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Title: Beginnings of the American People
Author: Becker, Carl Lotus, 1873-1945
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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[Illustration: Benj. Franklin. From the portrait by Duplessis, in the
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The Riverside Press Cambridge


The Riverside Press



In the following volumes the authors seek to present a brief account of
the beginnings, development, and final unity of the people of the United
States. There are many histories of the country, many biographies which
are in large measure histories; but these are exhaustive works
traversing minutely certain periods, like Rhodes's _History of the
United States from 1850 to 1877_, or Nicolay and Hay's _Abraham Lincoln:
A History_; or they are shorter "patriotic" accounts which seek to prove
something, or which fail to tell the whole story. Important as these
classes of historical literature are, they hardly suffice for the
teachers of advanced college classes, or for business and professional
men who would like to know how the isolated European plantations or
corporations in North America became in so short a time the great and
wealthy nation of to-day.

To meet these needs, that is, to describe in proper proportion and with
due emphasis, but in the brief space of four short volumes, the forces,
influences, and masterful personalities which have made the country what
it is, has not been an easy task. For, contrary to the view of European
students, American history is not simple. The hostile camps of Puritans
and Church of England men, the Dutch of New Amsterdam and the Catholics
of Maryland, could hardly be expected to merge into a single state
without violent struggle. Nor could the hundreds of thousands of Scotch
Calvinists, militant enemies of England and all her ways, who seized and
held the fertile highlands of the Middle and Southern colonies, submit
quietly to any program not of their own making. And again, in the
thirties and fifties of the nineteenth century, millions of people
speaking a strange tongue sought asylum in the Mississippi Valley--an
isolated region whose early inhabitants, of whatsoever national strain,
were strongly inclined to secession or revolt against the older Eastern
communities. Never was a nation composed of more diverse ethnic groups
and elements.

And the geographical environments of these groups and segments of older
civilizations were quite as dissimilar as those among which the nations
of Europe developed. The cold and bleak hills of New England no more
resemble the rich river bottoms of the South than the sand dunes of
Prussia resemble the fertile plains of Andalusia. Geographical
differences tend to produce economic differences. If to these be added
inherited antagonisms like those of Puritan and Cavalier, one wonders
how the East and the South of the United States ever became integral
parts of one great social unit. Adding to this apparent impossibility
the new antagonism of the West toward the East as a whole, the historian
wonders at the statecraft that could hold the diverse elements together
till certain economic and social factors became powerful enough to
conquer in a long and bloody war. Or was it the influence of new
inventions, railways, and the tightening bonds of commerce that did the

Leaving the reader to answer this question for himself, it remains for
the Editor to set forth in as few words as possible the method, the
emphasis, and the interpretations of the authors of these volumes.

Professor Becker approaches his work, the discovery of the New World,
the rise of the plantations, the slow growth of an American culture, and
finally the Revolution of 1776, from the standpoint of a student of
modern European history. The infant colonies are to him disjected
particles of ancient Europe. Their changes under the new environment,
their tendency to isolation and petty quarrels during the seventeenth
and eighteenth centuries, before the days of steam and electricity, and
their defensive alliance against the new, imperialistic England of
George III, are the special themes of his study. But here, as elsewhere
in our coöperative undertaking, the object has been to portray only
those things which seem to have counted in the final make-up of the
Confederacy of 1783, and of the United States of to-day. Moreover, the
daily life of the people, amusements, manners, religious predilections,
and the everyday occupations of men and women have been accorded some of
the space which, from another view-point, might have been devoted to an
account of government and the arguments of jurists.

Thus Professor Becker has presented a true and entertaining picture of
the purposes of European capitalists interested in the plantations, of
the poor people who were packed off to America to serve the ends of
commerce, and of the energetic men of the eighteenth century who slowly
worked out for England the conquest of North America. The reading of
chapters III and V of the _Beginnings of the American People_ can
hardly fail to give one a new view of, and a new interest in, colonial

Nor has Professor Johnson approached his theme, _Union and Democracy_,
in a different spirit. He is neither a champion of the wholesome
nationalism which gave the Federalists their place in history nor a
defender of the radical idealism which Professor Becker has shown to be
the mainspring of the Revolution of 1776, and which Jefferson called to
life again in his struggle to win control of the national machinery,
1796 to 1800. In treating the period 1783 to 1828, Professor Johnson had
the difficult task of tracing the important influences which culminated
in the Constitution of 1789, the Jeffersonian revolt of 1800, the
foreign complications of 1803 to 1815, and the so-called Era of Good
Feelings. Here again the popular prejudices, if one desires so to term
them, land speculations, and sectional likes, and dislikes receive
attention; but the formation of the Constitution, the organization of
the Federal Government, international quarrels about the rights of
neutral commerce, and finally the War of 1812 are naturally the main

The chapters which treat of the results of the second war with England,
the westward movement, and the national awakening, and especially the
one which analyzes the problems which underlay the great decisions of
Chief Justice Marshall, will probably prove most instructive to the
reader. The author has made his narrative much clearer and the factors
which entered into the political struggles of the time more intelligible
by resort to many black-and-white maps; for example, those which show
the popular attitude toward the Constitution in 1787-89 and the
alignment of parties in the contest of 1800.

From 1829 to 1865 was the stormy period of our national history--a
period in which the nationality planned by the "Fathers" was being
forged from the discordant elements of East, South, and West,--from the
economic interests of cotton and tobacco planters; of the owners of the
industrial plants of the Middle States and the East; and of the
necessities of the isolated West striving always for markets. What made
the process so doubtful and so long drawn out was the unfortunate fact
that the great industrial and agricultural interests coincided so
exactly with the older social and political antagonisms. The leadership
of the times was, therefore, sectional in a very vital way; so much was
this the case that the most popular and captivating of all the public
men of the time, Henry Clay, was defeated again and again for the
Presidency because no common understanding between New England and the
South, or between New England and the West, could be found.

Twice during the period a permanent _modus vivendi_ seemed to have been
agreed upon, in the Jacksonian Democracy of 1828, and in the Pierce
organization of 1852, combinations of South and West which rested on the
big plantation system with slavery underlying, and on the small farmer
vote of the West charged always with the potential revolt which
democracy connotes. While these subjects receive the careful attention
of the author, the "way out," and the national expansion of the Polk
Administration, are none the less carefully studied. But aside from the
sharp and challenging problems of the time, an earnest effort has been
made to describe the cultural life of the people, the pastimes, the
religious revivals, the literary and artistic output of the exuberant
America of 1830 to 1860. The Civil War and its attendant ills are
compressed into relatively small space, though here, too, the effort is
made to include all that is vital.

In like manner Professor Paxson gives much space to the "interests"
which came to dominate the country soon after the cessation of
hostilities in 1865. The business and the greater social tendencies of
the _post-bellum_ period had become evident during the decade just
preceding the war. For this reason, the author reaches back into the
midst of the conflict to take up the thread of his narrative. The
economic conditions and changes of 1861 to 1865 are therefore treated in
connection with the great issues of the seventies and eighties--the
protective tariff and "big business." The money question, railway
regulation, corruption in public affairs, never absent from our national
life, are the chief themes of Professor Paxson's book. But while the
_motif_ of the volume is prosperity, business success, and commercial
expansion, space has been found for sympathetic accounts of the
dominating personalities of the time,--for Blaine and Cleveland; for
Bryan, Roosevelt, and Woodrow Wilson. And as is fitting, the leaders of
the industrial and intellectual interests of the time also receive

Of closer personal and scholarly interest to Professor Paxson is the
subject of the growth and development of the Rocky Mountain States:
Far-Western railway-building, mining, cattle-raising, and the
establishment of government agencies for the conservation of the
national resources. While the older and dangerous sectionalism seems to
be forever past, the special interests of the Far West, as shown in this
work, still lend color to a new sectionalism which sometimes threatens
the old political party habits; witness the contest of 1908-12 and the
troubles between California and Japan. And here Professor Paxson
challenges attention by his treatment of the results of the
Spanish-American War, the imperialism which brought to the United States
the control of the Philippines, and made the isolated and somewhat
provincial country of Blaine and Cleveland a world-power, with interests
in the Pacific and a potential voice in the final destiny of China.

Such have been the problems and the aims of the writers of these four
short volumes. In order to visualize the main topics discussed, resort
has been made to the making of maps, simple drawings intended to show at
the different crises just where, or how important, were the decisive
factors. This is a feature which, it is thought, will please both lay
and professional readers. Certainly the making of these maps was no
small part of the work of each author, and in most instances they are
entirely original and made from data not hitherto used in this way; for
example, the drawings which show just what sections of the States the
various candidates for the Presidency "carried." The same may be said of
those which treat of the cotton, tobacco, and industrial areas of the
United States.

Although there may be faults and errors in the work, it seems to the
Editor that, on the whole, the story of the beginnings, the growth, and
the present greatness of the country, as set forth in these volumes, is
both interesting and suggestive, that the real forces have been duly
emphasized, and that at many points contributions to historical
knowledge have been made.



In preparing this sketch of the American colonies, I have had friendly
encouragement and assistance from a number of men whose knowledge of the
subject as a whole, or of certain aspects of it, is far more extensive
and accurate than my own. I am particularly indebted to my colleagues in
the University of Kansas, Professor F.H. Hodder and Professor W.W.
Davis, who have read and criticized the manuscript chapter by chapter.
The editor of the series has not only read the manuscript, but has put
me in the way of much valuable material which I should otherwise have
missed. Professor G.S. Ford and Professor Wallace Notestein, of the
University of Minnesota, and Professor F.J. Turner, of Harvard
University, have read portions of the manuscript. These good friends
have saved me many minor errors and some serious blunders; and their
cautions and suggestions have often enabled me to improve the work in
form and arrangement, and in relative emphasis.




II.  THE PARTITION OF THE NEW WORLD                          30


     AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURIES                               125


VI.  THE WINNING OF INDEPENDENCE                            202

     GENERAL BIBLIOGRAPHY                                   277

     INDEX                                                    i


  DEMARCATION LINE; DRAWN 1523                               28

  1700                                                      134

GROWTH OF ENGLISH SETTLEMENTS, 1700-1760                    178

  LINE IN 1775                                              180

  OF ALLEGHANIES IN 1783                                    272




     _We come in search of Christians and spices._ VASCO DA GAMA.

