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Chapter 01 - Making Use of a New World

Chapter 1: Making Use of a New World

  • The first American came from the Bearing Strait 20-40 thousand years ago and was followed by many to disperse into the various parts
  • The tribes of the Americas were very diverse
  • Those in South America were more advanced due to advancements in agriculture (corn), architecture, astronomy and established governments and economies
  • North American Indians were less advanced loosely organized into tribes
  • Combined with their dignity, self-reliance and peaceful natures, they would struggle to fight against strangers more organized


  • Vikings settled in Newfoundland Canada in the eleventh century left

The Rise of Kings and Commerce

  • The timing of Columbus’ arrival contributed to its great historical impact
  • Wealthy merchant class emerged by 1492 from selling Asian goods

                        Spices, dyes, textiles

  • Europe was searching for a less-risky sea route to Asia
  • Portugal led the way with the sleek caravel ship
  • The focused on Africa-for trade and to travel around

                        Prince Henry (Azores), Diaz (Cape Good Hope), de Gama (rounded tip)

  • The rise of kings of larger kingdoms meant more power and wealth to sponsor journeys
  • Portugal, later Spain, dominated exploration and was the only one interested and able

Columbus and the Spanish

  • Christopher Columbus wanted to sail west to Asia
  • Despite being told he was wrong about the size of the world by experts and Portugal, Queen Isabella of Spain financed him
  • Columbus was in the Caribbean from October 12, 1492-March 15, 1493
  • Though he never found Asia there, his biggest discovery was gold
  • Spain was one of a few countries that saw the America’s as more than an obstacle to Asia
  • With Portugal and the Treaty of Tordesillas (1494), they split the land and received the west half
  • Though outnumbered, explorers were determined to find gold, working to death the Caribbean Natives for it and later African slaves to bring profit from sugar
  • Cortez took over the Aztecs of Mexico and Pizarro the Incas of Peru
  • These natives were divided and saw them as godly figures they’d served before
  • The conquistadors found gold and silver, but most valuably cheap labor from the Natives
  • The govt. and Catholic Church tried to prevent their exploitation but were unable to prevent their enslavement
  • Indians were enslaved or put into the encomienda system for forced labor and were exploited even after the system was made illegal
  • Indians made great profits from the silver mines and fields in the first century but declined rapidly within a century
  • European disease killed most Indians, making room for mestizos-mixed race-Creoles-European descent- and Africans in Latin America
  • The Spanish were not interested North America until the last half of the 1500s
  • When the Spanish started to settle in Florida, New Mexico and Arizona, they planted missions and presidios-military outposts, and later in Texas and California
  • Missions would teach the natives Christianity, farming and crafting techniques

The Europeans in North America

  • John Cabot, working for England, was the first to report of North America in 1497, seeing it as an obstacle
  • The French sent da Verrazano and Cartier to Canada, returning and forgetting about it when there were no real riches and harsh winters
  • Summer fishers, from all countries, were the first to make use of North America
  • Europeans started to see more resources and traded metals for furs with Indians
  • France, Holland and Sweden set up trading posts all over North America, mainly the northeast
  • The French and Dutch remained friendly with the Indians, despite some setbacks, and only made settlements to push them out when the English arrived en masse

Tudor England and the New World

  • England’s exploration went from Henry VII to Henry VIII to Elizabeth
  • Changing the country from Catholic to Protestant had a crucial effect to their land

Henry VIII and the Reformation

  • King Henry VIII at first was against Luther’s Reformation and even wrote a book about it and got a title from the pope
  • Henry turned against the pope because monks were not as loyal as he liked and was annoyed the Church owned monastery land and collected income from them
  • When Henry wanted to divorce Catherine of Aragon, the pope refused
  • He married Anne Boleyn anyway and made himself head of the Anglican Church and confiscated monastic lands, officially cutting off the Catholic Church

The Results of Henry’s Break with Rome

  • Despite disinterest in the New World, Henry’s defiance had large effects on both his lands
  • Anne Boleyn bore Elizabeth I, who ruled 1558-1602, when England flourished and saw great progress
  • England became at intermittent war with Spain by fighting and cutting off trade in the New World
  • The Protestant Movement was revived, but many left for America to complete it when they were not satisfied with the transformation of the English Church
  • Henry started to sell the monastic lands, causing a huge turnover in real estate that threw off the classes (except merchants) and urged many to leave

Gilbert Finds a Use for North America

  • The Cathay Company formed in 1576 and was the first English interest in the New World, intending to trade with China via a North American settlement
  • It went under when its agent, Martin Frobisher, brought back 1200 tons of worthless rock, mistaken for gold, making investors cautious of North America
  • Humphrey Gilbert was the first Englishman to see America as a positive thing
  • He likened it to a better version of Ireland, which he had conquered earlier
  •                       Larger, fish, find passage to Pacific, sabotage Spanish, exploit natives
  • In 1578, he convinced Elizabeth to grant him a charter allowing rule over a colony, provided it be Christian and gave her a fifth of any gold/silver mined
  • While his first expedition in 1578 is unknown, his second was after he convinced many and left in 1583 with 260 settlers
  • They reached Newfoundland in August and were friendly with the fishers
  • After 2 weeks, the headed south and went into a heavy sea, taking Gilbert with it

