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HIST321: Comparative New Worlds, 1400-1750

Unit 8: British America   Although Britain was the last European power to establish a firm presence in the New World, it exerted wide-ranging influence by the eighteenth century.  First, British North American colonies were the most populous.  Second, British traders imported more African slaves than any other European nation.  And third, Britain maintained extensive landholdings in North, Central, and South America as well as in the Caribbean.
           
British New World colonies were diverse.  North American colonies supplied lumber, naval stores, and agricultural produce to the mother country while the Caribbean colonies exported sugar and coffee.  After devastating native peoples and deeming indentured servitude inadequate, many Britons turned to African slaves as their main labor source.  And unlike France, British colonies were not directly under the aegis of the monarch; semi-autonomous legislative bodies governed British provinces.

           
In this unit, we will study the economies, labor systems, and cultures of British North America, the British Caribbean, and British Central and South America. 

Unit 8 Time Advisory
This unit will take you 10 hours to complete.

☐    Subunit 8.1: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.2: 3.5 hours

☐    Subunit 8.3: 3 hours

Unit8 Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • analyze the contingent and varied nature of English colonies in North America and the Caribbean;
  • identify and analyze the similarities and differences between the New England, Middle, and Lower colonies in North America;
  • identify and analyze the economic, religious, social, and political elements of the British Caribbean holdings; and
  • identify and analyze the economic, religious, social, and political elements of British colonies in Central and South America.

8.1 North America   Note: This topic is covered in the resources under sub-subunits 8.1.1-8.1.3.

8.1.1 New England Colonies   - Reading: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal’s “Ch. 3 British Colonial America (1588-1701)”, and Modern History Sourcebook: William Bradford’s “from History of Plymouth Plantation, c. 1650” Link: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal’s “Ch. 3 British Colonial America (1588-1701)” (PDF), and Modern History Sourcebook: William Bradford’s “History of Plymouth Plantation, c. 1650” (PDF).
 
Also Available in:
HTML
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 Instructions: Please read the selections for an overview of the New
England Colonies and to get a sense of why Puritans settled in New
England and what their society looked like throughout the 1600s.  As
you read, ask yourself the following questions: According to the
author of “New England Colonies,” how do New England colonies differ
from Chesapeake and southern colonies?  Who were the Separatists and
what did they desire?  What was the Mayflower Compact and what did
the Separatists intend it to do?  What characteristics does the
author of “New England Colonies” use to describe the Puritans?  Who
was Anne Hutchinson and why was she persecuted?  What was the first
Puritan colony and how did John Winthrop envision its mission?  

 How does William Bradford describe the voyage and initial
experiences of his party in North America?  What were the terms of
the peace the colonists made with local Native Americans in 1621?
 Who was Squanto and what role did he play among the colonists?
 According to Bradford, how were food provisions and harvests
distributed in the colony?  

 (20 minutes)  
    
 Terms of Use: “Ch. 3 British Colonial America (1588-1701)” is
released under a [Creative Commons Attribution
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/); it is
attributed to Dr. James Ross-Nazzal, and the original version can be
found [here](http://cnx.org/content/m35277/latest/) (HTML).
 “History of Plymouth Plantation, c. 1650” is in the public domain.

8.1.2 Middle Colonies   - Reading: Connexions: James Ross-Nazzal’s “Chapter 3: British Colonial America (1588-1701)” Link: Connexions: James Ross-Nazzal’s “Chapter 3: British Colonial America (1588-1701)”

 Also Available in:  
 [HTML](http://cnx.org/content/m35277/latest/content_info)  
    
 Instructions: Please scroll down to “The Middle Colonies”.  Please
read the selections for an overview of the Middle Colonies.  As you
read, ask yourself the following questions: How did England come to
possess the colony formerly called New Amsterdam?  What problems
existed in New York colony?  In what way and through what event did
New York colony create the idea of free press?  Which religious
group established the colony of Pennsylvania?  In what way did
William Penn attempt to promote positive relations between colonists
and Native Americans?  

 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/).  It is
attributed to James Ross-Nazzal.