     _Gold is excellent; gold is treasure, and he that possesses it does
     all that he wishes to in this world, and succeeds in helping souls
     into paradise._



Contact with the Orient has always been an important factor in the
history of Europe. Centers of civilization and of political power have
shifted with every decisive change in the relations of East and West.
Opposition between Greek and barbarian may be regarded as the _motif_ of
Greek history, as it is a persistent refrain in Greek literature. The
plunder of Asia made Rome an empire whose capital was on the Bosphorus
more centuries than it was on the Tiber. Mediæval civilization rose to
its height when the Italian cities wrested from Constantinople the
mastery of the Levantine trade; and in the sixteenth century, when the
main traveled roads to the Far East shifted to the ocean, direction of
European affairs passed from Church and Empire to the rising national
states on the Atlantic. The history of America is inseparable from
these wider relations. The discovery of the New World was the direct
result of European interest in the Far East, an incident in the charting
of new highways for the world's commerce. In the thirteenth and
fourteenth centuries Europeans first gained reliable knowledge of Far
Eastern countries, of the routes by which they might be reached, above
all of the hoarded-treasure which lay there awaiting the first comer.
Columbus, endeavoring to establish direct connections with these
countries for trade and exploitation, found America blocking the way.
The discovery of the New World was but the sequel to the discovery of
the Old.

From the ninth to the eleventh century the people of Western Europe had
lived in comparative isolation. With half the heritage of the Roman
Empire in infidel hands, the followers of the Cross and of the Crescent
faced each other, like hostile armies, across the sea. The temporary
expansion of the Frankish Empire ceased with the life of Charlemagne,
and under his successors formidable enemies closed it in on every hand.
Barbarian Slav and Saxon pressed upon the eastern frontier, while the
hated Moslem, from the vantage of Spain and Africa, infested the
Mediterranean and threatened the Holy City. Even the Greek Empire,
natural ally of Christendom, deserted it, going the way of heresy and

Danger from without was accompanied by disorganization within. In the
tenth century the political edifice so painfully constructed by
Charlemagne was in ruins. The organization of the Roman Empire and the
Gregorian ideal of a Catholic Church, now little more than a lingering
tradition, was replaced by the feudal system. Seigneurs, lay and
ecclesiastic, warring among themselves for the shadow of power, had
neither time nor inclination for the ways of peace or the life of the
spirit. Learning all but disappeared; the useful arts were little
cultivated; cities fell into decay and the roads that bound them
together were left in unrepair; the life of the time, barren alike in
hovel and castle, was supported by the crude labor of a servile class.
To be complete within itself, secure from military attack and
economically self-supporting, were the essential needs which determined
the structure of the great fiefs. The upper classes rarely went far
afield, while the "rural population lived in a sort of chrysalis state,
in immobility and isolation within each seigneury."

But the feudal régime, well suited to a period of confusion, could not
withstand the disintegrating effects of even the small measure of peace
and prosperity which it secured. Increase in population and the
necessities of life liberated those expansive social forces, in politics
and industry, in intellectual life, in religious and emotional
experience, which produced the civilization of the later Middle Ages;
that wonderful thirteenth century which saw the rise of industry and the
towns, the foundation of royal power in alliance with a moneyed class,
the revival of intellectual activity which created the universities and
the scholastic philosophy, the intensification of the religious spirit
manifesting itself in such varied and perfect forms,--in the simple
life of a St. Francis or the solemn splendor of a Gothic cathedral.

Of this new and expanding life, the most striking external expression
was embodied in the Crusades. Strangely compounded of religious
enthusiasm and political ambition, of the redeless spirit of the
knight-errant and the cool calculation of the commercial bandit, these
half-military and half-migratory movements of the twelfth and thirteenth
centuries mark the beginning of that return of the West upon the East
which is so persistent a factor in all modern history. Christendom, so
long isolated, now first broke the barriers that had closed it in, and
once more extended its frontier into western Asia: Norman nobles,
establishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and the Latin Empire, enabled the
Church to guard the Holy Sepulchre, while Italian cities reaped a rich
harvest from the plunder of Constantinople and the Levantine trade.

The Latin Empire and the Kingdom of Jerusalem did not outlast the
thirteenth century, but the extension of commercial activity was a
permanent result of vital importance for the relations of Orient and
Occident. The swelling volume of Mediterranean trade which accompanied
the crusading movement depended upon the growing demand in the West for
the products of the East. Europe could provide the necessities for a
simple and monotonous life, without adornment or display. But the rise
of a burgher aristocracy, the growth of an elaborate and symbolic
ritualism in religious worship, the desire for that pomp and display
which is half the divinity of kings, created a demand for commodities
which only the East could supply,--spices for flavoring coarse food,
"notemege to putte in ale," fragrant woods and dyes and frankincense,
precious stones for personal adornment or royal regalia or religious
shrines, rich tapestries for bare interiors, "cloths of silk and gold."

All these products, and many more besides, so attractive to the unjaded
mind of Europe, celebrated in chronicle and romance from the thirteenth
to the fifteenth century, were to be found in those cities of the
Levant--in Constantinople, in Antioch or Jaffa or Alexandria--which were
the western termini to long established trade routes to the Far East.
Wares of China and Japan and the spices of the southern Moluccas were
carried in Chinese or Malay junks to Malacca, and thence by Arab or
Indian merchants to Paulicut or Calicut in southern India. To these
ports came also ginger, brazil-wood, sandal-wood, and aloe, above all
the precious stones of India and Persia, diamonds from Golconda, rubies,
topaz, sapphires, and pearls. From India, the direct southern route lay
across the Indian Ocean to Aden and up the Red Sea to Cairo or
Alexandria. The middle route followed the Persian Gulf and the Tigris
River to Bagdad, and thence to the coast cities of Damascus, Jaffa,
Laodicea, and Antioch. And by the overland northern route from Peking,
by painful and dangerous stages through Turkestan to Yarkand, Bokhara,
and Tabriz came the products of China and Persia,--silks and fabrics,
rich tapestries and priceless rugs.

From the twelfth century Italian cities grew rich and powerful on the
carrying trade between western Europe and the Levant. Venice and Genoa,
Marseilles and Barcelona, whose merchants had permanent quarters in
Eastern cities, became the distributing centers for western Europe. Each
year until 1560, a Venetian trading fleet, passing through the Straits
of Gibraltar, touching at Spanish and Portuguese ports, at Southampton
or London, finally reached the Netherlands at Bruges. But the main lines
to the north were the river highways: from Marseilles up the Rhone to
Lyons and down the Seine to Paris and Rouen; from Venice through the
passes of the Alps to the great southern German cities of Augsburg and
Nuremburg, and thence northward along the Elbe to the Hanse towns of
Hamburg or Lubec; or from Milan across the St. Gothard to Basle and
westward into France at Chalons. The main carriers from the North of the
Alps were the merchants of South Germany; while the Hanse merchants,
buying in southern Germany, or in the Netherlands at Bruges and Antwerp,
sold in England and France, in the Baltic cities, and as far east as
Poland and Russia.


Before the middle of the thirteenth century no Italian merchant could
have told you anything of the "isles where the spices grow," or of the
countries which produced the rich fabrics in which he trafficked: he
knew only that they came to Alexandria or Damascus from Far Eastern
lands. For from time immemorial the Orient had been the enemy's country,
little known beyond the bounds of Syria, a half-mythical land of alien
races, of curious customs and infidel faiths, a land of interminable
distances, rich and populous, doubtless, certainly dangerous and
inaccessible. But in the thirteenth century the veil which had long
shrouded Asia in mystery was lifted, discovering to European eyes
countries so rich in hoarded treasure and the products of industry that
the gems and spices which found their way to the West were seen to be
but the refuse of their accumulated stores.

The discovery of Asia in the thirteenth century was the direct result of
the Mongol conquest. Before the death of Jenghis Khan in 1227, the
Tartar rule was established in northern China or Cathay, and in central
Asia from India to the Caspian; while within half a century the
successors of the first emperor were dominant to the Euphrates and the
Dniester on the west, and as far south as Delhi, Burma, and Cochin
China. The earlier conquests were conducted with incredible ferocity;
but the influence of Chinese civilization moderated the temper of the
later Khans, who exhibited a genial and condescending curiosity in the
people of Christendom. Diplomatic relations were established between
Tartar and Christian princes. In the Paris archives may still be seen
letters written from Tabriz to the kings of France bearing official
Chinese seals of the thirteenth century. For the first time Europeans
were welcome beyond the Great Wall. Kublai Khan sent presents to the
Pope and requested Christian missionaries for the instruction of his
people. Traders and travelers were hospitably received, clever
adventurers were taken into favor and loaded with benefits and high

It was in 1271 that two prosperous Italian merchants, Maffeo and Nicolo
Polo, at the invitation of Kublai Khan, left Venice, taking with them
Nicolo's son, the young Marco, destined to be the most famous of
mediæval travelers. Going out by way of the Tigris River to Hormos, they
turned eastward, and after many weary months journeying across Persia
and China arrived at the city of Cambulac, now known as Peking. Here
they remained for twenty years, favored guests or honored servants at
the court of the Grand Khan. Henceforth Maffeo and Nicolo retire into
the background; we catch occasional glimpses of them, shrewd Venetians,
unobtrusively putting money in their purses, while the young Marco
occupies the center of the stage as royal favorite, member of the Privy
Council, or trusted ambassador to every part of the emperor's wide
domains. A happy chance enabled them to return at last; and by a route
no European had yet taken: from Peking to Zaiton; thence by sea through
the famous Malacca Straits to Ceylon and India; up to Hormos and across
to Tabriz and Trebizond; and so, by way of the Bosphorus, home to
Venice, with a tale of experiences rivaling the Arabian Nights, and a
fortune stitched up in the seams of their clothes.

