Chapter Summary 1
The Founding of the Middle Colonies, pp. 121-126
The English colonies of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania originated as proprietary colonies. Before the 1670s, few Europeans settled in any of these middle colonies. The most important European outpost in the region north of the Chesapeake and south of New England was the relatively small Dutch colony of New Netherland. By 1700, however, the English monarchy had seized New Netherland, renamed it New York, and encouraged the creation of a Quaker colony led by William Penn.
From New Netherland to New York
The Dutch settled New York after the voyages of Henry Hudson in 1609. The colony became the property of the Dutch West India Company, which struggled to govern the settlement and sent officials who set policies that many colonists deeply resented. New Netherland was Dutch in little more than ownership because few immigrants came from Holland, and the population remained small. It was a linguistically and religiously diverse colony. Immigrants from Sweden, France, Germany, Holland, and many other countries made up sizable minorities in the colony, and these people felt no loyalty to the Dutch West India Company. When England sent a fleet to take New Netherland in 1664, the Dutch colony fell and New Netherland became New York. Although he had no right to the land, Charles II of England gave the colony as part of an enormous land grant to his brother James, the Duke of York.
New Jersey and Pennsylvania
New York's creation led indirectly to the founding of two other middle colonies: New Jersey and Pennsylvania. New Jersey first belonged to the Duke of York, but he gave it to two friends who became the colony's proprietors. Conflicts between these men and some preexisting settlers led one of the proprietors to sell his interest to two Quakers. These Quaker proprietors themselves had a conflict and called in English Quaker William Penn— a prominent public figure from an eminent English family— who arbitrated an agreement whereby New Jersey was able to maintain its proprietary government. Penn became interested in establishing a colony in the New World to provide a safe haven for Quakers, an unpopular and persecuted sect whose members were imprisoned and executed in great numbers. Penn intended to settle Pennsylvania as a society based on Quaker principles. The Quakers believed that all individuals could communicate directly with God. They refused to accept hierarchical status or deference to those of rank and title since, in God's eyes, all humans were equal. They also permitted women to assume positions of religious leadership. In 1681, Charles II, eager to rid England of this troublesome religious minority, made Penn the proprietor of the new colony called Pennsylvania.
Toleration and Diversity in Pennsylvania
Between 1682 and 1685, almost eight thousand immigrants came to Pennsylvania, most of them members of the Society of Friends, or Quakers. Quaker ideals showed in the fair Indian policy and the tolerance of religious diversity in the new colony. Pennsylvania and its capital, Philadelphia, soon rivaled New York as a center of commerce, exporting flour and other foodstuffs to the West Indies and importing textiles and manufactured goods. As the colony's proprietor, Penn had extensive power, but he proposed a more representative government in which property owners could vote for a council and an elected assembly, both of which were subject to an appointed governor's veto. Penn believed that the form of government mattered less than the people in it, but Quakers found points of disagreement. There were many struggles in the assembly and, in 1701, a new Charter of Privileges gave the assembly extensive new powers.
Chapter Summary 2
The Colonies and the British Empire, pp. 127-130
Until the 1660s, the English crown largely ignored the colonies. The king then recognized that profits could be realized by regulating colonial trade; he moved to consolidate royal control over colonial governments.
Royal Regulation of Colonial Trade
The Navigation Acts of 1650, 1651, and 1660 were the heart of England's system of regulation. They restricted trade within the empire to English (including American) ships and enumerated certain colonial goods— such as tobacco— that could be shipped only to England or to other English colonies. The Navigation Acts interfered less with the commerce of New England and the middle colonies, whose principal exports— fish, lumber, and flour— were not enumerated and could legally be sent directly to their most important markets in the West Indies. Another act, the Staple Act of 1663, required that all goods imported into the colonies pass through England. By the end of the seventeenth century, colonial trade flowed in and out of channels defined and regulated by the British Empire.
King Philip's War and the Consolidation of Royal Authority
The monarchy took steps to exercise greater control over colonial governments. The middle colonies, Maryland, and South Carolina were all proprietary colonies closely linked to the crown, and Virginia had been a royal colony since 1624. The monarchy now directed its efforts toward the New England colonies, which had developed their own distinctively independent Puritan governments. A devastating war with the Indians (King Philip's War, 1675-1676) created the pretext for a royal investigation of whether New England adhered to English laws. This resulted in the crown's decision to revoke the Massachusetts Bay Company's charter and to incorporate all the colonies stretching from Maine to Maryland into one entity called the Dominion of New England, appointing Sir Edmund Andros as royal governor. When news reached America of James II's ouster in the Glorious Revolution, a rebellion broke out in Boston, and Andros and his followers were arrested. However, the days of Puritan independence and complete self— rule were over.
Conclusion: An English Model of Colonization in North America, pp. 130-131
At the close of the seventeenth century, the English New World colonies were firmly established. The English Empire in North America was quite different from its Spanish counterpart. The settlers relied on agriculture and trade rather than precious metals. Religious, political, social, and economic diversity could be seen throughout the settled areas; and free, white males enjoyed an unusual degree of political influence for that time. Over the following half-century, the colonies would experience surprising changes.