England's Triumph in North America (1600-1763)

                                          

Tobacco and the Chesapeake Colonies

Lecture Themes

This lecture examines the expansion of the Chesapeake colonies in the 17th century with tobacco as their main cash crop. Key topics to explore include the global demand for tobacco in the early modern era, the cultivation of the tobacco in the tidewater, the emergence of a landed gentry class in Virginia and Maryland, and the rise of indentured servitude and slavery.

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The New England Way – Puritans and Puritanism

                      
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This lecture examines why English Puritans migrated to the New World and established colonies in New England. Themes to raise should include the Puritans' religious and social beliefs, the founding of the Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay colonies, difficulties with internal dissent (e.g., Anne Hutchinson, Roger Williams), struggles with the Indians (especially during King Philip's War), and the maturation of the New England colonies at the 17th century's end.

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Slavery's Establishment in North America

                          
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This lecture examines African slavery in colonial America. Key themes to include are racism toward blacks among Europeans, the labor needs of the colonies, the variety of slave systems in the New World, the emergence of legal codes regulating bondage, and black agency and resistance.

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The Proprietary Impulse – New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania

                           
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This lecture looks at the establishment of the proprietary colonies in English-America in the 17th century.  Main themes include England's motivation in creating such colonies, the legal rights and privileges granted to the individual proprietors, the legal, economic and political rights which settlers gained, and eventual tensions between the proprietors and colonists.

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Mercantilism and Commerce in Eighteenth Century America

Lecture Themes:

This lecture focuses on England's mercantile policies toward its colonies in North America. Important topics to address are the economic theories of mercantilism, the commercial regulations London imposed upon the colonies, the so-called "triangular" trading system operating in the Atlantic world, British-American economic expansion and colonial smuggling.

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The Enlightenment and Great Awakening

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This lecture focuses on the dramatic intellectual and religious transformations brought about by the Enlightenment and Great Awakening. Key topics to highlight are the beginnings of the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment in Europe, the embrace of new intellectual ideas in America, the Great Awakenings' roots and beginnings, the Awakenings' revivals across the colonies, and the social and class divisions that emerged because of these two events.

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Politics and Society in Eighteenth Century America

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This lecture reviews the political, social, and economic evolution of the colonies in the 18th century. Important themes to explore are the emergence of colonial assemblies in British-American politics, the political and social impact of widespread suffrage, economic expansion, rising living standards, and demographic growth.

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"The Great War for Empire": the Seven Years War in North America

                    
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This lecture examines the pivotal French and Indian War in North America. Key themes to examine are the imperial rivalries that existed before 1754, earlier wars between France and Britain in America, the important role of Native American Indians, and William Pitt's ministry which led to Britain's triumph in this conflict.

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  • Matthew C. Ward, "'The European Method of Warring Is Not Practiced Here': The Failure of British Military Policy in the Ohio Valley, 1755-1759," War in History 1997 4(3): 247-263 (available via "America: History & Life" database)
  • Digital History: Online American History Textbook: "Sevens Years War"
    http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu/database/article_display.cfm?HHID=688
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