Colonial Ways of Life

A massive migration to America began in Europe People came from all over Western Europe: England, Scotland, Germany Switzerland, Protestant Ireland.

Early American settlers were mostly young (half were under 25), and mostly male. Only 1/3 traveled with families; most came alone. Most were "middle" class, neither rich nor poor; some few were wealthy, but many more were destitute. Approximately half those who emigrated were indentured servants or slaves. In 1700’s over 50,000 convicted felons were transported, many under sentence of death.

This was an extraordinary mixture; and is largely responsible for the extraordinarily diverse mosaic that makes up American culture, even today. Rather than strip away ethnic and cultural differences, they were preserved and embellished. This is evident in present day America. Americans in the Southern U.S. prefer fried foods in the custom of their ancestors from Germany and Southern/Western England. Residents of the Appalachian Mountains still often manufacture moonshine whiskey as did their ancestors in northern England.

Most settlers were from Britain, came in four separate migrations:

Among those who immigrated to America:

1. Approx. 20,000 Puritans between the years: 1629 – 1641.

2. Royalist Cavaliers. They were wealthy and primarily Anglican; many came with Indentured servants. They were accustomed to class distinction, and had no problem whatsoever with the institution of slavery.

3. Quakers (23,000) settled in the Delaware River Valley. They brought the idea of spiritual equality; distrust of a social hierarchy, commitment to plain living; and high thinking.

4. Scots, Celtic Britons, Scots-Irish settled 1717 – 1775. They were course, feisty people who settled in back country near Appalachians.

Seaboard Ecology: The first Europeans did NOT find an "unspoiled wilderness." The Indians had been clearing and planting land for centuries. They cleared the land, worked it until it was exhausted, then moved on. The abandoned land regenerated over time and cleared land had created habitat for turkeys, deer, elk. Topsoil runoff had fertilized streams, and there were many fish and eels.

The Indians had practiced "slash and burn" and as a result, no old hardwood forests remained in Southeast; only longleaf pines. Pines are the first to come up when area is cleared and then abandoned, as they require a great deal of light. Hardwood trees are slower growing, and often grow beneath pines eventually choking out the pines, if given enough time. European settlers simply evicted the Indians by whatever means was available, and built villages on areas where Indian settlements had been since the area was already cleared. They also grew same crops as Indians: Corn, beans, squash, etc.

` Demand for timber; more land for farming caused extensive deforestation. Cattle, sheep, etc. needed grazing land. The Indians had migrated and used only those resources readily needed. Europeans considered land and its produce to be a privately owned commodity, not something to be shared in common. As a result, meadows, fields, fences, and barns sprang up. Along with domestic animals, Europeans also brought along some unwelcome company, including weed seeds, dandelions, black flies and cockroaches.

The American landscape changed as a result of European settlement, particularly in New England: Foraging animals gradually changed distribution of trees, grasses and shrubs. Deforestation for timber and farm land encouraged erosion and flooding. As a result, New England became sunnier, colder, windier than it had been before. The Indians contributed to this destruction also. They hunted fur bearing animals to trade the furs for European manufactured goods without regard to depletion of the animal population. The result was the large mammals of area upon which the Indians depended for survival were hunted almost to extinction.

Population Growth:

After initial hard times, the colonies grew rapidly:

· Virginia population quadrupled in 30 years after 1644 (the last major Indian uprising). By 1704, 75,000 people lived there.

· By 1700, 250,000 people lived in the colonies. The population doubled every 25 years. By 1750, one million people; by 1776, 2.5 million.

In 1700, the English population had outnumbered Colonial by 20 – 1; by the time of the Revolutionary War (1776), the ratio was 3 – 1.

· Land was plentiful and few people had to work (Ben Franklin once commented: land is cheap and labor is dear). The reverse situation existed in England, where land was scarce, and people were all over. This situation caused a large emigration of people from Europe, the first frame in the image of America as the land of opportunity.

· Abundant land encouraged settlement; and the need for people to work land encouraged people to marry early, and have large families. Larger number of American women married; had more children and at an earlier age. Children were expected to work in the fields until grown, when they could get their own land, start their own family, and repeat the process over again.

One Virginian, William Byrd, said that the "most antique Virgin" he knew was his 20 year old daughter.

· The death rate was substantially lower than in England. There was both a smaller infant mortality rate, and a longer longevity rate. The average lifespan for men in America was 70 years; woman lived almost that long; they had a higher mortality rate due to deaths in childbirth, which were not uncommon. People lived longer because there was more land and they did not live in the cramped quarters that had been common in Europe. There was thus less opportunity for contagious contact. Also, even though winters were colder in places, there was more firewood. The American diet was better by and large, and as a result, inhabitants of America tended to be healthier and live longer. The notable exception to this was the South, where malaria and dysentery were spread by mosquitoes in Rice Fields. Ships picking up Tobacco often carried Smallpox and diphtheria. As a result, families were often broken up when parents died at an early age; This led to children being on their own early, and also close extended families and extended family support, still common in South.

New England settlement was primarily comprised of family groups who were bound by religious affiliation. Virginia and the Southern colonies were settled primarily by single men. As a result, many men never married, but most women did. Population ratios of men to women eventually stabilized throughout colonies. Throughout the colonies, the family became the primary social and economic unit. Food and many other basic needs were manufactured there; although many items were bought and sold. Fathers taught sons to hunt, fish, farm, and mothers taught daughters how to tend chickens, the garden, household chores.

Women in the Colonies:

Women were normally considered inferior to men. They were considered to be weak; and were expected to be obedient to husband in all respects. In most colonies, women could not vote, preach, hold office, go to school or college, make contracts or sue; or own property. (The exception was the Quakers, who had strong ideas about equality of sexes.)

In almost every instance, the wife was considered to be subordinate to the husband whose authority was absolute over her. John Winthrop had written that a "true wife" could only find contentment "in subjection to her husband’s authority." His sister, in a letter to Winthrop, stated that "I am but a wife and therefore it is sufficient for me to follow my husband." Husbands often did not discuss business affairs with their wives, and often treated wives as servants.

The idea of weakness traced to temptation of Eve; she was considered to be responsible for having brought sin into the world, she was the weaker of the two. From her name comes the word: "Evil."

Typical "Women’s work" consisted of household, garden chores. The typical colonial woman normally rose at four in morning, watered livestock, chopped wood, prepared meals, made soap and candles, pieced quilts, and performed normal household duties such as cleaning, and caring for children. Her day ended about nine at night.

