BECK index

Summary & Evaluation
of American Revolution to 1800

by Sanderson Beck

Dutch & English Colonies to 1664
New England & New York 1664-1744
New Jersey & Pennsylvania 1664-1744
Maryland to Georgia 1664-1744
English-French Conflict 1744-63
American Revolution 1763-1783
American Constitution & Federalists 1783-1800
Evaluating American Revolution to 1800
Evaluating Presidents Washington & Adams

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Dutch & English Colonies to 1664

      On the continent north of Mexico probably less than ten million people were spread out in villages, living tribally, hunting, fishing, and gathering food with some farming. The Huron Deganawidah taught the ways of peace. About 1450 CE the Mohawk sachem Hiawatha took his ideas to the five nations that the French later named the Iroquois, and they formed a confederation. The Iroquois lived communally in long houses, and the women were very influential in governing. When Europeans began arriving about 1600, the Iroquois were using their alliance to subjugate other tribes. The Mohawks especially got fire-arms from the Dutch and English. Mohawks attacked the Mohicans in 1624 and fought them for four years.

      After explorations by Henry Hudson the Dutch chartered the New Netherland Company in 1614. Adrian Groenewegen founded Kykoveral (Fort See Everywhere) on the Essequibo River in Guiana in 1616, and Abraham van Pere settled on the Berbice River in 1627. Sugar was the main industry in Guiana and used many slaves. In 1623 the Dutch and Walloons built Fort Orange by the Hudson River, and some settled on Manhattan Island which Peter Minuit purchased in 1626 for sixty guilders in trinkets. Willem Kieft began governing autocratically in 1638, the year Minuit founded the New Sweden colony on the Delaware peninsula. Johannes Megapolensis wrote about the spiritual ideas of the Mohawks and began publishing them in 1644. Despite the peacemaking efforts of David Pieterszoon de Vries, Kieft went to war against the Lenape Indians from 1643 to 1645.
      Peter Stuyvesant governed New Netherland 1647-64 during complaints about the Company’s policies. The 1650 Treaty of Hartford established the border between New Netherland and New England by dividing Long Island. The next year Stuyvesant blocked English colonists from going to Delaware, and in 1655 he took over the Swedish colony there. That year a ship brought slaves from Africa to New Amsterdam, and Indians were provoked and invaded Manhattan. Stuyvesant went to war against Esopus Indians in 1660. He persecuted Quakers, but the Amsterdam directors reprimanded him and recommended religious tolerance. After trying to organize resistance, in September 1664 Stuyvesant surrendered New Netherland to the English, and it became New York.

      Francis Drake raided the West Indies in 1585, and the next year he took the first Roanoke colonists back to England. A second attempt at Roanoke also failed. Jamestown was founded in Virginia in 1607. Pocahontas saved the life of John Smith, and he developed trade with the Powhatans. After a “starving time” the colony got more supplies. In 1611 Thomas Dale imposed strict laws and got the Chickahominies to contribute corn annually. In 1614 Virginia began exporting rapidly increasing amounts of tobacco. Virginia elected an Assembly in 1619, the year the Dutch sold them 20 Africans. The laws were made more moderate, and new settlers were given 50 acres of land. In 1622 Powhatans and others killed hundreds of colonists, and the war went on for more than two years. English colonists landed at St. Kitts in 1623 and at Barbados in 1625. John Harvey governed Virginia autocratically 1630-39 except 1635-37 when he was suspended and impeached. He was replaced by the aristocratic Francis Wyatt who had governed 1621-25 and then 1639-41. Cecil Calvert was granted a charter for Maryland in 1632 that allowed him to collect rent from the settlers who had to declare they believed in the Catholic trinity.
      In 1607 the first attempt by the Plymouth Company to colonize what John Smith later named New England did not succeed. In 1620 William Brewster led 41 pilgrims fleeing religious persecution to Cape Cod, and in November they signed the Mayflower compact. They made a treaty that Wampanoag chief Massasoit kept for 40 years, and they celebrated thanksgiving together annually in October. William Bradford was elected governor 30 times in 35 years, and only two people were executed. A new colony at Wessagusset did not get along with the Massachusetts and failed in 1623. In 1626 the pilgrims agreed to buy out the stockholders with a mortgage. The Puritans resented Thomas Morton’s Mare Mount colony for frolicking with the Indians and selling them weapons, and the Puritans deported him. Isaac Allerton borrowed money for Plymouth at high interest and became rich, and others did not pay off the debt until 1648. Freemen elected representatives in 1639.
      In 1628 John Endecott began a colony that was called Salem. John Winthrop was a government attorney in England but lost his position because he was a Puritan. He and eleven others formed the Massachusetts Bay Company, and they sailed with 400 colonists to New England in 1630, suggesting “A Model of Christian Charity.” About 200 people died of disease the first year, but by 1643 some 16,000 people had emigrated to Massachusetts. Winthrop was chosen governor, and he argued that they could “lawfully” take land from the Indians. Only members of a Congregationalist church who were freemen could vote. Anyone not attending church could be fined. Roger Williams taught in Salem and was banished in January 1636. The popular teacher Anne Hutchinson was tried by the General Court and her church and was expelled by both for her independent views. Harvard College graduated its first nine students in 1642. When Massachusetts annexed New Hampshire that year, they did not require its deputies to be church members.
      Colonization of the Connecticut River valley provoked the Pequot War in 1636, but the diplomacy of Roger Williams gained the Narragansetts as allies. In 1638 New Haven and Hartford elected governments. Williams fled from Massachusetts in January 1636 and took refuge with the sachem Canonicus. Plymouth leaders did not want him either, and he founded Providence. Williams, the Hutchinsons, and William Coddington established Rhode Island in March 1638, and a government was elected three years later, protecting freedom of conscience.
      In 1643 the colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven formed the Confederation of New England. That year Mohicans led by Uncas defeated Miantonomo’s Narragansetts. When Chief Pessicus led a Narragansett invasion into Mohican territory in 1646, Connecticut, New Haven, and Plymouth went to war against the Narragansetts; but Massachusetts refused to support an offensive war, and Rhode Island was neutral. In 1647 Massachusetts began requiring schools, and they took control of Maine in 1651. William Pynchon, who founded Springfield, criticized Puritan intolerance in The Meritorious Price. Donations from England sponsored the missionary work with Indians by Thomas Mayhew on Martha’s Vineyard and by John Eliot who founded Natick for Christian Indians and translated and printed the Bible in Algonquian. Massachusetts punished more than 100 people for being Quakers, hanging four. John Winthrop Jr. was a popular governor of Connecticut, but his company took Narragansett land.
      Roger Williams wrote a book on American Indians and another opposing persecution for religious beliefs. Samuel Gorton practiced and taught a libertarian spirituality and gained followers in Rhode Island. Williams went to London and prevented Coddington from taking over Rhode Island. Williams was elected president of Rhode Island in 1654, and he enforced the laws against rioting.
      The English Civil War caused conflicts in Maryland, and Lord Baltimore disavowed allegiance to Charles II in 1649. That year the Maryland Assembly passed the “Act Concerning Religion” that protected conscience and the free exercise of religion. Protestant Governor William Stone agreed to obey the English Commonwealth, but Bennett and Claiborne seized the government in 1652 and won a civil war with help from Protestants in 1654. Cromwell and Baltimore agreed as both wanted peace. After negotiations with Puritans, Charles Calvert was appointed Governor of Maryland in 1661.
      Virginia’s Governor William Berkeley (1642-52) supported the King Charles I, and all ministers had to conform to the Church of England. In 1652 the House of Burgesses disbanded his army and took over the government of Virginia. They allowed free trade and improved relations with the Indians. In 1660 Berkeley was elected governor and regained control; separatists were punished and banished.
      The British Navigation Ordinance of 1651 led to a war with the Dutch the next year. Governor Willoughby of Barbados backed the first successful English colony to Guiana in 1651. The next year the Charter of Barbados provided an elected assembly to control taxes. English forces led by Admiral Penn invaded Jamaica in 1655, and the Spaniards were driven out by 1660.

New England & New York 1664-1744

      New Haven became part of Connecticut in 1664, but the New England confederation continued with three members. Massachusetts ignored England’s Navigation Act of 1660. Land was disputed, and Indians were confined to areas where they could be controlled. The English pressured the Wampanoag sachem Metacom (King Philip) to give them his weapons. Plymouth learned that the Narragansetts were making weapons, and their court made Metacom surrender his arms in 1671. Many Indians resented what missionaries and other colonists imposed on them. After some murders and executions, the Wampanoag uprising led by Metacom began in June 1675. The colonists mobilized, and in September the Commissioners called for a thousand men. Rhode Island only fought defensively and was attacked. New York gave guns to the Mohawks who kept their enemy Algonquin tribes from moving west. After Metacom was killed on 12 August 1676 most Indians fled or surrendered. The war cost the three New England colonies £80,000, and their debts rose to equal their assets. About 600 English were killed, and more than 3,000 Indians died.
      In 1676 the English Lords of Trade sent Edward Randolph to investigate the New England colonies, but juries in Massachusetts decided against his seizures of ships. New Hampshire was recognized as a royal province in 1679, and the next year the Assembly asserted the right to make their own laws. Cranfield tried to govern New Hampshire for Mason, but he was removed in 1684. That September the United Colonies of New England held their last meeting, and the next month the Massachusetts charter was judged forfeited. Andros was appointed governor of the New England Dominion in 1686 and suspended legal titles and rights, but after the English revolution he and Randolph were arrested in Boston in April 1689. Rhode Island and Connecticut reinstated their elected governments in May, and Massachusetts revived its laws in June. William Phips led the invasion of Acadia and Quebec in 1690. William III appointed him governor of Massachusetts, but the King let Increase Mather choose the first Council which after that was elected by the Assembly.
      In 1692 several girls in Salem complained they were being afflicted by witches, and the ensuing trials resulted in fourteen women and five men being hanged. Many confessed in order to avoid execution, and a few died in jail. Increase Mather criticized the evidence, but his son Cotton Mather defended the prosecutions with some reservations. Finally Governor Phips intervened to stop the executions, and some came to realize that the “afflicted” girls were acting more like witches than those they accused. Eventually most of the convicted had their names cleared, and compensation for confiscated property was paid in 1710.
      The new Board of Trade tried to impose mercantile policies with the Navigation Act in 1696 and the Woolen Act of 1699. In 1704 the weekly Boston News-Letter became North America’s first successful newspaper, and towns were required to provide schools. Boston slave traders imported most of the Africans for New England and Virginia. In 1700 Samuel Sewall criticized slavery in his pamphlet The Selling of Joseph. To discourage slavery in 1705 the Assembly raised the duty on imported Africans to £4. In 1712 they banned the importation of Indian slaves. Joseph Dudley governed Massachusetts and New Hampshire from 1702 to 1715. The war with France was expensive, but the 1713 treaty recognized English occupation of Newfoundland, Acadia (Nova Scotia), and Hudson Bay. In the 1720s conflicts with Abenakis, Micmacs, and Pequawkets led Massachusetts to provide responsible and fair trade with the Indians. Governor Belcher (1730-41) managed to reduce the colony’s debt from £311,000 to £205,000.
      Cotton Mather tried hard to live piously and wrote a long religious history of New England and the ethical Essays to Do Good, and he blended science with religion in his Christian Philosopher. Both Mather and his rival John Wise supported inoculation for smallpox during an epidemic at Boston in 1721. Wise had led the tax resistance against the tyranny of Andros in 1687, and he opposed Mather’s 1705 Proposals to suppress innovation in churches. Wise published A Vindication of the Government of New-England Churches in 1717. In this work he explained the philosophy of democratic government with human freedom and equality.
      In Rhode Island the Quaker governor Walter Clarke refused to obey the authority of Phips over their militia. Clarke’s nephew Samuel Cranston was annually elected and governed Rhode Island 1698-1727. Rhode Island sent ships and men for the invasions of Acadia and Canada, and they used paper money to stimulate their economy. Replacing the limiting primogeniture with equal inheritance brought social changes.
      Connecticut also refused to submit to the commands of Governor Phips and Governor Fletcher of New York. The Assembly began supporting schoolmasters’ salaries in 1699. Saltonstall was an ordained minister and governed Connecticut 1707-24. A college was started at Saybrook in 1701 and moved to New Haven in 1717; the next year it was named after Elihu Yale who donated books. Tax exemption was extended to the Church of England, Quakers, and Baptists, but taxes still supported Congregational ministers.
      Jonathan Edwards (1703-58) helped inspire a great revival and became the most influential Puritan theologian. His sermons began a revival in 1734, and in 1737 he described the conversion process in A Faithful Narrative of the Surprising Work of God. In 1740 George Whitefield preached to large crowds, and hundreds of people became much more religious. Some, such as James Davenport, believed they could tell the truly converted ministers from the hypocrites, but he was expelled from Connecticut in 1742 as insane. That year Edwards wrote a book about the revival, but the Boston pastor Charles Chauncey countered with writings emphasizing the importance of reason and sound judgment. Even Edwards admitted that the revival was “dead” by 1744. He emphasized love and wrote aboutreligious affections. He accepted Calvin’s idea of predestination and opposed the Arminian doctrine of free will. In a work on virtue he argued that humans can rise above self-love by loving God and others.