Raleigh and Roanoke

  • After Gilbert’s death, many were inspired and dreamed of the New World, and his younger half brother Sir Walter Raleigh got a charter from Elizabeth for a colony
  • Raleigh was interested in undermining the Spanish and permanent settlements, enlisting Richard Hakluyt to use propaganda to convince emigration
  • In 1584, as a party of 3, he explored and founded Virginia, named after Elizabeth
  • The first settlement of Roanoke Island in 1585 had many great minds but could not find the Pacific, leaving in 1586
  • John White’s 1587 Roanoke colony was found abandoned when he returned in 1590, the only trace being a carving CROANOKE
  • The 1500s ended without an English colony in North America
  • In 1606, some English investors again falsely assumed they could profit from North America, losing money in a venture that would become the United States

The Founding of Virginia

  • Elizabeth’s successor James I ended the war with Spain in 1604
  • James was unpopular for his ending of the Spanish raids, which brought many, like Sir Francis Drake, fame and wealth
  • Attention shifted back to America to try harder for gold, precious plants and piracy beyond James’ reach


  • In 1606, nobles, upperclassmen and merchants-petitioned to establish American colonies
  • The joint-stock company funded early English expansion, as ventures were financed by many small contributions, avoiding individual risk
  • 2 groups: Virginia Company of Plymouth, for the north, and of London, for the South, with many financed to become indentured servants before getting wealthy
  • Both companies made a quick start, though Plymouth lasted 1 winter in colony at the Sagadahoc River in Maine, founded in 1607
  • The London company founded Jamestown in Virginia in1607, and despite many difficulties and mistakes, roughed it out
  • Leadership was a major problem, as colonists could not have a respected council without arguing, causing many to neglect their jobs
  • Despite disapproval, John Smith took over and learned how to plant corn, stopped the gold scramble, found cedar wood as a good resource and mapped the area
  • The powers in London were unhappy with Smith

                        No gold, no Pacific, unkind to Indians, described as a tyrant

  • They made a council in 1609 that appointed Lord De La Warr as an all-ruling governor, albeit with a council
  • The company campaigned to sell Virginia to the English public, selling stock to passengers, most of which were men and indentured servants
  • In 1616, everyone was freed, shareholders split profits and received land
  • Setting sail in 1609, only 400 arrived with no governor, causing the colony to come undone
  • In 1611, Gov. Thomas Dale arrived and repaired order, and the colony
  • The settlers struggled to find a luxury resource until 1612
  • Tobacco was native to America, and although it had a Spanish market, John Rolfe’s West Virginia variety was a hit in Europe

The Virginia Company’s Great Effort

  • The Virginia Company was pleased with this promising product after they were stuck with land and no servants
  • They also still needed another resource and created a reform program under Edwin Sandys in 1618 to convince people and servants to leave:

1.      Get land to those who paid the fare

2.      Govern colonies under the same English laws

3.      Give settlers a representative assembly for laws

4.      Send craftsmen to diversify the economy

  • Many came from 1618-24, but died from lack of supplies, Indians or returned
  • Those who survived were severely exploited, bankrupting the V.C. and turning control over to James in 1624
  • Despite a bad beginning, the colony of 1200 would survive
  • The population gradually increased with less women, who weren’t used to the hard work, and more servants than African slaves (at this time)
  • King James had a hard time exerting his authority to prevent exploitation again, though the price drop of tobacco in 1630 settled Virginia down
  • Virginians were very stubborn and grew tobacco, despite attempts to steer the away from it
  • Despite being stopped in 1624 when James took over, they have been meeting in representative assemblies since 1629, even before they were recognized in 1639

The Founding of New England

  • People left England for religious, social and economic reasons, mostly young men
  • About 300 thousand came to Virginia/Chesapeake for tobacco, new colonies north of present-day Maryland, or the West Indies (Bahamas, Barbados) for sugar
  • During the 1630s, the Great Migration to New England started mainly with whole families looking for a new, holier England
  • John Smith was sent in 1614 to Sagadahoc by the Virginia Company, where he described the area and named it New England, but they weren’t impressed enough
  • The group to gain the land was made up of royals planning feudalism, led by Sir Fernando Gorges, where they’d run and be called the Council for New England
  • Before their plans could take off, a group south established Puritanism