8.1.3 Lower Colonies   - Reading: The University of Groningen: From Revolution to Reconstruction Project’s “Chapter Two: The Southern Colonies” Link: The University of Groningen: From Revolution to Reconstruction Project’s “Chapter Two: The Southern Colonies” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read this webpage in its entirety.  Pay special attention to how the Lower Colonies’ formation was different to the Middle and the New England Colonies.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.2 The Caribbean   - Reading: National Archives’ “Caribbean Histories Revealed” “Introduction,” “Movement of People,” “Caribbean Identities,” and “Slavery and Negotiating Freedom” Links: National Archives’ “Caribbean Histories Revealed” “Introduction,” (HTML) “Movement of People,” (HTML) “Caribbean Identities,” (HTML) and “Slavery and Negotiating Freedom” (HTML)
 
Instructions: Please read each webpage linked above.  Also, at the bottom of each webpage, please click on and read the featured primary source documents.  This online exhibition will give you a good overview of the culture of sugar and slavery in the British Caribbean.
 
Terms of Use: Please respect the copyright and terms of use displayed on the webpage above.

8.2.1 Barbados   - Reading: Connexions: Dr. James Ross-Nazzal’s “Ch. 3 British Colonial America (1588-1701)” Link: Connexions: James Ross-Nazzal’s “Chapter 3: British Colonial America (1588-1701)” (PDF)

 Also Available in:  
 [HTML](http://cnx.org/content/m35277/latest/content_info)  
    
 Instructions: Scroll down to “Southern Colonies” and read the brief
history of Barbados at the beginning of the selection.  Please read
brief passage on Barbados to get an overview of British colonial
society in Barbados.  As you read, ask yourself the following
questions: Describe the triangular trade in which sugar was one
part.  Why was there a continuous increase in African slaves in
British Caribbean colonies?  For what reason was the colony of the
Carolinas created in 1653?  

(10 minutes)  
    
 Terms of Use: This resource is licensed under a [Creative Commons
Attribution 3.0
License](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us/).  It is
attributed to Dr. James Ross-Nazzal.

8.2.2 Jamaica   - Reading: Open Knowledge Repository: World Bank’s “Jamaica - Country Economic Memorandum: Unlocking Growth” Link: Open Knowledge Repository: World Bank’s “Jamaica - Country Economic Memorandum: Unlocking Growth” (PDF)

 Instructions: Please read this article, which will give you an
overview of the history of Jamaica.  
    
 Terms of Use: The article above is released under a [Creative
Commons Attribution
3.0](http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) license.  You can
find the original Open Knowledge Repository version of this
article [here](https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/2756) (HTML).

8.2.3 Sugar and Coffee   - Reading: U.S. Library of Congress: Sandra W. Meditz’s and Dennis M. Hanratty’s (eds.) Caribbean Islands: A Country Study: “The Sugar Revolutions and Slavery” Link: U.S. Library of Congress: Sandra W. Meditz’s and Dennis M. Hanratty’s (eds.) Caribbean Islands: A Country Study: “The Sugar Revolutions and Slavery” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read the entire article to get a sense of how the sugar revolution in the Caribbean influenced the rise of the Atlantic slave trade and the rise of the plantation complex.
 
Terms of Use: This material is part of the public domain.

8.3 Central and South America   Note: This topic is covered in the resources under sub-subunits 8.3.1 and 8.3.2.

8.3.1 British Honduras   - Reading: U.S. Library of Congress: Tim Merrill’s (ed.) Belize: A Country Study: “The Emergence of the British Settlement,” “Beginnings of Self-Government and the Plantocracy,” “Slavery in the Settlement, 1794-1838,” and “Emigration of the Garifuna” Links: U.S. Library of Congress: Tim Merrill’s (ed.) Belize: A Country Study“The Emergence of the British Settlement,” (PDF) “Beginnings of Self-Government and the Plantocracy,” (PDF) “Slavery in the Settlement, 1794-1838,” (PDF) and “Emigration of the Garifuna” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read each webpage in its entirety in order to understand the founding of what became known as British Honduras.
 
Terms of Use: This material is part of the public domain.

8.3.2 British Guyana   - Reading: U.S. Library of Congress: Tim Merrill’s (ed.) Guyana: A Country Study: The Early Years,” “The Dutch Settle in Guyana,” “British Take Over,” “The Shortage of Labor,” and “History of the Economy” Links: U.S. Library of Congress: Tim Merrill’s (ed.) Guyana: A Country Study:The Early Years,” (PDF) “The Dutch Settle in Guyana,” (PDF) “British Take Over,” (PDF) The Shortage of Labor,” (PDF) and “History of the Economy” (PDF)
 
Instructions: Please read all of the webpages in order to understand the creation of the British colony in Guyana.
 
Terms of Use: This material is part of the public domain.