British patriotism became more assertive as the century went on.
The songs "God Save the King" and "Rule, Britannia" are symbols of British identity.
Britons and colonists were united by the British economy.
The standard of living for Continental peoples was far below that of Britons, according to a popular saying.
In contrast to France, Britain saw itself as a land of prosperity, individual liberty, and the rule of law.
Wealth, religion, and freedom all came together.
The concept of liberty was central to the British Constitution.
The English Civil War and the Glorious Revolution gave Britons a conviction that liberty was their unique possession.
They believed that power and liberty were natural enemies.
The rule of law, the right to live under legislation to which one's representatives had consented, and the right to trial by jury were celebrated by advocates of British freedom.
European writers were dissatisfied with the lack of liberty in their own countries and looked to Britain as a model.
The power of the others was checked by the House of Commons.
The freest political system mankind had ever known was the one the colonists believed to be theirs.
British freedom was not universal as shown by the coexistence of slavery and liberty within the empire.
It was used to contrast Britons with the "servile" subjects of Catholic countries.
It viewed every other nation as slaves.
In 1743, a German military officer commented on the British "contempt" of foreigners, saying they were the bulwarks of liberty all over Europe.
British liberty was compatible with many personal rights.
Liberty was seen as the bond of empire by the free residents of Great Britain and the North American colonies.
Those who voted, held office, and engaged in structured political debate in British and colonial society were the first to discover these ideas.
The language of British freedom was spoken by laborers, sailors, and artisans.
Although most white men in Britain and the colonies didn't have the right to vote, they influenced public life by serving on juries and taking to the streets to protest what they considered oppressive authority.
The Royal Navy's practice of kidnapping poor men on the streets for maritime service was challenged by ordinary persons.
The scene in which the wounded and dying are brought to the polls is inspired by a corrupt election of 1754.
Lawyers are arguing over whether a man with a hook for a hand can swear on the bible.
There were two sets of political ideas that flourished in the Anglo-American world.
republicanism is a term used by scholars, which means a government without a king and conjured up memories of the beheading of Charles I. Republicanism celebrated active participation in public life by economically independent citizens as the essence of liberty.
In the 18th century, Republicans assumed that only property-owning citizens possessed virtue because they were willing to sacrifice self-interest to the pursuit of the public good.
Benjamin Franklin wrote that only a few people are capable of freedom.
The body of thought about freedom was associated with a group of critics of the political order known as the "Country Party" because of their support from the landed gentry.
The American colonies devoured Trenchard and Gordon's writings because of their warnings against the tendency of political power to intrude upon liberty.
The second set of political ideas celebrating freedom came to be known as liberalism.
Liberalism had a private and individual quality.
He wrote that the government was formed by a mutual agreement among equals.
In order to enjoy the benefits of the rule of law, men surrendered part of their right to govern themselves.
Their natural rights predated the establishment of political authority.
Protection of the security of life, liberty, and property requires shielding a realm of private life and personal concerns from interference by the state.
Lockean ideas of individual rights, the consent of the governed, and the right of rebellion against unjust or oppressive government would become familiar on both sides of the Atlantic.
Locke spoke of liberty as a universal right yet excluded many people from its full benefits.
Locke was one of the first theorists to defend the property rights of women and even their access to divorce, but the free individual in liberal thought was essentially the white man.
Lockean opened the door to the poor, women, and even slaves to challenge limitations on their own freedom by proclaiming that all individuals possess natural rights that no government may violate.
The systems of thought were often reinforced.
Both political outlooks could lead to a commitment to constitutional government.
The security of property was emphasized.
Both traditions were moved to America.
Liberty imported from Britain to the colonies would help to divide the empire.
Political theory in England and America celebrates active participation in public life by economically independent citizens as central to freedom.
In the twentieth century there was a belief in an activist government that promoted social and economic equality.
The public discourse of colonial politics was less tempestuous than it was in the 17th century.
Political stability in Britain and the maturing of local elites in America made for a more tranquil government.
