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American Life in the 17th C

Chapter 4 Theme: In the Chesapeake region, seventeenthcentury colonial society was characterized by diseaseshortened lives, weak family life, and a social hierarchy that included hardworking planters at the top and restless poor whites and black slaves at the bottom. Despite the substantial disruption of their traditional culture and the mingling of African peoples, slaves in the Chesapeake developed a culture that mixed African and new-world elements ,and developed one of the few slave societies that grew through natural reproduction.

I. Southern Plantation Society
A. Despite Challenges, Chesapeake flourished
1. 2. 3. Difficult Living
a. Disease and family life

Tobacco increased Indentured Servants
a. b. Headright System (+50) Bacon’s Rebellion, 1676


Background of Slavery
1. 2. 3. Immigration of Slaves increased after 1670’s Middle Passage to West Indies to SC or RI. Limitations on freedom
a. No literacy, chattels are slaves, no freedom with conversion

II. Two Groups: Ebony or Ivory?”
A. African-Americans
1. 2. 3. Many hardships Developed mixed culture Ultimate goal: Freedom
a. b. c. Buy freedom NY Revolt, 1712 Stono Revolt, 1739

1712 NY Slave Revolt

1733 St. John Slave Revolt

1739 Stono Rebellion

1741 NY Conspiracy 1791-1804 Haitian Revolution

B. White Americans
1. 2. Strict social structure
a. Planters, yeoman, landless

1760 Tacky’s War (Jamaica)

Unique lifestyle

III. New England Society
A. Puritan townships evolve
2. 3. 4. 1. 2. 3. 1. 2.

Structured and ordered government. Congregationalist Half-way Covenant Salem Witch Trials
Benefit of fast rivers Rocky soil discouraged Ag. Lots economic activities Slavery diminishes Middle or lower class

B. Economic Diversity

C. Mono-cultural

Review Questions


Compare and contrast the ways in which economic development affected politics in Massachusetts and Virginia in the period from 1607 to 1750 (2005, A). Analyze the impact of the Atlantic trade routes established in the mid 1600’s on economic development in the British North American colonies. Consider the period 1650-1750. (2002, B) Analyze the cultural and economic responses of TWO of the following groups to the Indians of North America before 1750.
a. b. c. British French Spanish


Compare the ways in which religion shaped the development of colonial society (to 1740) in TWO of the following regions:
a. b. c. New England Chesapeake Middle Atlantic Bacon’s Rebellion Pueblo Revolt (1680) Salem witchcraft trials (1692) Stono Rebellion (1739)


Compare the ways in which TWO of the following reflected tensions in colonial society (2003, A).
a. b. c. d.