      In 1664 Charles II granted New Netherland to his brother James, and it was renamed New York. James appointed Col. Nicolls deputy governor. He made Carr give back confiscated goods in Delaware. Although autocratic, Nicolls governed with such justice and tolerance for the Dutch that he was honored when he retired in 1668. Governor Lovelace (1668-74) gave Manhattan merchants a monopoly on Hudson River trade. The Dutch invaded New York in August 1673 with 1,600 men and took over Fort James, but they gave it back by the Treaty of Westminster in February 1674. Charles II again granted the territory to James who appointed Major Edmund Andros as governor. He required all import and export duties to be paid in New York City, increasing its trade tenfold. James appointed Col. Dongan as governor in 1683 and instructed him to choose a Council and summon a General Assembly of all freeholders. They established an elected Assembly with an English majority; but James disallowed the liberal laws when he became king in 1685.
      Andros became Governor again under the Dominion of New England in 1688. He was arrested in Boston in April 1689 when Captain Jacob Leisler led a rebellion that took over the government of New York. He sent a force under Milborne to defend Albany from an attack by the French and Indians. Leisler supported the working class, and some merchants tried to kill him. In 1690 King William commissioned Col. Sloughter as governor with a Council of wealthy oligarchs, and they replaced the Leisler regime in March 1691. Leisler and Milborne were executed. Governor Fletcher (1692-97) had authority over the militias of Connecticut and the Jerseys. In 1693 taxes supported Anglican ministers, though the Dutch Reformed Church was exempted in 1696. Fletcher was accused of favoring pirates and embezzling funds. New York banned Catholic priests in 1700. After Governor Bellomont died in 1701, Leislerians influenced the government until Governor Cornbury arrived in May 1702 and restored the status quo. He promoted Anglicans and was also accused of embezzling. After losing ships to the French, New York engaged in privateering during Queen Anne’s War. Whigs replaced Cornbury.
      Governor Hunter (1710-19) suppressed dissent, and a slave rebellion was crushed in 1712. Jews could be naturalized in 1718. Large numbers of Scots and Irish Catholics immigrated. William Burnet governed New Jersey and New York 1720-28, but his trade policy was opposed by the De Lanceys and other powerful families. The Assembly rewarded Governor Cosby for opposing the Molasses Act of 1733. John Peter Zenger began publishing the Weekly Journal, and in November 1734 he was arrested for accusing the Governor of corruption. Andrew Hamilton defended him so brilliantly that the jury nullified the judge’s instructions and acquitted him in a landmark case for freedom of the press.

New Jersey & Pennsylvania 1664-1744

      In 1664 James, Duke of York, granted New Jersey to his friends John Berkeley and George Carteret as a proprietary colony, and they offered free rent to attract colonists. In 1668 Governor Philip Carteret summoned the first assembly. In 1674 Berkeley sold his proprietary rights to the Quakers Byllynge and Fenwick. Carteret retained the northeastern half of New Jersey, and Quaker trustees controlled West Jersey property until 1683. The latter protected religious freedom, but they also had land disputes. By 1680 Duke James gave up his claims. When George Carteret died in 1680, Quakers led by William Penn bought East Jersey at auction for £3,400. When Byllynge died in 1687, Dr. Coxe bought his proprietary rights and became Governor of West Jersey the next year. In 1688 New Jersey came under the Dominion of New England. Dr. Coxe sold his holdings in both Jerseys to London businessmen in 1692 for £9,800, and they made Andrew Hamilton governor of East Jersey. He was removed because of a technicality in 1697, and after some intrigues was recommissioned as governor of both Jerseys in 1699. Hamilton had trouble bringing order and appealed to the King William III in 1701. The proprietors of both Jerseys offered to surrender to William as long as fourteen rights were reserved. In 1702 Queen Anne accepted, and New Jersey became a unified royal colony with the annual Assembly meeting alternately at Perth Amboy and Burlington; but it was under the Governor of New York until 1738 when Lewis Morris became Governor of New Jersey. The Assembly kept taxes low by loaning money at reasonable interest rates, and they supported the war against Spain in 1740.

      Young William Penn became a Quaker, and while imprisoned in London in 1669 for practicing the new religion he wrote No Cross, No Crown and pamphlets on human rights. His father was the admiral who conquered Jamaica in 1655. After his death Charles II granted William the proprietary colony Pennsylvania in 1681. Many Quakers and some Mennonites found a refuge there. Penn made special efforts to treat the Indians fairly, and the treaties made helped his “holy experiment” to function without a military for more than seventy years. The Assembly was elected by secret ballot. By 1685 Pennsylvania had 8,000 Europeans, but a third were indentured servants.
      Deputy Governor Blackwell arrested his critics in 1689, but he went back to Massachusetts the next year. Publisher William Bradford was tried again in 1692. Although the jury was deadlocked, he spent a year in jail and then went to New York. The Assembly refused to organize a militia, and Pennsylvania was put under Governor Fletcher of New York. In 1697 and again in 1701 the Assembly refused to fund Pennsylvania’s quota for colonial defense. Penn suggested a European parliament in 1693 to bring about peace through disarmament, and in 1697 he outlined a plan for uniting the American colonies. He explained the loving, simple, and peaceful ways of the conscientious Quakers. Penn supported efforts to stop piracy and illegal trade. In 1701 the Council was made an administrative cabinet, and the Assembly became a unicameral legislature. Penn granted the Charter of Privileges that protected freedom of conscience.
      In 1711 Quakers lost control of the Pennsylvania Assembly as it appropriated £2,000 for the expedition against Canada. Penn suffered a debilitating stroke in 1712. When George of Hanover became King of England in 1714, Governor Gookin applied the new conformity law that discriminated against Quakers who refused to take oaths. After William Penn’s death in 1718 the proprietorship passed to his sons. Thousands of Germans and Swiss immigrated and provided a buffer between the pacifists in the east and the Indians in the west. Those following the simplicity of Jacob Ammon were called Amish. Logan was proprietary secretary from 1701 to 1747 and became wealthy developing trade with the Indians in the Susquehanna Valley. He had the largest library in America and let Ben Franklin use it. Conrad Weiser helped the Iroquois dominate the Delawares in Pennsylvania. Indians resented the notorious “Walking Purchase” of 1737 that brought more settlers. Zinzendorf’s Moravians founded Bethlehem in 1741. The Pennsylvania Assembly appropriated £5,000 for the war against Spain.
      Benjamin Franklin was born and raised in Boston, learning the printing business from his brother James as an apprentice. His Autobiography is still the most popular ever. He spent his spare time reading. At the age of sixteen he secretly wrote a series of satirical articles called Silence Dogood for his brother’s newspaper. When James was arrested for criticizing the government, Silence advocated freedom of speech and warned how dangerous hypocrisy in government may be. Franklin moved to Philadelphia in 1723, and he started the Junto discussion group in 1727. When his former boss started a newspaper to beat Franklin to it in 1729, he wrote the entertaining “Busy-Body” about a moral censor for the competitor Andrew Bradford. Within the year Franklin bought The Pennsylvania Gazette. He published a pamphlet arguing that paper currency secured by land improves the economy by lowering interest rates. He explained that money is a medium of exchange that represents labor time.
      Franklin believed in a deity who allows humans some freedom and may reward prayer and good works by providence. In his Autobiography he described his practical method for improving himself on the thirteen virtues of temperance, silence, order, resolution, frugality, industry, sincerity, justice, moderation, cleanliness, tranquility, chastity, and humility. His son William was born out of wedlock, and Franklin lived with a common law wife. He advised wives and husbands how to get along. Threatening bad publicity got him elected to the Freemasons of Philadelphia. He recommended simplicity in living, manners, and speech, and he argued against dishonest cunning as less successful than virtue. He observed that censuring improves behavior, warned against drunkenness, and doubted that self-denial is a virtue. He avoided theological sermons and learned that criticizing religious beliefs is often futile. He used satire to criticize and influence politicians. Franklin published Poor Richard’s Almanac annually from 1733 to 1758 and included his wit and wisdom with aphoristic brevity.

Maryland to Georgia 1664-1744

      Maryland passed laws restricting the rights of African slaves, and Governor George Calvert excluded the poorer classes from voting in 1670. The Calvert family continued to dominate Maryland, but an Association to defend the Protestant religion persuaded King William to make Maryland a royal colony in 1689. Much tobacco was exported in exchange for food from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania and for smuggled wine, rum, sugar, molasses, and salt from the West Indies. Maryland established the Church of England and discriminated against Catholics. Thomas Bray founded libraries and promoted missionary work. In 1714 Queen Anne restored the Calverts as proprietors. By 1720 Maryland had 25,000 slaves. Charles Calvert became proprietor in 1732 and approved issuing £90,000 in paper currency for 31 years.

      Berkeley governed Virginia again from 1660 to 1677, and he maintained control by allowing the Assembly to continue for fourteen years without an election. The Assembly also limited suffrage in 1670. Virginia suffered a devastating hurricane in 1667 and a plague in 1673. Conflicts with the Indians escalated in 1676 as Susquehannocks were driven south by the war in New England. Berkeley confiscated ammunition from subject Indians and banned the sale of arms to them. In 1676 Nathaniel Bacon attacked friendly Indians and led a rebellion against Governor Berkeley, taking over and burning Jamestown; but after Bacon died of dysentery, the rebellion was crushed by January 1677. Bacon’s laws were repealed, and Berkeley was removed in May.
      A surplus of tobacco in 1681 led Virginia to reduce production despite some protests. Governor Effingham supported Catholic James II and reduced the Assembly’s power. King William replaced Effingham, and Edmund Andros became Governor of Virginia in 1692. The College of William and Mary was founded in 1695, and Christopher Wren designed the buildings. Andros provoked Indian hostility, and he resigned in 1698. Francis Nicholson’s tyrannical ways were also resented, but by making government more efficient he turned the £4,600 debt to a surplus of £10,000 by 1702. Col. Spotswood restored the right of habeas corpus and governed Virginia 1710-22. He compensated Indians and paid Griffin to teach them. Before leaving office he patented much land for himself and his friends. Tobacco continued to be the main crop and currency, and in 1730 Governor Gooch (1727-49) improved the quality with public inspections. In 1733 Virginia counted 88,000 Europeans and 42,000 Africans. Parks began publishing the weekly Virginia Gazette in 1736. Governor Gooch sent troops to help defend Georgia against a Spanish invasion in 1742.

