I want to apologize for this being in outline form. I plan to change that but for now try to read it as well as you can. Note the important points as listed on the Review Questions, Journal Entry Topics, and Quiz Study Guide. Let me know if you have any questions.
Ben Franklin Quotes
Quotable Ben Franklin
Poems of Anne Bradstreet
Poems of Phillis Wheatley
Mask of Ben Franklin, Cover of Ben's book (very good), Poets Phillis Wheatley and Anne Bradstreet, and Pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read
HISTORY 1301 - LECTURE 9: Life in the Colonies: "Shared Experiences" I. So far, we have focused on the differences of colonies and colonists A. But, had more in common than they wanted to admit B. And more and more in common as years passed C. By 1775, the thirteen colonies will unite in revolt against England 1. Sign that a new nation had formed; a new culture created D. So when all was said and done, it was the similarities that outweighed their differences II. ECONOMICS A. The 13 colonies shared a capitalist economy driven by trade, especially foreign trade B. But unlike today's economy - it was farming/agriculture that produced most of the wealth 1. 60-65% population were farmers a. Majority yeomen with family as working force b. 80% of free working population c. produced own food and cash crop and/or alcohol 2. Fishing and whaling also important 3. 5% population - craftsmen, mechanics, artisans who produced manufactured goods a. many were also part-time farmers b. made tools, barrels, wheels, shoes, nails, horseshoes, leather goods, clothing, wigs, etc. 4. Only a few large-scale industries - mills, shipbuilding, iron C. Over the years, trade produced prosperity, but it also produced extremes in wealth and poverty 1. The worst in the South and New York 2. Less in New England, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey 3. But class structures appeared everywhere 4. Still less than England 5. And more economic mobility a. But more and more difficult b. Only 20% of indentured servants ever rose to become landowners or skilled craftsmen c. Approximately 1/4 to 1/3 were female who probably married and had no outside occupation although many exceptions as will see later 6. Most indentured servants ended up in low pay laborer jobs or as tenant farmers or farmhands a. 40% of southern white males were tenant farmers or farmhands b. By 1775, chances slim that indentured servant would become even middle-class that alone wealthy 7. But the percent of very rich and very poor in America less than England a. Over 1/2 free men owned land b. Only 5% owned enough to be a plantation c. 10% owned 20 slaves or more d. Over 1/2 male population owned no slaves 8. Most Americans were the "middling sort"; dominant values so-called middle-class a. work ethic, religion, reject nobility, personal achievement measured by material success rather than birth, moderate approach to all issues b. But Americans impressed by wealth c. Roger Williams complained they had a "depraved appetite" for great amounts of land d. Lt. Gov of New York: "The only principle of life...among the young people is to get money..." e. Acquisition of material wealth led to the individual being more important than the community f. Concepts of self-interest, ambition and innovation important to exploiting the wilderness D. By mid-1700s, Americans had become a society of climbers 1. Those who failed were defective 2. Gave America a hard quality 3. And over the years, more and more American failed the test a. 1725-1760 the number of poor in cities increased more rapidly than population as whole b. After 1750, poverty no longer confined to the old, physically disabled, and orphans c. And on the frontier, poverty was the norm and the rich were nowhere to be found III. POLITICS AND LAW A. While in economics, Americans became more and more like England, in politics and law, they became more and more different B. Americans had wider suffrage because more landowners 1. Representative self-government in all the colonies - a political system in which voters select the people who govern on their behalf 2. Local communities controlled representatives; interest in politics highly developed 3. Influence of appointed governors limited C. Americans also grew to dislike monarch and titled nobility that was essential to England's government D. In law, the American legal system adopted most essential elements of England's system like right to trial by jury 1. But also significant differences a. Easier to take cases to court b. Americans became a litigous people, constantly taking complaints to court c. Punishment less severe (1) Did not execute as many (2) Preferred whip, branding, ducking stool (3) Labor shortage a factor d. Crimes redefined (1) Zenger case (1734) - Court ruled criticism of government not libel if factually true IV. RELIGION A. Colonists shared similar views about economics and politics; they also shared a view regarding religion B. While a lot of diversity in denominations, overwhelmingly Protestant by 1775 1. 20% Congregationalist (Anglican Puritan) 2. 20% Presbyterian (Puritan) 3. 15% Anglican 4. 15% Baptist 5. 10% Quaker 6. 2% Catholic 7. less than 1/10 of 1% Jewish 8. many no religion at all C. Three or four (depending on era) colonies had no established religion - Delaware, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania and part of New Jersey D. Whatever their religion, Americans took the word "Protestant" seriously 1. constant bickering, challenging and debate over religion 2. This especially true in 1730s and 40s E. This debate a result of the GREAT AWAKENING - a religious revival that swept the American colonies in the 1730s and 40s 1. Begun by Puritan minister Jonathan Edwards who wanted to revive interest in the Puritan religion a. Scared people into believing b. Read "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" c. But what had happened to predestination? 