After you have studied Chapter 2 in your textbook and worked through this study guide chapter, you should be able to:
1. Discuss the characteristics of the permanent settlements established by Spain, France, and Holland on the North American mainland in the early seventeenth century.
2. Examine the seventeenth-century colonization efforts of France, Holland, and England in the Caribbean, and discuss the importance of sugar cane in those efforts.
3. Discuss the factors present in seventeenth-century England that led to colonization of the New World, and explain the goals and motives behind English colonization of the Chesapeake and New England areas.
4. Examine the relationship between the English settlers and American Indians of the Chesapeake and New England areas during the seventeenth century.
5. Assess the impact of the environment, tobacco, the headright system, and indentured servitude on the economic, social, political, and cultural development of the Chesapeake colonies.
6. Describe the beliefs of Congregationalist Puritans, and explain the impact of those beliefs on the economic, social, political, and cultural development of the New England colonies.
7. Discuss the similarities and differences in the lifestyles and in the patterns of family life of New England colonists, Chesapeake colonists, and New England Indians.
The theme of interaction among peoples of different cultures and between people and their environment begun in Chapter 1 continues in Chapter 2. In “New Spain, New France, and New Netherland,” we discuss the colonizing efforts of France and Holland in North America, the characteristics of the settlements they established, and the interactions between the settlers and Native Americans and between the settlers and their environment. In the next section (“The Caribbean”), the focus shifts to French, Dutch, and English efforts to gain control of the Lesser Antilles and the importance of sugar cane in those endeavors.
The third section, “English Interest in Colonization,” takes us from the general discussion of European colonization to the more particular case of England. A discussion of social, religious, economic, and political changes in seventeenth-century English society, changes that prompted masses of English citizens to move to North America in the seventeenth century, sets the stage for an explanation in section four of the means, motives, and problems associated with the Jamestown settlement. We then return to the important theme of interaction—in this case the interaction between the Jamestown settlers and the Powhatan Confederacy. Here we see the development of the idea that the differences between these two cultures became the focal point of their interaction, with the economic evolution of Virginia and the subsequent spread of the tobacco culture finally leading to open warfare.
The next section, “Life in the Chesapeake,” is a more complete discussion of the development of Chesapeake society politically, socially, and economically. Important elements are the headright system, the emergence of representative assemblies, the practice of indentured servitude, and patterns of family life. These elements interacted to produce a distinctive Chesapeake-area lifestyle.
The last two sections of the chapter, “The Founding of New England” and “Life in New England,” do essentially the same thing for the New England area. Because the motives for settlement were mainly religious, the religious beliefs of the New England settlers are discussed. Examination of the impact of the interaction between settlers and Native Americans of the New England area is intertwined with a discussion of the political, social, and economic evolution of New England society. Finally, contrasts are offered between the lifestyle emerging in New England and the lifestyles of (1) the New England Indians and (2) the Chesapeake settlers.
Listed below are important words and terms that you need to know to get the most out of Chapter 2. They are listed in the order in which they occur in the chapter. After carefully looking through the list, refer to a dictionary and jot down the definition of words that you do not know or of which you are unsure.
Identification and Significance
After studying Chapter 2 of A People and a Nation, you should be able to identify fully and explain the historical significance of each item listed below.
1. Identify each item in the space provided. Give an explanation or description of the item. Answer the questions who, what, where, and when.
2. Explain the historical significance of each item in the space provided. Establish the historical context in which the item exists. Establish the item as the result of or as the cause of other factors existing in the society under study. Answer this question: What were the political, social, economic, and or cultural consequences of this item?
Use the chart below to compare the cultural characteristics of one group, the Algonkians, to the two colonial societies it confronted along the eastern seaboard. The information in the Organizing Information section of Chapter 1 may be useful to you in completing this exercise.
Seventeenth-Century Algonkian Culture
Seventeenth-Century New England Culture
In this exercise, you will be dealing with pieces of information from Chapter 2 of your textbook, analyzing and organizing that information, creating a potential essay question based on that information, and writing a draft essay to answer the essay question.
Each of the following citations comes from Chapter 2 of the textbook. In the space followingeach citation, write down the information contained in the citation in your own words. Be concise: you are taking notes, not copying. (The blank space preceding each citation will be used later.)
“With the hope of attracting settlers, the colony’s [New France’s] leaders gave land grants along the [St. Lawrence] river to wealthy seigneurs (nobles), who then imported tenants to work their farms. Even so, more than twenty-five years after Quebec’s founding, it had just sixty-four resident families, along with traders and soldiers.”