      Charles II granted Carolina to eight supporters as a proprietary colony in 1663. Barbadian planters settled at Cape Fear in 1665 but left two years later. Locke wrote the “Fundamental Constitutions” for Carolina in 1669. Charles Town was founded in 1670, and the next year settlers came from Barbados and New York. Joseph West governed well 1674-82. Cardross led Scots to found Stuart’s Town, but they attacked Spaniards who destroyed Stuart’s Town in August 1686. Woodward explored the west and developed a lucrative fur trade with the Creeks. By 1690 Carolina had 1,500 African slaves.
      Settlers began going to Albemarle in 1653. Conflicts with Carolina proprietors caused revolts and changes in government in Albemarle between 1676 and 1688 when it became known as North Carolina. In 1689 the proprietors commissioned Philip Ludwell to govern northern Carolina, and in 1693 he declared quit-rents only a farthing an acre. Conflict arose when one party excluded Quakers by requiring an oath of office. War with the Tuscaroras broke out in 1711, and Charles Town sent Carolinians and Indian allies to help North Carolina defeat them in 1713. Peace was made, and most Tuscaroras migrated to New York and became the sixth nation in the Iroquois Confederation. North Carolina became a royal colony in 1729. The Assembly authorized £40,000 in bills of credit. Governor Johnston (1734-52) tried to collect quit-rents in silver or in paper currency at the rate of seven to one.
      Governor Ludwell lowered quit-rents in the south as well as the north in 1693. Joseph Blake governed South Carolina and promoted rights for the non-English and tolerance for all Protestants before he died in 1700. Africans were imported to grow rice, and laws severely restricted slaves. James Moore traded Indian slaves. He replaced the governor, dissolved the Assembly, won a questionable election by campaigning for a more prepared military, and he led the attack that burned San Agustin (St. Augustine) in 1702. This ran up the debt, and Moore allowed the Dissenters to be beaten. Governor Nathaniel Johnson sent Moore to destroy Spanish missions and attack Indians. Anglicans gained power in South Carolina in 1706 and established the Church of England, though Dissenters won the election of 1707. The English burned Pensacola. Thomas Nairne was elected Indian agent and made peace with the Choctaws; but Governor Johnson had him arrested after he prosecuted his son-in-law for enslaving Cherokees. In 1712 the South Carolina Assembly funded education, founded the first land bank in America, and codified the laws. Slave rebellions were put down in 1711 and 1714, and the number of slaves in South Carolina reached 10,000. Abuses by traders and settlers taking their land provoked a war with the Yamasees in 1715; but the Cherokees signed a treaty in 1716, and Chief Brims united the Creeks at Coweta in 1718. The government executed many pirates.
      England made South Carolina a royal colony in 1720, and Governor Francis Nicholson opposed Dissenters. Loss of the naval stores business to Sweden caused tax rebellion and resistance to arresting debtors. Whitmarsh founded the South-Carolina Gazette in 1732, and a theater was built in Charles Town in 1736. African slaves cleared land in the 1730s, and in 1740 rice exports reached 43 million pounds. That year South Carolina had 20,000 Europeans and 39,000 Africans. A slave rebellion killed 30 Europeans in 1739, and new laws regulated treatment of slaves while restricting their rights. Priber experimented with communal living among the Cherokees, but in 1743 Georgia authorities imprisoned him for life. South Carolina authorized £119,000 for the war against Spain.

      Swiss settlers founded Purrysburg on the north side of the Savannah River in 1732. That year George II granted trustees a non-profit charter for Georgia as a colony to help the poor. Parliament contributed £10,000, and James Oglethorpe with a hundred colonists settled south of the Savannah River in February 1733. They developed good trading relationships with the Creeks and others. Oglethorpe went to England and got the Parliament to prohibit the importation of slaves and liquor. Trustees sent more than a thousand indentured servants. Lutherans developed silk production, and Moravians settled in Georgia but moved to Pennsylvania because of the war with Spain. Whitefield replaced the Wesleys in 1738 and raised money for Bethesda Orphanage with his popular preaching. A Spanish fleet attacked St. Simons Island, and 4,000 Spaniards marched on Frederica in July 1742; but they left after burning Fort St. Simon. The prohibition of alcohol was repealed in 1742, and efforts to allow slavery caused Oglethorpe to abandon Georgia in 1743.

English-French Conflict 1744-63

      The European war between France and England that began in 1744 was also fought between New France and New England. The English attacked Fort Louisbourg in May 1745 and captured it in June, forcing 4,460 people to return to France. Canadians invaded Massachusetts in March 1747. A treaty ended the war in October 1748, and captured territory was restored. While the French expanded their colonies at Ile Royale and Ile St. Jean, English settlers came to Nova Scotia. Both sides built forts and sought Indian allies. Governor Duquesne organized a special militia and in 1753 sent an expedition to build forts in the Ohio valley. King George’s War (1744-48) had increased the debt of Massachusetts from £305,000 to £2,100,000. In 1750 Jonathan Mayhew preached there should be “no taxation without representation.” The number of slaves in Connecticut increased to 3,587 in 1756.
      In the war New York lost at least a hundred men at Saratoga on 28 November 1745, but privateers from New York captured hundreds of French and Spanish prizes worth £618,000 to their investors and crews. New York’s Indian agent William Johnson gained the Iroquois as allies; but the Assembly did not give him nearly as much money as he spent, and he quit in 1753. Connecticut and Pennsylvania came into conflict over land they purchased from some Indians.
      The College of New Jersey founded at Princeton in 1746 did not exclude any student because of religion. The New Jersey Assembly gained the ability to pay the royal governor by raising revenue to pay his salary in 1752.
      The Pennsylvania Assembly refused to urge Indians to fight in the war. Quakers won elections again, and remaining Pennsylvania forces were dismissed by Governor Shirley of Massachusetts. Conrad Weiser negotiated peace treaties with several Indian tribes in 1748 and 1749.
      In 1747 Ben Franklin published the pamphlet “Plain Truth,” arguing that Pennsylvania should provide for its own defense and that they could raise 60,000 soldiers. It was translated into German, and citizens formed an Association that grew to 10,000 men ready to fight. Franklin organized a lottery that raised £3,000 to buy weapons. The proprietor Thomas Penn criticized him. Franklin founded an Academy in 1749 and disseminated his ideas on a broad curriculum that included physical exercise, liberal studies, and practical skills such as gardening. Franklin also conducted experiments with electricity, proving that lightning is electricity, and even making an electrical battery. He also devised the lightning rod and other means of preventing electrocution. Franklin initiated a public-private partnership to raise money for a hospital. He estimated the American population was one million and predicted it would surpass England’s in a century. He helped get streets paved and inexpensive lamps installed. Franklin became deputy postmaster for America in 1753 and served for twenty years. At the Albany conference in June 1754 Franklin proposed that the English colonies unite in a confederation like the Iroquois. He criticized British mercantilism and taxation without the consent of representatives.
      In 1745 Virginia’s Governor Gooch granted lands in the west by the Greenbrier and Ohio rivers. Thomas Lee organized the Ohio Company in 1747, and George II approved it in 1749. Virginians complained that Governor Dinwiddie gained a lucrative fee on each land patent. He sent Major George Washington as an envoy to the French at Fort Le Boeuf. Maryland became more prosperous by diversifying their crops beyond tobacco, and county sheriffs collected lower fees on land deals.
      South Carolina’s Governor Glen bought land from the Cherokees in February 1747 for England, but he could not persuade them or the Creeks to attack the French. Glen made peace with the Choctaws in April, but few things promised them ever arrived. In 1749 the Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Catawbas renewed their treaties with South Carolina, but by 1752 all the Choctaws had become allies of the French. In October the Creeks were persuaded to make peace with the Cherokees.
      The northern counties of North Carolina were so unfairly represented in the Assembly that they refused to hold elections and pay taxes in 1746.
      Mary Bosomworth helped Georgia’s relations with the Creeks, but she had difficulty collecting her back salary. The evangelist George Whitefield and others persuaded Georgia to repeal their anti-slavery law in 1750. Georgia’s Trustees were replaced when it became a royal province in 1752 with fewer than 500 Africans.
      In April 1754 French soldiers pushed a few Virginians from the forks of the Ohio River and began building Fort Duquesne. Franklin warned that the English colonies did not have the unity of the French in Canada. On May 18 Washington led an attack that killed ten men and started another war between England and France. On July 3 Washington and the Virginians were outnumbered by the French and Indians, and they capitulated at Fort Necessity and were released. In 1755 British General Braddock led an expedition to Fort Duquesne, but they were ambushed by Indians and some Canadians and French. Most of the English officers and men were killed or wounded while the other side lost only 23 men.
      Massachusetts Governor Shirley sent about 2,000 volunteers to Nova Scotia, and the French Acadians surrendered on 16 June 1755. Eventually 6,941 Acadians were deported in 46 ships to English colonies, and some Acadians settled in Louisiana. On September 8 William Johnson with about 1,500 soldiers battled an equal number of French and Canadian forces led by Baron Dieskau who was captured; casualties on both sides were also about equal. Johnson was treated as a hero, and Parliament rewarded him with £5,000. In May 1756 Louis-Joseph de Montcalm arrived to command the French, and Loudoun came in July to direct the English. Montcalm with an army of 3,000 captured Fort Oswego in August taking 1,640 prisoners. Parliament granted New England £115,000. In August 1757 Montcalm’s army of 8,000 besieged and took Fort William Henry capturing 2,331 prisoners.
      In 1758 Prime Minister William Pitt began sending more English troops to America. He promised provincial officials that King George II would pay for the war. Massachusetts called for 7,000 men, and Connecticut voted for 5,000. England sent 23,000 soldiers for this war but France only 6,800. Soon the English side had twice as many soldiers as Canada. On July 26 the French surrendered the Ile Royale and Ile St. Jean; 5,637 French prisoners were sent to England, and 4,000 people from Louisbourg were deported to France. John Forbes led the expedition that took over Fort Duquesne on November 25 and changed it to Fort Pitt. Johnson and English reinforcements captured Fort Niagara on 26 July 1759. General Amherst with 12,000 men took over Fort Carillon and renamed it Fort Ticonderoga. Canada’s war expenses multiplied, but shipments of food relieved starvation in Quebec in 1759.
      General Wolfe led 8,500 troops to Quebec, and they defeated and killed Montcalm in a major battle in September. After French and Canadians won a marginal victory near St. Foy on 28 April 1760, General Amherst with 11,000 men marched on Montreal which was then besieged by 18,000 troops. On September 8 Governor Vaudreuil capitulated, and the English transported the French soldiers back to France. General Thomas Gage became Governor of Montreal, and the British Navy took over the fur trade. Many Canadians lost savings when Louis XV reduced his debt there from 90 million livres to 45.6 million.
      Subscription libraries were started in New York in 1754 and in Boston two years later. William Johnson became Superintendent of Indian affairs in 1755. Armed marines impressed sailors in New York City. Most of the 14,000 British sailors in America were in New York. In 1759 New York commissioned 48 privateers with 5,670 seamen and spent £250,000 on the war, but 150 investors and the sailors gained prizes worth £1,400,000. The New Jersey Assembly authorized £80,000 in bills of credit.
      The Pennsylvania Assembly had borrowed money to support Braddock’s expedition. Franklin supervised the building of forts and organized the militia. Most Quakers opposed military spending, but they were outvoted. In 1756 Governor Morris declared war on the Delawares and Shawnees and secretly sent 300 Pennsylvanians to attack them. Teedyuscung told the new Governor Denny that the Delawares had been cheated out of their land. In 1757 the Assembly authorized £100,000 for the military, and they sent Franklin as their agent to London. In 1758 about 2,700 Pennsylvanians supported the effort to take over Fort Duquesne, and the road was built in Pennsylvania. John Woolman published his writings opposing slavery and war. In 1759 the Pennsylvanian Assembly approved taxes on proprietary estates.
      Franklin in London argued with the proprietors Thomas and Richard Penn over the rights of the Pennsylvania Assembly. He published moral advice on religion and the value of self-examination. In 1760 he urged the British to keep Canada and let France have Guadaloupe. The Pennsylvania Assembly instructed him to invest the £30,000 they got from Parliament as reimbursement for war expenses, but the stockbroker John Rice lost them £4,000. Franklin returned to Philadelphia in November 1762, and he helped secure the credit of paper money. He criticized the Paxton Boys’ murder of peaceful Indians in revenge for massacres by other Indians.
      In 1755 Maryland had 153,505 people with 44,539 African slaves and 8,851 indentured servants. Maryland taxed propriety estates but made Catholics pay double. The Anglican clergy received £8,000 a year.
      In 1755 Virginia’s House of Burgesses raised £40,000 with a poll tax for 1,200 soldiers. Washington asked for more men, and Governor Dinwiddie called out 4,000 militia from the 27,000 enrolled. Like Maryland, Virginia sent French Acadians to England. Virginia contributed £120,000 to the war effort, and their treasury notes guaranteed by taxes were £539,962. General Amherst treated Indians with contempt, and those trading with them had to have a license from the Governor. Patrick Henry became popular by criticizing King George III while winning a famous legal case.
      In July 1755 the Cherokees sold 360,000 square miles of land to George II. During five years of war the South Carolina Assembly authorized £100,656 sterling for the military. In 1759 Cherokee bands raided settlements while Chief Attakullakulla made a treaty with Governor Lyttelton. Cherokees often deserted the English cause, and Lt. Col. James Grant with 2,250 soldiers attacked the Cherokees in 1761, destroying fifteen towns and driving 5,000 starving Cherokees into the mountains. Attakullakulla made another treaty, but the Cherokees were not allowed to trade with the English. North Carolina did not have functioning laws but by 1763 had about 100,000 colonists and less than 10,000 Africans.
      Georgia did not participate in the war against the French because of poverty and conflicts with the Creeks. In 1758 Georgia prohibited slaves from working in skilled professions. The treaty of 1763 removed the Spanish from Florida and the French from Alabama, and on November 10 the Creeks ceded 2,400,000 acres to Georgia.
      In 1760 the southern colonies had 285,773 slaves and the northern colonies 40,033. That year the British Comptroller Weare warned that the American colonies would unite and overthrow British rule if the British army did not remain to stop them. In Massachusetts twice as many people voted to prevent their town meetings from being dissolved. Boston merchants hired lawyers Oxenbridge Thacher and James Otis Jr. to keep George III from letting customs officials search private buildings without a court order. Otis was elected to the Assembly in May and in 1762 wrote Vindication of the Conduct of the House of Representatives. John Adams warned they needed elections to keep their liberties.
      In 1761 General Amherst had 16,000 British regulars take over posts in Canada. Spain declared war on Britain in early 1762, and on November 3 France secretly ceded Louisiana west of the Mississippi and New Orleans to Spain. In the Treaty of Paris on 10 February 1763 France ceded New France to England, and Spain gave Florida to the British.
      About 1760 Neolin of the Delawares began prophesying that they should drive the English back to their own land. Chief Pontiac was influenced by his heavenly visions and encouraged prayers. General Amherst stopped gifts to Indians to save money and so that they would earn a living. In 1761 the Senecas began planning attacks against English forts, and William Johnson tried to keep the Indians from uniting. He believed mistakenly that there were only about 50,000 Indians in North America while there were about 1,500,000 British colonists. In May 1763 Pontiac and about 300 Indians tried to take Fort Detroit from the French, and by June various tribes had taken over 13 forts from the British. On July 7 General Amherst ordered the use of smallpox as a weapon. Pontiac learned in September that the French had given their territory to the British. On October 7 George III claimed Quebec and the Floridas but reserved the western territory for the Indians. Pontiac negotiated a truce with Detroit’s commandant Gladwin. Amherst was replaced, and the Indian war went on for another year; 400 English soldiers and 2,000 settlers were killed in this war.