The fortune, in "rubies, sapphires, carbuncles, diamonds, and emeralds,"
was straightway turned out before the admiring gaze of friends; while
the story was told, to friends and enemies alike, many times over, and
presently, in a Genoese prison, set down in French--_The Book of Ser
Marco Polo the Venetian concerning the Kingdoms and Marvels of the
East._ It was only one of many books of that age describing the
countries of the Orient, for Marco Polo was only the most famous of the
travelers of his time. Diplomatic agents, such as Carpini, the legate of
Innocent IV, or William de Rubruquis, the ambassador of St. Louis;
missionaries, such as John de Corvino, Jordanus de Severac, or Friar
Beatus Oderic, laboring to establish the faith in India and China;
merchants, such as Pegalotti and Schiltberger, seeking advantage in the
way of trade:--these, and many more besides, penetrated into every part
of Asia and recorded in letters, in dry and precise merchant hand-books,
in naïve and fascinating narrative accounts, a wealth of information
about this old world now first discovered to Europeans.

For the revelations of the travelers amounted to a discovery of Asia. In
the age before printing news spread from mouth to mouth. Reading had not
yet replaced conversation, and a narrative of events was alike the duty
and the privilege of every chance visitor from far or near. What a
celebrity, then, was the Asiatic voyager, returning home after many
years! It is said of Marco Polo that even in Genoa, where he was held a
prisoner, "when his rare qualities and marvelous travels became known
there, the whole city gathered to see him. At all hours of the day he
was visited by the noblest gentlemen of the city, and was continually
receiving presents of every useful kind. Messer Marco, finding himself
in this position, and witnessing the general eagerness to hear all
about Cathay and the Grand Chan, which indeed compelled him daily to
repeat his story till he was weary, was advised to put the matter in
writing." And certainly those voluble Italians were not men to remain
silent. Thousands, who never read the book of Ser Marco or the charming
narratives of Rubruquis or Friar Oderic, must have heard many of their
wonderful stories as they were carried by the merchants and priests,
students, minstrels, and high diplomatic agents who went up and down the
highways of Europe in the fourteenth century.

And the tale was marvelous, indeed, to the unaccustomed ears of
Europe,--a tale of innumerable populous cities and great rivers, a tale
of industry and thrift and glutted markets, above all a tale of
treasure. What was doubtless heard most eagerly and told again with most
verve were the accounts of cities with "walles of silver and bulwarkes
or towers of golde," palaces "entirely roofed with fine gold," lakes
full of pearls, of Indian princes wearing on their arms "gold and gems
worth a city's ransom." In that country, says Rubruquis, "whoever
wanteth golde, diggeth till he hath found some quantitie." Oderic tells
of a "most brave and sumptuous pallace" in Java, "one stayre being of
silver, and another of golde, throughout the whole building"; the rooms
were "paved all over with silver and gold, and all the wals upon the
inner side sealed over with plates of beaten gold; the roof of the
palace was of pure gold." As for the Grand Khan, he had, according to
Marco Polo, "such a quantity of plate, and of gold and silver in other
shapes, as no one ever before saw or heard tell of, or could believe."
And so freely did the returned traveler discourse of Kublai Khan's
millions of _saggi_ of revenue, that he was ever after known in Italy as
Ser Marco Milioni.

In contrast with this country, how small and inferior is Europe! Such is
the most general impression conveyed by the accounts of the travelers.
Do you think you have some powerful kings here?--they have always the
air of asking--some great rivers, populous and thriving cities? But I
tell you Europe is nothing. "The city of Quinsay," says Oderic, "hath
twelve principall gates; and about the distance of eight miles, on the
highway unto each one of the said gates, standeth a city as big by
estimation as Venice and Padua." And this trade of the Levant,
profitable as you think it, is but a small affair. On a single river in
China, the greatest in the world, "there is more wealth and merchandise
than on all the rivers and all the seas of Christendom put together." Of
that great wealth, very little, indeed, ever comes to the Levant: "for
one ship load of pepper that goes to Alexandria or elsewhere, destined
for Christendom, there come a hundred, aye and more too, to this haven
of Zaiton"; while the diamonds "that are brought to our part of the
world are only the refuse of the finer and larger stones; for the flower
of the diamonds, as well as of the larger pearls, are all carried to the
Grand Khan or other princes of these regions: in truth, they possess all
the great treasures of the world."

What a reversal of values for that introspective mind of Christendom,
so long occupied with its own soul! And what an opportunity,--all the
great treasures of the world possessed by people who welcome merchants
but "hate to see soldiers"; being themselves "no soldiers at all, only
accomplished traders and most skillful artisans." Here was the promised
land for Europeans, wretchedly poor, but good soldiers enough. Here was
Eldorado, symbol of all external and objective values which so fired the
imagination in that age of discovery; presenting a concrete and
visualized goal, a _summum bonum_, attainable, not by contemplation, but
by active endeavor; fascinating alike to the merchant dreaming of
profits, to the statesman intent on conquest, to the priest in search of
martyrdom, to the adventurer in, search of gold.


And who was not in search of gold? "Gold is excellent; gold is treasure,
and he who possesses it does all that he wishes to in this world, and
succeeds in helping souls into paradise." So thought Columbus,
expressing in a phrase the motto of many men, and conveniently revealing
to us an essential secret of European history. For gold, so abundant in
the East, was scarce in the West. The mines of Europe have never been
adequate to the needs of an expanding industrial civilization.
Importation of expensive Eastern luxuries, normally overbalancing
exports, produces a drain of specie to the Orient, that reservoir to
which the precious metals seem naturally to flow, and from which they do
not readily return; so that to maintain the gold supply and prevent a
fatal appreciation of money value has been a serious problem in both
ancient and modern times. During the Roman Republic the supply of gold
was maintained at Rome by the systematic exploitation of Syria and Asia
Minor. But after Augustus reformed the government of the provinces, the
accumulated treasure of the West began to return to the Orient: the
annual exportation of 200,000,000 sesterces in payment for the silks and
spices of India and Arabia, of Syria and Egypt, was one of the causes of
economic exhaustion and the collapse of imperial power. "So dear," says
Pliny, "do pleasures and women cost us."

During the age of feudal isolation, this ever-recurring problem did not
exist; and in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it seems not to have
been pressing. Imports from the Orient were nearly balanced by exports
to Syria, for which the crusading movements and the Kingdom of Jerusalem
created an abnormal demand. The rise of trade in the West was
accompanied by an expansion of the credit system centering in the
banking houses of Florence; while the supply of metals was more than
maintained by the plunder of Asiatic cities, paid over by crusaders in
return for supplies and munitions of war, or brought home by returning
princes and nobles, by priests and merchants, by Knights of St. John or
of the Temple. Between 1252 and 1284, the ducat and the florin and the
famous gold crowns of St. Louis made their appearance,--the sure sign of
an increased gold supply, rising prices, and flourishing trade.

But in 1291 the Kingdom of Jerusalem was overthrown; successful
crusading ceased, and the plunder of Syrian cities was at an end. Yet
the volume of Oriental trade was undiminished; normal exports were
insufficient to pay for imports; and from the end of the thirteenth to
the middle of the fifteenth century the drain of precious metals from
Europe was followed by the inevitable appreciation of gold. Prices fell;
many communes were bankrupt; kings, in desperate straits, debased the
coinage and despoiled the Church. It was in 1291 that Edward I forced
his "loan" from the churches; and Philip IV, in 1296 forbidding the
export of gold and silver from France, set about with unparalleled
cunning and cruelty to destroy the Templars in order to appropriate the
wealth which they had accumulated in the Holy Land.

It was in this very fourteenth century, when gold was appreciating and
prices were falling, that the immense wealth of the Orient was first
fully revealed to Europeans. All the commodities which Arab traders sold
at high prices to Venetian merchants in the Levant were now known to be
of little worth in the markets of India. In that country, all the
reports agreed, "they have every necessity of life very cheap"; and
every luxury as well--forty pounds of "excellent fresh ginger for a
Venice groat"; "three pheasants for an asper of silver"; five grains of
silver buying one of gold; three dishes, "so fine that you could not
imagine better," to be had for less than half a shilling. It was the
Arab middlemen that made the difference: the enemies of Christendom,
intrenched in Jerusalem and Egypt, guarded the easy highways to the East
and took rich toll of all its commerce. What a stroke for State and
Church if Europe, uniting with the Ilkhans of Persia, could establish
direct connections with the Orient, eliminate the infidel middlemen, and
divide with Mongol allies the fruits of Indian exploitation!

Such projects, drifting from court to court in the early fourteenth
century, form the aftermath of the great Crusades. In 1307 Marino
Sanuto, Venetian statesman and geographer, presented to Clement V an
elaborate plan for the revival of the old conflict with Islam. But
Sanuto contemplated something more than the recovery of the Holy Land.
Sketching with sure hand the trade routes from India to the Levant, he
demonstrated that the Arabs were enriched at the expense of Christian
Europe. Yet beyond the narrow confines of Syria were the Mongols, well
disposed toward Christians, but enemies of Mohammedan Arab and Turk.
First weaken the Moslem powers, said Sanuto, by an embargo on all
exports of provisions and munitions of war to Syria and Egypt, and then
overthrow them by a combined attack of Christian and Mongol armies. The
great end would thus be attained: a Christian fleet on the Indian Ocean,
subjugating all the coast and island ports from India to Hormos and
Aden, would act as convoy for Italian merchants trading directly with
the Eastern markets by way of Alexandria and the Red Sea, or down the
Tigris River to the Persian Gulf.

The project of Sanuto, anticipating the achievements of England in our
own day, was doubtless as vain as it was splendid. For the times, in
fourteenth-century Europe, were out of joint. Clement V and his
successors at Avignon, scarcely able to hold the Papal States, were
little inclined to attempt the conquest of Syria. The Empire had lost
its commanding position. Italian cities, released from imperial control,
warred perpetually for existence or supremacy. England and France were
preparing for the desolating struggle that exhausted their resources for
a hundred years. "All Christendom is sore decayed and feeblished,
whereby the Empire of Constantinople leeseth, and is like to lese," for
lack of the "Knights and Squires who were wont to adventure themselves,"
but who adventure themselves no more.

