Chapter 4 The Colonies Grow 1607-1770

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English Colonial Rule

In his writings, Benjamin Franklin celebrated a new American spirit. I is spirit signaled that Americans were beginning to view themselves differently from the way Great Britain viewed them.

Trouble was brewing in England—and in the colonies—during the id-1600s. England's monarchy had been restored with Charles II on the throne; but many people were not satisfied with his rule. James II, Charles's successor,


attempted to take back the powers Parliament had won during the English Civil War. He also tried to tighten royal control over the colonies.

In 1688 Parliament took action. It forced out James and placed his daughter Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange, on the throne. This change, which showed the power of the elected representatives over the monarch, came to be known as the Glorious Revolution.

William and Mary signed an English Bill of Rights in 1689 guaranteeing certain basic rights to all citizens. This document became part of the heritage of English law that the American colonists shared. It later inspired the people who created the American Bill of Rights.

England viewed its North American colonies as an economic resource. The colonies provided England with raw materials. English manufacturers used these materials to produce finished goods, which they sold to the colonists. This process followed an economic theory called mercantilism. This theory states that as a nation's trade grows, its gold reserves increase, and the nation becomes more powerful. To make money from its trade, England had to export, or sell abroad, more goods than it imported or bought from foreign markets.

To make certain that only England benefited from trade with the colonies, Parliament passed a series of laws between 1651 and 1673. These laws, called the Navigation Acts, directed the flow of goods between England and the colonies. Colonial merchants who had goods to send to England could not use foreign ships—even if those ships offered cheaper rates. The Navigation Acts also prevented the colonists from sending certain products, such as sugar or tobacco, outside England's empire.

Some colonists ignored these laws and began smuggling or trading illegally with other nations. Controls on trade would later cause even more conflict between the American colonies and England.

Reading Check Examining Under mercantilism, who controlled trade and who supplied raw materials?

People in History

Ben Franklin 1706-1790

Ben Franklin learned the printer's trade as a young man. By the time he was 23, he owned his own newspaper in Philadelphia. Soon after­ward he began publish­ing Poor Richard's Almanack, a calendar filled with advice, phi­losophy, and wise say­ings, such as "Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

Franklin was deeply interested in science. He invented the lightning rod, bifocal eyeglasses, and the Franklin stove for heating. Energetic and open-minded, Franklin served in the Pennsylva­nia Assembly for many years. He founded a hos­pital, a fire department,

America's first lending library, and an academy of higher learning that later became the Univer­sity of Pennsylvania.

Franklin's greatest services to his fellow Americans would come during the 1770s. As a statesman and patriot, Franklin would help guide the colonies toward independence.


Why It Matters

The Great Awakening

The Great Awakening is the name for the powerful religious revival that swept over the colonies beginning in the 1720s. Christian ministers such as George Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards preached throughout the colonies, drawing huge crowds. The Great Awakening had a lasting effect on the way in which the colonists viewed themselves, their relationships with one another, and their faith.

Causes and Effects of the Great Awakening


• Jonathan Edwards, George Whitefield, and others preach of the need for a revival of religious belief.

• Awareness of the importance of religion in people's lives grows.

• A religious revival sweeps through America in the mid-1700s.


• New religious groups such as the Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians take root.

• Emphasis on education grows.

• Belief grows that all people are equal before God.

• Makes Americans more willing to challenge authority prior to the American Revolution.

---The Great Awakening stimulated the growth of educational institu­tions in the New England Colonies.

---The impact of the Great Awakening was first felt in the Middle Colonies.

---By the 1740s the Great Awakening had grown strong in the Southern Colonies through the influence of traveling preachers such as Samuel Davies and George Whitefield.


Colonial Government

The English colonists brought with them ideas about government that had been develop­ing in England for centuries. By the 1600s the English people had won political liberties, such as trial by jury, that were largely unknown else­where. At the heart of the English system were two principles of government. These princi­ples—limited government and representative government—greatly influenced the develop­ment of the United States.

By the time the first colonists reached North America, the idea that government was not all-powerful had become an accepted part of the English system of government. The idea first appeared in the Magna Carta that King John was forced to sign in 1215. The Magna Carta established the principle of limited government, in which the power of the king, or government, was limited. This document provided for protection against unjust punishment and against the loss of life, liberty, and property, except according to law. (See page 611 of the Appendix for excerpts from the Magna Carta.)

