Ch. 5 Outline.docx - Ch 5 Outline I A Growing Population...

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Ch. 5 Outline I. A Growing Population and Expanding Economy in British North America 1. British America experienced a tremendous population explosion during the eighteenth century, rising from 250,000 colonists in 1700 to over two million in 1770. 2. The growth and diversity of the colonial population in the eighteenth century stemmed from both natural increase and immigration, which shifted the ethnic and racial balance of the colonies. 3. The colonial economy also expanded during the eighteenth century. 4. The nearly limitless wilderness stretching westward made land relatively cheap compared with its price in the Old World. Land used for agriculture was worthless without labor; with the rapidly expanding economy, the demand for labor in the colonies was high. II. New England: From Puritan Settlers to Yankee Traders A. Natural Increase and Land Distribution 1. The burgeoning New England population grew mostly by natural increase, much as it had during the seventeenth century, and soon pressed against the limited amount of land. 2. The perils of childbirth gave wives a shorter life expectancy than husbands, but wives often lived to have six, seven, or eight babies. 3. By the eighteenth century, the original land allotments had to be subdivided to accommodate grandsons and great-grandsons, causing many plots of land to become too small for subsistence. 4. During the eighteenth century, colonial governments in New England abandoned the seventeenth- century policy of granting land to towns and sold land directly to individuals, including speculators. 5. Money, rather than membership in a community bound by a church covenant, determined whether a person could buy land; settlement on individual farms meant that colonists regulated their behavior in newly settled areas by their own individual choices and not those of a larger community. B. Farms, Fish, and Atlantic Trade 1. New England farmers grew food for their families, but their fields did not produce a huge marketable surplus. 2. As consumers, New England farmers were at the forefront of a diversified commercial economy that linked remote farms to markets throughout the world. 3. Fish accounted for more than a third of New England’s eighteenth-century exports; livestock and timber made up another third. This Atlantic commerce provided jobs for laborers, tradesmen, ship captains, clerks, merchants, and sailors. 4. Merchants, the largest and most successful who lived in Boston, dominated New England commerce; by 1770, the richest 5 percent of Bostonians owned about half the city’s wealth. 5. The incidence of genuine poverty did not change much from patterns established in the seventeenth century, with about 5 percent qualifying for poor relief throughout the eighteenth century. 6. People of African ancestry (almost all of them slaves) numbered more than fifteen thousand by 1770, and most lived in towns where they worked as domestic servants and laborers.

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