In 1386, when this naïve plaint was addressed to Richard II by the
dispossessed King of Armenia, conditions in Asia, even more than those
in Europe, were such as to make the plans of Sanuto forever impossible.
Johan Schiltberger, journeying to the Orient early in the fifteenth
century, encountered dangers and difficulties unknown to Marco Polo a
hundred years earlier. The successors of Kublai Khan no longer ruled in
China; while the Ilkhans of Persia, having long since adopted
Mohammedanism, were now as ill-disposed as formerly they had been
friendly toward Christian states. Eastern and central Asia was indeed
once more closing to Europeans: its rulers no longer sought alliance
with Christian princes; no longer requested the service of papal
missionaries; no longer welcomed traders and travelers. And in the
Levant itself ominous changes were portending: the Ottoman Turks,
pressing upon the Greek Empire from Asia Minor and the Balkan Peninsula,
were already well advanced upon their career of blighting conquest which
was destined to throw Christendom upon the defensive for more than two
centuries. At the opening of the fifteenth century, although the trade
routes had not been closed by the Turks, the _Drang nach Osten_--the
hope of cutting through the Moslem barrier in order to establish direct
connection with India--was at an end. Unless a new way to the East could
be found, the better part of the treasure of the Orient was lost to


Long before the fifteenth century many men had thought it possible to
reach India by sailing around Africa. Since classical times geographers
had both asserted and denied the possibility. During the Middle Ages the
Ptolemaic theory was in the ascendant; but the observations of
thirteenth-century travelers gave powerful support to the ideas of
Eratosthenes. Europeans who had sailed from Malacca to Hormos, or had
read the book of Marco Polo or Friar Oderic, knew well that no
impenetrable swamp guarded the southern approaches to Asia; while those
who had seen or heard of Arab ships clearing from Calicut for Aden could
scarcely avoid the inference that a wider sweep to the south might have
brought the same ships to Lisbon or Venice.

This inference, the alert and practical Italian intellect, unhampered
by scientific tradition or ecclesiastical prejudice, had unhesitatingly
drawn. The famous Laurentian _Portolano_, a sailing chart constructed in
1351, was precisely such a map as Marco Polo, had he turned
cartographer, might have drawn: the first map in which Africa appears
familiar to modern eyes; with the point of the continent foreshortened,
and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans joined at last, it held out to all
future explorers the prospect of successful voyages from Venice to
Ceylon. Sixty years earlier, even before Polo returned from China, the
heroic attempt had been made; Tedisio Doria and the Vivaldi, venturous
Genoese seamen, passing the Rock of Gibraltar, pointed their galleys to
the south in order "to go by sea to the ports of India to trade there."
They never returned, nor were ever heard of beyond Cape Non in Barbary,
but the memory of their hapless venture was perpetuated in legends of
the fourteenth century which credited them with sailing "the sea of
Ghinoia to the City of Ethiopia."

To go by sea to the ports of India was an undertaking not to be achieved
by unaided Italian effort, or in a single generation. The skill and
daring of many captains might find the way, but discovery was futile
unless backed by conquest, for which the support of a powerful
government was essential. Not from Italian states, weak and distracted
by inter-city wars, or absorbed in established and profitable Levantine
trade, was such support to come, but from the rising nations of the
Atlantic, which profited least by the established commercial system.
Lying at the extreme end of the old trade routes, the merchants of
France, England, Spain, and Portugal were mulcted of the major profits
of Oriental trade. Here prices were lowest and money most scarce. Yet
the future of these countries, consolidated under centralized monarchies
in alliance with a moneyed class, depended upon a full royal treasury
and thriving industry. "The king," said Cardinal Morton, addressing the
English Commons, "wishes you to arrest the drain of money to foreign
countries. The king wishes to enrich you; you would not wish to make him
poor. Consider that the kingdoms which surround us grow constantly
stronger, and that it cannot be well that the king should find himself
with an empty treasury." To replenish the royal treasury by enriching
the _bourgeois_ class was the basic motive which enlisted the Western
monarchs in maritime exploration and discovery.

Yet not to the greater states of the West was reserved the honor of
first reaching the Indies by sea. The Kingdom of Portugal, first to
venture, was first to reach the goal. Looking out over Africa and the
South Atlantic, effectively consolidated under King John of Good Memory
while its neighbors were still involved in foreign wars or the problems
of internal organization, the little state enjoyed advantages denied to
England before the accession of Henry Tudor, or to Spain before the
conquest of Granada. And to these advantages the fates added another,
and greater. For at an opportune moment it was given to Portugal to
possess one of those great souls, of lofty purpose and enduring
resolution, whose fortune it is to gather the scattered energies of
many men and with patient wisdom direct them to the attainment of noble
ends. To Prince Henry the Navigator, who raised the endeavors of the
nation to the level of an epic achievement, it is chiefly due that
Portugal became, in exploration and discovery, the foremost country of
the age.

In origin, the Portuguese search for India was but the sequel to the
century-old conflict with the Moslem, a more subtly conceived crusade.
Losing their hold on the Spanish Peninsula, the Moors were still
intrenched in Africa; and in 1415 a Portuguese fleet, crossing to the
northern point opposite Gibraltar, took and plundered the fortress and
city of Ceuta. It was on this occasion, and subsequently in 1418, that
Prince Henry gained from Moorish prisoners reliable information of the
rich caravan trade from the Senegal and Gambia Rivers, and from the Gold
and Ivory Coasts on the Gulf of Guinea, to Timbuctoo, and across the
desert to Ceuta and Tunis: information which strengthened, if it did not
inspire, the guiding motive of his life. For enriching Portugal and
undermining the Moorish power in Africa, how much more effective than
the plunder of Ceuta would be the conquest of the Guinea Coast! Once
round the shoulder of Africa and the thing was done! And who could say
what lay beyond the Gulf of Guinea? Prester John, perhaps, or the
shining treasures of India.

And so, returning from Africa in 1418, the Prince retired to the famous
Sacred Promontory in the Province of Algarve, where he gave the best
energies of forty years to the task of African exploration. Backed by
the resources of the state, commanding the best scientific knowledge of
the day, patiently enduring "what every barking tongue could allege
against a Service so unservicable and needlesse," he sent out year after
year the most skillful and daring sailors of Italy and Portugal, and
inspired them anew, as often as they returned baffled and discouraged,
with his own perennial enthusiasm. Between 1435 and 1460, famous
captains in his service--Gil Eannes, Denis Diaz, the Venetian
Cadamosto--made those crucial voyages round the Point of Bojador, past
the desert to Cape Verde, and beyond as far as Sierra Leone. After 1443
the labors of the Navigator were no longer thought to be wasted; for
when the rich traffic in slaves and gold was opened up to Portugal, the
greed of gain was added to scientific interest as a motive for
exploration:--"Gold," says the chronicler, "made a recantation of former
Murmurings, and now Prince Henry was extolled."

When Prince Henry died in 1460 no ship had sailed beyond Sierra Leone;
but the nation had caught the spirit of the master, and in the next
generation the search for India replaced the exploration of the Gulf of
Guinea. Escobar crossed the Equator in 1471, and fourteen years later
Diego Cam sailed a thousand miles beyond the mouth of the Congo River.
It was in 1486 that Bartholomew Diaz, third of that family to forward
African exploration, left Lisbon determined to reach the Indian Ocean.
Having passed the farthest point reached by Diego Cam the year before,
he put out to sea and ran before the strong northern gale for fourteen
days. Turning eastward in search of the coast, and then north, land was
at last sighted to the west. The northerly trend of the coast, as they
pushed on four hundred miles farther, assured Diaz that he was, indeed,
in the Indian Ocean. The valiant captain would have gone on to India,
but the crew forced him to turn back. It was on the return voyage that
he first saw the southernmost point of Africa--object of so many notable
ventures: the Tempestuous Cape, as Diaz would have named it; but no,
replied the king, may it rather prove the Cape of Good Hope.

Among those for whom the voyage of Diaz was of vital importance was an
unknown Italian map-maker, already possessed with the one idea that was
to make him more famous than Diaz, but which as yet had brought him only
poverty and humiliation. Christopher Columbus, son of a Genoese
wool-comber, sailor and trader and student of men and of maps from the
age of fourteen, had come, about the year 1477, from London to Lisbon,
where he married in 1478 Felipe Moñiz de Perestrello, whose father had
been a captain in the service of Prince Henry and first governor of
Porto Santo. Student of cartography and professional map-maker, expert
sailor himself, who had probably been to the Gold Coast, associating
with captains and sailors in this seaport town of Lisbon, Columbus must
have picked up all the common sailors' gossip of the age, and all the
best-known scientific speculation. With the Greek tradition that the
Indies might be reached by sailing west from the Pillars of Hercules, he
was probably familiar, even if he had not read the famous statement of
Aristotle in Roger Bacon's _Opus Majus_, or in the _Imago Mundi_ of
Pierre d'Ailly; familiar also he certainly was with the persistent
mediæval legends of islands in the western Atlantic,--Atlantis, and the
Seven Cities, and Isles of St. Brandan.

Here in Lisbon, poring over old maps, by fortunate miscalculation
underestimating the size of the earth, noting, as expedition after
expedition returned, the indefinite southern extension of the African
coast, Columbus became convinced that the Portuguese had chosen the
longer route to the East, and that "the Indies in the east might in the
Earth's Globositie be as readily found out by the west, following the
sun in his daily journey." To reach the Indies by sailing west, and to
discover, for the king who should authorize him, such new lands as might
fall his way, became henceforth the consuming ambition of his life. It
was a project which he had already, about 1484, laid before the King of
Portugal. Repulsed, and at the same time betrayed, he went to Spain,
where he was encouraged by the Count Medina Celi and the Cardinal
Mendoza, only to have his plan rejected by the Council to which it was
referred. The queen was not unfavorably disposed, but the Moorish wars
occupied her days and depleted her treasury. Weary with following the
court about, it must have been with profound discouragement that
Columbus heard of the success of Diaz in 1488. For the time was short;
Diaz had all but reached the goal, and one more voyage might bring the
Portuguese to India before Columbus could induce the Spanish sovereigns
to try the better plan.