American Revolution 1763-1783

      The British gained Canada from France and Florida from Spain in the Seven Years War that ran up their debt to £122,603,336. In 1763 the debt of the English colonies was £2,097,000, but in four years they paid it down to £838,000. Prime Minister Grenville sent Customs collectors to the colonies, and the Sugar Act became law in April 1764. The British also prohibited the colonies from issuing paper money. James Otis of Massachusetts and others wrote criticizing the British for taxing the colonies without their consent. Merchants in Rhode Island and other places refused to cooperate with collectors.
      The British Parliament passed the Stamp Act on 22 March 1765 and the act for quartering British troops in America on May 15. Patrick Henry opposed this with resolutions, and the Virginia Burgesses passed four of them. Massachusetts in June proposed a congress in New York City in October. On August 14 Sons of Liberty in Boston hanged a stamp distributor in effigy, and they destroyed a building put up to distribute stamps. Laws were not enforced, and Governor Bernard announced he would not authorize the stamps. A mob in Newport rioted on August 27, and protests erupted in New Jersey, Connecticut, and Virginia in September. Nine colonies sent delegates to the Stamp Act Congress in New York, but the governors of Virginia, North Carolina, and Georgia prevented assemblies from choosing delegates. The 27 delegates approved 13 declarations and petitioned the King and Parliament to repeal the Stamp Act.
      Daniel Dulany wrote a pamphlet complaining that the Stamp Act was the first internal tax imposed on the colonies without their consent, and he advocated a boycott of British goods. On October 31 in New York 200 merchants agreed to embargo English goods. The Rhode Island Assembly voted to ignore the Stamp Act, and despite the threatened fines all other colonies refused to use the stamps except Georgia, the Floridas, Nova Scotia, Quebec, and the West Indies. Smuggling increased, and the British Navy did not enforce the Act. On 14 January 1766 William Pitt advocated repeal. On February 13 Ben Franklin spoke in Parliament against the Act, and he published the dialog. He warned the British they were causing a rebellion. Nine days later the House of Commons repealed the Stamp Act.
      The British estimated that the cost of defending the American colonies would be £405,607 a year, and the Townshend import duties became law on 29 June 1767 and were expected to bring in £43,420 a year. The New York Assembly was the first to refuse to cooperate, and Parliament suspended them on October 1. James Otis led a meeting in Boston on the 28th that decided to block imports. On December 4 Newport agreed not to consume the taxed imports and was followed by Rhode Island and Connecticut.
      John Dickinson published his Letters from a Farmer in Pennsylvania by February 1768 arguing that all taxes by the British on the colonies were unconstitutional. The Massachusetts legislature urged all the colonies to resist the Townshend taxes. In June a mob in Boston broke windows in the Controller’s house, and merchants agreed not to import any tea. Two British regiments arrived in Boston on October 1. Philadelphia merchants formed the Non-Importation Association. These efforts were supported by New York, Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. In a quarrel on 5 September 1769 the Customs Commissioner John Robinson beat Otis. Boston women signed a pledge not to use tea. On 5 March 1770 British soldiers fired on a mob at the Customs House, killing five men, and two were found guilty of manslaughter. Some efforts were made to reduce the slave trade and allow emancipation. The African Phillis Wheatley published her poems in September 1773.
      In April 1770 Parliament repealed the Townshend duties except on tea. Ethan Allen lost a land case in New York and organized the Green Mountain Boys west of New Hampshire. The Sons of Liberty carried out acts of resistance to British oppression. The British paid the salaries of judges in Massachusetts in 1772. Sam Adams organized committees of correspondence, and most colonies had committees in 1773. Author Anthony Benezet criticized slavery, alcohol, and war. Ben Franklin was advocating for Americans in England and sent secret letters by Governor Hutchinson of Massachusetts showing his intention to violate civil liberties. Philadelphia and Boston had meetings and agreed to boycott tea, and on December 16 Bostonians threw the tea on British ships into the sea. Tea was also prevented from being sold in Philadelphia, New York, Charleston, and Annapolis. In March 1774 Parliament voted to close the port of Boston, and the Coercive Acts limited their rights by giving the governor more power and by quartering British soldiers there. A Boston town meeting decided to stop all trade with the British until the Acts were repealed. A call for a continental congress went out, and twelve colonies elected delegates by August. James Wilson and Thomas Jefferson wrote about the rights of British Americans.
      The First Continental Congress met in Philadelphia in September 1774, and they approved non-importation of British goods and exports starting after a year. On October 14 the Congress approved the “Statement of Rights and Grievances.” General Gage dissolved the Massachusetts Assembly, but people organized a Provincial Congress which authorized a militia and £20,837 for weapons. British imports fell drastically after 1774 as did exports the following year. Franklin in London proposed terms for reconciliation to avoid a civil war. The British rejected them and sent more troops to New England in January 1775. Massachusetts, Virginia, and other colonies prepared to defend themselves.
      British settlers lived in the western territory reserved for the Indians by George III in October 1763. Sporadic fighting went on until 1766. Superintendent William Johnson and Croghan organized a land company for speculators while in the south John Stuart urged governors to limit permits for trading. In 1768 the Regulators formed in North Carolina to resist a poll tax for a governor’s palace, and they gained new districts in the back country. Pennsylvania was extended west to include Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh). Daniel Boone hunted in Indian territory and moved to Kentucky. The British neglected the Indian territory because they were trying to enforce taxes on the colonies. The British in Quebec and East Florida did not join the resistance of the thirteen colonies.
      The revolution became a war on 19 April 1775 when British forces tried to take the arms from Lexington and Concord and were confronted by local militia who fought back. News spread quickly, and colonies in New England formed an army. Volunteers took Fort Ticonderoga on May 10 and then Crown Point and St. John’s harbor. The second Continental Congress began meeting, and Peyton Randolph was elected president. British Governor Gage declared martial law in Boston on June 12. The Congress elected George Washington commander of the army of the United Colonies. American forces in Boston occupied Breed’s Hill on June 16 and fought off a British attack. Georgia became the 13th colony in the Congress which discussed reconciliation with the British. Franklin proposed a confederation and was elected postmaster general.
      The British governors in Virginia and North Carolina recruited slaves to fight on their side. George III would deal only with individual colonies, and on August 23 he ordered the rebellion suppressed. Congress increased the army in Boston to 20,372 men and passed army regulations. Americans captured Montreal on November 13, but they failed to take Quebec on December 31. South Carolina created a new constitution in March 1776. Regulators fought for the British in North Carolina, but the revolutionaries defeated them. Washington’s army took Dorchester Heights, and the British evacuated Boston on March 17. George III hired mercenaries in Europe. On May 4 Rhode Island’s Assembly declared independence. On the 6th the British reinforced Quebec with 5,100 men, and the Americans withdrew from Canada. On May 10 Congress authorized colonies to form representative governments.
      Ben Franklin helped Thomas Paine get his start in America, and in January 1776 Paine published Common Sense anonymously. This pamphlet was read by many people and described the case for American independence from the British king with cogent arguments that appeal to common sense. He explained how people could create their own government with a constitution, elections, and rights for all men. They are fighting in self-defense but could establish a republic without a standing army. He argued that as America is a separate continent, it should be independent of Europe for practical reasons, and he proposed a Declaration of Independence. John Adams wrote his “Thoughts on Government” recommending legislative, executive, and judicial branches. In June the Virginia Constitutional Convention adopted the “Declaration of Rights” by George Mason that specified many rights that would later be added to the United States Constitution.
      Virginia’s Richard Henry Lee advised independence in the Continental Congress on 7 June 1776, and committees were formed. On July 1 the Congress approved independence, and on the 4th all 13 states agreed. They debated and accepted the “Declaration of Independence” written by Jefferson that eloquently explained the reasons why the American states were severing themselves from Britain and its king who were at war against them. Congress began discussing a confederation and examined the plans of Dickinson and Franklin for several months. The states were developing their own constitutions with elected governments.
      The British began landing troops in New York on July 2, and by August 12 they had nearly 32,000 soldiers. About 15,000 British landed on Long island, and they defeated the outnumbered and inexperienced Americans. Washington managed to get his 9,000 remaining men to New York, and he asked Congress for more men and advised a defensive war. The Americans withdrew from New York, and the British army occupied the city. The American army successfully fought off a British attack at White Plains on October 28, but in November the Americans surrendered Fort Washington with 2,837 men. Washington’s small army retreated to New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Congress fled from Philadelphia to Baltimore. Washington led a surprise attack at Trenton on December 25 that captured 918 Hessians. In 1776 American privateers seized 229 British ships while losing only six vessels. Paine published The American Crisis, inspiring the fight for freedom.
      In 1777 the Continental Congress issued $5,000,000 in paper money. Washington had his soldiers inoculated for smallpox. Those loyal to the British were called Tories, and many were raised in New York and New Jersey. The British treated the American prisoners so badly that 8,500 died during the war. Congress returned to Philadelphia but was driven out by Howe’s army again in September. Americans led by General Gates surrounded the British led by Burgoyne at Saratoga and on October 17 captured 5,791 men while getting back 1,856 prisoners. By then the Continental Army had 39,443 men. On November 15 the 13 independent states in Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation. During the next winter at Valley Forge about 2,500 American soldiers died.
      Franklin negotiated an alliance and commercial treaty with France that was signed on 6 February 1778. The British issued counterfeit Continental money that circulated. Congress insisted on independence as a basis for negotiations with the British. France went to war against England in June, and a French fleet arrived in July. Ten states by November had ratified the Articles of Confederation. The British invaded the south and took over Savannah, Georgia in December. By then Congress had issued $106,000,000, and inflation increased so that a $1 coin was now worth $7.42, and this would multiply many times in the next two years. Northern states allowed Africans to enlist in the army while Georgia and South Carolina still opposed this. The British captured 3,000 slaves in South Carolina and took them to Georgia as 1,000 others died. Washington approved attacks on the Indians during the summer of 1779.
      Massachusetts adopted a constitution in January 1780 that abolished slavery with a bill of rights drafted by John Adams. The British besieged Charleston, South Carolina on March 29, and General Lincoln with 1,900 men surrendered on May 12. The British also captured many arms and 2,000 slaves whom they sent to the West Indies. General Benedict Arnold went over to the British, and mutineers in the American army rebelled and were disciplined. Twelve states agreed to import duties, and a plan by Robert Morris for a bank was approved. In March 1781 Maryland became the 13th state to ratify the Articles of Confederation. The British army of Cornwallis plundered Virginia, but his forces were trapped by Washington’s army and the French Navy in October and surrendered 7,247 soldiers and 840 sailors at Yorktown.
      Although George III refused to end the war, the Parliament voted to stop it in February 1782. The Confederation had started a bank of the United States in January, and Robert Morris proposed a budget in July. British troops retreated to Charleston, and 4,000 Loyalists and 5,327 Africans were shipped from there. The Americans lost 25,000 soldiers in the war and the British 21,000. Congress issued $241,552,780 in Continental currency. During the war 130,000 people in North America died of smallpox. About 7,500 German mercenaries died, and the British Navy lost 19,784 men, mostly to disease. About 42,000 British sailors deserted, and 50,000 Loyalists emigrated from the United States.
      Franklin noted the waste caused by the war and what could have been accomplished in constructive ways. John Adams negotiated a treaty with the Netherlands, and the British recognized the United States as independent between Florida and Canada and west to the Mississippi River. Hostilities finally ended in April 1783. Washington urged a union headed by a federal government. British troops left New York on November 25 as Washington’s army entered the city. Washington said farewell in December, and Virginia ceded it claims in the Ohio territory to Congress.
      Sporadic fighting occurred on the frontier during the Revolutionary War as Indian warriors joined one side or the other. In July 1776 Americans attacked Cherokee villages in South Carolina. The Mohawk Joseph Brant led the Iroquois against Americans who had the Oneidas as allies, and the Iroquois helped the British defeat Americans in the Wyoming Valley in June 1778. George Rogers Clark led a force that defeated the British garrison at Vincennes in February 1779. That summer Washington sent General Sullivan to destroy Iroquois settlements in the Wyoming Valley. Chickasaws fought with the British, and Cherokees attacked settlers. In 1782 Clark led forces that took control of western Virginia and Kentucky. Georgia made a treaty with the Creeks in November 1783. In the peace treaty the British ceded the Floridas to Spain.

