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Chapter 5 - Roark Chapter 5 Colonial America in the...

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Roark Chapter 5: Colonial America in the Eighteenth Century, 1701-1770 Notes and Questions for HIS1043 by Rex H. Ball, Senior Lecturer Franklin became the archetypal American, especially to the French who lionized him. His Autobiography is perhaps the most read autobiography in all of American literature. Through that book, he became identified as the personification of the American dream of a simple person rising to be one of the richest men in North America. He was hardly typical. He was brilliant—a talented scientist, inventor, statesman, public servant and entrepreneur. He was, therefore, anything but typical. Yet one admires this plucky kid, just 17 years old, fleeing his abusive brother’s print shop to make a go of it on his own. While he may not have been typical, the story of a boy making good is the typical American Dream. The authors have divided the treatment of the colonies into New England, Middle and Southern Colonies. They may be grouped by physical size, by population, by size of the economy, by slave and free. Ultimately, the geographic grouping of states: NE, Middle and Southern is a pretty reasonable way to group them, and the grouping actually makes the most sense as the country approaches the Civil War. The authors mark the dramatic population increase and the booming economy in the North American colonies. In 1700 the British colonies totaled 250,000, and they grew by eight times to 2 million in 1770. Just look at New Spain, which had a population of Spanish descent of 900,000in 1820—not even half of British North Americas population. With the booming economy, people wanted to migrate to the colonies (25% of the population increase came from immigration). Land was cheap, and families were being
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