Some opportunities for women arose as result of the scarcity of labor. Many served as midwives, tavern keepers; sometimes as doctors, printers, painters, tanners, even shipwrights. Some picked up where their husbands left off when husbands died. Note: All of this was as a result of the shortage of men to do the work; otherwise, women would not have been allowed to do these things.

Some very minor improvements as result of shortage of women; this led to better treatment, but this was quite rare:

· Puritan ideal of well ordered family led to laws protecting wives from physical abuse. An example of this is that the law forbade a man from beating his wife with any stick larger in diameter than his thumb, hence the "rule of thumb." Divorces were also allowed in some instances, particularly in the event of adultery by the husband..

· Wives had greater control over any property she brought into the marriage, or left when her husband died. She did not "lose" her property to her husband by virtue of her marriage to him.

Even so, the idea of female inferiority and domesticity remained an integral part of American life for many years.

Society and Economy in the Southern Colonies

Climate created distinct advantage in the South, as "staple" crops could be grown and sold for cash.

Charles I said that Virginia was "founded upon Smoke." He wasn’t far wrong:

· 1619 – tobacco production was 20,000 pounds.

· 1688 – (year of the "Glorious Revolution) 18 million pounds.

Tobacco was the staple crop for Virginia, Maryland. In South Carolina, it was rice, (called "Carolina Gold"). The rise and fall of the tide in rivers and inlets created perfect growing conditions for rice, as it required flooding and draining. In 1740 Indigo, used for blue dye, also became a staple. The cattle industry was also important to the area, complete with cowboys, roundups, and cattle drives.

Indigo was the secret to the fortune of the Pinckney Family. Some Pinckneys are still in Charleston. The family has been very prominent in South Carolina History.

In North Carolina pine forests provided timber, tar, pitch, turpentine, hence it became known as the "tarheel" area.

Records of English Customs show that the Southern Colonies had favorable a balance of trade with Great Britain between 1698 and 1717; but even so, they failed to show a profit. Among the expenses they encountered:

· Freight charges, interest payments to lenders who had loaned money against crop, storage charges

· Purchases of indentured servants and slaves.

As a result, Southern large scale farming was seldom profitable. Many lived on large, grandiose estates, but almost all were seriously in debt to English middlemen. The profit from all these enterprises went to outsiders who handled shipping, trade, and manufacture.

Land: Originally, land had been parceled out under the headright system; one received 50 acres for each paid passage. It was not uncommon for one to pay passage for servants, etc. just to get the land for himself. Over time, tracts went up for sale, and large estates developed. By the early 1700’s most land was accrued by purchase and sale, often from provincial government.

The Southern colonies developed large scale production; but tobacco tended to deplete soil, and extra fields were needed. The depleted fields were planted in corn or beans, or allowed to remain fallow. Also increased production of tobacco sent prices down; planters had to sell more and more to keep up their income; this in turn called for more and more land, larger and larger estates. As a result, plantations grew larger, and the smaller farmers reduced to subsistence farming. The large estates eventually reached the waterfront, where the plantation owner acted as harbormaster and merchant; oceangoing vessels typically stopped at the plantation’s port to unload manufactured goods from England and load tobacco. The end result of this is that the South had no need for large cities as centers of commerce; so large cities did not develop in South as in North. The only major city in the South of any consequence was Charleston, South Carolina, a major port and slave market, as well as cultural center. Charleston was only superceded by Atlanta with the advent of the railroads…politicians of the time did not have the foresight to make Charleston a railroad terminus.

By the early 1700’s, an aristocracy had developed in South Carolina and Virginia. Planters with large estates built large "colonial" style mansions and used them for lavish entertainment. Every effort was made to keep up with the latest styles and fashion from London. The end result, of course, was life on credit. The planters spent lavishly, often borrowing against the following year’s crop. When that debt was paid, it was necessary to negotiate a new loan on the following year’s crop, such that they remained perpetually in debt. Thomas Jefferson was one such person, who, when forced to reach into his own pocket to pay an inherited debt, referred to himself as "a species of property annexed to certain English mercantile houses."

Southern planters often visited Charleston, Williamsburg, or Annapolis, and often engaged in gambling, cock fighting, cards, and dice. Some pursued learning, apparently anxious to be considered renaissance persons. They often studied Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. The Pinckney family of Charleston read from works of the great authors of the day, and sent their sons to study in England or France.

Labor: Approximately one half of settlers outside New England were Indentured Servants. Typically, they contracted with a boat master for passage to America; who would then sell their contract upon arrival to get back his money and possibly make a profit. Not all came voluntarily. Many were kidnapped, others were condemned prisoners who were offered the option of transport rather than be hanged.

Indentured Servants were typically sold at auction. It was in essence a form of slavery. The master had total control over those indentured to him, could beat him if he felt it necessary. A servant guilty of misconduct, or of attempting to run away might find his indenture extended for several years. The wretched life of an Indentured Servant is indicated in the following letter by a servant to his parents in England:

This is to let you understand that I, your child, am in a most heavy case, by reason of the nature of the country, [which] is such that it causeth me much sickness, as the scurvy and the bloody flux [probably dysentery] and diverse other diseases, which make the body very poor and weak. And when we are sick, there is nothing to comfort us. For since I came out of the ship, I never ate anything but peas and loblollie (that is, water gruel). As for deer or venison, I never saw any since I came into this land. There is indeed some fowl, but we are not allowed to go and get it, but must work hard both early and late for a mess of water gruel and a mouthful of bread and beef. A mouthful of bread, for a penny loaf must serve four men, which is most pitiful, if you did know as much as I, when people cry out day and night, O that they were in England without their limbs, and would not care to lose any limbs to be in England, yea though they beg from door to door.

Daniel Defoe, the Author of Robinson Crusoe wrote another novel entitled Moll Flanders about the mishaps of a young lady who traveled to America as an Indentured servant.

Servants were normally freed at end of their Indenture; normally 4 – 7 years, if they could survive it. At that point, they had the some rights as others who paid passage under the headright system; normally an allotment of land, clothes, tools, etc. They were most likely unable to save money during their indenture, as they were not paid; all their labor belonged to the master who bought them. More often than not, the best and most desirable lands were spoken for. However, some of them did quite well. Benjamin Franklin’s maternal grandmother came as an Indentured Servant and married her master. Most however, remained poor for the remainder of their days.

Religion: Although there was no established church, the Southern colonies were primarily Anglican. Governor Berkeley in 1643 had proclaimed that the Jamestown Colony was Anglican, and hounded Puritans and Quakers out of town. However, the lack of a church hierarchy in America from which authority might be exercised from on high meant that control of the church fell to local groups. Parsons were hired by local church members, often on short-term contracts. Church members would not tolerate fire and brimstone sermons, and did not wish to be reminded of any sin of which they might be guilty; any parson who dared step on toes was often removed from his position summarily.