American Constitution & Federalists 1783-1800

      The Congress of the United States could not levy duties on imports, and so the states did so, especially on the British. Americans began trading with other countries, including China and India. Americans had a trade surplus with France but a large trade deficit with the British. Banks were started in Massachusetts and New York. Conservatives got Charleston, New Haven, and other cities incorporated to avoid town meetings. State legislatures usually elected governors and judges and had the most power. Many new newspapers and magazines were started. By 1785 all states except South Carolina and Georgia had banned the slave trade. Alexander Hamilton favored treaties and international law. Congress moved to New York in January 1785. Franklin in Paris negotiated a treaty with Prussia. Jefferson became minister to France and John Adams minister to Britain.
      In 1786 the Virginia Senate passed Jefferson’s Statute of Religious Freedom to keep the state from imposing any religion on people while allowing freedom of religion. James Madison and Virginia tried to get the states to attend a convention at Annapolis in September, but only five states sent delegates. The British refused to leave their garrisons in the northwest until the Americans paid British creditors and compensated Loyalists according to the treaty. Most states issued their own paper money.
      After the depression of 1784-85 wages fell. Creditors demanded payment in coins, and many debtors were ruined or went to prison. Massachusetts did not issue paper money, and debtors had trouble paying hard money. In August 1786 delegates from towns met to seek relief for debtors. Farmers in Worcester stopped courts from functioning, and others freed debtors from prison. Regulators stopped hundreds of foreclosures. Daniel Shays led 700 armed men and closed the supreme court at Worchester. Congress raised soldiers. In January 1787 Governor Bowdoin called out 4,400 troops, and the Shays Rebellion was suppressed in February. Hancock defeated Bowdoin in the election and implemented reforms. A committee in Congress approved of a convention at Philadelphia starting in May. The United States and most of the states still had large debts. Congress passed the Northwest Ordinance on July 13 to protect civil liberties, and so they could form new states. Dr. Benjamin Rush wrote on prison reform and education. In Bayard v. Singleton a North Carolina court invalidated a law as unconstitutional. Joel Barlow satirized this chaotic era in The Anarchiad.
      The Constitutional Convention began meeting in Philadelphia on May 25. They agreed to vote by state, and Rhode Island did not attend. Madison’s Virginia Plan was discussed for many days, and they approved a bicameral legislature, an elected President, and a federal judiciary. The executive’s veto could be over-ruled by two-thirds of both houses. The House of Representatives was based on a state’s population with slaves counting as three-fifths, but each state would have two senators. William Paterson’s New Jersey Plan was discussed but was mostly rejected. The national government was to be supreme, and each state must have a republican government. A Committee of Detail rewrote the draft and added new provisions. The convention voted that the slave trade could not be prohibited before 1808. Gouverneur Morris wrote the final draft and added the preamble. They agreed on two ways of amending the Constitution and sent it to the states for ratification on September 17.
      The Confederate Congress received the Constitution and unanimously agreed to submit it to the states on September 28. The proposed Constitution was discussed and criticized vigorously in newspapers, and many demanded that rights be specifically protected. The Constitution was strongly defended and explained in the Federalist Papers written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. Hamilton and Jay emphasized the importance of a uniting and strong central government while the legislative, executive, and judicial branches provide checks and balances. Madison argued that in a republic factions could be overcome because people could elect representatives who would decide by majority votes. States formed conventions that began ratifying the Constitution in November. Massachusetts agreed in January 1788 with the understanding that amendments would be added to protect rights. Madison explained how government itself could be controlled by the people and the checks and balances. The Constitution went into effect in June when the ninth state ratified. That month Virginia’s convention met, demanded that rights be added, and voted to ratify. New York recommended amendments and approved in July.
      After the Revolutionary War many settlers moved into western territories. In July 1784 Spain closed the Mississippi River to American commerce, and North Carolina ceded its Tennessee territory to Congress. In January 1785 Wyandot, Ottawa, Chippewa, and Delaware chiefs agreed to stay on reservations in Ohio. Kentucky organized itself and became separate from Virginia in January 1786. The Cherokees, Shawnees, Choctaws, and Chickasaws made treaties with the Confederation, but Shawnees, Creeks, and Cherokees fought settlers in 1786 and 1787.

      In January 1789 the Federalists won a majority in the elections for the House of Representatives, and Madison became majority leader. Congress had thirteen states represented and scheduled the election for President so that the Constitution could proceed in March. Congress had a quorum by April 8, and the anti-Federalist critic James Maclay kept a journal and persuaded them to avoid British ceremonies and honorifics that Vice President John Adams had proposed. The Electoral College had elected George Washington unanimously the first President, and he was inaugurated on April 30. He expressed his belief that virtue leads to happiness and that Heaven rewards what is right.
      Madison in the House of Representatives in June agreed to support a bill of rights. The Senate and House agreed on twelve amendments and sent them to the states for ratification in September. Two were rejected, but the first nine amendments that protected the rights of citizens and the tenth protecting the rights of states were ratified by eleven states by December 1791. Vermont had become the 14th state on 4 March 1791. The bill of rights protects freedom of religion, speech, the press, and assembly with due process of law, a jury trial in all criminal cases, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and cruel punishments.
      Federal courts were established, and Washington appointed Federalists from different parts of the country as Supreme Court justices. General Knox continued as Secretary of War and asked for funds for an army of 5,040 men to fight hostile Indians. Alexander Hamilton was appointed Secretary of Treasury which began as by far the largest department with thousands of employees mostly to collect customs and revenues. Congress passed a tariff bill with a 5% tax on most goods. Hamilton persuaded Congress to assume the entire national debt and all the states’ debts, though Continental money was paid off at a rate of 100 to one, making the total debt $80 million. The first census in 1790 counted 3,699,525 people in the United States with 697,624 African slaves and 59,557 free Africans, but they did not count Indians.
      Hamilton proposed a national bank, and Congress meeting in Philadelphia passed it in February 1790 in a compromise that set the new capital by the Potomac River. Jefferson and Madison began organizing the Republican party and persuaded Philip Freneau to start a newspaper for their views. Jefferson warned against letting the powerful and rich prey upon the poor. Banking was successful and proliferated, though some speculators ruined themselves. Republicans favored the French Revolution, but conservative Federalists feared anarchy. Congress passed excise taxes on liquor, snuff, and other luxuries. Madison explained why political parties were necessary. Hamilton led the Federalists and persuaded Washington to run for a second term while Jefferson led the Republicans and resigned as Secretary of State at the end of 1793.
      France declared war on England, Holland, and Spain, and the Girondists sent Edmond Genet as their minister to the United States. He arrived at Charleston in April 1793 and outfitted four privateers. Then he held rallies with Republicans as he traveled to Philadelphia. He asked the United States to pay its debt to France soon, but Washington refused and proclaimed American neutrality. Jefferson supported that and tried to restrain Genet, and Hamilton wrote essays as “Pacificus.” Federalist meetings condemned Genet, and the British began seizing American ships. Washington remained above party conflicts. The Supreme Court declined to advise the President as it limited itself to judicial cases. Madison wrote articles arguing that the President’s proclamation violated Congress’s power to declare war. Yellow fever took 4,000 lives in Philadelphia as newspapers closed. Madison tried but failed to stop trade with the British, and Congress funded the US Navy. After the US Supreme Court decided that a citizen could sue another state, Congress proposed the 11th amendment that banned that.
      In 1791 the federal excise tax on liquor provoked resistance in the west where grain farmers transported their crops in the form of whiskey. They tarred and feathered the first revenue collector and intimidated others. In 1792 around Pittsburgh they formed the Mingo Creek Association that blocked tax collection and enforcement, and in 1793 gangs followed Tom the Tinker. In February 1794 President Washington offered a reward of $200 to catch violators. Hamilton and Attorney General William Bradford got the law made more lenient, but resistors battled militia and burned down a plantation. Brackenridge with the Presidential Commission mediated with moderates. Washington threatened the use of force and went west. Arrests were made, and soldiers occupied a town. Washington pardoned the two convicted, and violent opposition ended.
      John Jay was sent to London as an envoy in 1794 and negotiated a treaty with Grenville, but a copy did not reach President Washington until 7 March 1795. The Senate objected to prohibiting the export of molasses, sugar, coffee, cocoa, or cotton in American ships. Hamilton argued for the treaty while many Republicans were vigorously opposed. Eli Whitney’s invention of the cotton gin helped make cotton a successful crop in the late 1790s. The US Supreme Court upheld treaties as the supreme law. Washington urged the Cherokees to grow food, raise animals, and have their women make clothes. In October 1795 Thomas Pinckney negotiated a treaty with Spain that ceded territory which later became part of the states of Alabama and Mississippi. A treaty in which the United States agreed to pay off the Barbary pirates was approved by Washington and the Senate. In his “Farewell Address” Washington warned against permanent alliances and advised that honesty is always the best policy. In the 1796 election John Adams narrowly defeated Jefferson to become the second President. Judith Sargent Murray was a Universalist, and they successfully refused to pay a tax to another church. She wrote about equal rights for women and recommended the education of girls.

