Chapter 3 - Chapter 3 The Southern Colonies in the...

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Unformatted text preview: Chapter 3 The Southern Colonies in the Seventeenth Century, 1600-1700 Virginia was cursed by the Spanish experience in the Americas. The image of easy riches just waiting to be picked up clouded England's judgment. Adventurers put up cash to fund Virginia Company, fully expecting to make a rich profit. But the country had neither gold nor silver, nor any other source of quick wealth. Think cloves here. As it turned out, fully one-third of the first settlers were gentlemen, another one-third artisans (jewelers, gold smiths, etc.), with rest being laborers. What happened? How would such a demographic work in early Virginia? with two-thirds of the population ill fitted for the heavy labor required sustain the colony, starvation remained a constant threat in the early years John Smith instituted a regime of forced labor-- "He who will not work, neither shall he eat." Even so, only 32 of the original 105 settlers survived the first winter. When a butterfly flaps its wings in Southeast Asia, does it affect the weather in North America? The question comes from chaos theory, and the people who work in that field say yes, it does. To approach it from another angle, why does long range weather forecasting fail the longer out the forecast goes? Even with a good model, the data used will always be rounded producing perhaps a very tiny error; just like interest, it compounds itself over time, making the error grow. When a technology touches a society, changes result, many times unexpected ones, and sometimes dramatic ones. What effects did tobacco have on Virginia and England? smoking became the rage, with even women and young children engaging in the pastime it became the cash crop for the Chesapeake area it stimulated the economies in both Virginia and England How so? It created forward and backward stimuli. coopers ships and rigging insurance tobacconists jar makers spittoons flint & steel boxes & tins Tobacco had been raised and smoked by the natives for centuries. Once it took off, it provided the biggest source of income in Virginia and Maryland, as sugar would in the Caribbean Islands. How dramatic? Tobacco Sugar 1620 1640 1650 1700 60,000 lbs. 1,000,000 lbs. 35,000,000 lbs. 150,000 lbs. 40,000,000 lbs. What else did tobacco do for and to Virginia and Maryland? It sealed the areas into being land rich and labor poor it exposed the two colonies to the vagaries of a commodities economy What does land rich and labor poor mean? If you ignore the natives, there was plenty of arable land, but one man could only tend a single acre of tobacco. To increase your production, what did you have to do? How did they deal with this? First, they used incentives: land. Still lacking enough labor, they quickly resorted to the indenture system, and finally they turned to African slavery. The colonials were fortunate that there were no easily tapped sources of riches, for the mother country pursued other interests. Having smashed the Spanish Armada in 1588, the English experienced a heady nationalism and they sought to extend their wealth and power. Her North American colonies didn't appear to offer assistance in that goal--thus the period of benign neglect. How did benign neglect benefit the colonials? they were spared the stifling English class system they developed pragmatically they formed their own particular American character without even realizing it Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that Americans were born equal while the rest of the world had to struggle for it James I, in making Virginia a royal colony in 1624, left the House of Burgesses in place, thus giving democratic experience to Va. We learned earlier that Native Americans chose to live along rivers, lakes and on the ocean shore. Look at the colonial patterns in early Virginia. With the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, England became more interested in the North American colonies. Why did this happen? the colonies had become quite prosperous relative to the rest of the world with mercantilism, colonies existed for the benefit of the mother country but the Spanish royal fifth wouldn't work here So the question became how to structure relations so that the colonies benefited England? The Navigation Acts sought to enrich the royal treasury. Beginning under Cromwell: laws required colonials to ship goods in English ships with predominantly English crews (1650 & 1651) required all colonial products to be shipped to English ports before shipment to other European countries all goods shipped to the colonies had to be on English ships with English sailors And the English would find other ways to restrict the colonial economy as time passed. Even as legislation sought to render the North American colonies beneficial to England, the mother country valued the Caribbean Islands more than her North American colonies. Why? SUGAR ...
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This note was uploaded on 05/08/2008 for the course HIS 1043 taught by Professor Rexball during the Spring '08 term at Texas San Antonio.

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