Southerners of the time were not overtly religious. Less than one in fifteen was a church member, and their religion focused on ritual and collective worship rather than the personal religious experience common in New England.

Society and Economy in the New England Colonies

The New England landscape was and is thin and rocky. It is largely unsuited for large-scale farming. It is surrounded by the sea and mountains. Whereas grants of land in the South been mostly large tracts to individuals, in New England grants were to townships to be divided up between a group. Groups receiving land were normally a group organized into a church. It was later divided up into farms, away from the center of town. The end result was the development of the New England township.

New England homes normally were of a small, sturdy "saltbox" design, with a sharp roof so snow would not accumulate. They normally were not painted; when they were, they were painted a brick red. Homes were not lit, other than with candles or oil lamps which were expensive. People normally went to bed soon after sunset; and had to share the home with flies, mosquitoes, ants, roaches, etc. which were in abundance.

The main room on the house was called a "hall." Meals were cooked in the fireplace in pots suspended from an iron rod that swung in and out to facilitate cooking and serving. Members of the household ate at a rough plank table called the "board." Hence, room and board, boarder, etc. There was only one chair, in which the father, or other head of the household sat, he was, quite literally, the "chairman of the board." Others sat on stools or benches, or stood. Food was normally eaten with one’s hands, or with wooden spoons. A typical meal would consist of corn, boiled meat, and any vegetables that were available, and was washed down with beer or cider. Cornbread was served daily, as well as cornmeal mush, often called "hasty pudding." Oftentimes they ate "succotash," a mixture of corn and kidney beans cooked in bear grease.

Bathing took place near the fireplace with water drawn from a well. Privacy was not a concern, as it wasn’t possible. The hall often contained household items such as a spinning wheel, cupboard, butter churn, etc, even a handloom for making cloth. The head of the household and his spouse slept in a "jack bed" normally built into a corner of the hall. Younger children slept on trundle beds stored underneath the jack bed. Older children slept in a loft over the hall on bedrolls. Beneath the house was a cellar for storing potatoes, root vegetables, and winter supplies. As the family grew more affluent, an extra room might be added as a lean-to. This extra room was a kitchen, allowing the hall to be used for entertaining guests. It was then a parlor, or dining hall.

The short growing season and thin soil meant that agriculture was hard work (roughly sixty days per acre was required to clear an area of rocks) and provided little surplus for export. Most crops were barley, wheat, and some livestock. The forests offered tall timbers, and the sea was rich with fish, so an industry of fishing and ship building as well as shipping developed. An entire industry developed which became somewhat cosmopolitan; quite unlike the old Puritan principles of plain living. The abundance of fish (cod, halibut, mackerel as well as oysters) created a ready export market. Lesser grades of fish were also shipped to the West Indies as food for slaves on the sugar plantations. This departure from Puritan ideals of simplicity caused some anxiety among Puritan die-hards, but was nevertheless a sign of a developing economic system.

Shipping and shipbuilding became prime industry; ship yards developed at Portsmouth, Gloucester, etc. Lumber also was a big export. New England soon was the center of shipping and shipbuilding for the colonies. Sawmills appeared as early as 1635, as well as gristmills for grinding corn and wheat into flour and meal. The abundance of streams and rivers in the area made water-operated wheels convenient.

Trade: By 1700, the American colonies were trading with Britain and the British West Indies and also with Spain, France, Portugal, and Holland, even though trading with them was illegal. Manufactured goods, machinery, navigation instruments, etc. had to be imported from Europe, primarily Great Britain. Colonies became important market for these items in Europe. BUT, they had to have some form of commerce to pay for them.

This is a classic economic problem: balance of trade. One can only purchase items if he can pay for them. He must sell his own labor or fruits of his labor in order to pay for his purchases; thus he must have a market for his own production before he can purchase others; also, he must maintain a positive cash flow; that is, more money must come in than is going out, otherwise he will soon be unable to purchase.

One might illustrate this as water flowing into a tub of water and flowing out at the same time. Ideally, water would flow in at the same rate at which it flows out. If it flows out faster than in, the tub will soon be dry; if less flows out than in, one can soon build up a sizeable surplus.

This balance of trade issue, maintaining positive cash flow, was an essential element of the English economic policy of Mercantilism, which became an integral factor in the dispute between the colonies and the mother country, ultimately leading to the American Revolution.

An important distinction between the Northern and Southern Colonies is apparent here. The Northern colonies did not have staple crops for export, which could be traded for English manufactured goods. This was a distinct disadvantage. On the other hand, their own shipping and manufacturing enterprises worked to their advantage. It worked so well that at times, it competed with the English market for similar items.

England had to protect its own home markets, (fish, flour, etc., that could be produced at home) so exorbitant duties were placed on imports to protect home market. Only whale oil, timber, furs, etc. which couldn’t easily be produced in England could be imported cheaply.

This situation was injurious to the economy of New England, so the colonies solved it by using their own ships, and finding markets other than England for their products. These products were sold for gold bullion (the equivalent of cash) and the bullion used to purchase needed manufactured products from England.

· Lumber and fish was sold to Southern Europe and Madeira, and Azores for gold bullion or wine.

· Lumber to Newfoundland

· Most important outlet – West Indies. Traded fish, flour, salt pork to Indies; for sugar, molasses, rum, indigo, etc. Most of these goods were eventually resold to England.

This was the famous Triangular Trade:

· New England shipped rum to Africa for slaves; carried the slaves via the Middle Passage to the West Indies; traded slaves for molasses; made rum from the molasses, which was shipped to England.

· Alternatively, provisions to West Indies were traded for sugar and molasses; shipped this to England traded them for manufactured goods.

Hard money was always short – any gold and silver on hand was used to pay for imported manufactured goods and shipping charges. (It should be noted that paper money was not in existence; the only "money" was coin minted from precious metals, typically gold and silver, with an intrinsic value equal to it’s face value, hence a "pound" of sterling silver, now known as the "Pound Sterling." [£]). Attempts to set a value on commodities and wampum belts for exchange purposes did not work, so promissory notes often served as money. Also most colonies issued Bills of Credit, a promise to pay in the future. (Hence "dollar bill.") The colonies also set up land banks that issued paper money issued for mortgages on land. Farmers soon realized more paper money (inflation) meant higher farm prices, thus they wanted inflation to drive up their prices.