      President John Adams was a Federalist and gave a moderate inaugural address, though he failed to make any use of Vice President Jefferson who led the Republicans. Adams was provoked by diplomatic problems with France to call a special session of Congress in May 1797. He continued Washington’s policy of neutrality while strengthening defense. He sent John Marshall to France. Adams justified increasing naval power to protect commerce. Republicans and Federalists quarreled in Congress and battled verbally in newspapers. The United States refused to loan money to France, and Hamilton advocated expanding the Army to counter the French. Yet Adams considered starting an unnecessary war the greatest guilt, and he managed to avoid war. He proclaimed a day of humiliation and prayer on 9 May 1798, but Federalists and Republicans wore cockades and clashed in the streets. Diplomats said the French wanted peace. During the fear of war Congress passed the Alien and Sedition Acts that authorized expelling foreigners and punishing people for “malicious” writing. When only Republicans were charged, Jefferson and Madison responded with the Kentucky and Virginia resolutions so that states could nullify an unconstitutional federal law. Congress passed the first tax on land which was progressive on more valuable houses. Congress abrogated the Treaty with France, and the conflict was called the “Quasi-War.”
      In January 1799 President Adams began negotiating a treaty with France, shocking the Federalists in Congress. In Bucks County, Pennsylvania the house tax was unpopular, and John Fries led those who opposed the law. Adams accused them of treason and got Pennsylvania’s Governor Mifflin to send the militia. Adams also sent 500 Army regulars. Sixty prisoners were tried in May, and eventually the vindictive Supreme Court Justice Chase sentenced Fries to be hanged; but Adams pardoned him and granted amnesty to the tax resistors. The Fries rebellion had been nonviolent. Justice Chase also harshly sentenced the writer James Callender for sedition. Adams ended the trade embargo against Toussaint’s Haiti. The annual federal budget reached $9.3 million in 1799. Adams replaced the Hamiltonian officials in his cabinet and made John Marshall Secretary of State and later at the end of his term Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court. Republicans chose Aaron Burr to run for Vice President with Jefferson, and he helped the Republicans win New York; but when the votes for Jefferson and Burr were tied because then electors voted for two people, Burr and the Federalists in Congress refused to yield until many votes were taken. Finally the Senate ratified the peace treaty with France in February 1801, and they confirmed many Federalists as judges before Jefferson was inaugurated.
      The British held on to the forts in the northwest because Americans had not paid their debts. An Indian war broke out in the Ohio territory in 1789, and the Miami and Shawnee led by Chief Little Turtle inflicted major defeats on the American forces in 1790 and 1791. General Anthony Wayne trained soldiers for two years, and on 20 August 1794 they defeated more than 2,000 Indians led by Blue Jacket at Fallen Timbers. On 3 August 1795 Wayne made a treaty at Greenville with eleven tribes, and the British finally left their forts in 1796. Speculators bought and sold land in the west. Yet many Americans settled on land they got for free because they did not believe anyone had a right to own land they did not farm. Kentucky’s population multiplied, and it was admitted as the 15th state in May 1792. In the southwest President Washington made treaties and land purchases with the Cherokees, but he had trouble controlling Americans there. Chickamaugas fought but made peace in November 1794. After elections and a constitutional convention Tennessee became the 16th state in June 1796. That year Spain gave up territory north of the 31st parallel and east of the Mississippi River which they opened to American ships. Spain ceded Louisiana to France in October 1800.

Evaluating American Revolution to 1800

      In northern America the population was much more sparse, and there were no large cities. The mound builders of the Mississippi Valley rose and fell. Hiawatha helped the Five Nations of the Iroquois develop a confederation based on the peaceful teachings of Deganawidah; but by the time European colonists began settling in the 17th century the Five Nations were using their consolidated power to subjugate other tribes. Women had important roles, and the tribal peoples tended to be more egalitarian. The Mohawks obtained firearms from the Dutch and English and used them against the French and their Algonquin enemies. The Dutch colonized Guiana and the Hudson River Valley, where they fought the Indians 1643-45. After they pushed the Swedes out of Delaware in 1655, they were defeated militarily by the English in 1664 and surrendered New Netherland which became New York. As Protestants and merchants, the remaining Dutch made an easy transition to English culture.
      The English established a colony in Virginia in 1607, and they began applying their democratic values by electing the first Assembly in 1619. They grew tobacco and developed a profitable business that civilization has come to learn has harmful effects. Native resentment against their encroachments led to their first major Indian war in 1622. Many of the English colonists who came to New England were Puritans and other Dissenters seeking a refuge from religious persecution. The pilgrims who came on the Mayflower in 1620 tried to live by their Christian principles; they celebrated thanksgiving and made a treaty with the Wampanoags that lasted forty years. Winthrop and the Puritans that founded the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1630 were intent on maintaining their Congregational ways. They arrogantly took land from the Indians without compensating them, and they persecuted and expelled Europeans who did not agree with them. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were banished, and they founded Rhode Island as a colony that protected freedom of conscience, establishing the important principle of separation of church and state. They even tolerated the radical Gortonists. Colonists moving into the Connecticut River valley provoked the Pequot War in 1636 that set the pattern of mutual fear and hostility between the English and the Indians in New England. The colonists strengthened their power by organizing the New England Confederation of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven while Rhode Island as a refuge for dissent remained independent and did not join their offensive campaigns. Missionaries tried to convert some of the Indians who then became allies.
      Maryland was founded as a proprietary colony owned by the Calverts. Their Assembly passed an important tolerance law in 1649. During the English Civil War the Protestants took over Maryland, and the House of Burgesses got control of Virginia. After the restoration of Charles II the Calverts were reinstated, and Berkeley returned as governor of Virginia. The British also colonized the West Indies and used slave labor on sugar plantations. They founded a colony in Guiana in 1651 and took Jamaica by force from the Spaniards in 1655.
      The New England Confederation suppressed the uprising led by Chief Metacom in 1675 in a costly war. The imperialist pattern had been established that the English settlers would take Indian land and fight those who resisted. The colonists in New England asserted their democratic rights. After the English Revolution replaced James II with William III, they arrested Governor Andros who had been appointed to rule the New England Dominion. Most colonies based their laws on England’s that had statutes on witchcraft. In 1692 Salem authorities hanged 19 people after bizarre trials in which none of the defendants had a lawyer. British attempts to impose mercantile policies by restricting trade and collecting customs duties were also resisted by the colonial merchants, especially in Boston. The Assembly of Massachusetts and other colonies used the tactic of withholding the salary of the governor from year to year in order to get their legislation approved. John Wise led the effort for the important principle that the representatives of the people should be able to control their taxation and spending. Gradually the elected Assemblies in the English colonies were gaining power from the King and the royal governors that would eventually enable them to assert their revolutionary authority.
      Although the northern colonies had fewer African slaves than the southern colonies, Boston was the center of the slave traders who carried food and supplies to the West Indies for rum, which they traded in West Africa for slaves, who were brought back to the West Indies to be sold in the colonies. Some Assemblies tried to reduce the number of slaves by raising the duties on importing Africans, but often the Crown vetoed such legislation. As the wars with the French and Indians became more expensive, the Assemblies went into debt by offering bills of credit. New England led the way in publishing books and newspapers and in developing education from grammar schools to Harvard and Yale. The religious revival of the early 1740s caused a flurry of excitement but did not bring about significant ethical improvements in behavior.
      New York was a proprietary colony under James Stuart, and Governor Andros helped New York City became a center for trade. During the revolution that put William III on the throne, a rebellion gave Leisler the power to support workers. New York reverted to a royal colony when William appointed a governor and a council of wealthy oligarchs who replaced the Leisler regime. During Queen Anne’s War merchants gained riches by sponsoring privateers. John Peter Zenger in his Weekly Journal criticized the policies of the wealthy who dominated the government. The Governor put him in jail in 1734, but he was acquitted by a jury that refused to follow the judge’s instructions. Defended by the lawyer Andrew Hamilton from Philadelphia, the English colonists were exercising freedom of the press. New Jersey also began as a proprietary colony but was divided in 1674 when a group of Quakers bought West Jersey. In 1702 New Jersey was reunited, became a royal colony again, and was put under the governor of New York. Many of the Quakers moved to Pennsylvania.
      I believe that the Quakers’ influence on early American civilization is tremendously important because they showed how a radical experiment in pacifist government could be successful for more than seventy years. Although Pennsylvania was under the proprietor William Penn, he was a brilliant Quaker leader who established liberal policies by insisting on the just treatment of Indians, allowing democratic institutions, and protecting freedom of conscience. Penn and other Quakers had been imprisoned in England for their conscientious beliefs, and they made Pennsylvania a haven for Quakers and other pacifists such as German Mennonites and Moravians. Penn also offered prophetic ideas for the unification and disarmament of Europe as well as a similar plan for America. Pennsylvania was a proprietary colony, and unfortunately Penn’s heirs were not Quakers and did not always follow his enlightened policies. They had their problems and conflicts, but Pennsylvania was generally successful in maintaining good relations with the Indians until they started cheating them in land deals in 1737.
      The freedom in Pennsylvania also allowed the wise writer and public servant Benjamin Franklin to flourish. He published a newspaper and organized discussion groups and various community improvement projects for cleaner streets, better lamps and stoves, a fire brigade, a lending library, paper money, a hospital, and a university. Franklin wrote on self-improvement and suggested in his almanacs that the practice of justice, industry, frugality, and temperance lead to happiness and prosperity. He also explained why using paper money helps the economy for everyone.
      Maryland had tolerated Catholics, but while a royal colony from 1689 to 1714 they established the Church of England and discriminated against Catholics. Then Maryland returned to being a proprietary colony under the Calverts. Their tobacco plantations exploited many thousands of African slaves.
      During an Indian war in 1676 Nathaniel Bacon led a rebellion against Governor Berkeley; but this violent effort at change was defeated militarily, and his reform laws were repealed. The economy of Virginia also depended on growing tobacco, and slaves were a third of the population by 1740. Virginia had a large population, and settlers were expanding to the west toward Ohio; their desire for land would eventually put pressures on the French and Indians and would erupt in a major war in 1754.
      Carolina began as a proprietary colony in 1663, and Charles Town became the main port for bringing in African slaves. They fought a war with the Tuscaroras in 1711 and another with the Yamasees in 1715. Africans taught the Carolinians how to grow rice, and it became the main commodity in South Carolina’s economy. Africans were worked hard to clear the land, and a slave rebellion was crushed in 1739. By then African slaves outnumbered Europeans two to one. South Carolinians were proud that they had the highest standard of living in America, but they neglected to include in their calculations the poor Africans who provided their prosperity. South Carolina had a newspaper and a theater; but schools were not well supported as the planters usually hired tutors or sent their sons to England.
      James Oglethorpe led another experiment in Georgia which was granted a charter in 1732 as a non-profit colony to help the poor. The trustees prohibited slavery and alcohol and tried to develop good relations with the Indians. The evangelist Whitefield came to Georgia and used his sermons to raise funds for an orphanage. Oglethorpe led the military defense against the Spanish invasion of 1742; but he withdrew from the experiment when he learned the prohibitions against slavery and alcohol were being abandoned.