“One other important group composed part of the population of New France: missionaries of the Society of Jesus (Jesuits), a Roman Catholic order dedicated to converting nonbelievers to Christianity. [They first arrived] in the colony in 1625.”
“The Jesuits, whom the Native Americans called Black Robes, initially tried to persuade indigenous peoples to live near French settlements and to adopt European agricultural methods as well as the Europeans’ religion. When that effort failed, the Black Robes learned Indian languages and traveled to remote regions of the interior, where they lived in twos and threes among hundreds of potential converts.”
“Using a variety of strategies Jesuits sought to undermine the authority of village shamans (the traditional religious leaders) and to gain the confidence of leaders who could influence others. Trained in rhetoric, they won admirers by their eloquence. Immune to smallpox (for all had survived the disease already), they explained epidemics among the Native Americans as God’s punishment for sin. Their arguments were aided by the ineffectiveness of the shamans’ traditional remedies against the new pestilence. Drawing on European science, the Jesuits predicted solar and lunar eclipses. Perhaps most important, they amazed the villagers by communicating with each other over long distances and periods of time by employing marks on paper. The Indians’ desire to learn how to harness the extraordinary power of literacy was one of the most critical factors in making them receptive to the missionaries’ spiritual message.”
“The Dutch sought beaver pelts. Because the Dutch were interested primarily in trade rather than colonization, New Netherland remained small. The colony’s southern anchor was New Amsterdam, a town founded in 1624 on Manhattan Island.”
“Because Puritans were challenging many of the most important precepts of the English church, the monarchs authorized the removal of Puritan clergymen from their pulpits. In the 1620s and 1630s a number of English Puritans decided to move to America, where they hoped to put their religious beliefs into practice unmolested by the Stuarts or the church hierarchy.”
“The English colonists kidnapped Powhatan’s daughter, Pocahontas, holding her as a hostage in retaliation for Powhatan’s seizure of several settlers. In captivity, she agreed in 1614 to marry a colonist, John Rolfe.”
“English and Algonkian peoples had much in common: deep religious beliefs, a lifestyle oriented around agriculture, clear political and social hierarchies, and sharply defined gender roles.”
“Above all, the English settlers believed unwaveringly in the superiority of their civilization.”
“Opechancanough, Powhatan’s brother and successor, watched the English colonists steadily encroaching on the confederacy’s lands and attempting to convert its members to Christianity. Recognizing the danger, the war leader launched coordinated attacks all along the river on March 22, 1622. By the end of the day, 347 colonists (about one-quarter of the total) lay dead.”
“Maryland [was] given by Charles I to the George Calvert, first Lord Baltimore, as a personal possession (proprietorship).…The Calvert family intended the colony to serve as a haven for their fellow Roman Catholics, then being persecuted in England. Cecilius Calvert, second Lord Baltimore, became the first colonizer to offer freedom of religion to all Christian settlers; he understood that protecting the Protestant majority was the only way to ensure Catholics’ rights.”
“The New England Indians accommodated themselves to the spread of European settlement. They traded with the newcomers and sometimes worked with them, but for the most part they resisted acculturation or incorporation into English society.”
“Although the official seal of the Massachusetts Bay colony showed an Indian crying, ‘Come over and help us,’ most colonists showed little interest in converting the New England Algonkians to Christianity. Only a few Massachusetts clerics, most notably John Eliot, seriously undertook missionary activities. Eliot insisted that converts reside in towns, farm the land in English fashion, assume English names, wear European-style clothing and shoes, cut their hair, and stop observing a wide range of their own customs.… He understandably met with little success. At the peak of Eliot’s efforts, only eleven hundred Indians lived in the fourteen ‘Praying Towns’ he established.. . .”
“The Jesuits’ successful missions in New France contrasted sharply with the Puritans’ failure to win many converts.… Catholicism had several advantages over Puritanism.… The Catholic Church employed beautiful ceremonies, instructed converts that through good works they could help to earn their own salvation, and offered Indian women an inspiring role model—the Virgin Mary.…[P]erhaps most important, the Jesuits understood that Christian beliefs could be compatible with Native American culture. Unlike Puritans, Jesuits accepted converts who did not wholly adopt European styles of life.”
“Puritans objected to secular interference in religious affairs but at the same time expected the church to influence the conduct of politics and the affairs of society. They also believed that the state was obliged to support and protect the one true church—theirs. As a result, although they came to America seeking freedom to worship as they pleased, they saw no contradiction in their refusal to grant that freedom to others.”
