising rice, not exotic export crops, which was profitable, but it required capital and many cheap laborers→Oglethorpe struggled for a decade, gave up→1750- trustees legalized slavery and lifted restrictions on landholdings→Georgia boomed.

Spain’s Tenacity

  • Spain spread language and culture, especially to the Southwest.

  • To repopulate New Mexico after Pueblo Revolt, awarded grants of land when families founded a town→soldiers made strong fortifications against Indian attacks, mainly from Apaches→settlers lived like in New England.

  • Livestock-raising ranchos monopolized cast tracks along Rio Grande, blocking further town settlement→cowboy culture.

  • By 1750, New Mexico’s population more than half Pueblo, who cooperated with the Spanish, many converting to Catholicism while practicing their traditional religion→experienced Apache raids, looking for livestock, European goods, and captives.

  • Spain established Texas to counter French influence among Comanches and other natives in Southern plains→1716~ Spaniards est. several outposts on San Antonio and Guadalupe Rivers, most prominent being San Antonio de Bexar→Indians preferred trading with French to farming Christianity, and ineffective protection of Spanish. Lack of security→also less Hispanic settlement.

  • Florida- also precarious. 1715~ neutrality of Creeks let Spanish compete w. English and French in southeastern deerskin trade (limited effectiveness), and sponsor Indian counterraids into Carolina, offering freedom to any English slave who escaped and came to Florida. Few colonists→hard to counter chief imperial rival in region, English. Spanish saw founding of Georgia as a threat to Florida, but fought them to a bloody draw when Spain and England went to war (next section).

  • ~1750- Spain controlled much of Southeast & Southwest, France influenced Mississippi, Ohio, and Missouri River valleys, around Great Lakes, and in Canada⇛both empires spread thin and depended on natives. British colonies were compact, wealthy, densely populated by non-Indians, and aggressively expansionist.

The Return of War, 1739-1748

  • After a generation of peace after 1713, 1739- British launch war against Spain (War of Jenkin’s Ear)→1740- James Oglethorpe (Georgia) led massive British assault on Florida→failed to seize St. Augustine, but repelled Spanish troops & refugee South Carolina slaves, who counterattacked Georgia in 1742. Meanwhile, British assault on Cartagena (now Colombia)→more than half died due to Spain’ resistance and yellow fever.

  • Anglo-Spanish war merged with War of the Austrian Succession (King George’s War) (1740-1748), which followed pattern of earlier imperial conflicts, with few men and most being attacks and counterattacks on civilians in Northeast, many civilians killed, others captured. Most captives New Englanders seized by French and Indians from isolated town→prisoners exchanged @ end of war, but some (esp. women and children)chose to remain w/ French or Indians.

  • ⇛1745- New Englanders under William Pepperell of Maine besieged and after intense fighting, captured French fortress of Louisbourg, which guarded entrance to the St. Lawrence River→after 3 years of inconclusive warfare, Britain signed Treaty of Ais-la-Chapelle (1748), exchanging Louisbourg for a British outpost in India that the French seized⇛colonists annoyed that sacrifices were for nothing.

A PLACE IN TIME: Mose, Florida, 1740

  • Slaves escaped from Carolina, fled to Florida to get paying jobs→numbers especially rise during the Yamasee War (1715-1716), when the English were nearly crushed by massive uprising of Indians.

  • 1726- former South Carolina slave Francisco Menendez appointed to lead black militia unit to defend against English→Spanish built fortified village, Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose (Mose) for them→own community for former slaves.

  • 1740- Georgia men invade Florida→Mose captured after residents evacuated→Menendez’s militia ad other troops recaptured the town a month later in a fierce battle (Bloody Mose), which helped Oglethorpe decide to withdraw→Spanish refused to rebuild→residents moved to St. Augustine→1752- new governor had Mose rebuilt and ordered blacks to return, but blacks wanted to live in complete liberty, Mose seemed like second-class citizenship.