This soon became a recurrent factor in American history: Inflation of the currency. It has had good and bad effects over time, and while some parties benefited, other parties suffered. Typically, one benefits from inflation only at the expense of another. Debtors liked inflation – made it easier to pay bills; Creditors hated it; they liked a limited money supply, as it increased the value of the capital (cash) they had on hand. The issue was temporarily resolved in 1751 when Parliament outlawed paper money as legal tender in the colonies.

Religion: Contrary to the popular image, the Puritans were not prudish They wore colorful clothing, ate, drank, made merry, and often enjoyed secular music but they also believed in moderation. Drunkenness was a sin, as well as an offense against the law. Repeat offenders were made to wear a letter "D" on their clothing. One man was arrested and tried for drunkenness when he staggered into a home and "empties his stomach into the chimney."

Rev. Increase Mather, father of Cotton Mather once preached, "Drink is in and of itself a good creature of God, and to be received with thankfulness; but the abuse of drink is from Satan, the wine is from God, but the Drunkard is from the devil."

Moderation was encouraged in all things, except in piety, to which one should zealously aspire. Sex was not dirty, in fact it was understood to be a basic human need. Men or women could be expelled from the church for not satisfying their husband/wives sexual desires, which failure to satisfy "denies all reliefe in Wedlock unto Human necessity, and sends it for supply unto Bestiality." At the same time, sex outside of marriage was strictly forbidden. Adultery was a sin. Men could be whipped or jailed, woman made to wear a large A if they transgressed. Such misconduct was not uncommon, as there were more men in New England than women; thus men often succumbed to the temptation to satisfy their sexual urges outside the bounds of matrimony.

Puritans took idea of God’s covenant with his people seriously, and decided that they would have a "covenant community" in which all agreed. Their interpretation of Calvinist theology was that God had voluntarily entered into a covenant with the chosen so that they might achieve salvation. They believed therefore that an assembly of true Christians could enter into a church covenant for the common worship of God. It was not a reach to go from this to the idea of a voluntary union of believers for the purpose of government, the first steps towards government by the consent of the governed. Early examples of this are contained in the Fundamental Orders of Connecticut, and the Mayflower Compact.

Although this covenant theory may have been the seed from which American democracy would grow, democracy itself was NOT part of Puritan political ideas. Their strong belief in original sin meant that humans were depraved by nature, government was necessary to restrain them. In a letter to Lord Seyle on the subject of Democracy, the Rev. John Cotton wrote:

Democracy I do not conceive that ever God did ordain as a fit government either for church or commonwealth. If the people be governors, who shall be governed? As for monarchy, and aristocracy, they are both of them clearly approved, and directed in scripture, yet so as referred the sovereignty to himself, and setteth up Theocracy in both, as the best form of government in the commonwealth, as well as in the church.

A good Puritan was more concerned with seeking the will of God rather than the will of the people. To seek the will of God, there was only one source of authority, the Holy Bible. Since the Bible must be interpreted correctly, most Puritans relied on the intellectual elite for biblical interpretation, hence determining the will of God. Both Church and State existed for the purpose of carrying out God’s will on earth. Even so, there was a separation between church and state, so it would be a reach to call Puritan New England a theocracy. The church had no temporal power, as did the Anglican Church. Even so, the church was supported by taxes which all had to pay, and all were required to attend church, whether they were members or not.

Puritan theology of "elect" caused much soul searching. People secretly worried if they were in fact members of the "elect," and of "falling away" from God’s favor. Add to this they were often cooped up in the winter, during long cold nights, etc. This made them very quarrelsome, but rather than see the family torn apart, this irritation was often projected outward towards neighbors and residents over the community. Fierce debates, even lawsuits, developed from very petty matters. The end result was that New England people became "sue happy," very litigious. This led to the formation of a flourishing legal profession.

Over time, Business and enterprise replaced religion in importance in larger cities; but religion remained a force. In 1659-60, four Quakers were hanged who were kicked out of town and returned. This appeared to be isolated, and gradually, prosperity and the concentration of wealth in certain areas led to the development of an "upper class" composed of the more well to do. This led to a lesser importance in church membership than had previously been true.

As New England became more and more worldly in it’s pursuits, more and more children and grandchildren of the "elect" could not offer testimony of their election, and would, under strict Puritan orthodoxy, be denied baptism, church membership, and the right to take communion. In 1662, a solution was drafted by Richard Mather known as the Halfway Covenant. Under the Covenant, children and grandchildren of the elect could be baptized as infants; however they could not join the church or receive Holy Communion until they were able to testify to a visible manifestation of the gift of grace. They were, in essence, "halfway" members of the Covenant of Grace.

Witchcraft: Belief in witchcraft and the wiles of the devil was rather common in seventeenth century New England. Prior to the Salem Witchcraft trials, 300 people had been accused; and thirty hanged for witchcraft. Cotton Mather said New England was "extraordinarily alarum’d by the wrath of the devil.

Fear of the unnatural and of the devil at work in the world had been around for several hundred years. It is evidenced in the old Scottish prayer: "From ghoulies and ghosties, and long legged beasties, and things that go bump in the night; may the good Lord deliver us." The belief in witchcraft and the influence of the Devil through that means first arose in Europe when Pope Innocent VIII believed that witchcraft had made him impotent. (Innocent had several illegitimate children for whom he provided lavish Vatican Weddings.) In 1482, he commissioned two Dominicans, Jacov Sprenger and Heinrich Kramer to investigate allegations that certain men and women were engaging in sorcery, "to make the conjugal act impossible." Sprenger and Kramer’s research was published as the Malleus Maleficarum, ("Hammer of Evil," often mistranslated "Hammer of Witches.") It became the standard by which witches might be exposed, and was frequently used in New England by those wishing to expose witchcraft. In Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, the minister is seen to consult a "large book," which exposes all the tricks and tools of the "Old Boy," as Satan was frequently called. The book was, in fact, the Malleus.

EXCERPT: And there are witches who can bewitch their judges by a mere look or glance from their eyes, and publicly boast that they cannot be punished; and when malefactors have been imprisoned for their crimes, and exposed to the severest torture to make them tell the truth, these witches can endow them with such an obstinacy of preserving silence that they are unable to lay bare their crimes. And there are some who, in order to accomplish their evil charms and spells, beat and stab the Crucifix, and utter the filthiest words against the Purity of the Most Glorious Virgin MARY, casting the foulest aspersions on the Nativity of Our Saviour from Her inviolate womb. It is not expedient to repeat those vile words, nor yet to describe their detestable crimes, as the narrative would give too great offence to the ears of the pious; but they are all kept and preserved in writing, detailing the manner in which a certain baptized Jewess had instructed other young girls. And one of them, named Walpurgis, being in the same year at the point of death, and being urged by those who stood round her to confess her sins, exclaimed: I have given myself body and soul to the devil; there is no hope of forgiveness for me; and so died.