But the Portuguese did not follow up their advantage, and after four
more years of waiting, when the Moorish wars were successfully concluded
by the conquest of Granada, Columbus at last obtained a favorable
hearing from Ferdinand and Isabella. By the King and Queen of Spain
Christopher Columbus was authorized to "discover and acquire certain
islands and mainland in the ocean"; to appropriate for himself a tithe
of the precious metals which might be found there, and to be "Admiral of
the said islands and mainland, and Admiral and Viceroy and Governor
therein." Within three months all was ready, and on Friday, August 3,
1492, the famous expedition, about ninety men in three small ships, with
compass and astrolabe for determining direction and altitude, but no log
for the dead reckoning, left Palos for the Canaries. It was not with
adverse winds or a rough sea that the admiral had to contend, but with a
superstitious crew often moved to mutiny,--terrified by the strange
variation of the needle, questioning whether the steady trade winds that
bore them on would ever permit them to return, certain that the Sargasso
Sea would prove that impenetrable marsh of which they had heard. With
unfailing resourcefulness, with patience and tact, with the compelling
force of a masterful character, the great commander vanquished fear and
superstition, never doubting that since "he had come to go to the Indies
he would keep on till he found them by the help of God."

It was on the 11th day of October, seventy days out from Spain, and none
too soon, that land was sighted; and on the following morning Columbus,
bearing the cross of the Church on the banner of Castile, set foot on
one of the minor Bahamas, the present Watling's Island. For two months
and a half he cruised in these waters, seeking gold and spices, and the
evidence of great cities, "still resolved to go to the mainland and the
City of Quinsay, and to deliver the letters of your Highness to the
Grand Can, requesting a reply and returning with it." He did not find
Quinsay or the Grand Khan, but he discovered Santa Maria, and Hayti,
where the first Spanish colony in the New World was established, and
Cuba, which was taken to be the mainland. Resting in this belief, the
admiral set out for home, reaching Palos February 15, 1493. And it was
straightway reported in Europe that the Genoese captain had "found that
way never before known to the east."

The East, yet not the desired part of it,--not Cipango, or the city of
Quinsay, nor yet the rich Moluccas. These, however, Columbus never
doubted, would be easily found. Others were less sanguine. The Spanish
sovereigns seemed scarcely convinced that the islands of Columbus were
parts of Marco Polo's Indies; while King John suspected that they were
really within the southern Guinea waters belonging to Portugal.
Therefore the Portuguese King hastened to secure, by papal bulls and
the Treaty of Tordesillas with Spain in 1494, the famous Demarcation
Line which reserved to Portugal, for exploration and discovery, the
regions lying east, and to Spain the regions lying west, of a meridian
three hundred and seventy leagues west of the Cape Verde Islands. And
five years later, when Vasco da Gama at last reached Calicut by the
eastern route, no one could longer maintain, so it seemed to the
Portuguese King, that the Spanish explorers were in Indian waters. In
July, 1499, the news of Da Gama's success reached Lisbon; and Emanuel,
with pleasant malice, hastened to inform the Spanish sovereigns that the
real Indies had been visited "by a nobleman of our household," and that
he had found there, what every one expected to find, what Columbus had
nevertheless not found, "large cities, and great populations"; as
evidence of which he had brought home "cinnamon, cloves, ginger, nutmeg,
pepper, also many fine stones of all sorts; so that henceforth all
Christendom in this part of Europe shall be able, in large measure, to
provide itself with these spices and precious stones."

The conclusion which the Portuguese King so eagerly accepted was
meanwhile confirmed by every western voyage. Beyond the islands which
Columbus had discovered, an interminable barrier everywhere blocked the
way. In 1498, the admiral himself had touched the mainland near
Trinidad, and in 1502 he explored the Bay of Honduras. Hojeda and
Pinzon, in 1499 and 1500, sailed along nearly the whole northern coast
of South America, while in 1501 Americus Vespucci followed the eastern
coast from the point of Brazil as far as 35° south latitude. It could no
longer be doubted, by those at least who had seen the great mouths of
the Amazon and the Plate Rivers, that behind this long stretch of coast
lay an immense continent; a projection of Asia, doubtless, separated
from it by some narrow strait, perhaps, or possibly by an unknown sea:
at any rate, a "boundless land to the south," as Columbus reported; and
which "may be called a new world, since our ancestors had no knowledge
of it," as Vespucci thought; "a fourth part of the world," said
Waldseemüller in his _Introduction to Cosmography_, published in 1507,
"which since Americus discovered it may be called Amerige--i.e.,
Americ's land or America." In 1506 Bartholomew Columbus prepared the
earliest extant map showing this _Mondo Novo_, represented as a
projection of southern Asia and extending three fourths of the distance
to the shoulder of Africa.

This new world of America, a seemingly impenetrable barrier, lay
between Spain and the Indies--the real Indies from which the
Portuguese were yearly bringing home a rich freightage of gems and
spices. In 1509 their ships first reached Malacca; two years later
that "golden Chersonese" was taken by Albuquerque; and in 1512 D'Abreu
returned with the first cargo of cloves from Amboina and Banda, the
very "isles where the spices grow." To find a passage through the
_Mondo Novo_, which Columbus had discovered, became therefore the aim
of future Spanish exploration--inspiring the second voyage of Pinzon
in 1508, the expedition of Balboa across the Isthmus in 1513, the
fatal last cruise of Solis to the mouth of the Plate River, and the
final triumphant venture of Ferdinand Magellan.

For the world was not so large but that the spice islands, three
thousand miles east of Calicut, must be in Spanish waters. Firm in this
belief, the Portuguese Fernam Magalhaes, who had been with Albuquerque
at Malacca, offered to King Charles of Spain his services in search of
the western passage. It was in 1519 that this man, "small in stature,
who did not appear in himself to be much," yet withal a "man of courage
and valiant in his thoughts," set out in five worn-out ships, manned by
Spanish officers and a treacherous crew, to achieve the greatest feat of
navigation ever recorded in the world's annals. Undaunted by an almost
fatal mutiny or the terrors of an Antarctic winter, he pushed on through
the dangerous straits which bear his name, north and west over that sea
which, pacific as it was found to be, he would scarcely have attempted
had he known its vast extent. Sailing on month after month, the crew
depleted by sickness and death, living at last on rats and biscuit worms
and roasted soaked leather thongs, the little expedition finally reached
the Philippine Islands. Here the heroic commander lost his life; and but
few of those who left Spain ever returned. One ship only out of five,
the Victoria, crossed the Indian Ocean and at last, September 7, 1522,
three years out from Spain, sailed with eighteen survivors into the port
of St. Lucar.

[Illustration: SCHÖNER'S GLOBE with Magellan's Route and Demarcation Line
DRAWN 1523. From Bourne's _Spain in America_, p. 117. Harper and Brothers.]

For the first time a single ship had circled the round earth. And
through all the vicissitudes of that notable voyage, the object which
during fifty years had inspired so many fruitless ventures was not
forgotten. The little Victoria had shipped at Moluccas, and now
deposited at St. Lucar, twenty-six tons of cloves. Yet few ships would
ever again, in the way of trade, sail west from Spain for the spice
islands; for between the Indies of Columbus and the Indies which he had
hoped to find lay an uncharted and boundless ocean which reduced the
Atlantic to the measure of familiar inland waters; and between the two
seas, dimly perceived as yet, stretched the continent which was indeed a
_Mondo Novo_--the New World of America.


An excellent brief account of the discovery of America is in Channing's
_History of the United States_, I, chs. I-II. For the relations of
Europe and Asia, and the Portuguese explorations, see Cheyney's
_European Background of American History_, chs. I, II, IV. An excellent
brief sketch of the life of Columbus is in _Ency. Brit._, 11th ed. Marco
Polo is most conveniently found in _Everyman's Library_ (Dutton). The
standard edition is that of Henry Yule, 2 vols., London, 1903. Azurara's
_Chronicle of the Discovery and Conquest of Guinea_ is printed by the
Hakluyt Society, 2 vols., London, 1896. Chapter VII gives five reasons
for Prince Henry's interest in African exploration. In recent years
Henry Vignaud has maintained with much learning and critical ability
that the famous Toscanelli letter is a forgery, and that Columbus's
first voyage to the west was for the purpose of discovering new
countries, but that he had no intention of reaching the Indies. The
first point he has probably established, but as much cannot be said for
the second. See Vignaud, _Toscanelli and Columbus_. Dutton, New York,



     _The time approacheth and now is, that we of England may share and
     part stakes, both with the Spaniard and the Portingale, in part of
     America, and other regions yet undiscovered._ RICHARD HAKLUYT.


No feeling of exultation accompanied the discovery of America. The
Portuguese alone were well content to see rising on the western horizon
a new continent blocking the way to India. It was more than thirty years
before the Spanish explorers found the rich cities which Columbus
sought; and a century after the voyage of Magellan the vain hope of
reaching the South Sea by some middle or northwest passage still
inspired the activities of French and English adventurers. In 1534
Verrazano, in the service of Francis I, skirted the coast from Cape Fear
to Sandy Hook seeking the way to China. Fifty years later Sir Humphrey
Gilbert's _Discourse of a North West Passage_ led to the voyages of
Frobisher and Davis. Undismayed by their failures, the excellent Hakluyt
assured the queen in 1584 that the passage to "Cathaio may easily,
quickly, and perfectly be searched oute as well by river and overlande
as by sea." And as late as 1669, when Virginia had been settled for half
a century, Sir William Berkeley still had faith "to make an essay to doe
his Majestie a memorable service, which was to goe to find out the East
India Sea."

Yet before the middle of the sixteenth century America took on a value
of its own, and ceased to be regarded as a mere obstacle, in the path of
trade. After the conquest of Mexico and Peru, the New World, found to be
rich in silver and gold, was thought to be a new Indies indeed. To the
idealizing mind of the age America already spelled opportunity; and in
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the maritime states of Europe
established their spheres of influence there--still seeking, through its
trackless forests, a waterway to the South Sea, still seeking gold,
falling back at last upon the prosaic business of colonization and the
exploitation of its less attractive resources. The Spaniards found no
lack of treasure, but in North America gold ever turned to ashes, and
the great South Sea receded like a mirage before every advance. Yet the
failure of many voyages to the frozen North, and of many inland
expeditions ending in disaster and death, could not quench the optimism
which the gentlemen adventurers caught from the men of the Renaissance
and bequeathed to the colonist, and which for two hundred years the
frontiersman has preserved as a priceless heritage of the New World.