      In early American history many serious ethical violations are obvious and clear to most detached observers. The greatest injustices were caused by the powerful Europeans taking advantage and exploiting the native peoples in America and those they brought by force from Africa. As the Europeans came into their territory, the native Americans had their lives and culture severely disrupted by a technologically more advanced people. Because so many were annihilated by diseases, most Indian nations would never recover fully their previous way of life and would have to adapt to the European culture of the invaders. The numbers of natives would diminish as the numbers of Europeans in America would grow steadily.
      Most of the English colonists of the 17th century came for the opportunity to settle and farm. A good portion of these began as indentured servants; but after a few years of service they were free to make their own way by working for good wages. In the colonies with plantations the temptation was great, if they had the capital, to import African slaves to do the hard work. Thus the southern colonies became slave societies while in the north colonists either had no slaves or very few. The Puritans in New England and later the Quakers in Pennsylvania had religious motives for finding a place where they could make a new start and live according to their deeply held beliefs. In many cases, but not always, these beliefs affected their ethical attitude toward the Indians, and they developed better and more stable relations with them and the land.
      Also endemic in these ethical violations is the violently militaristic culture of the Europeans. Thus they not only subjugated the natives and kept the Africans enslaved by violence, they also fought each other over national allegiances or even differences within the Christian religion itself. This is why I believe that the contributions of the Quakers’ holy experiment in Pennsylvania and the practical ethics of Franklin are so important, for these offer object lessons how life on Earth can be better if people actually practice the way of love. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were also enlightened reformers in Rhode Island.

      King George’s War (1744-48) between England and France provoked fighting in New England and New France in Canada. Other English colonies supported the New Englanders who resented the British trading their conquest of Louisbourg for Madras in India. Forts were built on the frontier, and efforts were made to form alliances with Indian tribes. Peaceful Pennsylvania declined to participate in the war, though Ben Franklin advocated defense. He made important contributions to politics, science with electricity, education, public health care, and the postal service. South Carolina made peace with the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Catawbas, and Creeks but not the Choctaws. Georgia succumbed to the temptation to indulge in slavery.
      On 18 May 1754 young George Washington led Virginians in an attack against a few French on the frontier that began the conflict which Europeans called the Seven Years War (1756-63). The British sent General Braddock who led an expedition to attack Fort Duquesne, but the English were badly beaten in 1755 mostly by Indians and some French. At the same time New Englanders attacked Canada, and Acadians were deported. The French sent an army led by Montcalm who arrived in 1756 and was mostly victorious until 1758. Then British Prime Minister Pitt sent more troops, and the northern English colonies provided more men. By 1760 the English side had defeated the outnumbered French in Canada which became British. The American colonies gained experience fighting in this war and against Indians west of Pennsylvania and in the south. Benjamin Franklin helped persuade the Quaker colony to fight while he promoted representative government and social improvements. South Carolina gained much territory from the Cherokees, and Georgia allowed slavery and made slave laws while getting land from the Creeks. Most of the slaves were in the south, but in 1760 the northern colonies still had more than 40,000. The treaty in 1763 gave New France (Canada) to the British and most of Louisiana to Spain who gave up the Floridas to England. An Indian revolt led by Pontiac was defeated, and King George III proclaimed the western territory as a reserve for the Indians.
      After the British helped their colonies defeat the French in Canada, they expected to get some of their expenditures reimbursed by taxing the colonies. Yet the Americans had fought for the British also and contributed funds to the effort. James Otis and others complained that the British had no right to impose taxes on the colonists without the consent of their own legislatures. In 1765 the Stamp Act and the quartering of British soldiers aroused widespread protests and peaceful disobedience in the colonies. Merchants began boycotting British goods, and twelve colonies refused to use the stamps. Soon after William Pitt and Franklin spoke against the Stamp Act, it was repealed. Resistance to the Townshend duties of 1767 led to boycotts of the British goods taxed. These were repealed in 1770 except on tea which was resisted, especially in Boston in 1773. The British reacted by closing the port of Boston and sending troops. The English colonies began uniting by meeting as a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in September 1774, and they agreed on not importing British goods or exporting to England. George III reserved western land for Indians, but settlers wanted to move west.
      The American Revolution had been well advanced by mostly nonviolent means when British imperialism and militarism started the war on 19 April 1775. The British oppressed Boston for its nonviolent resistance, and the Americans decided to fight for their independence and used the military leadership of George Washington. The thirteen colonies had joined together and formed a Congress, but Canada declined to join and fought off an invasion. George III foolishly ordered the military to fight to retain the American colonies. Washington used a defensive strategy understanding that Americans dedicated to their cause of freedom could endure against military forces from across an ocean. Many Americans were well educated, and brilliant men like Tom Paine, Ben Franklin, John Adams, James Mason, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and others helped them understand the better life with more rights for which they struggled. The British wanted their colonies to pay for the previous war, but fighting a futile war wasted even more men and wealth. The alliance with France doomed the British cause even though they got some Indians and slaves on their side. The British ended up losing the thirteen colonies and the western territory to the United States and the Floridas to Spain, retaining control only over Canada.
      The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the Congress, and the state governments passed their own import duties and issued paper money. Debtors had trouble paying in coins, especially in Massachusetts where Daniel Shays led a rebellion of farmers against the punishment of debtors in 1786; but they were suppressed by military forces. Jefferson’s Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom protected people from having religion imposed on them by the government.

            The Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia from 25 May 1787 to September 17 created a federal constitution that made a national government supreme in specified powers balanced and checked by a bicameral legislature, an elected executive, and a federal judiciary while reserving rights and other powers to the people and the states. The southern states would not renounce slavery, and even the slave trade was protected until 1808. Once the people were assured that a bill of rights would be added by amendments the states ratified the new Constitution. Many settlers moved west, and conflicts with the Indians continued despite many treaties. Crimes of slavery would continue for several generations.

In northern America the population was much more sparse, and there were no large cities. The mound builders of the Mississippi Valley rose and fell. Hiawatha helped the Five Nations of the Iroquois develop a confederation based on the peaceful teachings of Deganawidah; but by the time European colonists began settling in the 17th century the Five Nations were using their consolidated power to subjugate other tribes. Women had important roles, and the tribal peoples tended to be more egalitarian. The Mohawks obtained firearms from the Dutch and English and used them against the French and their Algonquin enemies. The Dutch colonized Guiana and the Hudson River Valley, where they fought the Indians 1643-45. After they pushed the Swedes out of Delaware in 1655, they were defeated militarily by the English in 1664 and surrendered New Netherland which became New York. As Protestants and merchants, the remaining Dutch made an easy transition to English culture.

The English established a colony in Virginia in 1607, and they began applying their democratic values by electing the first Assembly in 1619. They grew tobacco and developed a profitable business that civilization has come to learn has harmful effects. Native resentment against their encroachments led to their first major Indian war in 1622. Many of the English colonists who came to New England were Puritans and other Dissenters seeking a refuge from religious persecution. The pilgrims who came on the Mayflower in 1620 tried to live by their Christian principles; they celebrated thanksgiving and made a treaty with the Wampanoags that lasted forty years. Winthrop and the Puritans that founded the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1630 were intent on maintaining their Congregational ways. They arrogantly took land from the Indians without compensating them, and they persecuted and expelled Europeans who did not agree with them. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were banished, and they founded Rhode Island as a colony that protected freedom of conscience, establishing the important principle of separation of church and state. They even tolerated the radical Gortonists. Colonists moving into the Connecticut River valley provoked the Pequot War in 1636 that set the pattern of mutual fear and hostility between the English and the Indians in New England. The colonists strengthened their power by organizing the New England Confederation of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven while Rhode Island as a refuge for dissent remained independent and did not join their offensive campaigns. Missionaries tried to convert some of the Indians who then became allies.

Maryland was founded as a proprietary colony owned by the Calverts. Their Assembly passed an important tolerance law in 1649. During the English Civil War the Protestants took over Maryland, and the House of Burgesses got control of Virginia. After the restoration of Charles II the Calverts were reinstated, and Berkeley returned as governor of Virginia. The British also colonized the West Indies and used slave labor on sugar plantations. They founded a colony in Guiana in 1651 and took Jamaica by force from the Spaniards in 1655.

The New England Confederation suppressed the uprising led by Chief Metacom in 1675 in a costly war. The imperialist pattern had been established that the English settlers would take Indian land and fight those who resisted. The colonists in New England asserted their democratic rights. After the English Revolution replaced James II with William III, they arrested Governor Andros who had been appointed to rule the New England Dominion. Most colonies based their laws on England’s that had statutes on witchcraft. In 1692 Salem authorities hanged 19 people after bizarre trials in which none of the defendants had a lawyer. British attempts to impose mercantile policies by restricting trade and collecting customs duties were also resisted by the colonial merchants, especially in Boston. The Assembly of Massachusetts and other colonies used the tactic of withholding the salary of the governor from year to year in order to get their legislation approved. John Wise led the effort for the important principle that the representatives of the people should be able to control their taxation and spending. Gradually the elected Assemblies in the English colonies were gaining power from the King and the royal governors that would eventually enable them to assert their revolutionary authority.

Although the northern colonies had fewer African slaves than the southern colonies, Boston was the center of the slave traders who carried food and supplies to the West Indies for rum, which they traded in West Africa for slaves, who were brought back to the West Indies to be sold in the colonies. Some Assemblies tried to reduce the number of slaves by raising the duties on importing Africans, but often the Crown vetoed such legislation. As the wars with the French and Indians became more expensive, the Assemblies went into debt by offering bills of credit. New England led the way in publishing books and newspapers and in developing education from grammar schools to Harvard and Yale. The religious revival of the early 1740s caused a flurry of excitement but did not bring about significant ethical improvements in behavior.

New York was a proprietary colony under James Stuart, and Governor Andros helped New York City became a center for trade. During the revolution that put William III on the throne, a rebellion gave Leisler the power to support workers. New York reverted to a royal colony when William appointed a governor and a council of wealthy oligarchs who replaced the Leisler regime. During Queen Anne’s War merchants gained riches by sponsoring privateers. John Peter Zenger in his Weekly Journal criticized the policies of the wealthy who dominated the government. The Governor put him in jail in 1734, but he was acquitted by a jury that refused to follow the judge’s instructions. Defended by the lawyer Andrew Hamilton from Philadelphia, the English colonists were exercising freedom of the press. New Jersey also began as a proprietary colony but was divided in 1674 when a group of Quakers bought West Jersey. In 1702 New Jersey was reunited, became a royal colony again, and was put under the governor of New York. Many of the Quakers moved to Pennsylvania.

I believe that the Quakers’ influence on early American civilization is tremendously important because they showed how a radical experiment in pacifist government could be successful for more than seventy years. Although Pennsylvania was under the proprietor William Penn, he was a brilliant Quaker leader who established liberal policies by insisting on the just treatment of Indians, allowing democratic institutions, and protecting freedom of conscience. Penn and other Quakers had been imprisoned in England for their conscientious beliefs, and they made Pennsylvania a haven for Quakers and other pacifists such as German Mennonites and Moravians. Penn also offered prophetic ideas for the unification and disarmament of Europe as well as a similar plan for America. Pennsylvania was a proprietary colony, and unfortunately Penn’s heirs were not Quakers and did not always follow his enlightened policies. They had their problems and conflicts, but Pennsylvania was generally successful in maintaining good relations with the Indians until they started cheating them in land deals in 1737.