The Malleus offered a number of ways in which a witches’ identity might be discovered. For instance, the entire nude body should be examined for birthmarks, moles, etc. If such a mark were found, it was pricked. If it bled red blood, then such a finding was inconclusive; however, if a clear or whitish fluid should emit from the pricked spot, then it was a "witches teat" whereby the witch would "suckle the Devil." Another method was to cast the offender into a nearby river or stream. If she sank to the bottom, she was considered innocent; however, if she floated, then the river was said to have rejected her, and she was adjudged a witch. Older women who lived alone, particularly to an old age, were suspect. Those who out of kindness offered milk, etc. to stray cats, leading the cats to stay nearby were also suspect, as cats were considered the Devil‘s representation. Older people who muttered to themselves (perhaps out of senility or loneliness) were also suspected of uttering incantations or spells. Signs in nature, such as eggs with two yolks were considered signs of the devil’s infiltration.

The idea of the Devil at work was augmented by the work of Cotton Mather, a famous Puritan Minister, who published Memorable Providences, Relating to Witchcrafts and Possession sin 1689, in which he recounted numerous instances of witchcraft in America. He described New England as "a country. . . .extraordinarily alarumed by the Devil."

Go then, my little Book, as a Lackey, to the more elaborate Essays of those learned men. Go tell Mankind, that there are Devils and Witches; and that tho those night-birds least appear where the Day-light of the Gospel comes, yet New-Engl. has had Exemples of their Existence and Operation; and that no only the Wigwams of Indians,where the pagan Powaws often raise their masters, in the shapes of Bears and Snakes and Fires, but the House of Christians, where our God has had his constant Worship, have undergone the Annoyance of Evil spirits.

The most remarkable instance of witchcraft trials was in Salem Village, in 1692. The village was eight miles from Salem Town, a thriving port town. The people of the village were contentious by nature, wishing not to be under the influence of the larger port, and tensions between the two areas soon led to the perception that the Devil was at work in the area.

During the winter of 1691-92, three teenage girls met in the kitchen of a Puritan minister and listened to voodoo tales told by the Minister’s black slave, Tituba. They later began twitching, groveling, etc. A physician was called who examined them and said they were bewitched. They named three women in the community whom they said were torturing them, including Titutba. All three were arrested, whereupon Tituba, apparently frightened and confused, confessed and named several other men and women in the community as being the Devils’ servants. During a hearing, the girls convulsed, and rolled on the floor. A mass hysteria resulted in which many girls and young women in the community began convulsing and exhibiting symptoms of possession. One woman, Martha Carrier, was put on trial based on accusations of her own children – The three girls who started the whole process were in court, and claimed they could see the devil whispering in her ear. She said it was a "shameful thing" that she should be accused, but was hanged a few days later.

The hysteria grew and spread to the adjoining countryside. Finally, someone accused the Governor’s wife; he intervened, and ordered the special court dissolved; but in one year, nineteen people had been hanged; and one man (Giles Correy) had been crushed with stones for refusing to implicate his wife. Over 100 people had been jailed. Within a year, almost all the accusers recanted their tales. Witchcraft trials then ended forever.

There has been much debate among historians as to the cause of the hysteria. Some have suggested it was a property dispute – opposite sides of town- that led to the hysteria. Modern research suggests it was because the women accused had defied the traditional role of women – some engaged in business outside home, did not belong to church, some were curmudgeons. A possibility that apparently has not been explored was that the girls were attempting to avoid punishment or otherwise influence adults, as teenage girls have been known to do with malicious intent. The true reason for the events in Salem Village will probably never be known.

In late 1692 at nearby Ipswich, the girls tried it again – they began writhing when they walked by an old woman, and cried "a witch" but people in the town ignored them.

Society and Economy in the Middle Colonies

The Middle colonies reflected the diversity of colonial life. They had elements of both New England and South. Crops grown in the middle colonies were similar to those grown in New England, but there was a longer growing season, and better land which led to a surplusage for export. The major agricultural exports were wheat, oats, barley, and livestock. The Hudson, Delaware and Susquehanna Rivers gave Middle colonies access to back country fur trade and interior. Good relations with the Indians in Pennsylvania were also beneficial. As a result, Philadelphia became a thriving port, more important for commerce than even Boston.

Land settlement policy was similar to the headright system of the South. In New York, attempts had been made to grant land under a Patroon System (Dutch) in which large estates were granted to important people. This was intended to be a feudal system, like the old world manors, farmed by tenants who paid rent to the Lord of the Manor, a true attempt to transplant European style aristocracy, if not nobility, to America. (John Locke had proposed a similar system in the colony of Carolina which had failed.) The vast availability of land (a situation which did not exist in Europe) doomed the Patroon system before it ever got off the ground. New York’s population failed to grow as rapidly as that in Pennsylvania.

Whereas the New England colonies were primarily English, and the Southern Colonies bi-racial due to the large number of African slaves, the Middle Colonies reflected an ethnic diversity not seen in other areas of the country. Dutch culture and influence were prominent in New York and New Jersey. William Penn’s brochures on the promises of settlement in Pennsylvania had been printed in German and circulated among German speaking people in Western Europe.

It should be remembered that at this time, there was no Republic of Germany. Germany as a unified nation did not appear until 1871; prior to that time, German-speaking individuals were citizens of a plethora of principalities, palatinates, and monarchies.

The German speaking area of Europe had been beset by religious wars since the Reformation. A large group of Mennonites (German Baptists with beliefs and practices similar to the Quakers) emigrated to Pennsylvania to escape religious persecution, and in 1683, founded the settlement of Germantown, Pennsylvania. The Mennonites were followed by other religious sects, including but not limited to Moravians, Lutherans, Dunkers, etc. The area in which they settled led to the "Pennsylvania Dutch" area. [They were not "Dutch," of course; this was a corruption of the German word for "German:" Deutsch.]

A substantial number of German Lutherans later migrated to the mid-state area of South Carolina. Lexington County is replete with evidence of their settlement: the area is predominantly Lutheran; family names such as Geiger, Metts {Metz}, Shull {Shuler} and Zeigler {Seeliger) and Shealy are quite common. A township in the area is named Saxe-Gotha. The area between the Broad and Saluda Rivers where they settled became known as "Dutch Fork." [Again, a corruption of Deutsche. A similar settlement appeared in upstate South Carolina near Clemson. The town of Walhalla was originally the German: "Valhalla."