When Columbus returned from his first voyage of discovery in 1493, he
brought home some gold trinkets which the Indians had readily exchanged
for glass beads. The transaction is symbolical of two centuries of South
American history. The achievements of the Conquistadores have scarcely a
parallel in the annals of conquest; but it was the desire for treasure
that led them on; and the treasure they discovered became the foundation
of the Spanish Empire. In exchange for their gold and silver, Spain
imposed upon the native races of America an enlightened despotism and
the benefits of Christian civilization.

From Hispaniola as the first center, the Spaniards soon extended their
dominion over the islands of Cuba, Porto Rico, and San Domingo, and to
the mainland of North America. Seeking gold and the fountain of
perpetual youth, Ponce de Leon explored Florida in 1513, and in 1521 and
1525 Allyon and Gomez skirted the eastern coast as far north as
Labrador. They found no fountain of youth, nor any passage to the South
Sea, nor treasure. It was twenty-five years after Columbus's first
voyage, when Velasquez reached Cozumel off the coast of Yucatan, that
the Spanish explorers first encountered a people advanced beyond
savagery, and came upon evidences of that wealth which determined the
future of their empire. Two years later Hernando Cortez, the greatest of
the Conquistadores, was given command of the expedition which ended in
the capture of Mexico and the overthrow of the Aztec power. The simple
Mexicans, who had never seen a white man, first welcomed Cortez as the
long expected Culture God, and the hapless Montezuma gathered as a
present for the invader treasure equal in present value to the sum of
six and a half million dollars. Most of this was lost in the lake during
the fatal retreat from the city; but when the conqueror returned to
Spain in 1528, he brought with him, to that very port of Palos where
Columbus had landed in 1493, three hundred thousand _pesos_[1] of gold
and fifteen hundred marks of silver.

The silver mines of Mexico were not exploited until many years later,
but the conquest gave an immense impetus to further exploration. It was
the hope of rivaling the brilliant success of Cortez that inspired those
fruitless expeditions through what is now the southern part of the
United States. Cabeza de Vaca and three companions, sole survivors of
Narvaez's ill-fated expedition to conquer an empire in Florida, wandered
for many years over the country between the Mississippi and the Gulf of
California. Picked up in 1536 by Spanish slavers, De Vaca's report of
the vast country to the north induced Mendoza, the Governor of New
Spain, to send out Friar Marcos from Mexico in 1539 to find the famous
Seven Cities. The friar found no cities, but during the next three years
the search was continued by Coronado, who penetrated as far north as the
present State of Kansas. It was also in 1539 that De Soto, who had
accompanied Pizarro in the conquest of the Incas cities, set out from
Florida in search of another Peru. After three years of untold hardship
he died of swamp fever in the region of the great river which he
discovered and in which he lies buried. The only result of all these
expeditions was to establish the claims of Spain to an immense
territory; and it was not until 1565 that the Spaniards founded, at St.
Augustine in Florida, the first permanent European settlement north of
the Gulf of Mexico.

"To the south, to the South," cried Peter Martyr, "for the riches of
the Aequinoctiall they that seek riches must go, not into the cold and
frozen north." It was a judgment justified in the event. Francisco
Pizarro, having verified the report of rich kingdoms to the south,
received in 1528 from the Emperor Charles V a commission to conquer the
country of the Incas in Peru. With reckless daring equaled only by
cunning treachery and unspeakable cruelty, the little band of
adventurers that followed Pizarro made its way to the city of Cuzaco.
The Incas were more civilized than the Aztecs, their defense less
resolute, their wealth more abounding. The ransom of Atahucellpa and the
plunder of the capital, when melted down into ingots, measured nearly
two million _pesos_ of gold. And to the south of the capital city were
the inexhaustible silver deposits of the Andes. In 1545 the Government
registered the mines of Potosi, the main source of the treasure which,
flowing in ever-increasing volume into Spain, so profoundly influenced
the history of Europe and America.

It is said of the Emperor Charles V that his eyes "sparkled with
delight" when he gazed upon the vases and ornaments wrought in solid
gold which Hernando Pizarro, returning from Peru in 1534 with the royal
fifth of the first fruits of plunder, displayed before him. Yet the
profit and the burden of the empire which Charles established in America
fell mainly to his son, Philip II. And a great revenue was as essential
to Philip as to Charles; for, although he did not succeed to the
imperial title, he aspired no less than his father to the mastery of
Europe. Circumstances seemed not unfavorable. With the close of the
Council of Trent in 1563, the policy of conciliation was at an end, the
Jesuits were in the ascendant, and the forces of the Counter-Reformation
were prepared to do battle with the heresies that disrupted Christendom.
In this death struggle the King of Spain was well suited to be the
leader of Catholicism. Crafty in method and persistent in purpose,
sincerely devout, unwavering in his loyalty to the true faith, never
doubting that God in his wisdom had singled him out as the champion of
the Church, Philip identified his will with truth and saw in the
extension of Spanish power the only hope for a restoration of European
unity and the preservation of Christian civilization. To set his house
in order by extirpating heresy and crushing political opposition was but
the prelude to the triumph of Church and State in Europe. Germany and
France were rent by dissension and civil war. England was scarcely to be
feared; without an effective army or navy, half Catholic still, governed
by a frivolous and bastard queen whose title to the throne was denied by
half her subjects, the little island kingdom could by skillful diplomacy
be restored to the true faith or by force of arms be added to the Empire
of Spain.

For an ambition so inclusive, the American revenue was essential indeed.
And in the second half of the century it reached a substantial figure.
The yearly output of the mines rose to about eleven million _pesos_ per
annum, and the amount which the king received for his share, between the
years 1560 and 1600, was probably on an average not far from one and
three quarters millions, while at the same time other sources of revenue
from America became of considerable importance. It was a goodly sum for
those days, but it was not enough for the king's needs. When Charles
abdicated, the imperial treasury was indebted in the sum of ten millions
sterling; and much of the bullion which was carried by the treasure
fleets that plied regularly between Porto Bello and Cadiz was pledged to
German or Genoese bankers before it arrived, while some of it found its
way into the pockets of corrupt officials. What remained for the king,
together with the last farthing that could be wrung from his Spanish and
Italian subjects, was still inadequate, to his far-reaching designs; and
Philip II, reputed the richest sovereign in Christendom, was often on
the verge of bankruptcy.

It was a disconcerting fact, indeed, that although Spain and Portugal
had divided the world between them, the thrifty Dutch seemed to reap the
major profits of their discoveries. Within half a century Antwerp had
risen to be the chief _entrepôt_ and financial clearing-house of western
Europe. English wool was marketed there, and there English loans were
floated. There Portuguese spice cargoes, purchased while still at sea,
were brought to be exchanged at high prices for the gold and silver that
found its way into the hands of Spain's creditors in Germany, Italy, and
France. A wealthy people were these Dutch subjects of Philip II;
subjects, yet half free, escaping his control. It was intolerable that
the Netherlands, infested with heresy, drawing their wealth from the
enemies of Spain, and from Spain itself, should not contribute their
share to the service of the empire.

To control the Netherlands and to divert the profits of Dutch trade into
the Spanish treasury was thus an essential part of Philip's policy. When
the Duke of Alva left for Brussels in 1567 he promised to make the
Netherlands self-supporting and to extort from them an annual revenue of
two million ducats. But the methods of Alva were destined to failure. He
was a better master of war than of finance, and by ruining Dutch trade
he killed the goose that laid the golden egg. The Southern Netherlands
were finally conciliated by a more skillful policy than any known to
Alva; but the city of Antwerp never recovered from the ruin which
Philip's unpaid soldiers inflicted upon it in 1576, and when the war was
over, the commercial and industrial activities which had made it
prosperous were to be found in Amsterdam in the independent Netherlands,
and in London across the Channel.

Yet if the Netherlands escaped the direct control of Philip, their
wealth might be appropriated at its source. The Portuguese were still
intrenched in the East, and Dutch prosperity was in no small part
founded on privileges granted at Lisbon. Philip's opportunity came in
1580 when a disputed succession to the throne opened the way to
intervention and the rapid conquest of Portugal. At a stroke the
Portuguese dominions in Africa and the East Indies were added to Spain's
American possessions. Throughout Europe Philip was thought to have
played a winning card; for the most desired sources of the world's
wealth were at the disposal of the Catholic king if he could but police
the sea. But so complete a monopoly was not to be endured by his rivals;
and France, Holland, and England, as a necessary prelude to their
colonizing activities in the New World and in the Old, gathered their
forces to dispute the maritime supremacy of Spain.


It was well understood that the power of Philip II depended upon his
American treasure, and his treasure upon his control of the sea. "The
Emperor can carry on war against me only by means of the riches which he
draws from the West Indies," cried Francis I when Verrazano brought home
some treasure taken from Spanish ships in Western waters. And Francis
Bacon expressed the belief of the age when he wrote that "money is the
principal part of the greatness of Spain; for by that they maintain
their veteran army. But in this part, of all others, is most to be
considered the ticklish and brittle state of the greatness of Spain.
Their greatness consisteth in their treasure, their treasure in the
Indies, and their Indies (if it be well weighed) are indeed but an
accession to such as are masters of the sea."

It was not for France to contest the maritime supremacy of Spain in the
sixteenth century. The wars of Francis I and Charles V bred a swarm of
corsairs who harassed Spanish trade and penetrated even to the West
Indies; but before 1559 the resources of the French Government were
mainly devoted to resisting the Hapsburgs in Europe, and after 1563 the
country was distracted by civil war. The Mediterranean proved, indeed,
an attractive field for French commercial expansion. The common enmity
of French and Turk toward the Hapsburg found expression in the
commercial treaty of 1536 between Solyman and Francis I, and in the
following half-century the "political and commercial influence of France
became predominant in the Moslem states." But in Western waters the
activity of France was slight. Without the naval strength to resist
Spain, she could not afford to offend Portugal, who was her effective
ally. Francis I interdicted expeditions to Brazil because the Portuguese
King protested, and Coligny's Huguenot colony in Florida was destroyed
by the Spaniard Menendez in 1565. Breton fishermen plied their trade off
the Grand Banks; but in this century the only French expedition having
permanent results for colonization was undertaken in 1534 and 1535 by
Jacques Cartier, who sailed up the St. Lawrence as far as Montreal, and
in the name of Francis I took possession of the country which was to be
known as New France.

