British North America • 18th century British America experienced a population growth: 1700 = 250,000 by 1770= 2 million • Colonists of different ethnic groups, races, and religions lived in varied environments • The abundance of land in the colonies made labor precious, and the colonists always needed more This portrait of the Cheney family by an unknown late-eighteenth-century artist illustrates the high birthrate in colonial America, and suggests how many years of a woman’s life were spent bearing and raising children. The Growth of Slavery • The number of southerners of African ancestry (nearly all of them slaves) rocketed form just over 20,000 in 1700 to well over 400,000 in 1770 • By the 1740s, the majority of southern slaves were country – born due in part by female slaves giving birth • The aftermath of the Stono Rebellion • African Roots in the Colonies The Old Plantation, a lateeighteenth century watercolor, depicts slaves dancing in a plantation’s slave quarters, perhaps at a wedding. The musical instruments and pottery are African in origin while much of the clothing is of European manufacture, indicating the mixing of African and white cultures among the era’s slaves. The artist has recently been identified as John Rose, owner of a rice plantation near Beaufort, South Carolina. Prosperity in the Colonies • Slaves’ labor bestowed prosperity on their masters, British merchants, and the monarchy • The southern colonies supplied 90% of all North American exports to Britain • White southerners caused envy and occasional tension between rich and poor, but remarkably little open hostility • Politically & culturally the gentry built a selfperpetuating oligarchy – rule by the elite few • Although colonists were sharply different throughout British North America in the 18th century, they shared unifying experiences: economic roots in agriculture, a decline in the importance of religion, all of them answered to the British monarchy • Colonial products spurred the development of mass markets throughout the Atlantic world • Extended credit available to consumers which caused debts • Question asked by 18th century consumers: What do you want? A 1732 portrait of Daniel, Peter, and Andrew Oliver, sons of a wealthy Boston merchant A 1732 portrait of Daniel, Peter, and Andrew Oliver, sons of a wealthy Boston merchant. The prominent display of their delicate hands tells the viewer that they have never had to do manual labor. Religion, Enlightenment, & Revival • Virtually all the variety of religions in the colonies represented some form of Christianity • Slaves made up the largest group of nonChristian • Roman Catholics, Protestant, Puritans, Anglicans, Deism • Great Awakening • George Whitefield – revivalist in the 18th century George Whitefield George Whitefield, the English evangelist who helped to spark the Great Awakening in the colonies. Painted around 1742 by John Wollaston, who had emigrated from England to the colonies, the work depicts Whitefield’s powerful effect on male and female listeners. It also illustrates Whitefield’s eye problem, which led critics to dub him “Dr. Squintum.” • Bathsheba Kingsley, female preacher who preached the revival message informally • The revivals awakened and refreshed the spiritual energies of thousands of colonists and communicated the important message that every soul mattered Map 4.3 European Empires in North America, ca. 1750 Three great empires—the British, French, and Spanish—competed for influence in North America for much of the eighteenth century Trade & Conflict in North American Borderlands • Alone, neither New France nor New Spain jeopardized British North America, but with Indian allies they could become a potent force that kept colonists on their guard • Relations between Indians and colonists differed from colony to colony and from year to year • The Spanish secured the Pacific coast Colonial Politics in the British Empire • The British envisioned colonial governors as mini-monarchs able to exert influence in the colonies much as the king did in Britain • Struggles between royal governors and colonial assemblies that occurred throughout the 18th century taught colonists a common set of political lessons Seven Year’s War • For the first half of the 18th century, Britain was at war intermittently with France and Spain • The conflict – contested land in the Ohio Valley variously claimed by Virginians, Pennsylvanians, the French, and the Indians already living there • French – British rivalry in the Ohio Valley • The Albany Conference (1754) – conference to repair trade relations and secure the Indians’ help – or at least their neutrality – against the looming French threat • Albany Plan of Union – a proposal for a unified colonial government to exercise sole authority over questions of war, peace, and trade with the Indians • The War and its Consequences Pontiac’s War • Considered one of the most famous Indian wars for independence, named after the Ottawa chief Pontiac, tribes in the Great Lakes and the Ohio valley regions rallied against the British • Jefferey Amherst, the commander of the British army in North America made the situation worse for Indians • A Delaware prophet named Neolin gave spiritual force to Indian discontent and gained a following In December 1763 Scotch-Irish frontiersmen in Pennsylvania known as the Paxton Boys slaughtered peaceful Conestoga Indians in an act of racial hatred and later marched on Philadelphia in an act of frustration at their colonial government’s failure to defend its frontiers • Pontiac’s War was really a continuation of that conflict, as Indian fighters who had not been defeated refused to accept the conditions of peace that Britain imposed and France accepted • American Indians fought for their independence against the British and compelled them to think seriously about the place of Native peoples in the British Empire • The Royal Proclamation - established the Appalachian as the boundary line between Indian and colonial lands and stipulated “that no private Person do presume to make any Purchase from the said Indians” The Peace of Paris, which ended the Seven Years’ War, left all of North America east of the Mississippi in British hands, ending the French presence on the continent Map 4.4 Eastern North America after the Peace of Paris, 1763 Having one’s portrait painted was a mark of distinction in the 18th century, usually only to the wealthy. Rarer still were portraits of sitters dressed in clothes from other cultures as shown in these examples. Hendrick’s gold-braided coat, ruffled shirt, and three cornered hat are all signs of a well dressed English gentleman. Caldwell’s portrait was a private possession, commissioned after the Revolutionary War. What attitude do you think Hendrick and Caldwell intended to convey regarding the other’s culture?