New York was not part of this development.
New York's diverse population and bitter memories of Leisler's rebellion continued to cause political unrest among its many economic interests and ethnic groups.
Political parties competed for votes in New York.
Civil disorder and political passions of the previous century were rare in most other colonies because of differences over policies of one kind or another.
The quality of politics in America was more democratic than in Great Britain.
The property qualification was the linchpin of voting laws in Britain.
It was supposed to make sure that men with an economic stake in society and an independence of judgement made the decisions about the policies of the government.
Slaves, servants, tenants, adult sons living in the homes of their parents, the poor, and women were ineligible to vote because they lacked a will of their own.
In the colonies, a higher percentage of the population had voting rights than in the Old World.
Between 50 and 80 percent of white men could vote in colonial America, as opposed to less than 5 percent in Britain.
In a modern sense, colonial politics was not democratic.
Some towns in Massachusetts and on Long Island had propertied women vote.
It was considered a male prerogative to vote.
Jews, Catholics, and Protestant Dissenters were not allowed to vote in some colonies.
Propertied free blacks who enjoyed the franchise in Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia in the early days of settlement lost that right in the 18th century.
The law did not prevent blacks from voting in the northern colonies.
Native Americans were not allowed to vote.
The people were only on election day.
The members of the colonial assembly were out of touch with their people.
In the Middle Colonies, elections were very competitive.
In many New England towns, the local culture stressed community harmony, so many elections went without a candidate presenting himself.
The power in colonial politics was held by those who were appointed.
Governors and council were appointed by the crown in the nine royal colonies.
In Rhode Island and Connecticut, these offices were not open to the public.
The laws passed by the colonial assembly could be vetoed.
Most town officers in New England were elected, but local officials in other colonies were appointed by the governor or powerful officials in London.
Eighty-three colonial officials could be appointed by the duke ofNewcastle alone.
Property qualifications for officeholding were higher than for voting.
One had to own 500 acres of land and ten slaves in order to sit in the assembly in South Carolina, even though nearly every free adult male could meet the voting qualification of fifty acres of land or payment of twenty shillings in taxes.
Most of the legislators in South Carolina were planters or wealthy merchants.
The Livingstons and De Lanceys were allies of the great landed families and dominated the New York assembly with fewer than thirty members.
Fifty-two of the seventy-two men who sat in the New York Assembly were related to the families that owned the Hudson River estates.
In some colonies, a majority of free men had the right to vote, but an ingrained tradition of "deference" meant ordinary people didn't have a choice in elections.
Virginia politics combines political democracy for white men with tradition that voters should choose among candidates from the gentry.
At the courthouse where balloting took place, aspirants for public office distributed food and liquor freely in order to ingratiate themselves with voters.
In Thomas Jefferson's first campaign for the House of Burgesses, his expenses included hiring two men to bring rum to the polling place.
In New England, with its larger number of elected positions, town leaders were the largest property holders and offices were often passed on from generation to generation.
The social composition of the electorate and the intensity of political debate suggest that this engraving depicts an election in Pennsylvania.
Doctors with wigs and goldtopped canes argue outside the Old Court House in Philadelphia.
The men are waiting to vote.
The policy of salutary neglect adopted by successive British governments left the colonies largely to govern themselves.
The large landowners, merchants, and lawyers who dominated the colonial assembly claimed the right to control local politics because of the weak imperial authority.
Convinced that they represented the will of the people, elected colonial assembly used their control of finance to exert influence over appointed governors and council.
Although governors wanted to secure incomes for themselves and permanent revenue for their administrations, assembly often authorized salaries only one year at a time and refused to levy taxes except in exchange for concessions on appointments, land policy, and other issues.
Governors learned that to rule effectively they would have to cooperate with the colonial elite, and that members of the British gentry who had suffered financial reversals and hoped to recover their fortunes in America were typically the governors.
The governor was the focal point of political authority in the 17th century.
As economic development increased the power of American elites, the assembly they dominated became more assertive.