2. In the long run, the Puritans did not benefit from the Great Awakening as much as newer denominations that were more flexible like Baptists and Methodists a. Adopted a new emotionalism, evangelical preaching b. Not just a religious movement; a social movement as well 3. Most energetic responses came from the impoverished people living in frontiers 4. Majority converts women frustrated by their status and hardships 5. And great interest among the young, especially youngest sons whose futures uncertain with primogeniture 6. Great Awakening spread by itinerant ministers who traveled through colonies and frontiers, converting as they went including Native Americans and African-Americans 7. Results: a. Brought colonists together as a "shared experience" b. Led to more diversity in religion c. Led to splits in some denominations d. But also led to more tolerance V. WOMEN A. Colonists also shared a similar view regarding women B. In the colonies, women found opportunities not available to European women C. Labor shortage meant women found in most occupations except surgery 1. Common for widow to take over husband's occupation 2. Ran businesses, learned crafts like blacksmith 3. Teachers, tailors, publishers, nurses, midwives, writers D. Two of the most famous colonial women were poets - ANNE BRADSTREET AND PHILLIS WHEATLEY 1. ANNE DUDLEY BRADSTREET (1612-1672) was known for her sensitive, romantic poetry a. Born in England, came to America where her father was governor of Massachusetts (Puritans) b. 1628 married; husband also a Massachusetts governor c. Had 8 children d. She the first woman poet in the colonies (published 1650) e. Asserted rights of women to learn and express themselves f. Read from "In-Class Handout" 2. PHILLIS WHEATLEY was a colonial era slave poet known for her patriotic, religious, classical-style poetry a. Born in Africa approximately 1745 b. Captured 1753 (8 years old) c. Bought by Wheatley family in Boston d. Began writing at 13, modeling it after Alexander Pope and Thomas Gray e. 1773 the Wheatleys took her to England, big hit with literary circles f. Read from "In-Class Handout" E. Colonial women had other advantages over European sisters 1. More free will in marriage 2. Husband had legal responsibility to support wife; desertion did not relieve responsibility 3. Great social power - gossip, Salem Witch Trials F. At the same time, colonial women restricted 1. Higher standards of behavior a. Harsher penalties for crimes especially adultery b. Laws against spousal abuse directed against women; Husband's abuse generally accepted 2. In most communities, women could not: a. vote (some single women in Massachusetts could vote if they owned property) b. hold office c. serve on juries d. lead churches e. speak publicly (except in Quaker meetinghouses) f. difficult to take cases to court g. unless prenuptial agreement, no property if married h. if divorced (which was easier than in England), hard to get custody of children 3. In general, colonists agree with John Calvin: "She is made inferior to the more distinguished sex." a. Eph. 5:22-24 "Wives, submit yourselves unto your husbands, as unto the Lord>' b. First Epistle of Paul 3:1-7 - "Ye wives, be in subjection to your own husband." 4. But, the status of women will get much worse before it gets better 5. And, of course, for Native American women, female indentured servants, and slave women, there were basically no rights at all a. Race had a lot to do with attitudes toward women VI. RACE CONSCIOUSNESS - Acute race consciousness in the colonies; a lot written; women caught in the middle; but it was another "shared experience" A. White males exploited black women to proclaim their superior rights 1. Black women a symbol of white supremacy 2. Power over them 3. But rarely described as beautiful, feminine in colonial writing 4. Black women not seen as threat; they were used to protect virtue of white women 5. White women - image of childlike, passionless person; but threatened by Black men a. It was assumed that black men would treat white women like white men treated black women b. White men did not want to believe that white women would voluntarily have relations with black men c. Fear of black men molesting white women preoccupied the white male consciousness d. Slave uprisings seen as only effort by black men to have access to white women e. At least nine of the colonies outlawed intermarriage B. Yet, none of this sexual fear seen in documents about Native Americans 1. White men did not see Native American men as sexual predators 2. Described as peculiarly asexual 3. A confused image of hostile and savage man 4. courageous and moral but sexually passive 5. To colonists, Native American men lazy, dirty, childlike C. Native American women, however, seen very differently 1. Often described as beautiful by white men 2. But women generally described them as "drudges" 3. Intermarriage less controversial 4. Yet most colonists shocked when other colonists ran off to live as "White Indians" or "Black Indians" D. Colonists also tried to keep Indians and African-Americans apart 1. Used Indians to put down slave uprisings 2. Used African-Americans to fight against Indians 3. Encouraged African slavery among Indians like Cherokee 4. Still was one of the best ways to escape slavery, run off and reside with Indians E. All of the race consciousness was a shared experience and brought the colonists together VII. THE ENLIGHTENMENT A. Meanwhile, the colonists shared another experience that swept the colonies and in some ways was the opposite of the Great Awakening B. The Enlightenment or Age of Reason - an intellectual movement that swept Europe and America in the 18th century that emphasized science, reason, and Deism 1. Deism - belief in God but God operates through natural laws not miracles; God not involved in day to day lives of people a. God established laws of nature and then aloof b. Gave people ability to reason and solve own problems 2. While relatively few Americans were Deists or heavily involved in the Enlightenment, those who were had an enormous impact on the colonies a. Because it was the elite most involved b. Those who would write the Declaration of Independence and Constitution were Enlightenment men c. Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin C. The Enlightenment not only affected Americans, however 1. Major change in western thought rooted in scientific revolution 2. Especially the ideas of Sir Isaac Newton, English mathematician and physicist (1643-1727) a. Laid foundation for progress in science b. One of inventors of calculus along with Leibniz c. solved mystery of light and optics; how colors occur in rays d. Formulated the three laws of motion and derived from them the law of universal gravitation D. In new view, the world was a rational and orderly place 1. And humans were GOOD 2. Reason gave power to solve problems, control environment and society 3. The result is PROGRESS E. No better example of Enlightenment Man that Benjamin Franklin 1. And, he was also a "Shared Experience" for the American colonists 2. He was the first American hero of international fame VIII. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN A. Born 1706 in Boston, nine siblings, ordinary family; Ben's father almost 50 when he born; credited his father for his personal accomplishments B. Tried several apprenticeships but unsuccessful C. 1723 at seventeen years of age, moved to Philadelphia and became printer's apprentice; found his calling D. By 1726 had begun his rapid rise in 18th century America E. By 1730, owned newspaper The Pennsylvania Gazette and write articles on variety of topics; also became influential in politics and public opinion 1. One of first successes - convinced colonists they should print own money and law passed; Franklin employed to print it F. Meanwhile, Ben opened a business, a stationers shop (office supplies like paper, forms, etc.); it was very successful G. He also began working on self-improvement 1. Like everything, approached it scientifically 2. Read in "In-Class Handout" 3. Made a plan for life to bring order to all aspects of his life - a rational life 4. Life scientist worked out scheme of desirable virtues and arranged them in order so each success would help with the next a. Said "Order" the most difficult H. Also at this time, married in 1730 1. Deborah Read - Franklin described as shaped like "beer mug" 2. Others described her as turbulent, jealous, of ordinary intelligence, hard worker 3. Ben wrote a song to her in which he said: a. she was the joy of his life b. virtuous and tender c. orderly d. loyal e. could not be a better wife 4. Ben hoped marriage would help him with one of his weakness - chastity a. said of himself - "passion hurried me frequently into intrigues with low women." b. Had a son, William out of wedlock who he and Deborah raised (1) Mother unknown although may have been Deborah I. By 1732, Ben even more influential when began writing and publishing Poor Richard's Almanack 1. Advice and wisdom; many sayings not original, but encouraged hard work and frugality a. Read in "In-Class Handout" 2. Meanwhile, made himself a role model for industriousness a. helped start first American subscription library (1731) b. Served in Pennsylvania assembly/government c. 1736 appointed postmaster of Philadelphia; 1753 for all colonies (1) created "penny post" home delivery d. Established volunteer militia in Pennsylvania despite Quaker opposition (1) served as a common soldier (2) organized lottery to pay militia expenses e. By 1748, so successful sold his stationers shop to concentrate on science and writing about education, politics, etc. as well as some songs f. Also an inventor and experimenter (1) 1742 open stove for heating rooms (2) 1752 kite incident established lightning was electricity (a) also almost killed himself (b) but led to invention of lightning rods to protect buildings (3) invented glass harmonica, bifocals, the "long arm" for bringing books down from high shelves, flexible catheter (4) also involved in meteorology, insect behavior, agricultural research g. Also continued to use his newspaper to influence opinion (1) blatantly biased but managed to avoid making enemies (2) so appointed to innumerable boards and commissions dealing with education, hospitals and first fire insurance company h. As assemblyman had some interesting ideas (1) opposed English policy of sending criminals to colonies so suggested sending rattlesnakes to England as trade for criminals (2) A lot of work in Native American relations (a) admired them but favored military control and assimilation (b) negotiated 1753 treaty with and began his career as a diplomat (3) Also believed taxes should be the burden of the wealthy (4) Opposed the immigration of "swarthy" peoples including Spanish, Italians, and Africans (a) Saw America as the land of the white and red man J. By 1757, Ben on the world stage - went to England to deal with disputes between Pennsylvania and England 1. 1764 appointed to represent all 13 colonies in England as their spokesman 2. When Revolutio9n erupted between colonists and England, Ben one of last of leaders to give up on reconciliation 3. But changed with the times and participated in writing of Declaration of Independence and negotiated the French alliance; later worked on Constitution and served in the new nation's Congress and as diplomat in France K. Died in 179 at age of 84 IX. PIRACY - Another shared experience of colonist a very different kind of hero than Ben Franklin A.