As the colonies grew, they relied more a more on their own governments to make lo 1 laws. By the 1760s there were three types f colonies in America—charter colonies, proprietary colonies, and royal colonies.

Charter Colonies

Connecticut and Rhode Island, the charter colonies, were established by settlers who had been given a charter, or a grant of rights and privileges. These colonists elected their own governors and the members of the legislature. Great Britain had the right to approve the gov­ernor, but the governor could not veto the act of the legislature.


Proprietary Colonies

The proprietary colonies—Delaware, Mary­land, and Pennsylvania—were ruled by propri­etors. These were individuals or groups to whom Britain had granted land. Proprietors were generally free to rule as they wished. They appointed the governor and members of the upper house of the legislature, while the colonists elected the lower house.

Royal Colonies

By the 1760s Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Car­olina, South Carolina, and Virginia were royal colonies. Britain directly ruled all royal colonies. In each, the king appointed a governor and coun­cil, known as the upper house. The colonists elected an assembly, called the lower house. The governor and members of the council usually did what the British leaders told them to do. How­ever, this often led to conflict with the colonists in the assembly, especially when officials tried to enforce tax laws and trade restrictions.

Voting Rights

Colonial legislatures gave only some people a voice in government. Generally, white men who owned property had the right to vote; however, most women, indentured servants, landless poor, and African Americans could not vote. In spite of these limits, a higher proportion of people was involved in government in the colonies than any­where in the European world. This strong partic­ipation gave Americans training that was valuable when the colonies became independent.

Reading Check Drawing Inferences How did the Magna Carta affect government in the colonies?


An Emerging Culture

From the 1720s through the 1740s, a religious revival called the Great Awakening swept through the colonies. In New England and the Middle Colonies, ministers called for "a new birth," a return to the strong faith of earlier days. One of the outstanding preachers was Jonathan Edwards of Massachusetts. People thought that his sermons were powerful and convincing.

The English preacher George Whitefield, who arrived in the colonies in 1739, helped spread the religious revival. Whitefield inspired worshipers in churches and open fields from New England to Georgia. The Great Awakening led to the formation of many new churches.

Family Roles

Throughout the colonies, people adapted their traditions to the new conditions of life in Amer­ica. Religion, education, and the arts contributed to a new American culture. The family formed the foundation of colonial society.

A colonial farm was both home and work­place. Mothers and fathers cared for their chil­dren. Women cooked, made butter and cheese, and preserved food. They spun yarn, made clothes, and tended chickens and cows. Men worked in the fields and built barns, houses, and fences. In many areas, women worked in the fields next to their husbands.

Men were the formal heads of the house­holds. They managed the farms and repre­sented the family in community affairs. In most churches, women could attend church meet­ings, but could not speak, vote, or serve as clergy. Families often arranged for their sons to work as indentured servants for farmers or t serve as apprentices, or learning assistants, to craft workers who taught them a trade. Married women were considered under their husbands' authority and had few rights.


Colonial Printing Press

Life in the colonies often revolved around local print­ers who produced pam­phlets, small flyers, books, and newspapers. The first printing press in the Ameri­can colonies was estab­lished by Stephen Daye in 1639.

Type is made up of large numbers of single letters that can be moved and reused.

1. A sheet of paper is fitted into the paper holder, which is then folded on top of the type form.

2. The platen presses the paper onto the inked type.

3. The horizontal lever lowered or raised the platen.

4. Type form was slid under the raised platen.

5. Paper was put in the pail holder. Once the paper was removed, it was hung up to dry on clothes lines. The lines were called flys and the printed papers became known as flyers.


Women in cities and towns sometimes held jobs outside the home. Young unmarried women might work for wealthy families as maids, cooks, and nurses. Widows might work as teachers, nurses, and seamstresses. They also opened shops and inns. Widows and women who had never married could run businesses and own property, even though they could not vote. (See page 594 of the Primary Sources Library for the selection, “What is an American?")


Most colonists valued education. Children were often taught to read and write at home by their parents. In New England and Pennsylvania, in particular, school systems were set up to make sure that everyone could read and study the Bible. In 1647 the Massachusetts Puritans passed a public education law. Each community with 50 or more households had to have a school sup­ported by taxes.

By 1750, New England had a very high level of literacy, the ability to read and write. Approxi­mately 85 percent of the men and about half of the women could read. Many learned to read from The New England Primer, which combined lessons in good conduct with reading and writing.

