Chapter 3: The English Colonies


Chapter 3: The English Colonies 

The Southern Colonies

nJamestown – the first permanent English settlement in America

nFounded in 1607 on the James River

nSettled in the marshes

nSuffered disease and death 

Powhatan Confederacy (about 30 tribes)

nJohn Smith took control

nDon’t work = don’t eat

nPowhatan helped colonists

nPopulation went from 400 to 60 in one year 

Daily Life in Virginia

nHigh death rate caused a labor shortage

nIndentured Servants – agreed to work 4 to 7 years for those who paid for their journey

nAs the cost of slaves fell, slave labor increased

nBacon’s Rebellion - Bacon and his followers attacked and burned Jamestown 

Other Southern Colonies

nFounded in 1634 by Lord Baltimore

nFounded by Catholics but Protestants soon began moving there

nTensions rose

nToleration Act of 1649 – made it a crime to restrict the religious rights of Christians (Lord Baltimore) 

Carolinas and Georgia

nOriginally founded in 1633, Carolina was separated into North and South Carolina in 1712

nNorth – mostly farmers moved from Virginia

nSouth – mostly settlers from Europe

nGeorgia – founded in 1732 by James Oglethorpe

nOriginally meant to a Spanish attack 

Economy of Southern Colonies

nMany small farms/some large plantations

nWarm climate and long growing season

nCash crops – sold for profit

nTobacco, rice, and indigo

nSlaves were the main source of labor

nSlave codes – laws to control slaves 

New England Colonies

nPuritans - wanted to reform the Anglican Church

nPilgrims – separatist group that left England to escape persecution

nImmigrants – people who left the country of their birth to live in another country 

Mayflower Compact

nMayflower ship

nLanded at Plymouth Rock in present- day Massachusetts

nMayflower Compact – legal contract in which they agreed to have fair laws to protect the general good

nSquanto helped the Pilgrims to survive 

New England Economy

nHarsh climate and rocky soil

nFew cash crops

nSlavery was not important

nTrading was vital

nFishing became one of the leading industries

nAs trade grew, shipbuilding grew 

Education in New England

nParents wanted their kids to be able to read the bible

nMore schools in New England than in any other colonies

nChildren went to work after elementary grades

nHarvard – 1636

nWilliam and Mary – 1693 

Middle Colonies

nDutch found New Netherland (New York) and New Amsterdam (New York City)

nQuakers were a large religious group in New Jersey

nWilliam Penn found Pennsylvania 1681 

Economy of Middle Colonies

nGood climate and rich land

nStaple crops – crops that are always needed

nIndentured servants filled most labor needs

nExported wheat to Britain and the West Indies 

Life in the ColoniesnEach colony had a governor

nThe center of politics was the town meeting

nTown meeting – people talked about and decided on issues of local interest

nParliament replaced King James II and passed the

English Bill of Rights, which reduced the powers of the English monarch 

English Trade Laws

nEngland wanted to control the colonies to earn money from trade

nNavigation acts limited the trading of colonists

nTriangular trade – goods and slaves were traded among the colonies, Britain, and Africa

nSlaves were brought across the ocean in a voyage called the Middle Passage 

Great Awakening and Enlightenment

nMinisters began holding revivals

nGreat Awakening – religious movement that swept through the colonies in the 1730s and 1740s

nEnlightenment – spread the idea that reason and logic could improve society in the 1700s

nJohn Locke – people have the right to equality and liberty 

Causes of French and Indian War

nThe British and French both wanted to control certain territory in North America.

nThe British wanted to settle in the Ohio Valley and the French wanted it for the fur trade.


nThe war officially ended with a British victory and with the signing of the Treaty of Paris on February 10, 1763.  

Political Consequences   

Economic Consequences

nMost of the war was fought in America, so the British government thought the colonists should help pay for it.

nBritain imposed a series of taxes without consulting colonial governments.   

Proclamation of 1763

nDue to Pontiac’s Rebellion, King George III issued the Proclamation of 1763.

nColonists were forbidden from settling west of the Appalachian Mountains. 

Stamp Act

nThe Stamp Act of 1765 was passed by Great Britain.

nIt required all legal documents, permits, commercial contracts, newspapers, pamphlets, and playing cards in the American colonies to carry a tax stamp.

nThe act was made to reduce the cost of maintaining the military presence protecting the colonies.

nColonists threatened tax collectors with tarring and feathering. 

Declaratory Act

nBritish Parliament decided to repeal the Stamp Act since no one was obeying it.

nAt the same time, they passed the Declaratory Act which was an attempt to control the behavior of the colonies. 

Colonial Opposition

nNo Taxation without Representation became a rallying cry for colonists.

nAmericans didn’t feel they should have to pay taxes when they did not have anyone to represent them in parliament. 

Sons of Liberty

nThis group formed as a result of the Stamp Act

nMany times they would seize the stamps or the papers that were stamped and burn them.

nSamuel Adams and Paul Revere headed the Sons of Liberty in Massachusetts.

nThey enforced boycotts and occasionally resorted to violence. 

Quartering Act

nThis act was passed to require colonists to pay for housing and feeding British soldiers that were staying in their area. Townshend Acts

nThe Townshend Acts were a British trick to tax the colonists.  The British treasurer Charles Townshend had the idea for the tax and the King liked it.

nThe Townshend Acts called for new import taxes on glass, lead, paints, paper, and tea.  In March, 1770, the Townshend Acts were repealed except for the tax on tea.  

Boston Massacre

nOn March 5, 1770 the Boston Massacre occurred when a few troops fired on Bostonians who were throwing snowballs at them. The soldiers and their officer were charged with murder. A jury found the officer and six soldiers acted in self-defense and were not guilty. 

Boston Tea Party

nWhen repealing the Townshend Acts, British Parliament kept the tea tax. A group of colonists, led by Samuel Adams and Paul Revere disguised themselves as Native Americans, boarded the ships on the night of Dec. 16, 1773, and threw the tea into the harbor. 

Intolerable Acts

nThe British government responded by closing the port of Boston and passed the Intolerable Acts. The Boston Tea Party eventually proved to be one of the many causes that led to the American Revolution.

nThe Intolerable Acts were a threat to liberty and all the colonies. 

nThe Intolerable Acts were passed by Parliament in 1774.  These acts were passed to take more control over the American Colonies.  There were four acts. 

Quartering Act

nFirst was the Quartering Act. It was passed on March 24, 1765.

nIt said that colonists were to house any British soldier who came to their door and asked to stay.  

Boston Port Act

nThe second was the Boston Port Act.  This bill was passed on June 1, 1774. 

nThis bill closed the port of Boston until the damages from the Boston Tea Party were paid for.  

Administration of Justice Act

nThe third was the Administration of Justice Act.  It was passed on May 20, 1774. 

nThis bill said that British officials would not be able to be tried in colonial courts.  They would be sent back to Britain and tried there.  

Massachusetts Government Act

nThe fourth was the Massachusetts Government Act.  This happened on May 20, 1774.

nIt gave the British control of the town meetings and took control out of the colonists' hands.