Europeans arrived in North America for a variety of reasons. The English, however, hoped to recreate the society they had left behind, with some reforms and improvements. In any case, Europeans enjoyed little success until they adapted to the alien environment and developed viable relations with Native Americans and with each other.
II. New Spain, New France, and New Netherland
Spain established a fort and settlement at St. Augustine in 1565 to keep the French out of present-day Florida.
B. New Mexico
Spaniards under Juan de Oñate invaded and conquered the Pueblo country, but the colony they established turned out to be poor and indefensible, but fertile ground for missionaries.
C. Quebec and Montreal
By the middle of the seventeenth century, France had founded Quebec and Montreal, outposts that served as that nation’s claim to what is now Canada.
D. Jesuit Missions in New France
Friars from the Society of Jesus eventually converted thousands of natives to the Catholic faith and introduced them to European culture.
E. New Netherland
In 1614, the Dutch established a post near present Albany, New York. The presence of the Dutch traders helped spawn competition, and war, among the various tribes.
III. The Caribbean
A. Conflict in the Caribbean
The Caribbean provided the area of greatest conflict between European powers, especially as the lucrative sugar industry emerged in the region.
B. The Importance of Sugar
European wrangling over the Caribbean islands was motivated by a desire to establish sugar plantations to satisfy the demand of the European market.
IV. English Interest in Colonization
A. Social Change in England
A swelling population led to geographical and social mobility, and many viewed the New World as a siphon for surplus population.
B. The English Reformation
The English Reformation, which King Henry VIII initiated in 1533, set the stage for large numbers of English dissenters to leave their homeland.
Conflict between the Stuart monarchs and dissenters called Puritans caused thousands of settlers to leave England in the 1630s.
D. The First Stuart Monarchs
James I established a new dynasty in England that was intolerant of Puritans and representative government.
V. The Founding of Virginia
A. Joint-Stock Companies
English investors established joint-stock companies to finance early colonization projects. These forerunners of modern corporations enjoyed limited success in providing the vast long-term investment funds necessary for colonization.
Great difficulties beset Jamestown, the first permanent settlement in Virginia.
C. The Powhatan Confederacy
Jamestown survived largely as a result of aid from the Algonkian Indians, but problems arose between the Englishmen and members of the Powhatan Confederacy.
D. Algonkian and English Cultural Differences
The Indians and the Europeans had many differing views, but the Englishmen’s attitude of cultural superiority led to the greatest problems between the two peoples.
E. The Cultivation of Tobacco
Tobacco provided Virginia with a cash crop that guaranteed the colony’s survival.
F. Virginia Company Policies
First under the Virginia Company, and later under James I, settlers to Virginia could claim 50 acres of land as a headright. In 1619 the Virginia Company allowed major landowners to elect representatives to an assembly called the House of Burgesses.
G. Indian Uprisings
Fearful of English encroachment, Powhatan’s successor Opechancanough attacked Jamestown on March 22, 1622, killing 347, or one quarter of its inhabitants. This sparked warfare that ended only with the subjugation of the Powhatan Confederacy.
H. End of the Virginia Company
James I revoked the charter of the Virginia Company in 1624, making Virginia a royal colony.
VI. Life in the Chesapeake
A. Founding of Maryland
Maryland, founded in 1632, mirrored Virginia in many ways. One important difference set Maryland apart: the colony tolerated all Christian faiths and therefore served as a haven for Catholics.
B. Need for Laborers
Tobacco cultivation required a vast need for laborers, and Virginians experimented with several solutions, including Indian and African workers.
C. Indentured Servant Immigrants
Virginians met their labor needs by bringing indentured servants to the colony.
D. Conditions of Servitude
Life for these migrants proved difficult, but opportunities existed for those who fulfilled their contracts.
E. Standard of Living
For everyone in the Chesapeake, life was severe with material wealth in short supply.
F. Chesapeake Families
The predominance of males, the economic conditions, and high mortality rates in the Chesapeake led to fewer, smaller, and shorter-lived families in Virginia and Maryland.
G. Chesapeake Politics
A native-born elite with local ties and interests failed to emerge in Virginia and Maryland, leading to political instability.
VII. The Founding of New England
A. Contrasting Regional Religious Patterns
Most immigrants to the Chesapeake were not affected by religious motives. By contrast, religion motivated many people who moved to the New England colonies.
B. Congregationalists and Separatists
Puritans believed in an omnipotent God who had predestined some people for salvation and some for damnation. Congregationalists wanted to reform the Church of England, while Separatists thought the Church of England was too corrupt to be saved.
Separatists, who wanted to leave the Church of England, arrived in America in 1620 and founded the settlement of Plymouth.
This branch of the Wampanoags served as allies to the Pilgrims, ensuring their success.
E. Massachusetts Bay Company
When Charles I ascended to the throne in 1625 his anti-Puritan policy led thousands of Congregationalists to leave England for America.
F. Governor John Winthrop
John Winthrop, first elected governor of Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1629, envisioned a communal society based on Christian charity that put the common good before the needs of the individual.
G. Ideal of a Covenant
The concept of covenant permeated Puritan society. This faith in mutual consent manifested itself in the colony’s political institutions.
H. New England Towns
Puritan ideas influenced land distribution in the New England colonies. Massachusetts often gave land to groups rather than to individuals, grants that led to the growth of communities rather than to large personal holdings.
I. Internal Migration and the Pequot War
English migration into the Connecticut valley spawned conflict with the Pequot tribe.
J. John Eliot and the Praying Towns
Puritans focused on “civilizing” Indians, but met with little success.
K. Puritan and Jesuit Missions Compared
In New England, cultural assimilation remained limited, and Jesuit missions in New France enjoyed more success than did Puritan missions in New England.
VIII. Life in New England
A. New England Families
Big families, religious intolerance, and strict morality characterized life in New England.
B. Impact of Religion
Religion permeated every facet of New England life.
C. Roger Williams
Roger Williams advocated Indians’ rights, separation of church and state, and religious tolerance. In 1635, he founded the town of Providence in what became Rhode Island.
D. Anne Hutchinson
Anne Hutchinson emphasized the covenant of grace and direct communication with God. Her ideas threatened Puritan religious orthodoxy and traditional gender relationships.