The House of Commons in Britain had the same rights and powers in local affairs.
Governors who accommodated the rising power of the assembly and used their appointive powers to win allies were the most successful.
The only unicameral legislature in the colonies was established by Pennsylvania's new charter in 1701, which eliminated the governor's council.
The assembly wrested control of finance, appointments, and the militia from a series of governors representing the Penn family.
The assemblies of New York, Virginia, South Carolina, and Massachusetts were close behind in terms of power and legislative independence.
The colonies' economic growth caused many of the conflicts between governors and elected assembly.
Paper money was used to deal with the scarcity of gold and silver coins, but it was opposed by the governors, authorities in London, and British merchants who did not want to be paid in paper.
There were many battles over land policy and the level of rents charged to farmers on land owned by the crown or proprietors.
The English Country Party's emphasis on the constant tension between liberty and political power and the dangers of executive influence over the legislature made sense to the leaders of the assembly.
Only the British colonies in North America had a lot of popular participation in government.
The principle of popular consent to government was reinforced by this fact.
One New York legislator said they were defenders of the people's liberty.
Outside of the narrow world of politics, this language was heard.
The American gentry addressed each other in letters, speeches, newspaper articles, and pamphlets filled with Latin expressions and references to classical learning.
In colonial towns and cities, the eighteenth century saw a significant expansion of the public sphere, where an informed populace openly discussed questions that had previously been the preserve of officials.
In Boston, New York, and Philadelphia there were clubs where political, literary, and scientific issues were debated.
Benjamin Franklin founded the Junto, a club for mutual improvement, in Philadelphia in 1727.
The American Philosophical Society began with only a dozen members.
Ordinary citizens were drawn into discussions of public affairs when the groups were composed of men of property and commerce.
Coffeehouses and colonial taverns became important sites for political debates.
Philadelphia had more drinking establishments than Paris.
The Spanish possessions of Florida and New Mexico and New France did not have a printing press.
The press expanded rapidly in British North America.
The number of pamphlets and broadsides published at election time increased.
The market for printed materials grew because of widespread literacy.
Three-quarters of the free adult male population in the colonies could read and write by the American Revolution, and a majority of American families owned at least one book.
Philadelphia had seventy-seven bookshops in the 17th century.
At a time when books were still expensive, circulating libraries appeared in many colonial cities and towns.
Benjamin Franklin established the Library Company of Philadelphia in 1731.
Ordinary Americans came to be better instructed and more intelligent than people of the same rank abroad because libraries sprang up in other towns.
The colonial newspapers had an average of 600 sales per issue.
Most of the space in newspapers was devoted to advertisements, religious affairs, and reports on British society and government.
Political commentary was common in the American press.
The free exchange of ideas was a big part of the public sphere.
One of the ancient rights of Englishmen was free expression.
The phrase "freedom of speech" was first used in Britain in the 16th century.
The ability of members of Parliament to express their views without fear of reprisal was referred to as a right of legislators, not ordinary citizens.
There was no legal protection for free speech outside of Parliament.
A subject could be beheaded if they accused the king of failing to hold true religious beliefs and if they used language that exposed them to criminal penalties.
Governments on both sides of the Atlantic considered freedom of the press to be extremely dangerous because ordinary citizens were prone to be misled by inflammatory printed materials.
The Levellers called for guarantees of religious liberty and freedom of the press during the English Civil War.
When a British law requiring the licensing of printed works before publication expired, no newspaper, book, or pamphlet could be printed without a government license.
The government could not censor newspapers, books, and pamphlets before they appeared in print, even though it continued to try to manage the press by direct payments to publishers and individual journalists.
Seditious libel is a crime that includes defaming government officials.
Governors discouraged freedom of the press in colonial America.
Dozens of publishers were hauled before the assembly and forced to apologize for their comments.
James Franklin was sentenced to a month in prison in 1722 for publishing a piece that was satirized in Massachusetts.
The freedom of the press was a central component of liberty, according to the newspapers.