Scots-Irish were a group of Scottish Presbyterians originally relocated to Ulster, Ireland in 1617 in an attempt to add Protestant influence to that area. (The common misnomer is "Scotch-Irish." "Scotch" can only be found in a bottle—or a Scotsman’s glass.) One hundred years later, in a mass migration to avoid religious persecution from the Anglican Church as well as the economic disaster caused by English tariffs, over 250,000 Scots-Irish emigrated to America; settling in Pennsylvania, and the valleys of Virginia and the Carolinas. Together, the Germans and Scots-Irish became the largest non-speaking émigrés to America during the colonial period.

Religious toleration proved to be a magnet for a number of minorities in Europe. French Huguenots, Calvinists who had been protected under an order of toleration which was revoked in 1685, emigrated to New York, which had inherited a practice of toleration from the Dutch. A number of European Jews had also settled in New York where they were allowed to practice their religion. Rhode Island and South Carolina also practiced religious toleration, not so much by way of an exercise of conscience as a means of inducing settlers to emigrate. Charleston South Carolina and Newport Rhode Island both developed significant Jewish settlements. The Huguenots also emigrated to South Carolina where their influence is still evident in names like Huger, Legare, Lesane, Vereen, etc.

As of the 1790 census, less than one-half of American residents could trace origins to England. Europeans came from across Europe, and Blacks from the African coastline, primarily between the Niger and Senegal Rivers, or from the Congo and Angola.

Pennsylvania proved to be the highway leading to settlement of the "backcountry," away from the Coast. From there, large groups of Scots-Irish and Germans traveled the Great Philadelphia Road into the backlands, settling in the Shendandoah Valley as well as the Georgia and South Carolina backcountry. These were the first frontier settlers, who often lived a lonely yet combative life.

Colonial Cities

The colonies were largely isolated from one another. Commerce was their primary objective, and there was little or no commerce between the colonies. Large cities such as New York, Boston, Philadelphia, stayed Charleston stayed in closer touch with London than with each other. Residents of the backwoods were more likely in contact with backwoods residents of another colony than with a large city nearby. All the major cities were located on the ocean front (or, as in the case of Philadelphia on a riverfront) to facilitate commerce.

The city population was always less than 10 per cent of the total colonial population, but exercised considerably more political influence. By 177, Philadelphia was second in size only to London in the entire British Empire. It had a total population of 30,000 people. New York with 25,000 was second , Boston (16,000) was third, and Charleston (12,000) was fourth. It is remarkable that Charleston was such a large municipality in light of the fact that it was in the South where large trading areas did not develop. However, it was a major slave import center, which contributed heavily to its growth and success.

Class Stratification soon developed in the colonial cities:

· Merchants constituted the "upper crust" of society. It was they who traded raw products for sugar, slaves, and rum. Their enterprise provided sustenance for a sub-industry of sail makers, shipbuilders, and others supplying ocean-going vessels.

· Middle class followed, mostly comprised of shopkeepers and artisans as well as carpenters, coopers, etc. Two thirds of the populace were employed in this manner.

· Sailors and unskilled workers were at the bottom of the social scale.

Class stratification became noticeable as the cities grew. In 1687 Boston, the richest 15% controlled 52% of the wealth. By 1771, the top 15% controlled 67%, and the top 5% 44$ of the wealth. Stratification was even more pronounced in Philadelphia, the City of Brotherly Love.

As with all large cities, urban problems developed. Streets required paving and lighting as well as traffic regulations to protect children and animals. Statutes forbade throwing garbage into streets. There were also laws regulating carriage traffic, police forces for crimes, fire codes and fire departments, etc. Assistance for the poor, as in England, also became a feature of American City life.

Travel between cities was difficult at first. The first roads were merely Indian trails. The first stagecoach line opened in 1732, and the same year, a guidebook was published indicating roads linking major colonial cities from Charleston to Boston. Roads seldom traveled more than thirty miles inland. They were unpaved, and as a result were subject to washout during rainy periods.

As travel became more prevalent, taverns became a prominent feature. Travel by night was risky, so this provided a place for travelers to overnight before setting out in the morning. By the 1690’s, there were more taverns in America than any other business. Boston had 54 in 1690, many operated by women. Taverns along the main road were called "ordinaries," and were usually farmhouses that provided travelers with food, hard drink, and a bed for the night; often in a hayloft. In the cities, taverns might be cheesy knife and gun clubs that catered to prostitutes and sailors; or they might be upscale establishments with proper English names, such as the Green Dragon, the Golden Lion, etc.

The upper class taverns of the day were similar to private clubs of modern America. They were gathering places where one could drink, talk, play cards or billiards, and catch up on news. They also provided convenient meeting places for conducting business. They were typically regulated by city ordinances which set prices, and often prohibited the sale of alcohol to the lesser sorts: Blacks, Indians, Apprentices, or Servants. Limitations were also placed on the amount of liquor that could be served to any particular person so that he did not get too drunk. Regulations such as this were frequently ignored, and actually more strict control was placed on the use of tobacco than of grog. John Adams describes a visit to a tavern in 1760 when he was age 25:

Several Country Towns, within my observation, have at least a Dozen Taverns and Retailers. Here The Time, the Money, the Health and the Modesty, of most that are young and of many old, are wasted; here Diseases, vicious Habits. Bastards and Legislators, are frequently begotten. . . . .a Market Girl whom [a traveling companion] overtook upon the Neck, and asked to let him jigg her? answered by asking what is that'? What good will that do'? He replied it will make you fat! Pray be so good then says the Girl as to jigg my Mare. She's miserably lean. . . . Thus, in dancing, singing songs, drinking flip, running after one Girl, and married Woman and another. and making these affected. humorous Speeches, he spent the whole Afternoon.-And Zab and I were foolish enough to spend the whole afternoon in gazing and listening. Gurney danced, but was modest and said nothing. E. Turner danced not, but bawled aloud.-God dam it, and dam it, and the Devil, &c.-And swore he'd go to Captn. Thayers, and be merry and get as drunk as the Devil. He insisted upon it, drunk he would get. And indeed, not 2 pence better than drunk he was. Fiddling and dancing, in a Chamber full of young fellows and Girls, a wild Rable of both sexes, and all Ages, in the lower Room, singing dancing, fiddling. drinking flip and Toddy, and drams.-This is the Riot and Revelling of Taverns And of Thayers frolicks.. . .

