The Southern Colonies In The 17th And 18th Centuries

Submitted By roxyjoan
Words: 4366
Pages: 18

The Southern Colonies in the 17th and 18th Centuries
I. Southern Plantation Colonies -- general characteristics
A. Dominated to a degree by a plantation economy: tobacco & rice
B. Slavery in all colonies (even Georgia after 1750); mostly indentured servants for until 1676 in Virginia and Maryland -- increasingly black slavery thereafter.
C. Large land holdings in the hands of the favored few = aristocratic atmosphere (except N.
Carolina and parts of Georgia)
D. Sparsely populated: churches & schools too expensive for very small towns. E. All practiced some form of religious toleration
-- Church of England (Anglican Church) most prominent
F. Expansionary attitudes stimulated in large part due to degradation of soil from tobacco farming. II. The Chesapeake (Virginia & Maryland)
A. Virginia (founded in 1607 by Virginia Company)
1. Jamestown, 1607 -- 1st permanent British colony in New World
a. Founded by Virginia Company that received charter in London from King James I. i. Main goals: Promise of gold, conversion of Indians to Christianity (just like
Spain), and new passage to the Indies.
ii. Consisted largely of well-to-do adventurers
b. Virginia Charter
i. Overseas settlers given same rights of Englishmen in England
ii. Became foundation for American liberties; rights extended to other colonies.
2. Colony wracked by tragedy during early years: famine, disease, war with Indians a. By 1625, only 1200 of the nearly 8000 colonists survived
b. Only 60 out of 400 settlers survived "starving time" of 1610-1611
3.Captain John Smith organized the colony beginning in 1608: "He who will not work shall not eat."
a. Smith kidnapped in Dec. 1607 by Powhatans led by Chief Powhatan who subjected Smith to a what may have been a mock execution.
b. Smith perhaps "saved" by Pocahantas, Powatan's daughter, when she was only 12 years old
4. Pocahantas eventually became a central figure in preserving peace in early Jamestown
Provided foodstuffs to settlers.
Became hostage of colonists in 1613 during military conflicts.
Later married John Rolfe & taught him Indian way of curing tobacco. 
-- Died of small pox at age 22
5. John Rolfe and tobacco crop economy -- "Colony built on smoke"
Rolfe introduced new tough strain of tobacco
Tobacco industry became cornerstone of Virginia's economy.
Plantation system emerged
6. House of Burgesses (an assembly) authorized by London Company in 1619. a. 1st of miniature parliament in the British American colonies.
b. Representative self-government
i. Most representatives were substantial property owners ii.Created as an incentive to attract settlers to the Virginia "Death Trap" 7.Virginia Charter revoked by James I in 1624

a. King believed assembly to seditious but also hated tobacco.
b. Virginia became a royal colony directly under his control B. Maryland
1. 2. 3.
Charles I gave Sir George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, a portion of VA for Catholic haven and profit.
Eventually , growth of Protestants meant Catholics rapidly becoming a minority; Catholics feared loss of religions freedom.
Act of Toleration (1649)
a. Guaranteed toleration to all Christians but instituted death penalty for anyone denying the divinity of Jesus (e.g. Jews & atheists)
b. Motive: Catholics sought to protect their faith by granting certain degree of religious freedom.
c. Maryland became largest haven for Catholics in British American colonies
C. Life in the Chesapeake
Disease took heavy toll early on (10 yrs off life exp.) -- Malaria, dysentery, typhoid 
a. Half of all born in early Virginia and Maryland did not live past age 20. 
b. Less than 25% of men lived to see 50 -- women only 40
Most immigrants were single men in late teens, early 20's; most died soon after arriving 
a. Surviving males competed for extremely scarce women; women thus married early 
b. Most men could not find mates.
Region stabilized eventually due to increased immunities to disease in increased