Many colonial schools were run by widows or unmarried women. In the Middle Colonies, some schools were run by Quakers and other religious groups. In the towns and cities, craftspeople set up night schools for their apprentices.

The colonies' early colleges were founded to train ministers. The first was Harvard College, established in 1636 by the Puritans in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Anglicans founded William and Mary College in Virginia in 1693.

The Enlightenment

By the middle of the 1700s, many educated colonists were influenced by the Enlightenment. This movement, which began in Europe, spread the idea that knowledge, reason, and science could improve society. In the colonies, the En­lightenment increased interest in science. People observed nature, staged experiments, and pub­lished their findings. The best known American scientist was Benjamin Franklin.

Freedom of the Press

In 1735 John Peter Zenger of the New York Weekly Journal faced charges of libel for printing a critical report about the royal governor of New York. Andrew Hamilton argued that free speech was a basic right of English people. He defended Zenger by asking the jury to base its decision on whether Zenger's article was true, not whether it was offensive. The jury found Zenger not guilty. At the time the case attracted little attention, but today it is regarded as an important step in the development of a free press in America.

Reading Check Analyzing What was the impact of the Great Awakening?


Checking for Understanding

1. Key Terms Use each of these terms in a complete sentence that will help explain its meaning: export, charier colony, proprietary colony, literacy

2. Reviewing the Facts Identify some contributions of women inside and outside the home.

Reviewing Themes

3. Continuity and Change Why did the Navigation Acts anger the colonists?

Critical Thinking

4. Drawing Conclusions Why did Andrew Hamilton defend John Peter Zenger and free speech?

5. Determining Cause and Effect Re-create the diagram below and describe the effects of the Great Awakening.

Analyzing Visuals

6. Picturing History Examine the printing press on page 112. Who estab­lished the first printing press in the colonies? How do you think the colonists communicated their ideas before printed material was widely used?

Interdisciplinary Activity

Government Draw a chart that shows the structure of a royal colony, a proprietary colony, and a charter colony.



What were people's lives like in the past?

What—and who—were people talking about? What did they eat? What did they do for fun? These two pages will give you some clues to everyday life in the U.S. as you step back in time with TIME Notebook.


EDWARD WINSLOW was 25 when he sailed on the Mayflower to Massachusetts. Winslow helped found Plymouth Colony, served as the colony's governor three times— and still found time to sit down to the very first Thanksgiving celebrated in the British colonies in the fall of 1621. Here's part of what he wrote about the first big feast:

"OUR HARVEST BEING GOTTEN IN, OUR GOVERNOR sent four men on the fowling (hunt for fowl), that we might ... rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labors. In one day, they killed as much fowl as ... served the company almost a week. At which time, ... many of the Indians came amongst us ... with some ninety men whom for three days we entertained and feasted...."


New Pests on the Dock

The Pilgrims had company on the Mayflower. At least three pests made their first visit to the New World on the famous ship — and decided to stay. We hope they won't be around too long.

• cockroaches

• flies

• gray rats




Virginia Is Number 1

Here's a list of events that happened first in 1619 in Virginia. One of the facts is wrong. Can you figure out the one that doesn't belong?

1. First boatload of African slaves

2. First labor strike

3. First elected lawmakers

4. First time English settlers can own land 0 First daily newspaper

5. First boatload of women who agreed to marry colonists in exchange for a ticket across the Atlantic


Have Your Corn Cake—and Eat It Too!

This New World meal is all the rage in the colonies.

Stir one cup of coarse cornmeal grits into three cups of water.

Place on stove. Simmer.

Remove from heat when all the water is absorbed. Let it cool.

Shape the mixture into two round, flat cakes on a floured work surface.

Bake it in a hot oven for 45 minutes.

Serve warm or cold with freshly churned butter.



“...I found some black people about me, and I believe some were those who had brought me on board and had been receiving their pay.... I asked them if we were not to be eaten by those white men with horrible looks, red faces, and long hair.”