The freedom in Pennsylvania also allowed the wise writer and public servant Benjamin Franklin to flourish. He published a newspaper and organized discussion groups and various community improvement projects for cleaner streets, better lamps and stoves, a fire brigade, a lending library, paper money, a hospital, and a university. Franklin wrote on self-improvement and suggested in his almanacs that the practice of justice, industry, frugality, and temperance lead to happiness and prosperity. He also explained why using paper money helps the economy for everyone.

Maryland had tolerated Catholics, but while a royal colony from 1689 to 1714 they established the Church of England and discriminated against Catholics. Then Maryland returned to being a proprietary colony under the Calverts. Their tobacco plantations exploited many thousands of African slaves.

During an Indian war in 1676 Nathaniel Bacon led a rebellion against Governor Berkeley; but this violent effort at change was defeated militarily, and his reform laws were repealed. The economy of Virginia also depended on growing tobacco, and slaves were a third of the population by 1740. Virginia had a large population, and settlers were expanding to the west toward Ohio; their desire for land would eventually put pressures on the French and Indians and would erupt in a major war in 1754.

Carolina began as a proprietary colony in 1663, and Charles Town became the main port for bringing in African slaves. They fought a war with the Tuscaroras in 1711 and another with the Yamasees in 1715. Africans taught the Carolinians how to grow rice, and it became the main commodity in South Carolina’s economy. Africans were worked hard to clear the land, and a slave rebellion was crushed in 1739. By then African slaves outnumbered Europeans two to one. South Carolinians were proud that they had the highest standard of living in America, but they neglected to include in their calculations the poor Africans who provided their prosperity. South Carolina had a newspaper and a theater; but schools were not well supported as the planters usually hired tutors or sent their sons to England.

James Oglethorpe led another experiment in Georgia which was granted a charter in 1732 as a non-profit colony to help the poor. The trustees prohibited slavery and alcohol and tried to develop good relations with the Indians. The evangelist Whitefield came to Georgia and used his sermons to raise funds for an orphanage. Oglethorpe led the military defense against the Spanish invasion of 1742; but he withdrew from the experiment when he learned the prohibitions against slavery and alcohol were being abandoned.

In early American history many serious ethical violations are obvious and clear to most detached observers. The greatest injustices were caused by the powerful Europeans taking advantage and exploiting the native peoples in America and those they brought by force from Africa. As the Europeans came into their territory, the native Americans had their lives and culture severely disrupted by a technologically more advanced people. Because so many were annihilated by diseases, most Indian nations would never recover fully their previous way of life and would have to adapt to the European culture of the invaders. The numbers of natives would diminish as the numbers of Europeans in America would grow steadily.

Most of the English colonists of the 17th century came for the opportunity to settle and farm. A good portion of these began as indentured servants; but after a few years of service they were free to make their own way by working for good wages. In the colonies with plantations the temptation was great, if they had the capital, to import African slaves to do the hard work. Thus the southern colonies became slave societies while in the north colonists either had no slaves or very few. The Puritans in New England and later the Quakers in Pennsylvania had religious motives for finding a place where they could make a new start and live according to their deeply held beliefs. In many cases, but not always, these beliefs affected their ethical attitude toward the Indians, and they developed better and more stable relations with them and the land.

Also endemic in these ethical violations is the violently militaristic culture of the Europeans. Thus they not only subjugated the natives and kept the Africans enslaved by violence, they also fought each other over national allegiances or even differences within the Christian religion itself. This is why I believe that the contributions of the Quakers’ holy experiment in Pennsylvania and the practical ethics of Franklin are so important, for these offer object lessons how life on Earth can be better if people actually practice the way of love. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were also enlightened reformers in Rhode Island.

King George’s War (1744-48) between England and France provoked fighting in New England and New France in Canada. Other English colonies supported the New Englanders who resented the British trading their conquest of Louisbourg for Madras in India. Forts were built on the frontier, and efforts were made to form alliances with Indian tribes. Peaceful Pennsylvania declined to participate in the war, though Ben Franklin advocated defense. He made important contributions to politics, science with electricity, education, public health care, and the postal service. South Carolina made peace with the Cherokees, Chickasaws, Catawbas, and Creeks but not the Choctaws. Georgia succumbed to the temptation to indulge in slavery.

On 18 May 1754 young George Washington led Virginians in an attack against a few French on the frontier that began the conflict which Europeans called the Seven Years War (1756-63). The British sent General Braddock who led an expedition to attack Fort Duquesne, but the English were badly beaten in 1755 mostly by Indians and some French. At the same time New Englanders attacked Canada, and Acadians were deported. The French sent an army led by Montcalm who arrived in 1756 and was mostly victorious until 1758. Then British Prime Minister Pitt sent more troops, and the northern English colonies provided more men. By 1760 the English side had defeated the outnumbered French in Canada which became British. The American colonies gained experience fighting in this war and against Indians west of Pennsylvania and in the south. Benjamin Franklin helped persuade the Quaker colony to fight while he promoted representative government and social improvements. South Carolina gained much territory from the Cherokees, and Georgia allowed slavery and made slave laws while getting land from the Creeks. Most of the slaves were in the south, but in 1760 the northern colonies still had more than 40,000. The treaty in 1763 gave New France (Canada) to the British and most of Louisiana to Spain who gave up the Floridas to England. An Indian revolt led by Pontiac was defeated, and King George III proclaimed the western territory as a reserve for the Indians.

After the British helped their colonies defeat the French in Canada, they expected to get some of their expenditures reimbursed by taxing the colonies. Yet the Americans had fought for the British also and contributed funds to the effort. James Otis and others complained that the British had no right to impose taxes on the colonists without the consent of their own legislatures. In 1765 the Stamp Act and the quartering of British soldiers aroused widespread protests and peaceful disobedience in the colonies. Merchants began boycotting British goods, and twelve colonies refused to use the stamps. Soon after William Pitt and Franklin spoke against the Stamp Act, it was repealed. Resistance to the Townshend duties of 1767 led to boycotts of the British goods taxed. These were repealed in 1770 except on tea which was resisted, especially in Boston in 1773. The British reacted by closing the port of Boston and sending troops. The English colonies began uniting by meeting as a Continental Congress in Philadelphia in September 1774, and they agreed on not importing British goods or exporting to England. George III reserved western land for Indians, but settlers wanted to move west.

The American Revolution had been well advanced by mostly nonviolent means when British imperialism and militarism started the war on 19 April 1775. The British oppressed Boston for its nonviolent resistance, and the Americans decided to fight for their independence and used the military leadership of George Washington. The thirteen colonies had joined together and formed a Congress, but Canada declined to join and fought off an invasion. George III foolishly ordered the military to fight to retain the American colonies. Washington used a defensive strategy understanding that Americans dedicated to their cause of freedom could endure against military forces from across an ocean. Many Americans were well educated, and brilliant men like Tom Paine, Ben Franklin, John Adams, James Mason, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and others helped them understand the better life with more rights for which they struggled. The British wanted their colonies to pay for the previous war, but fighting a futile war wasted even more men and wealth. The alliance with France doomed the British cause even though they got some Indians and slaves on their side. The British ended up losing the thirteen colonies and the western territory to the United States and the Floridas to Spain, retaining control only over Canada.

The Articles of Confederation gave little power to the Congress, and the state governments passed their own import duties and issued paper money. Debtors had trouble paying in coins, especially in Massachusetts where Daniel Shays led a rebellion of farmers against the punishment of debtors in 1786; but they were suppressed by military forces. Jefferson’s Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom protected people from having religion imposed on them by the government.

The Constitutional Convention held in Philadelphia from 25 May 1787 to September 17 created a federal constitution that made a national government supreme in specified powers balanced and checked by a bicameral legislature, an elected executive, and a federal judiciary while reserving rights and other powers to the people and the states. The southern states would not renounce slavery, and even the slave trade was protected until 1808. Once the people were assured that a bill of rights would be added by amendments the states ratified the new Constitution. Many settlers moved west, and conflicts with the Indians continued despite many treaties. Crimes of slavery would continue for several generations.

Evaluating Presidents Washington & Adams

      George Washington was the uncontested choice as the first President under the Constitution, and its federalist influence spawned the Federalists as the first political party of those who believed in a central government that could unite the states. Hamilton as the first Treasury Secretary got the federal government to take on the debts of the states and created a national bank. Those demanding a bill of rights were called Anti-federalists and then Republicans led by Thomas Jefferson and James Madison. The Federalists were northern and urban while Republicans were rural and southern with many in between going either way. The Federalists were commercial and favored England while the freedom-loving Republicans championed the French Revolution. Washington remained above the fray by declaring neutrality and maintaining peace. War debts had to be paid, and rebellion against the whiskey tax was suppressed. Washington retired, and a republic showed that power could be shifted by an election.
      George Washington had been unanimously elected as the first President of the United States because of his skillful command during the War of Independence as well as his participation in government and presiding over the Constitutional Convention in 1787. Perhaps one of the reasons why that convention gave the president so much power was because they knew Washington would be the first president. He did not like factionalism and political parties, and he chose the most capable men from both of the parties that were emerging. The United States Constitution gave the federal government much more power than the Articles of Confederation had, and the more conservative politicians followed Washington, Hamilton, and Adams in the Federalist Party while liberals who supported the French Revolution joined Jefferson and the Republicans. Although his views tended to be closer to those of Treasury Secretary Hamilton and Vice President Adams, he also valued the advice of Secretary of State Jefferson and Madison who led the Republicans in the House of Representatives. The differences between these two parties also reflected the European conflict between England and France.
      Washington trusted in heavenly guidance and providence, and he worked to unify the Americans with ethical ideals. As a military man he was a strict disciplinarian, and he followed the Constitution, but he also tolerated diverse views and worked for peaceful relations domestically and in foreign affairs. He promoted manufacturing and banking that Hamilton valued as much as the agricultural development that Jefferson and Republicans represented.
      Washington had started the French and Indian War in July 1754, and perhaps the biggest stain on his presidency was the conflict that the United States had in the northwest with Indians and the English who had not given up their forts there. The biggest defeat of the US Army in a battle against Indians in American history was in the battle at Wabash on 4 November 1791 when the Northwestern Confederacy led by Chief Little Turtle killed or captured 632 soldiers and most of 200 camp followers. For the most part Washington tried to get along with Indians, and he urged them to develop agriculture and the arts of civilization. Another challenge was curtailing the rebellion against the excise tax on liquor in western Pennsylvania that he managed to put down with little violence.
      By declining to run for a third term he set a precedent and showed how a republic can replace strong and popular leaders by peaceful elections. Although Washington may have had his flaws as a slave-holder and a strict disciplinarian during the War of Independence, these are outside of his presidency which can be rated as one of the best if not the best so far.
      President John Adams was a Federalist and wisely avoided war against France, but he lost the support of Hamilton who opposed Jefferson and the Republicans more actively. Party conflicts were verbally and legally fierce. Adams and Federalists reacted with the Alien and Sedition Acts that punished Republicans for their opinions. Jefferson, Madison, and other Republicans argued that unconstitutional laws did not have to be obeyed. Adams got a treaty with France, and tax resistors were arrested and pardoned. Settlers moving west led to more Indian wars, and treaties were made and took land. The United States expanded with Vermont, Kentucky, and Tennessee becoming states, and Spain opened the Mississippi River to the Americans.

Copyright © 2011, 2021 by Sanderson Beck

This chapter has been published in the book American Revolution to 1800. For ordering information please click here.

United States Democracy & Slavery 1801-1844

English & Dutch Colonies to 1642
English & Dutch Colonies 1643-64
New England 1664-1744
New York to Pennsylvania 1664-1744
Maryland, Virginia, Carolinas & Georgia 1664-1744
Franklin’s Practical Ethics
English-French Conflict in America 1744-54
English, French & Indian War 1754-63
American Resistance to British Taxes 1763-75
American War of Independence 1775-83
Confederation & a Constitution 1784-89
United States & Washington 1789-97
United States & John Adams 1797-1800
Summary & Evaluation
Bibliography

ETHICS OF CIVILIZATION Index
World Chronology
Chronology of America

BECK index