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Colonial Life and Strife


Colonial Life and Strife Mrs. Housenick APUSH 9/5/12 The Unhealthy Chesapeake (South) Short life expectancy lots of disease Population increase only through ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Colonial Life and Strife

Colonial Life and Strife
  • Mrs. Housenick
  • 9/5/12

The Unhealthy Chesapeake (South)
  • Short life expectancylots of disease
  • Population increase only through immigration
  • Mostly men
  • Few families, those that existed were weak
  • Did get healthier by end of 1600s as immunity
    built, more women coming in

The Tobacco Economy
  • Made money, but intense cultivation exhausted
  • Lots of tobacco meant depressed prices
  • Need for labor? indentured servitude
  • Not enough workers in colonies, Native Americans
    dying from disease, African slaves too expensive
  • As land becomes scarce, freed indentured servants
    forced to become low wage workers for former

Bacons Rebellion
  • Single young men, former indentured servants,
    frustrated since never got land
  • Most living in backcountry, trying to get by on
    worst land
  • 1676 Lead by Nathaniel Bacon, these men began
    huge rebellion
  • Angry at Virginia Governor Berkeleys friendly
    policy towards Indians
  • Rebels murdered Indians, then chased Berkeley
    from Jamestown and set it on fire

Bacons Rebellion ctnd.
  • Bacon died suddenly of disease, Berkeley crushed
    uprising, killed 20 rebels
  • Still, lead to intense fear of landless former
  • Wealthy planters began looking for less
    troublesome workers? AFRICAN SLAVES!

Southern Society
  • By early 1700s, social hierarchy developing
  • 1. Small group of wealthy planters at topowned
    lots of land and slaves
  • 2. Small farmerslargest social group
  • Might own 1-2 slaves, but had to do lots of work
    on own
  • 3. Landless whitesmostly former indentured
  • 4. Indentured servants
  • 5. Black slaves
  • Few cities, no real urban professional class

The New England Family
  • Nature nicer to New Englandclean water, cool
    temperature meant less disease
  • Life span actually longer than in Europe
  • Tended to migrate as a family, population grew
    from natural reproduction
  • Early marriage? large birthrate
  • Family stability, multigenerational family life
  • Divorce rare

Women in New England
  • Women gave up property rights when married,
    unlike in South where large number of widows made
    this impossible
  • Women couldnt vote, but some idea of womens
    rights developing
  • Abusive spouses punished by government
  • Some women worked as midwifes

Life in New England
  • Tightly knit society
  • Towns highly planned and organized
  • Meetinghouse surrounded by houses
  • Towns larger than 50 had elementary schools
  • Harvard College est. in Massachusetts in 1636
  • Democracy in town meetings

Fears of Weakening Religion
  • Worries that religious passion dying out in New
  • Halfway Covenant allowed partial membership
    rights to non-converted Christians
  • Sign that purity of New England church was
  • Sacrificed religious purity for wider religious

Salem Witch Trials
  • 1690s Young girls in Salem, MA accused older
    women of being witches
  • 20 executed? witch-hunt now describes time of
    paranoia and unfair accusations
  • Show unsettled social and religious conditions in
  • Accused witches came from wealthy families,
    accusers from small farming families
  • Shows class tensions, and fears that religion
    dying out because of richs focus on making money

New England Way of Life
  • Geography played huge role in way people lived!
  • Rocky, unfertile soil meant had to work hard to
    live off land? Protestant work ethic
  • Meant less immigrants, so New England less
  • Extreme climate meant large-scale agriculture not
    possible, so no need for slaves
  • Took advantage of harbors for shipbuilding and
    commerce, fishing

Early Settlers Days and Ways
  • Most colonists farmerslived by cycle of seasons
    and sun
  • Lived wealthier than Europeansmostly because of
    availability of land
  • More equality, but some class tensions
  • EX Leislers Rebellion (1689-91)--aspiring
    merchants attacked wealthy landowners in NY

Population in the Colonies
  • Grew quickly and was doubling every 25 years!
  • Will lead to shift in balance of power between
    colonies and Britain
  • Diverse population
  • Germansesp. in Pennsylvania
  • Scots-Irishrebellious frontiersman
  • 1764 Lead Paxton Boys in Philadelphia, armed
    march to protest Quakers leniency towards
  • 1765 Regulator Movementbackcountry farmers
    angry at eastern domination over colony

Structure of Colonial Society
  • Social ladder very open, possible to climb easily
  • By mid-1700s, was some stratification
  • Small group of merchants in New England and
    middle colonies at top
  • Concentrated land ownership in South
  • Lower class forming of indentured servants,
    paupers and convicts involuntarily shipped to
    America, black slaves

Work and Transportation in the Colonies
  • Professions clergy, physicians, lawyers
  • Workers
  • 90 of population involved in farming
  • Also fishing and manufacturing (mainly in New
    England and middle colonies)
  • Triangular trade (between America, Africa and
    West Indies) very profitable
  • Roads between cities existed, but in terrible
  • Heavy reliance on waterways
  • Intercolonial mail system by mid-1700s