The Dutch did yeoman service against the navy of Philip during the war
of independence, but the task of breaking the maritime power of Spain
fell mainly to England in the age of Elizabeth. Cabot's notable voyage
was without immediate result. Neither the frugal Henry VII, who gave
"£10 to him that found the new isle," nor his extravagant son, who was
engaged in separating England from Rome and in enriching the treasury
with the spoils of the monasteries, coveted the colonies of Spain or
greatly feared her power in Europe. But Elizabeth, seated on the throne
by precarious tenure, confronted at home and abroad by the rising
fanaticism of the Catholic reaction, found the ambition of Philip a
menace to national independence. And she knew well that Spain must be
met in the Netherlands and on the sea. Yet the task which confronted her
was one for which the naval resources of the state were inadequate, and
the politic and popular queen turned to the nation for assistance in the
hour of need.

And not in vain! For year by year the national opposition to Spain
gathered force. Products seeking markets and capital seeking investment
were increasing, while opportunities for profit abroad were diminishing.
Merchant and capitalist were everywhere confronted by the monopoly of
Spain and Portugal, and thus the maritime and commercial supremacy of
the queen's chief enemy was at once a national menace and a private
grievance. English Protestants, driven into exile in the days of "Bloody
Mary," returned in the time of Elizabeth, bringing back the spirit of
Geneva, and imbued with an uncompromising hatred of Papists which was
fanned to white heat by the Jesuit plots, supposed to be inspired by
Philip himself, against the queen's life. The rising opposition to Spain
thus took on the character of a crusade: for statesmen it was a question
of independence; for merchants a question of profits; for the people a
question of religion. And so it happened that in time of peace the ships
of Spain were regarded as fair prize. When piracy wore the cloak of
virtue there were many to venture; and the queen was ready to reward the
buccaneer for the crimes that made him a popular hero. Cautious in her
purposes, devious in her methods, too frugal and too poor to embark on
great undertakings or open hostility, Elizabeth encouraged every secret
enterprise and every private adventure which had for its object the
enrichment of her subjects at the expense of the common enemy.

John Hawkins will ever be memorable as the man who first openly
contested the double monopoly of Spain and Portugal, and taught English
merchants "how arms might signally help the expansion of trade."
Descended from seafaring ancestors, his own apprenticeship was served in
voyages to the African coast. Negroes were plentiful there, and laborers
scarce in the West Indies. Well considering that the slave trade would
insure the salvation of the benighted heathen and redound to the profit
of thrifty planters, the devout Hawkins set about serving God and mammon
for the advancement of his own fortunes and the glory of England. With
capital supplied by City merchants, three vessels were equipped; and in
1562 Hawkins sailed for Sierra Leone, where he procured by force or
purchase three hundred negroes, who were exchanged with no great
difficulty at Hispaniola for a rich cargo of merchandise. An enterprise
which netted sixty per cent profit was not to be abandoned, and in 1564
a second voyage was made, with greater profit still. But the third
voyage, in 1567, came to grief at San Juan de Ulloa, where Hawkins fell
in with the Spanish plate fleet. The fleet might have been plundered,
but the naïve Hawkins, relying in vain upon the pledged word of the
Spaniards, was treacherously attacked and his ships mostly destroyed,
while he himself barely escaped with his life.

Accompanying Hawkins on this voyage, and escaping with him from San Juan
de Ulloa, was "a certain Englishman, called Francis Drake." Reared in a
Protestant family which had felt the effects of the reaction under Queen
Mary, he had an instinctive hatred of the Roman Church, and his
experience at San Juan de Ulloa inspired him at the age of twenty with a
lifelong animosity toward all Spaniards. Renouncing the semi-peaceful
methods of Hawkins, Drake devoted his life to open privateering, never
doubting that in plundering Spanish ships he was discharging a private
debt and a public obligation. And of all the gentlemen adventurers who
made plunder respectable and raised piracy to the level of a fine art,
he was the greatest. He carried himself in the "pirate's profession with
a courtesy, magnanimity, and unfailing humanity, that gave to his story
the glamour of romance." No other name struck such fear into Spanish
hearts, or so raised in English ones the spirit of adventure and of
contempt for the queen's enemies. He is known in Spanish annals as "the
Dragon," and before he died the maritime power of Spain had passed its

Three years after the disaster at San Juan de Ulloa the trend of events
favored the bolder course. In 1570 the Pope's Bull deposing Elizabeth
from the English throne was nailed to Lambeth Palace; and in 1572, not
without the tacit approval of the Government, and backed by the rising
national hostility to Spain, Drake set out for the Indies, where he
operated for two years, planning attacks on Cartagena and Nombre de
Dios, or rifling the treasure trains as they came overland from Panama.
Henceforth the watchfulness of Spain was redoubled in the West Indies;
but the Pacific, which Drake had seen from the Peak of Darien, was still
regarded as a safe inland lake. Into the Pacific, with its coasts
unprotected and its ships scarcely armed at all, he therefore determined
to venture. Authorized by the queen and with Walsingham's approval, he
set out in 1577. Quelling a mutiny as his great predecessor had done at
St. Julian, he passed the Straits of Magellan, and sailed northward
along the coast, harming no man, but taking every man's treasure until
the ship was full. He would have returned home by some northeast
passage, but failed to find any, and so at last crossed the Pacific--the
second to circumnavigate the globe. We are told that the queen "received
him graciously, and laid up the treasure he brought by way of
sequestration, that it might be forthcoming if the Spaniards should
demand it."

It is not recorded that the treasure was ever restored, but it is known
that Drake was knighted by the queen on the deck of the Golden Hind. And
it is recorded that in 1588 Philip prepared the Invincible Armada, which
appeared in the English Channel to demand the submission of England. It
was a decisive moment in the history of America; and it is doubtful
what the issue might have been had the queen been dependent upon the
royal navy alone. But round the twenty-nine ships of the royal navy
there gathered more than twice as many of those privateers who in a
generation of conflict had become past masters in dealing with the ships
of Spain. Manned by sailors seasoned to every hardship, equipped with
the best cannon of the day, rapid and dexterous in movement, the English
ships, outnumbered though they were, sailed round and round the unwieldy
galleons of the Armada, crippling them by broadsides and destroying them
with fire-ships, without ever being brought to close quarters. And so
the "Invincible navy neither took any one barque of ours, neither yet
once offered to land but after they had been well beaten and chased,
made a long and sorry perambulation about the northern seas, ennobling
many coasts with wrecks of noble ships; and so returned home with
greater derision than they set forth with expectation."

The defeat of the Armada was followed by a carnival of conquest. Within
three years eight hundred Spanish ships were taken; and in 1596, shortly
after the deaths of Drake and Hawkins, Sir Thomas Howard of Effingham
captured the city of Cadiz and returned home with ships full of plunder.
It was the last great operation of the war, and the beginning of the end
of the Spanish Empire; for the way was now clear for the maritime and
colonial expansion of her rivals. The Dutch, with independence assured,
organized those India companies through which they ousted the Portuguese
from the spice islands, and established, at the mouth of the river
discovered by Henry Hudson in 1608, the colony of New Netherland in
America. With the civil wars of religion happily closed, France was free
to complete the work of Cartier. In 1603 Champlain, in the service of a
St. Malo merchant, sailed up the St. Lawrence to Montreal; and five
years later he established a post on the Heights of Quebec, destined to
be the capital of the great inland empire of New France. And England,
whose ships now sailed the sea unchallenged, began to build a more
lasting empire in America and the Orient. It was in 1607 that Virginia
was planted; and three years later Captain Hippon, in the service of the
East India Company, established an English factory at Masulipatam in the
Bay of Bengal.


A notable result of the struggle with Spain was the growth of an active
interest in colonization. Knowledge of the wide world, which Richard
Eden had freshly revealed to Englishmen in the reign of Mary, was
greatly enriched by the voyages of the Elizabethan seamen. John Davis,
returning from the Far East, made known "as well the King of Portugal
his places of Trade and Strength, as of the interchangeable trades of
the eastern Nations among themselves"; and Cavendish, who was the third
to "circompasse the whole globe of the world," brought to the queen
"certain intelligence of all the rich places that ever were known or
discovered by any Christian." By the side of Drake and his followers,
whose ambition it was to destroy the power of Spain in the New World,
stand the brilliant Gentlemen Adventurers, who labored to plant there
the power of England: Frobisher and Davis, the gentle and heroic
Gilbert, and Raleigh, poet and statesman, the very perfect knight-errant
of his age, whose faith in America survived many failures and is
registered in words as prophetic as they are pathetic--"I shall yet live
to see it an English nation." The adventurous and pioneering spirit of
the time is forever preserved in that true epic of the Elizabethan age,
the incomparable _Voyages_ of Richard Hakluyt; and in the _Discourse on
Western Plantinge_, which he wrote at the request of Raleigh for the
enlightenment of the queen, as well as in the general literature of the
next fifty years, are revealed to us the ideas, mostly mistaken and
often naïve, which gave to America the glamour of a promised land.