Newspapers did not attack colonial governments unless they were financially supported by an opposition group.
The most famous colonial court case was about the freedom of the press.
John Peter Zenger was a German-born printer who came to New York as a child.
Zenger was arrested and tried for seditious libel after the New York council ordered four issues burned.
The judge told the jurors to only consider whether Zenger had actually published the offending words.
Andrew Hamilton told the jury to not judge the publisher but the governor.
Zenger was found not guilty.
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The result showed that the idea of free expression was becoming ingrained in the popular imagination, and that the publication of truth should always be permitted.
Benjamin West's depiction of Benjamin Franklin, painted twenty-six years after his death, emphasizes his scientific work rather than his political career.
The electrical nature of lightning was demonstrated by Franklin in 1752.
West shows him on the clouds.
Many educated Americans were influenced by the European Enlightenment.
The scientific method of careful investigation was sought to be applied to political and social life by this movement.
Enlightenment ideas spread along the Atlantic.
Every human institution, authority, and tradition should be judged before the bar of reason.
The bloody religious wars in Europe in the 17th century inspired the American Enlightenment.
Reason, not religious enthusiasm, was hoped to govern human life.
The criticism of social and political institutions based on tradition and hereditary privilege could be applied to established churches.
Many prominent Americans moved toward the position of Arminianism during the 18th century, which teaches that reason alone is capable of establishing the essentials of religion.
Deism is a belief that God withdrew after creating the world, leaving it to function according to scientific laws.
Belief in miracles, the revealed truth of the Bible, and the innate sinfulness of mankind were seen by many as outdated superstitions that should be abandoned in the modern age.
The natural laws that governed the physical universe were revealed by the English scientist in the 17th century.
Deists believed that this was the best evidence of God's work.
Many Protestants of all denominations could acceptNewton's findings.
Deists said that the best form of religious devotion was to study nature and not worship in churches.
By the late colonial era, a small group of leading Americans, including Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, could be classified as Deists.
The American colonies were given considerable freedom to pursue their economic and political interests in exchange for British acquiescence during the first half of the 18th century.
Reason and science were emphasized over the authority of traditional religion in the 18th century.
Reason, morality, and natural law were emphasized by Enlightenment thought.
The experience of liberty was more important than the legal recognition of it.
Religion was central to American life.
Sermons, theological treatises, and copies of the Bible were the largest category of material produced by colonial printers.
Religious disputes generated more attention than political issues.
As colonial economic growth led people to be more and more preoccupied with worldly affairs, many church leaders worried about the lack of religious observance.
Many ministers were worried that the growth of Enlightenment rationalism, commercial development, and lack of individual engagement in church services would undermine religious devotion.
Fears helped to inspire the revivals that swept through the colonies.
The Great Awakening was a series of local events united by a commitment to a "religion of the heart," a more emotional and personal Christianity than that offered by existing churches.
The religious landscape of the colonies was changed by the revivals.
The resurgence of religious fundamentalism in many parts of the world was a response to the rationalism of the Enlightenment and a desire for greater religious purity.
In the Middle East and Central Asia, where Islam was widespread, followers of a form of the religion called for a return to the practices of the early days.
The importance of faith and religious joy was emphasized by Hasidic Jews in Eastern Europe as opposed to the study of Jewish learning and history.
Methodism was flourishing in Europe.
Like other intellectual currents of the time, the Great Awakening was a transatlantic movement.
In the 1720s and 1730s, the New Jersey Dutch Reformed clergyman Theodore Frelinghuysen, his Presbyterian neighbors William and Gilbert Tennent, and the Massachusetts Congregationalist minister Jonathan Edwards pioneered an intensely emotional style of preaching.
The only way to save men from eternal damnation is to acknowledge one's sins and plead for divine grace.
The Reverend Joshua Tufts said that the new birth makes sinners free.
The Great Awakening was sparked by the English minister George Whitefield, who declared "the whole world his parish".
After arriving in America in 1739, Whitefield brought his emotional brand of preaching to colonies from Georgia to New England.
