HST 141                                                                                                                                                                                  Dr. Kerns


The Unfinished Nation: Chapter 2 “Transplantations and Borderlines”


Chapter 2 Main Themes:

  1. The origins, objectives, and shaping influences of England's first settlements in the New World.
  2. How and why English colonies in the Chesapeake, New England, and Mid-Atlantic differed from one another in purpose and administration.
  3. The problems that arose as colonies matured and expanded, and how colonists attempted to solve them.
  4. The impact that events in England had on the development of colonies in British America.


A thorough study of Chapter 2 should enable the student to understand:


  • The differences between the Jamestown and Plymouth colonies in terms of objectives, types of settlers, early problems, and reasons for success.
  • The origins of representative government, slavery, and religious toleration in the Chesapeake.
  • The importance of Indian agricultural techniques to the survival of early English colonies.
  • The differences in origin and outlook between the two Chesapeake colonies, Virginia and Maryland.
  • The causes and consequences of Bacon's Rebellion in 1676.
  • The background of the Massachusetts Bay colony and its founders, the Puritans.
  • The conditions in Puritan Massachusetts Bay that spawned such dissenters as Thomas Hooker, Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson.
  • The expansion of the original settlements and the influences of the New World frontier on the colonists.
  • The events contributing to the deterioration of English relationships with Native-Americans in the Massachusetts Bay colony area.
  • The reason for the lack of new English colonies in the New World between 1632 and 1663.
  • The origins and development of Carolina and the colonies of the Mid-Atlantic - New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.
  • The significance of the Caribbean colonies in the British-American colonial system.
  • The character of African slavery in Barbados and the Caribbean.
  • The continued flourishing of the Spanish empire and the impact this had on the British-American colonial system.
  • The practical and ideological considerations that spurred the founding of Georgia.
  • The early economic, religious, and political factors in the colonies that tended to produce sectional differences.
  • The effects of the "Middle Grounds" on the development of the American colonies.
  • The political events leading up to the Glorious Revolution, and the impact it had on the English colonies in the New World.





Antinomianism   The belief that people cannot obtain salvation through good works -- "faith alone" is all that is required. Seventeenth-century authorities feared that antinomians would feel that it was not necessary to work for the betterment of the community and might even put themselves above the rules and regulations that governed society.


 Backcountry   Newly settled lands in the western "interior" portion of the early colonies. Backcountry colonists often found themselves at odds with the wealthier settlers of the coastal regions.


 Covenant   Essentially an agreement in which people are united for a specific purpose. Rooted in Protestant theology, such agreements were the basis for church governments (especially among Calvinist congregations) and, in time, influenced civil governments as well. In this way, the covenant concept helped establish the idea of government by the consent of the governed.


Headrights   Grants of land donated to new settlers in the Chesapeake by the Virginia Company and the Lords Baltimore


Orthodox   Conforming to the accepted doctrines or system of beliefs of a group, refusing to deviate or alter one's beliefs (for example, orthodox Puritans).


Presidios   Spanish forts. Many presidios sprang up on the Pacific coast at the end of the eighteenth century.


Proprietary Colony   A colony whose charter was granted by the king to an individual or a group (proprietors). Although the charter might place certain restrictions on the proprietors, in general they were free to run the colony as they wished--appointing governors, establishing assemblies, dividing and granting land. Because most proprietors were essentially land speculators and concerned with profit (either from the sale of land or from quitrents), they usually relaxed political and religious restrictions so as to attract colonists. But even with these concessions, proprietary governments at times proved unpopular, and opposition to them was one source of turmoil in the late seventeenth century.


Royal Colony   A colony over which the king of England assumed control, granting it a royal charter in place of the charter it previously held. Not an act of tyranny, as often pictured, royalization guaranteed that England's laws (and English subjects' rights) would apply to colony and colonists. A royal governor was appointed by the king to see that such laws were carried out, and a council, composed of prominent men of the colony (appointed by the king, but with the advice of local leaders), was established to advise the executive. Most important, at least to the colonists in general, was the authorization of an elected legislature (variously known as the Commons House of Assembly, the House of Burgesses, and the like) to pass local laws and deal with problems particular to the colony. This legislative activity was naturally to conform to English law and was subject to royal approval or disallowance. In time, the council came to act as the upper house of the legislature, while the commons functioned as the lower, an arrangement that, to the colonists at least, strongly resembled the relationship that existed between the House of Commons and the House of Lords in England. This system varied from colony to colony and underwent many changes as it evolved; yet, by the end of the colonial era, most of the British-American colonies shared its basic institutional structure.


Theocracy   A society run by religious leaders, in which the church is almost indistinguishable from the state.