Adams mentions a particularly potent potable known as a flip (Phlip).It was made thusly: In a 1 quart pitcher 2/3 full of strong beer, add enough sugar or molasses to give the beer a sweet taste. Then put enough rum in the pitcher to fill it, about 1/2 pint. Then heat the mixture by stirring it with a red-hot poker. The poker would cause the liquor to foam, and give the drink a burnt sugar taste.

Despite concern about the debauchery that often took place in taverns, they remained popular as gathering places and were the womb in which protestations of British rule were first conceived. It would appear that American nationalism was among the other matters not mentioned by Adams which were begotten in a tavern.

Postal service had been nonexistent during the 17th century, but gradually developed as cities grew. Previously, letters were entrusted to travelers or sea captains. In 1710, Parliament provided for a postal deputy to operate under the Postmaster of London. Benjamin Franklin served as deputy Postmaster from 1753 to 1774 and made service between cities more efficient by lowering rates, shortening delivery routes, and implementing night post riders. More efficient mail delivery gave rise to colonial newspapers. Twenty two newspapers were operating in the colonies in 1745.

The Trial of John Peter Zenger: In August, 1731, one William Cosby arrived as royal governor of New York Province. Cosby was quite corrupt, and quickly removed any government officials, including judges, who disagreed with him. In 1733, several New Yorkers including John Peter Zenger, a German immigrant, founded the New York Weekly Journal, the first newspaper in the colonies which was to be politically independent. The paper not only publicly attacked Cosby’s policies, it published an article defending freedom of the press:

The loss of liberty in general would soon follow the suppression of the liberty of the press; for it is an essential branch of liberty, so perhaps it is the best preservative of the whole.  Even a restraint of the press would have a fatal influence.  No nation ancient or modern has ever lost the liberty of freely speaking, writing or publishing their sentiments, but forthwith lost their liberty in general and became slaves.

Cosby retaliated by having Zenger arrested for malicious libel. He remained in jail for eight months before he was tried. He was represented by Alexander Hamilton, a preeminent attorney of the day. Hamilton argued that the law of England dealing with libel should be the law of the colonies; namely that truth was a defense to the charge (that is, if the alleged libel were true, there was no libel)but the Judge denied his motion. In a ringing summation to the jury, Hamilton argued:

The question before the Court and you, Gentlemen of the jury, is not of small or private concern.  It is not the cause of one poor printer, nor of New York alone, which you are now trying.  No!  It may in its consequence affect every free man that lives under a British government on the main of America.  It is the best cause.  It is the cause of liberty.  And I make no doubt but your upright conduct this day will not only entitle you to the love and esteem of your fellow citizens, but every man who prefers freedom to a life of slavery will bless and honor you as men who have baffled the attempt of tyranny, and by an impartial and uncorrupt verdict have laid a noble foundation for securing to ourselves, our posterity, and our neighbors, that to which nature and the laws of our country have given us a right to liberty of both exposing and opposing arbitrary power (in these parts of the world at least) by speaking and writing truth.

The trial judge all but instructed the jury to ignore Hamilton’s argument, but the jury ignored his instruction, and found Zenger not guilty based on a finding that the allegations in his article were true. A precedent of freedom of the Press was thus established, and newspaper editors became more emboldened to criticize governmental policy and officials.

The Enlightenment In America and the Great Awakening

In Europe, the Scientific Revolution had deposed the old Ptolemaic view of the universe as geocentric with the more correct heliocentric view as promulgated by Nicolaus Copernicus. In 1687, Sir Isaac Newton published his Principia Mathematica which promulgated the theory of gravity. With this thinking came the idea that everything in nature, including human relationships, economics, and the laws of science and nature could be explained in the light of reason. Newton’s position was that all things were governed by Natural Law.

Most enlightened thinkers believed that science and religion could be reconciled; however, certain Enlightened thinkers, the Deists, considered God to be nothing more than an impersonal creator, the great Clockmaker, according to Voltaire, who created the universe and put it in motion.

Enlightenment ideas fit easily into American culture, as Americans were quick to abandon European tradition. Many learned Americans possessed a degree of curiosity about natural philosophy.

The preeminent Enlightened Thinker of the Eighteenth century in both America and Europe was Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was born in 1706, the son of a candle and soap maker. He was apprenticed to his older brother as a printer; who often beat him. At age 24 he owned his own print shop, from which he published the Pennsylvania Gazette. At age 27, he published Poor Richard’s Almanac. He retired from business at age 42, having made a fortune, by which time he had started the academy which became the University of Pennsylvania, and started the American Philosophical Society. He had a passion for science, and counted among his inventions the Franklin Stove, the lightning rod, and a glass harmonica.

Franklin was first American to gain international fame. He was wildly popular in France, when he visited France, his picture was displayed everywhere, including on China and other household items. To have "Dr. Franklin," as he was called, as a party guest was a singular accomplishment. He was so popular that King Louis XVIII became jealous of the attention Franklin received. As a display of contempt, he gave his chief minister a chamber pot with Franklin’s picture on it.

 

Education in the Colonies: Early on there was concern that the children of settlers have some rudimentary education, less they grow up completely untutored. Education appeared to be a larger concern in New England, because of the Puritan emphasis on reading of Scripture. There were more educated people in New England than elsewhere in the Colonies, many of whom were college graduates. Additionally, the close knit nature of New England Towns made schools more feasible than in the South where settlements were more scattered.

In 1647, Massachusetts passed "Ye Olde Deluder Satan Act" which required every town of fifty or more to set up a grammar school (that is a school that taught Latin Grammar, so as to prepare students for college.

It being one chief project of that old deluder, Satan, to keep men from the knowledge of the Scriptures, as in former times by keeping them in an unknown tongue, so in these latter times by persuading from the use of tongues, that so that at least the true sense and meaning of the original might be clouded and corrupted with false glosses of saint-seeming deceivers; and to the end that learning may not be buried in the grave of our forefathers, in church and commonwealth, the Lord assisting our endeavors.

It is therefore ordered that every township in this jurisdiction, after the Lord hath increased them to fifty households shall forthwith appoint one within their town to teach all such children as shall resort to him to write and read, whose wages shall be paid either by the parents or masters of such children, or by the inhabitants in general, by way of supply, as the major part of those that order the prudentials of the town shall appoint; provided those that send their children be not oppressed by paying much more than they can have them taught for in other towns.

Many towns evaded the Act, but it demonstrated a serious commitment to promote public education. In the South, the children of the wealthy were taught by tutors or sent to England for education.