Whitefield proclaimed that God was good.
Men and women could save themselves if they repented of their sins.
The boundless joy of salvation and the horrors of damnation were sketched out by Whitefield.
They must surrender their lives to Christ if not.
The revivals were the first major intercolonial event in North American history and were helped by the fact that tens of thousands of colonists flocked to Whitefield's sermons.
Revivalist meetings, often to the alarm of established ministers, were held by a host of traveling preachers.
The revivalist tide was halted by laws punishing disruptive traveling preachers.
The revivals changed the religious configuration of the colonies and enlarged the boundaries of liberty.
The emergence of Dissenting churches was inspired by Whitefield.
Old Lights and New Lights split the congregation into two groups, one headed by traditionalists and the other byvivalists.
Many of the new churches began to criticize the colonial practice of taxing to support an established church, as one of the natural rights government must not restrict.
The Great Awakening reflected existing social tensions, threw into question many forms of authority, and inspired criticism of aspects of colonial society.
They attracted mostly men and women of modest means--rude, ignorant, void of manners, education or good breeding.
Merchants who took the unwary in debt were condemned in New England.
Robert Carter III, grandson of the wealthy planter Robert "King" Carter, emancipated his slaves after concluding that black and white were brothers in Christ.
Christianity and slaveholding were reconciled by most owners.
The revivals brought many slaves into the Christian fold, an important step in their acculturation as African-Americans.
A few blacks were touched by the word of God.
A group of female exhorters broke the male monopoly on preaching during the revivals.
The revivals widened the range of religious alternatives available to Americans, leaving them more divided than before and more fully integrated into transatlantic religious developments.
The impact of the Great Awakening went beyond spiritual matters.
The circulation of printed material in the colonies was greatly expanded by the newspaper and pamphlet wars.
The revivals encouraged people to trust their own opinions.
In listening to the sermons of self-educated preachers, forming Bible study groups, and engaging in intense religious discussions, ordinary colonists asserted the right to independent judgment.
The revivalists' aim was spiritual salvation.
They encouraged an independent frame of mind.
The religious revival movement spread throughout the colonies in the 1720s and 1740s thanks to ministers like Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield.
The rapid growth of Britain's North American colonies took place at a time of increased jockeying for power among European empires, involving much of the area today included in the United States.
The colonies of England's rivals were weak and thinly populated.
The Spanish empire stretched from the Pacific coast to the Great Plains and eastward through Texas and Florida.
Louisiana was obtained from France by Spain after 1763.
St. Augustine in Florida, San Antonio in Texas, and Santa Fe and Albuquerque in New Mexico are some of the small and isolated urban clusters of Spanish North America.
The Spanish government made a concerted effort in the second half of the century to reestablish its empire north of the Rio Grande.
It sought to repair relations with Indians, especially the nomadic Comanche and Apache, who controlled much of the land claimed by Spain and whose raids on mines and ranches wreaked havoc.
The previous Native American residents of the area were violently displaced by the Comanche, who moved onto the southern Great Plains.
The Apache was pushed into Texas and New Mexico, where they raided existing villages, reducing Spain's power.
The growing number of French merchants in the region alarmed Spain.
The demon dispatched by the devil is depicted as a threat to the missionaries' efforts to convert Native Americans.
During the reigns of Carlos II and Carlos III, Spanish reformers hoped that applying scientific methods to society would bring about progress, but at the same time they wanted to preserve Spain's American empire.
They collected data about the area's native population and debated if Indians could be integrated into Spanish society.
Reformers called for more humane policies after condemning Spain's treatment of Indians.
Indians made up over half of the inhabitants of New Spain, but now make up less than 6 percent of the population of the mainland English colonies.
No policy was adopted.
In 1776, Spain put the region, previously governed from Mexico City, under a local military commander who used a combination of gifts and trade to woo unconquered Indians.
The tactics strengthened Spain's hold on the northern part of the American empire, but did not eliminate Indian power in the area.