“Roger Williams, a Separatist who immigrated to Massachusetts Bay in 1631 quickly ran afoul of… Puritan orthodoxy. He told his fellow settlers that the king of England had no right to grant them land already occupied by Indians, that church and state should be kept entirely separate, and that Puritans should not impose their religious beliefs on others. [Banished from Massachusetts], Williams founded the town of Providence.… [Because of Williams’ beliefs], Providence and other towns in what became Rhode Island adopted a policy of tolerating all religions, including Judaism.”
“Europeans killed Indians with their weapons and diseases and had but limited success in converting them to European religions.”
Scan your notes and name the topic that you think covers most or all of the evidence from your textbook on which you have just been focusing. What is the subject of all that evidence?
Topic: Does this topic sound like the basis for the kind of essay question your instructor might ask on your next text?
In the short blanks preceding the citations found in Step 1, give all closely related pieces of information the same letter designation (A, B, C, D, etc.). When you finish, each citation that contributes to an understanding of the topic you named in Step 2 should have one of three or four possible letter designations. Once this is done, you will have produced three or four groups of very closely related bits of information (Groups A, B, C, and possibly D).
Look over all the items you have put into Group A. Then, in the space under Group A, write one declarative sentence stating the significance of all the items in Group A. Do the same thing for each of the other groups (Group B, Group C, and, if you have a D group, Group D as well).
What larger idea do your sentences all add up to? Write a single declarative sentence expressing one point suggested by the combination of all three (or four) of your sentences.
Look at the topic you named in Step 2 and the statement you just wrote for Step 5. Compose an essay examination-type question for which the statement in Step 5 is the one-sentence answer. Write that question in the space below.
The statement you came up with in Step 5 should be a good thesis statement for a response to the essay question you just created.
Write a draft essay answering the question in Step 6 above. You may include in your essay bits of information from the chapter and/or from your class notes in addition to the information in the notes you just took.
Begin with a one-sentence paragraph consisting of your statement of the significance of all the evidence collected (Step 5). This is your essay’s introduction or thesis paragraph.
Using the information you collected in Step 1, organize that information into three or four paragraphs that support your one-sentence answer (thesis statement). Each paragraph should focus on one of the groups of information you created in Step 3 and begin with the appropriate statement of the significance of that paragraph’s collection of evidence. These three or four paragraphs are the body of your essay.
Finish by writing a one- or two-sentence statement (a short paragraph) on what you have found out as a result of looking at and weighing the evidence that appears in the body of your essay. This paragraph is your essay’s conclusion.
Ideas and Details
1. North American Indians were receptive to the religious message of Jesuit missionaries in New France because
a. the Indians wanted the powers of communication that accompanied literacy.
b. the Jesuits allowed the village shamans to retain their role and power.
c. the traditional religious beliefs of the Indians closely matched Catholic beliefs.
d. the Indians became convinced that European culture was superior to their own.
2. Which of the following is true of the Iroquois-Huron War?
a. The Iroquois caused a smallpox epidemic among the Hurons by intentionally infecting the tribe with the deadly disease.
b. The Iroquois were so decisively defeated that they never again posed a serious threat to European settlers in North America.
c. Using guns obtained from their Dutch allies, the Iroquois practically exterminated the Hurons.
d. The war ended when European mediators arranged an equitable division of the hunting territories claimed by the two tribes.
3. France, Holland, and England were interested in the Lesser Antilles for which of the following reasons?
a. They wanted to use these barren islands as penal colonies.
b. The religious leaders in each nation insisted that missionaries convert the West Indian natives to Christianity.
c. The islands served as important refueling stations on the way to the North American mainland.
d. They could profit from the successful cultivation of sugar cane on these islands.
4. Large numbers of English citizens left their homeland in the seventeenth century because of
a. religious differences between king and subjects.
b. loss of economic power by the landowning elite.
c. continued outbreaks of the Black Plague in England and throughout Europe.
d. constant warfare between England and Holland.
5. The Algonkians and the English differed in which of the following ways?
a. The agricultural orientation of Algonkian society stood in contrast to the merchant-oriented lifestyle of English society.
b. English society had definite political hierarchies; Algonkian society was not hierarchical either politically or socially.
c. The English had deeply held religious beliefs; the Algonkians had none.
d. The English believed in private ownership of land; the Algonkians believed the land was held communally by the entire group.
