Monday, January 28, 2013

Additional Expansion in British North America

In the era leading up to the French and Indian War, the British were known for their land expansion in North America. In this blog post, I will discuss the expansion that was occurring in Pennsylvania, the Carolinas, and a brief description of the Transatlantic "Triangle" slave trade.

  • In 1681, King Chalrles II grants William Penn and his family a huge tract of land as a payment of debt. Penn, unlike other land grantees, bought the land from the indigenous residents and attempted to work in partnership with them. Pennsylvania was much less violent than other English colonies in its early settlement.
  • Pennsylvania was religiously liberal (the colonists had freedom of conscience and worship) and was politically inclusive by the standards of the time.
  • Virtuous citizens were the foundation of Penn's society.
  • An elected assembly, inclusive suffrage laws, and relatively inexpensive land meant that most Pennsylvania free men could vote in local elections.
  • Pennsylvania was a major exporter of grain to the Caribbean and had a deep water port (Philadelphia). The population grows rapidly and attracts people from all over Europe--particularly German-speaking Protestants.
The Carolinas
  • The Lord's Proprietor (which I'm going to refer to as LP for the remainder of this post)
    • Sugar planters from Barbados have gotten exceptionally rich off of the sugar trade in the 1640s and 1650s.
    • They are the wealthiest men in the kingdom. When Charles II comes to power, the LP will get whatever they want, politically speaking.
    • They bankroll the Second Anglo-Dutch War; Charles II gives eight of them huge land grants in North America (and they act as a barrier to Spanish northward expansion).
    • Carolina--a huge land grant--included the present states of North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas, a small part of Missouri, most of Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, the southern half of California, the southern tip of Nevada, the northern part of Florida, and a slice of northern Mexico. Wow, that's a lot of land!

  • Making Carolina Pay
    • The LP created a vertically organized set of businesses that connect all aspects of their Atlantic trade interests--some in Africa, some in England, and some in Barbados.
    • They invested in shipping lines, they were given a monopoly on the slave trade, and they began to import massive numbers of slaves to the Caribbean and mainland; they bought sawmills for the pine trees on their land in Carolina (and used timber and pine tar to build more ships); they opened gun works and cloth works in England (so they could manufacture the goods that they would trade in exchange for African slaves); they bought rice and beef from planters in Carolina and fed their workers in the Caribbean.

Before I give you some information about the "Triange Trade" (also known as Trans-Atlantic Trade, Atlantic Trade, Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, and Atlantic Slave really can't go wrong here), I would like to pose a question. I will not be giving my answer, it's just something to think about for in/when you read this, learn about this subject in school, or study it on your own: Which came first: slavery or racism?

The "Triange Trade" Develops
  • Bristol became the second largest city in England--merchant capital--importer of all colonial goods (rum, sugar, tobacco, etc), source of English colonial credit, huge naval base, slaving ships, armories, and textile works.
  • Africa--slaves are exchanged for guns, cloth, and rum
  • Caribbean--slaves are purchased and sugar is produced to be sold elsewhere
  • Coast of mainland North America--slaves are purchased, tobacco is planted and harvested, sugar is turned into rum, and English goods are dropped off
The Royal African Company shipped about 100,000 Africans to North America between 1672 to 1689. After they lost the monopoly in 1692, Bristol merchants imported slaves even faster.

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