a government in which the people are represented by delegates chosen in free elections salutary neglect: the manner in which England governed the American colonies during much of the late 1600s and early 1700s; especially the policy of weak enforcement of the laws regulating colonial trade treaty: a formal agreement concluded between two or more countries Reading Directions Now read Section 1. After reading this passage, answer the section review questions and compare your answers with those provided. 1. Many Kinds of Americans During the seventeenth century the English settlements in America grew slowly. One hundred years after the landing at Jamestown the colonies
still held only 250,000 people. Then the 1700s saw immigration and a high birthrate create the first American population explosion. The number of people more than doubled every 25 years. By 1765 they counted two and a quarter million. These were no longer just European emigrants, but a new breed of people, shaped by a New World. A land of many peoples The people who lived in the thirteen colonies at the end of the French and Indian War came from many lands. But the population was more English than it would ever be again. Since about 60 percent of all the white settlers had come from England, it is not surprising that the English language, English customs, English law, and English ways of government dominated the land. Pennsylvania had the most mixed population of all, but even there the English stock made up at least half of the population. What transformed Britons into Americans was that here they had the challenges of living with Africans, Scots, Scotch-Irish, Irish, Portuguese Jews, Swedes, Finns, Swiss, and even a few Austrians and
Italians. This made life here much more interesting than life back home. Of course it made some new problems, but it created new opportunities. These many peoples had come for many different reasons. Most came because they wanted to, some because they were forced. Some, like the Swedes, learned English and became Americans quickly. Others, like the Germans, tried to hold on to their own language and their own customs, even in this New World. Still others, like the indentured servants and many of the blacks from Africa, might have wanted to become full-fledged Americans but were not yet allowed that chance. Black Americans had been brought here against their will. Most were slaves, but at an early date there were a few who were free. In 1765 the colonies held 400,000 blacks scattered from Massachusetts Bay to Georgia. Over half worked on the tobacco plantations in Virginia and Maryland. Only 40,000 were found farther north. Besides colonists of English or of African descent, the largest group consisted of the Scots, the Irish,
and the Scotch-Irish (the Scots who had tried to settle in Ireland). These hard-bitten, intelligent people took naturally to the frontier. They could usually be found in the “back country.” This was a new American expression for the unsettled lands that stretched from Pennsylvania down through the mountains into the Carolinas.
- Summer '19
- Colonialism, Thirteen Colonies, Colonial history of the United States