  • Puritans’ most distinguishing quality is the strong belief in predestination-that God decided before birth whether a person was destined for heaven or hell
  • They were dedicated followers of God’s commandments and believed conversion appeared as vigorous efforts to obey God, a sign they might be saved
  • They felt responsible to help others obey God and believed this was the government’s purpose
  • They worried about the English government’s disinterest in sins like theft and murder and disagreed with the Church of England’s structure they saw Catholic
  • Puritans disagreed how to fix the church and were divided into Congregationalists, who would settle in New England, and Presbyterians
  • The former believed there should be no general church above individual churches and membership should only be given to those who proved their Christian faith
  • Congregationalist Robert Browne advocated leaving church of England, starting the Separatist Movement, but most Congregationalists wanted to stay and fix it

The Pilgrims

  • Separatists arrived in Plymouth in 1620, having been formed in Scrooby, persecuted in England, and grown tired of Holland
  • They planned to go to Virginia, working together for 7 yrs before dividing profits with sponsors, but the Mayflower landed at Cape Cod in 1620 and they stayed
  • Many died because they were ill- prepared, but despite this they roughed it out
  • The Mayflower Compact established a government and governor John Carver, and later William Bradford, who allowed them to pay their debt to the sponsors
  • Though they established New England as a livable place, the Plymouth colony never burst with expansion, even after an exodus 10 yrs later

The Massachusetts Bay Colony

  • Charles I was harsher to the Puritans than James, eliminating Parliament in 1629 and granting power to William Laud, moving closer to Catholicism
  • Puritans started to believe God was about to purge England and left for America
  • Congregationalists bought the New England Company in 1628, becoming the Massachusetts Bay Company in 1629
  • They confirmed their propriety and government rights to the Massachusetts Bay by a charter directly from the king
  • The Puritans transferred the company to Massachusetts in 1629, gaining full governmental control and the right to live the way they had wanted
  • John Winthrop was chosen as governor and left England in 1630, setting all around the Mass. Bay and were joined by thousands more unhappy with Charles
  • Winthrop made the company a commonwealth and made many-mostly Puritans but later all/only Congregationalists-into freemen-able to vote for the assembly
  • After so many became freemen, the General Court became the governor, deputy governor, council of assistants and representatives, all freemen-elected
  • The court was the legislature-to make laws- and supreme court, making the colony self-governing and a Puritan republic

Puritan New England

  • Puritans disagreed on many things but agreed on congregational churches, a government to enforce God’s will and no bishop, court churches or hierarchy
  • They did not want the clergy to take part in the government, as they saw that as too close Roman Catholicism, and gave most power to the church members’ votes
  • Most leaders and settlers tried to remain friendly with the Church of England, with John Winthrop repeatedly putting away the Separatists’ irrationalities
  • However, during 1634-37, when he was not governor, the colony entranced
  • Roger Williams, a Separatist who arrived in 1631 wanted to forget about the churches of England and insisted the land be properly purchased from the Indians
  • He was unpopular by many because he believed the government have absolutely no control over religious affairs
  • Williams was a likable man but was so persistent he was banished in 1646, leaving with his followers to Rhode Island, while remaining friendly to the colony
  • Anne Hutchinson gained many listeners, yet had a different view of predestination
  • Denied good behavior was sign of salvation; confirmed true believers with the Holy Spirit did not need to obey God’s laws
  • Declaring most ministers to be void, she divided the colony but was also banished to RI when she claimed God gave her a direct revelation
  • Roger Williams obtained a charter from the re-formed Parliament to give RI a govt. similar to Mass. In 1644
  • They elected similar positions but did not limit voting to church members or collect taxes to support the church
  • They confirmed the government’s freedom from religious concerns in 1644
  • In 1636, Thomas Hooker led a Puritan group to Connecticut, modeled it after Mass. and confirmed it in 1662, whilst also joining with New Haven
  • New Haven settlers were disappointed by their lack of commerce, yet pleased with their stricter government and not pleased about this union
  • All of New England was under Puritan control Plymouth, Massachusetts, Hew Haven, Rhode Island, Connecticut
  • The Puritans were determined to be economically stable and attracted those solely seeking wealth
  • The economy was based on selling cattle to new settlers, but when Parliament was restored, many stopped migrating
  • The Puritans went through a minor depression but came out with a more balanced economy than Virginia

                        Fish, corn, wheat, cattle lumber, ships

  • By the mid-1600s, New England set its religious and economic feet down

Propriety Ventures

  • Non-Puritans were also trying to colonize territory, notably Sir Frances Gorges, until his 1647 death, whose claim eventually become more of Massachusetts
  • George Calvert, Lord Baltimore, first explored Newfoundland, but died and had is son secure Maryland, where the family would be in full govt. control
  • Maryland was Catholic, feudal, a religious haven and economically similar to Virginia, growing tobacco and sharing interests
  • Both Catholics and Puritans came and were welcomed, however Jesuits and Puritans caused some trouble
  • The representative assembly is famous for the 1649 Maryland Toleration Act-religious freedom for Christians who believed in the Trinity
  • This Act paved the way for religious pluralism that would distinguish America
  • By the mid-1600s, England established itself as North America’s dominant force


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