6. Which of the following was, in part, a consequence of the headright system?
a. Large agricultural enterprises in Virginia
b. Political stability in the Chesapeake colonies of Virginia and Maryland
c. The introduction of tobacco as a cash crop in the colony of Virginia
d. Economic success for the Virginia Company and its stockholders
7. Which statement best characterizes the indentured servants who migrated to the Chesapeake in the seventeenth century?
a. They were usually well established in England but believed there was more opportunity in America.
b. They were usually from the dregs of English society.
c. They were usually males between the ages of fifteen and twenty-four.
d. They were usually married individuals who came with their families.
8. Which of the following was a characteristic of political life in Virginia and Maryland in the seventeenth century?
a. The assemblies in both colonies were controlled by landless peasants.
b. The London government attempted to rule the Chesapeake colonies in an autocratic manner.
c. The assemblies in both colonies were dominated by immigrants who often engaged in struggles for power.
d. The constant threat of slave insurrections in the colonies created a climate of fear that bred political chaos.
Objectives 4 and 7
9. The Jamestown and Plymouth settlements were alike in which of the following ways?
a. Both had representative assemblies at the time they were founded.
b. Both settlements survived because of aid from their Indian neighbors.
c. Both settlements were founded for religious purposes.
d. Both settlements were located in areas under the jurisdiction of the Virginia Company.
10. John Winthrop’s vision for the colony of Massachusetts included the
a. building of a society in which religious liberty was extended to all people.
b. establishment of a society in which all adults over age twenty-one had the right to vote.
c. establishment of a commonwealth in which the good of the whole community was put ahead of the private concerns of individuals.
d. building of a classless society in which wealth was equally distributed.
Objectives 6 and 7
11. Why did settlements in Massachusetts Bay initially tend to be compact rather than scattered?
a. A group of men received a grant of land on which to establish a town; then each family that settled in the town was awarded land located around the town center.
b. The English monarch insisted on maintaining tight control over Massachusetts and decreed that the settlements be compact.
c. Individual settlers could receive only one fifteen-acre headright.
d. Most of the people who settled the Massachusetts Bay colony were merchants rather than farmers.
Objectives 4 and 6
12. John Eliot met with little success in converting the New England Indians to Christianity because he
a. allowed the Indians to blend their own religious ideas with Puritan religious ideas.
b. insisted that converts reject traditional Indian culture and live like Europeans.
c. preached his ideas only to Indian women.
d. insisted that the Indians had to adhere strictly to the elaborate rituals of the Puritan church.
Objectives 1, 4, and 6
13. Jesuit missionaries in New France were more successful than Puritan missionaries in New England in converting Indians to Christianity for which of the following reasons?
a. The Jesuits emphasized the simplicity of the worship experience; the Puritans employed elaborate rituals.
b. The covenant of grace taught by the Jesuits was closer to Indians’ religious beliefs than was the covenant of works taught by the Puritans.
d. The large French settlements convinced the Indians of the superiority of the Christian God; the small Puritan settlements made little impression.
Objectives 5, 6, and 7
14. New Englanders were unlike residents of the Chesapeake in which of the following ways?
a. The children of New England parents were generally more independent at an earlier age.
b. New Englanders cleared new fields yearly rather than use the same fields again and again.
c. New Englanders had smaller families.
d. Migrants to New England usually came as part of family groups.
15. “You have stept out of your place, you have rather bine a Husband than a Wife and a preacher than a Hearer; and a Magistrate than a Subject.” This quote is used to support the idea that the Puritan authorities
a. allowed divorce when it could be proved that the wife had not been submissive to her husband.
b. saw Anne Hutchinson as a threat because she challenged traditional gender roles.
c. believed Anne Hutchinson to be a threat because she owned her own business.
d. believed Anne Hutchinson to be a valuable asset to the community.
Objectives 1 and 4
1. Contrast French and Spanish attempts to convert Native Americans to Christianity with similar attempts by the Puritans. Why did the Catholics succeed while the Protestants failed?
2. Discuss the importance of sugar cane in the colonization and development of the Lesser Antilles.
3. Discuss the factors that led the English to successfully colonize North America in the seventeenth century.
4. Describe the impact of the Chesapeake’s disease and demographic environment on the colonies of Maryland and Virginia.
5. Examine the headright system and discuss its impact on the social, economic, and political evolution of the Chesapeake colonies.
6. Examine the role of Puritan theology in the political, social, and economic evolution of Massachusetts Bay society.