The Great Awakening: Enlightenment seemed to indicate people were drifting away from old religious ideas, Puritan principals. Sir Isaac Newton’s work implied that human beings had the ability to discover the secrets of the universe and thereby exert some control over their own destiny. Assuming that human beings could in fact discover and read the blueprints whereby God had made and ordered the world, the result would be a lessening of the gulf between God and man. This undercut traditional Calvinism, which had held that the gap between the Deity and his creatures was quite large. This affirmation of human ability and reason had an extremely corrosive effect on Puritan thinking, which held that one's destiny was solely in God's hands. The result was a growing emphasis on man and his morality, with religion becoming more rational and less emotional. People were "falling away" from the Church. As New England merchants grew wealthy, there was the nagging suspicion that Satan had lured them into the pursuit of worldly gain, and had made them into deists and doubters. Also, since there were no ministers to serve the residents of the backcountry, they were bereft of marriage ceremonies, baptism or communion. Rumors spread that the residents of the backcountry were lapsing into a primitive and sinful life. Even in New England, there was a gradual drifting away from earlier religious principles. Many blamed the sad state of affairs on the Halfway Covenant, which seemed to be a permit for licentious living.

The fear of "falling away" led to a great spiritual revival in the 1730’s known as The Great Awakening, which would sweep through all the colonies. It began with the preaching of Jonathan Edwards, a Congregationalist Minister from Northampton, Mass.

Edwards was the only son of eleven children. He entered Yale College at age thirteen in 1716, and graduated valedictorian at age seventeen. He was called to a church in Northampton, to succeed his grandfather. He found the church’s spiritual life to be at a low ebb:

It seemed to be a time of extraordinary dullness in religion; licentiousness for some years greatly prevailed among the youth of the town; they were many of them very much addicted to night walking, and frequenting the tavern, and lewd practices wherein some by their example exceedingly corrupted others. It was their manner very frequently to get together in conventions of both sexes, for mirth and jollity, which they called frolicks; and they would often spend the greater part of the night in them, without any regard to order in the families they belonged to; and indeed family government did not much prevail in the town. It was become very customary with many of our young people to be indecent in their carriage at meeting.

Edwards believed that the people of New England had become too material, and said they needed "not so much to have their heads stored as their hearts touched. He also stated that it was a reasonable thing to "fright persons away from hell." Edwards’ sermons dealt with the Justice of God and the damnation of sinners. His sermons were an abandonment of the idea of predestined election; rather he preached that justification came from faith in Christ, and all persons could be saved; but all persons would burn in hell if they were not saved. They were the original "hellfire and brimstone" sermons.

The most famous preacher of the Great Awakening was George Whitefield, a 27 year old Wesleyan Minister in England who had a reputation as a spellbinding evangelist. His reputation preceded his arrival in the colonies. He said that congregations were lifeless "because dead men preach to them." He accused ministers of leading their congregations into hell, because the ministers did not preach salvation. Whitefield arrived in Philadelphia in 1739, and preached to as many as 6,000 people at one time. He traveled as far South as Georgia, then back to New England, and released "gales of Heavenly Wind." Whitefield was a magnetic preacher and skilled actor who appealed to the emotions of his audience. He often impersonated the agonies of a person suffering in hell, and the joys of the saved in heaven. At his sermons tears and shouts were frequently heard, an emotional element that had been missing during strict Puritan days.

Benjamin Franklin went to hear Whitefield in Philadelphia just to see the show. Franklin was quite skeptical in religious matters; his philosophy was closer to Deism. However, when he listened to Whitefield’s sermon, he emptied his pockets into the collection plate.

Jonathan Edwards did not engage in the emotional excesses that had characterized Whitefield’s sermons, although his sermons often provoked emotional responses. He was a remarkable theologian, and used his sermons to remind his hearers of the sovereignty of God. The Great Awakening reached its peak with Edward’s famous sermon, Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God has vivid metaphorical descriptions of the torments of hell. In it he said that "God holds you over the pit of hell, much as one holds a spider, or some loathsome insect, over the fire, abhors you, and is dreadfully provoked….he looks upon you as worthy of nothing but to be cast into the fire."

Despite the terrifying nature of his sermons, Edwards did not rant and rave from the Pulpit, as Whitefield had done. His sermons were delivered in a calm, deliberate voice, almost devoid of emotion; however when he was through, he had to wait several minutes for the Congregation to calm down before leading in the final hymn.

Ministers of The Great Awakening tended to employ emotion more than intellect, and were prone to excess, and as a result, engendered some negative response, particularly as a result of Whitefield’s attacks on ministers. An example of opposition was Charles Chauncey, Minister of First Church, Boston, who delivered a sermon entitled Enthusiasm Described and Cautioned Against in which he said anyone could write a good sermon. Such a sermon, however, was not necessarily correct or divinely inspired. There were also some weirdoes such as one James Davenport, who was mentally unbalanced, and claimed to be able to distinguish between the elect and the damned. Davenport greeted the former as "saints," and the latter as "neighbors." Davenport claimed to be able to "stomp out the devil," and frequently denounced both established churches and the clergy. His hearers often were terrorized, screamed, and groveled on the floor. Established churches found this conduct horrifying. Most preachers of the Great Awakening tried to steer clear of him.

Effects of the Great Awakening on American Society: The Great Awakening led to the disintegration of New England Puritanism. Old Puritan ideals of "elect," person predetermined to hell of heaven, challenged; didn’t seem logical. (This is influence of enlightenment ideas.) As a result of the Great Awakening 4/5ths of Americans became unified in a common understanding of the Christian faith and life. The old Calvinist churches split, as dissent and dissenters enjoyed greater respect than ever before. Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians all non-established groups flourished. Although they differed in theology to an extent, they shared a common evangelical voice. Typical was the sentiment of John Wesley, founder of the Methodist Church who said ,"Dost thou love and fear God? It is enough! I give thee the right had of fellowship."

A greater sense of responsibility for Indians and Slaves emerged from the Great Awakening. George Whitefield, was among the first to preach to Blacks. Most evangelicals soon denounced slavery as sinful, and at the first General Conference of Methodism, slave holding was viewed as grounds for immediate expulsion from the society.

Awakening Ministers were often taunted as being uneducated. As a result, institutions of higher learning were created for the training of ministers.

· Presbyterians set up College of New Jersey (Princeton)

· Kings College in New York (Columbia University)

· Anglicans set up College of Rhode Island (Brown)

· Baptists, Queens College (Rutgers)

The University of Pennsylvania was the only College founded for secular learning, however there is some argument that George Whitefield was instrumental in its founding..