The Colonies by 1763 – a New Society?
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The Colonies by 1763-A New Society?
Between the settlement at Jamestown in 1607 and the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the most important change that occurred in the colonies was the extension of British ideals far beyond the practice in England itself. The thirteen colonies throughout time all established themselves and soon developed their own identities. Colonies in different areas were known for different things and no one colony was like the other. These people began to see them selves as Carolinians or Georgians, Quakers or new Englanders. Most of these colonists no longer saw themselves as being citizens of the mother country, but rather as citizens of their colonies. This is when the colonies began to receive their own identities and eventually start to become more and more Americanized. Changes in Religion, economics, Politics, and social structures illustrate this Americanization of the transplanted Europeans.
By 1763, although some colonies still maintained established churches, other colonies had accomplished a virtual revolution for religious toleration and separation of Church and State. In England religious toleration was out of the question and the Church of England was the only acceptable way of worshiping. All of the colonies in the Americas had differing amounts of religious toleration ranging from each end of the spectrum. In different areas the toleration varied. The majority of the people in the Southern colonies ( VA, MD, N & S Carolina, and GA) stayed loyal to the Church of England The Anglican Church and the Church of England were both tax supported so they were more widely spread throughout the south. The faith of the Protestants in the south was lest aggressive and more “worldly”. The church however was weak because of the lack of a residential Bishop which was a lack of Authority. The one exception in the south was Maryland, In Maryland an “Act of Toleration” was passed in 1649 and provided toleration to all members of the Christian faith. In the Middle colonies there was an immense amount of religious toleration. Every Middle colony with the exception of Delaware was established with religious freedom in Mind. PA was established as a “Holy Experiment” and was a refuge for Quakers, looked down upon in England. This “experiment” attracted a diversity of faiths and backgrounds. There was also great Diversity in New York, and New Jersey. Delaware was mainly established with economic reasons in mind. The New England Colonies were also established with religious freedoms involved but for a different group of people, the Puritans. The Massachusetts Bay colony was established to be a model for what society should really be like, a utopia. This idea was based on the “City on a Hill” theory. The Puritan religion dominated the entire North East. Intolerant of dissenters and peoples from other religions the Salem which trials began. Showing how brutal the people were, killing or exiling anyone who disagreed with there “simple way of life”. Mentioned above is a “virtual revolution for religious toleration”. This revolution marked the beginning of confessions and emotionalism. Before the Great Awakening most sermons portrayed god as a benign creator and failed to emphasize the confession of sins. During the Great Awakening people began to believe that living a life of sinfulness will lead to an after life of eternal damnation, unless you confess your sins. It became a more emotional period in religion.
In a similar economic revolution, the colonies outgrew their mercantile relationship with the mother country, and developed and expanding capitalist system on their own. England depended on colonies such as those in North America to supply them with raw materials to produce and eventually sell back to them. This is known as mercantilism and is only really benefiting the mother country. The Southern colonies were originally established as mercantile colonies, providing the mother country with raw materials, such as Rice, Indigo, and Tobacco. The basic economy in the South was agricultural, and was on a platform of the plantation system, which was dependent on slavery and indentured servitude. There was very little development of the industry as a result of plantation owners putting all of their money into their land and slaves. This resulted in little investment and was therefore the cause for little development. The little bit of industry development that there was resulted in Lumber, fur and Naval store trading. In the Middle Colonies the establishment was also partially economical, with the exception of Pennsylvania. Just as in the South these colonies were established to serve the mother country, however the agriculture was producing different crops, and the industry was producing fur and Naval supplies but not much Lumber. The agricultural aspect of the economy flourished because of the moderate climate which provided for longer growing seasons and also the rich soil found in the area. The main crops were Wheat, Barley, Fruit and livestock was also produced. These colonies were known as “The Bread Basket.” Although mainly established for religious reasons the north also contributed to the mercantile system. The climate was cold ad growing seasons were short, the soil was rocky and it was hard to produce crops. However small amounts of Beans, Barley, Oats and corn were produced along with livestock. The main economic advantage in the North was the fact that it was in a good trading location and had good ports. This is why the North was mainly a industrial area, producing lumber, ships, naval supplies, Distilled materials, and was also a supreme area for the triangle trade. The ship building and naval industry led to strength in fishing and whaling and the area was good for furs. However, these colonies were soon angered at the mother countries attempt to prevent self-sufficiency with the Navigation Acts and Molasses Acts, which led to the economic revolution, slowly merging them slowly into a more capitalist economy.
Building on the English foundation of political liberty, the colonists extended the concepts of