11-year-old kidnapped from his home in what is now Nigeria and brought to America as an enslaved person, on his first day on the slave ship

“For pottage and puddings and custards and pies / Our pumpkins and parsnips are common supplies. We have pumpkins at morning and pumpkins at noon, / If it were not for pumpkin, / We should be undone.”


a tribute to the pumpkin



1,500 Number of English children in 1627 who were kidnapped and sent to work as servants in Virginia

80% Percentage of colonists who died in Jamestown, Virginia, during the winter of 1609-10 after getting so hungry they ate rats, snakes, and horsehide

65 % Percentage of colonists who could read in 1620

2,500 Number of trees needed to build a ship the size of the Mayflower

0 Number of chairs set at the dinner table for children—only adults sat while eating

50 Number of pounds of tobacco colonists in Virginia were fined if they did not go to church in the early 1600s



France and Britain Clash

Main Idea

Rivalry between Great Britain and France led to a long-lasting conflict

Key Terms

Iroquois Confederacy, militia

Reading Strategy

Organizing Information As you read the section, re-create the diagram below and describe the events that led to conflict in North America.

Read to Learn

• how wars in Europe spread to the American colonies.

• about the purpose of the Albany Plan of Union.

Continuity and Change American colonists and Native American groups were drawn into the clash between France and Britain.

Preview of Events

1745 New England troops seize Fort Louisbourg from France

1753 George Washington sent to Ohio country to protest French actions

1754 Benjamin Franklin proposes Albany Plan of Union

AN American Story

In 1689 England and France began competing to be the most powerful nation in Europe. This contest for power went on for generations, with only short intervals of peace. In 1758 writer Nathaniel Ames noted, "The parts of North America which may be claimed by Great Britain or France are of as much worth as either kingdom. That fertile country to the west of the Appalachian Mountains [is the] 'Garden of the World'!

British-French Rivalry

Britain and France had been competing for wealth for centuries. By 1700 they were two of the strongest powers in Europe. Their long rivalry aroused bitter feelings between British and French colonists in North America.

As the growing population of the American colonies pushed up against French-held territory, hostility between England and France increased. At the same time, some land companies wanted to explore opportunities in the Ohio River valley. However, the French, who traded throughout the Ohio country,


regarded this territory as their own. They had no intention of letting British colonists share in their profitable fur trade.

In the 1740s British fur traders went into the Ohio country. They built a fort deep in the terri­tory of the Miami people at a place called Pick­awillany. Acting quickly, the French attacked Pickawillany and drove the British traders out of Ohio. The French then built a string of forts along the rivers of the upper Ohio Valley, closer to the British colonies than ever before. Two mighty powers—Great Britain and France—were headed for a showdown in North America.

In the early 1700s, Britain had gained control of Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and the Hudson Bay region. In the 1740s French troops raided towns in Maine and New York. In response a force of New Englanders went north and cap­tured the important French fortress at Louis­bourg on Cape-Breton Island, north of Nova Scotia. Later Britain returned Louisbourg to France, much to the disgust of the New England colonists.

Native Americans Take Sides

The French traders and the British colonists knew that Native American help would make a difference in their struggle for North America. The side that received the best trade terms from Native Americans and the most help in the war would probably win the contest for control of North America.

The French had many Native American allies. Unlike the British, the French were interested mainly in trading for furs—not in taking over Native American land. The French also had gen­erally better relations with Native Americans. French trappers and fur traders often married Native American women and followed their customs. French missionaries traveled through the area, converting many Native Americans to Catholicism.

During the wars between Great Britain and France, Native Americans often helped the French by raiding British settlements. In 1704, for example, the Abenaki people joined the French in an attack on the British frontier out­post at Deerfield, Massachusetts, in which almost 50 settlers were killed.

---Refer to North America in 1754 image on page 117 in your textbook.

Geography Skills

1. Analyzing Information. What power claimed the terri­tory of Florida?

2. Region. What three rivers were located within French territory?

The Iroquois Confederacy

The most powerful group of Native Ameri­cans in the East was the Iroquois Confederacy, based in New York. When the confederacy was first formed in about 1570, it included five nations—the Mohawk, Seneca, Cayuga, Onon­daga, and Oneida. Other groups later joined or were conquered by the Iroquois.

The Iroquois managed to remain independent by trading with both the British and the French.

By skillfully playing the British and French against each other, the Iroquois dominated the area around the Great Lakes.

By the mid-1700s, however, the Iroquois came under greater pressure as the British moved into the Ohio Valley. Eventually the leaders of the confederacy gave certain trading rights to the


British and reluctantly became their allies. By taking this step, the Iro­quois upset the balance of power between the French and British that had been so difficult to establish.

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