Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution

Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution - Colonial...

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Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution I. Conquest by the Cradle a. 13 Colonies? i. Britain actually ruled 32 colonies in North America by 1775, including Canada, the Floridas, and various Caribbean islands ii. A couple of the nonrebellious colonies, Canada and Jamaica, were larger, wealthier, and more populous than some of the revolting thirteen b. Population Growth i. 1700 – 300,000 people 1. 20,000 were black ii. 1775 – 2.5 million people 1. ½ million were black a. 400,000 were “forced immigrants” 2. White immigrants made up 400,000 of the increased number iii. The colonists were doubling their numbers every 25 years c. Political Consequences of Population Growth i. 1700 – There were 20 English for each American colonist ii. 1775 – There were 3 English for each American colonist iii. This set the stage for a momentous shift in the balance of power between the colonies and Britain d. Population Location i. Most of the population was east of the Alleghenies. Some pioneers populated Tennessee and Kentucky ii. Most populous colonies in 1775: 1. Virginia 2. Massachusetts 3. Pennsylvania 4. North Carolina 5. Maryland iii. Four cities: 1. Philadelphia 2. New York 3. Boston 4. Charleston iv. 90% of people lived in rural areas II. A Melting Pot of the Races a. Germans
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i. Accounted for 150,000 people or 6% of the population in 1775 ii. They were fleeing religious persecution, economic oppression, and the ravages of war iii. They mainly settled in PA iv. Most were Lutheran or from other Protestant sects v. They were known erroneously as the Pennsylvania Dutch (a corruption of the German word Deutsch, for “German”) vi. Not having been brought up English, they had no deep-rooted loyalty to the British crown b. Scots-Irish i. Accounted for 175,000 people or 7% of the population in 1775 ii. They had been transplanted from southern (they were Scots Lowlanders) to northern Ireland. As a result: 1. The Irish Catholics already there, hating Scottish Presbyterianism, resented the intruders 2. In addition, the English government placed burdensome restrictions on their production of linens and woolens, causing them to not prosper iii. Most fled to PA because they were tolerant and had good soil iv. Finding the best soil already taken by Germans and the Quakers, they pushed out on the frontier v. Many illegally squatted on unoccupied lands vi. They spread from western PA down to GA c. Personality of the Scots-Irish i. Were pugnacious, lawless, and individualistic ii. Brought with them the Scottish secrets of whiskey distilling iii. They cherished no love for the British government that had uprooted them and still lorded over them – or for any other government 1. They led the armed march of the Paxton Boys on Philadelphia in 1764 – protesting the Quaker oligarchy’s lenient policy toward the Indians 2. Spearheaded the Regulator movement in NC – an insurrection against eastern domination of the colony’s affairs iv. 12 future presidents, including Andrew Jackson,
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Colonial Society on the Eve of Revolution - Colonial...

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