  • 1763- Spain cedes Florida to Britain in Treaty of Paris, Mose evacuated→1783- Florida returned to Spain in another Treaty of Paris→1784- new Florida governor resumed policy of granting freedom to escaped slaves→many slaves responded, but Spain got more careful now→1760- Thomas Jefferson (US Secretary of State) persuaded Spanish to stop granting freedom to slaves→1819- US annexes Florida→1845- Florida joins Union as a slave state.


  • Early and middle 18th century- ideas of the Enlightenment, etc. come, reinforcing ties with Britain, and involving many more colonists in politics, intellectual discussion, and in new religious movements.

Colonial Politics

  • In most places, the assembly was the only political body subject to control by colonists instead of English officials.

  • Colonial leaders wanted their legislatures to have the same right as the Parliament→governor had considerable power, but vulnerable to legislatures’ financial pressure→governors sometimes forced to sign laws opposed by the crown.

  • The Board of Trade, est. 1696 to monitor American developments, rarely exercised power→allowed colonies to become self-governing in most respects.

  • Elite planters, merchants, and attorneys who monopolized colonial wealth also dominated politics. People of the lesser gentry commonly served as justices of the peace.

  • Few people could afford to have elected positions→a few wealthy families in each colony dominated the highest political offices.

  • Although women and nonwhites couldn’t vote, most white males were able to vote at some point, more than in Britain.

  • In rural areas, voter participation was low, and after a while, most rural elections became uncontested.

  • Many rural voters didn’t really care about politics at the colony level→e.g. many smaller MA towns refused to elect assemblymen to b/c they didn’t want to pay for the legislators’ expenses⇒rural elections slowly emerged as community events.

  • Competitive political life developed in northern ports, where wealthy colonists aligned themselves with/against royal and proprietary governors→some factions actively courted non-elite voters and scandalized rival elites.

  • NY was site of bitterest factional conflicts⇒e.g. in 1733, Gov. William Cosby suspended Lewis Morris (rival) from chief justice→Morris’ faction est. the New-York Weekly Journal to gain popular support→1734- Governor’s supporters had Journal’s printer, John Peter Zenger, arrested (trial→acquitted 1735).

  • ⇒Encouraged broadening of political discussion and participation beyond a small circle of elites. Also, seized on growing colonial practice of letting attorneys to speak to juries of behalf of defendants. Empowered non-elites as voters, readers, and jurors, encouraging their participation in NY’s public life.

The Enlightenment

The Great Awakening

  • Many Americans lacked comfortable competency of goods or predictable lives→for example, 1737 and 1738 epidemic of diphtheria→turned colonists’ thoughts to religion.

  • The Great Awakening- 1739- outpouring of European Protestant revivalism spread to British North America→represented an unleashing of anxiety about sin and longing among ordinary people for assurances of salvation→emotional speeches by charismatic ministers.

  • Congregationalist Jonathan Edwards led revival at Northampton, MA in 1735- “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God”.

  • 1739- Arrival of George Whitefield- overpowering, inspired thousands to seek salvation, numbers joining churches jumped. Benjamin Franklin at first vowed to not contribute, but Whitefield concluded his sermon so greatly that Franklin emptied his pockets.

  • Divisions over revivals developed, made worse by social and economic tensions→lines between the revivalists (New Lights) and the rationalist clergy (Old Lights), accused each other for misleading the public⇒New Lights finally won control of Connecticut’s assembly in 1759.

  • The Great Awakening marked a decline in the influence of Quakers, Anglicans, and Congregationalists→contributed to the weakening of officially established religious groups→the number of Presbyterians and Baptists increased. Also stimulated the founding of new colleges b/c both New and Old Lights wanted institutions free of each other’s influence.

  • Revivals also spread beyond ranks of white society, due to emphasis on piety over intellectual learning→let some Africans and natives to combine aspects of traditional cultures with Christianity.

  • The Great Awakening also added to white women’s religious prominence→some New light churches granted women the right to speak and vote in church meetings.

  • Revivals also had the unintended effect of blurring differences among Protestants.

  • By empowering ordinary people to assert and act openly on beliefs that countered those in authority, the revivals laid some foundation for political revolutions a generation later.

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