Of the motives which inspired the colonizing activity of England at the
close of the sixteenth century, the desire to spread the Protestant
religion was no unreal one. The war for independence, having taken on
the character of a crusade, had touched with emotional fervor the
Englishman's loyalty to the national faith. Religion became a national
asset when it was thought to be served by an extension of the queen's
domain. The pride of patriotism, as well as the sense of duty, was
stirred by the fact that whereas Spanish Papists had been "the
converters of many millions of infidells," English Protestants had done
nothing for "thinlargement of the Gospell of Christe." It was felt to be
the duty of Englishmen to take on this "white man's burden," and for the
sake of the true faith plant "one or two colonies upon that fyrme,
learn the language of the people, and so with discretion and myldeness
Instill into their purged myndes the swete and lively liquor of the

Yet the religious motive was buttressed by others more material and less
disinterested. Until well into the seventeenth century, when much bitter
experience had proved the contrary, America was still thought to be a
land of wealth easily acquired--"as great a profit to the Realme of
England as the Indies to the King of Spain." Many credible persons, said
Hakluyt, had found in that country "golde, silver, copper, leade, and
pearles in aboundaunce; precious stones, as turquoises and emaurldes;
spices and drugges; silke worms fairer than ours of Europe; white and
red cotton; infinite multitude of all kindes of fowles; excellent vines
in many places for wines; the soyle apte to beare olyves for oyle; all
kinds of fruites; all kindes of oderiferous trees and date trees,
cypresses, and cedars; and in New founde lande aboundaunce of pines and
firr trees to make mastes and deale boards, pitch, tar, rosen; hempe for
cables and cordage; and upp within the Graunde Baye, excedinge quantitie
of all kinde of precious furres." So that one may "well and truly
conclude with reason and authoritie, that all the commodities of our
olde decayed and daungerous trades in all Europe, Africa, and Asia
haunted by us, may in short space and for little or nothinge, in a
manner be had in that part of America which lieth betweene 30 and 60
degrees of northerly latitude."

Little wonder that the New World of America, thus portrayed in
heightened colors, proved attractive to gentlemen adventurers dreaming
of personal dominion, to merchants intent upon profit, or to kings
seeking revenue and prestige. The colonizing activities of the time were
but incidental to the larger movement of commercial expansion and the
extension of political power. The founding of the East India Company in
1600 and of the Virginia Company in 1609 were but two expressions of the
same purpose: America was but one of the two Indies whose exploitation
would redound at once to private advantage and to national welfare. That
the individual and the state had a common and inseparable interest in
the expansion of commerce and the settlement of colonies is, indeed, one
of the most characteristic and significant ideas of the time:
characteristic, since it pervades the literature of the period;
significant, because it is an index of those profound political and
economic influences that were transforming the old into the new Europe.

For at the opening of the seventeenth century the old order was fast
disappearing. The ideal of a single Christian community, so long
symbolized by the Holy Roman Empire and the Holy Catholic Church, was
losing its hold upon the minds of men as the result of the
differentiation of European culture on lines of racial or national
distinction. In politics this movement was embodied in the rise of the
centralized national state; and the sixteenth century ushered in the era
of international wars, of which the struggle between Elizabeth and
Philip II was one, and one of the most important. When such conflicts
were always impending, it was essential that the resources of the nation
should be at the disposal of the Government. The national state could,
therefore, neither share authority with the Pope at Rome, nor endure
independent feudal or municipal jurisdictions within the realm; and in
its military and administrative organization, feudal officers, since the
thirteenth century in France and England, had been steadily replaced by
paid agents appointed by the king, whose hostility to the Pope was
chiefly inspired by the desire to secure from the Church the money
necessary to maintain them. A well-filled treasury was thus the first
need of the sixteenth-century state, and so it fell out that in western
Europe the middle class--the merchant and the capitalist and the
money-lender--was the chief resource of kings in conflict with feudal or
ecclesiastical privilege. The prosperity of the trading class and the
efficiency of the Government were thought to be inseparable; and that
commerce should be regulated in the interest of the state was,
therefore, the unquestioned maxim of the age.

Two things above all the interest of the state demanded: that the supply
of precious metals should not diminish; and that the nation should not
be dependent upon rival countries for staple commodities. The supply of
gold and silver actually present in the king's coffers, or within the
radius of his tax-gatherers, was of far greater moment then than now.
The issues of war, in an age when credit was relatively undeveloped,
were likely to depend upon it. Scarcely less important was the question
of staples. To be dependent upon rivals for necessities was thought to
threaten at once the prosperity of the trading class and the strength of
the Government: giving hostages to the enemy in time of war and a
diplomatic advantage in time of peace; carrying off the supply of gold
and silver; and likely, therefore, by raising the value of money, to
disorganize industry and deplete the sources of the state's revenue. To
be economically self-sufficing in order to be politically independent
was the cardinal doctrine. "That Realme is most compleat and wealthie
which either hath sufficient to serve itselfe or can finde means to
exporte of the naturall comodities [more] than it hath occasion
necessarily to import," said an English writer, expressing in a phrase
the essential principle of mercantilism, which, indeed, was only the old
feudal or municipal ideal adapted to the needs of the national state.

A theory which crystallized the practice of two centuries must have been
more than "an economic fallacy." And, indeed, in the time of Elizabeth
and the first Stuarts it was a condition and not a theory that
confronted England. Many essential commodities had long been imported
from countries which, toward the close of the sixteenth century, were
disposed to place obstacles in the way of English trade. From Baltic
lands came naval stores, and potash so necessary to the woolen industry.
Mediterranean countries furnished salt, dried fruits, sugar, and the
staple luxuries wine and silk. Dyes, saltpeter, and spices from the Far
East were sold to English merchants by the Portuguese or the Dutch; and
at exorbitant prices, for the thrifty Hollanders no sooner got control
of the spice islands than they raised the price of pepper from three to
eight shillings per pound. And it was the Dutch, intrenched in the
European fisheries partly through favors granted by Elizabeth, who
imported into England two thirds of the fish so extensively consumed by
the nation.

While England was dependent upon rivals for many necessities, the
foreign markets for her own products were now becoming inadequate. Apart
from wool, England exported little; but the confiscation of the
monasteries, the ruin of Antwerp, the rising prices resulting from the
influx of silver from New Spain, contributed to stimulate English
industry and to increase in some measure the volume of commodities
seeking markets abroad. Yet the markets were closing in some places and
becoming less accessible in others. "It is publically knowne that
traffique with our neighbor countries begins to be of small request, the
game seldom answering the merchant's adventure, and foraigne states
either are already or at the present are preparing to inriche themselves
with wool and cloth of their own which heretofore they borrowed of us."
English traders were persecuted in Spain; English exports were checked
by tariffs in France and by Sound dues in Denmark; privileges formerly
enjoyed in German towns were being withdrawn in retaliation for the
exclusion of Hanse merchants from advantages long enjoyed in London; and
as for Flanders, heretofore the great mart for English wool, the civil
wars had, as Hakluyt says, "spoiled the traffique there."

The desire to change this untoward condition of things was what inspired
the unwarranted enthusiasm of the time for American and Indian
colonization. The voyages of Willoughby and Frobisher, seeking some
northeast or northwest passage, were but the prelude to the later
voyages by way of the Cape of Good Hope and to the foundation of the
East India Company, the specific purpose of which was to procure the
products of the Orient independently of the Dutch and at lower cost. The
colonization of America it was supposed would serve a similar purpose.
It was still thought to be rich in precious metals; its soil well
adapted to commodities now purchased in the Levant. Its waters would
furnish England with the herring now purchased of the Dutch, and its
forests would make her independent of the Baltic countries for naval
supplies. Once gain a footing in India and America, and the commerce of
England, now so largely foreign, would be diverted into national
channels to the benefit of all concerned: "Our monies and wares that
nowe run into the hands of our adversaries or cowld frendes shall pass
into our frendes and naturall kinsmen and from them likewise we shall
receive such things as shall be most available to our necessities, which
intercourse of trade maye rather be called a home bread traffique than a
forraigne exchange."

The identification of the industrial and political interests of the
nation with the fortunes of the centralized state was necessarily
accompanied by a marked change in the character of international trade.
The national king, whose power rested so largely upon the industrial
class, could not leave in the hands of municipal councils the control
which they had formerly exercised; while long ocean voyages, and traffic
with countries inhabited by alien and often hostile people, required the
combined capital of many men and a more powerful backing than any
municipal council could furnish. Individual trading, therefore, gave way
to corporate trading; the joint-stock company, assisted or controlled by
the state, replaced the individual merchant operating under municipal
encouragement and protection. It was accordingly in the age of
Elizabeth, when English merchants were lamenting the want of markets,
and when English ships were pushing into every part of the world, that
such chartered trading companies made their appearance in rapid
succession, taking their names from the distant regions in which they
obtained a monopoly--Cathay, the Baltic, Turkey, Morocco, Africa. Of
these, and of all subsequent organizations of a similar character, the
most famous in England was the East India Company. By the charter, which
bears date December 31, 1600, two hundred and fifteen knights and
merchants were incorporated into a self-governing association competent
to acquire property in land, and enjoying a monopoly of English trade
with all countries lying east of the Cape of Good Hope as far as the
Straits of Magellan. The laws of the company were required to conform to
those of England, and its officers to take the oath of allegiance to the
Crown. Encountering many obstacles and some serious reverses, the
Company soon established a thriving trade in the Indian Ocean; its
great East Indiamen acquired a fame unique in the annals of commerce;
and the corporation itself, with privileges confirmed and extended by
Charles II, was destined in the eighteenth century to be the chief
instrument in the establishment of England's Indian Empire.


When English knights and merchants set out to establish colonies in the
New World, two familiar institutions were convenient to the purpose--the
proprietary feudal grant, and the chartered trading company; noblemen
ambitious for personal dominion turned naturally to the former, while
merchants intent upon profits turned as naturally to the latter. The
first hapless ventures in American planting, dominated by the idealistic
and militant temper of the Elizabethan age, were initiated and directed
in the spirit of the gentleman adventurer: in the spirit of Sir Humphrey
Gilbert, who identified America with the fabled Atlantis and lost his
life in a pathetic attempt to establish an English colony in
Newfoundland; in the spirit of Sir Walter Raleigh, whose famous lost
colony, settled in the year 1587, exhausted his fortune and disappeared
at last, leaving no trace. These men were less interested in profit than
in reputation; less intent upon commercial expansion than on the
extension of the queen's dominions. But their resources were too
limited, their ideals too little practical for the realization of their
dreams. The patents to Gilbert and Raleigh took the form of a grant of
lordship by feudal tenure; and from the papers left by the former we
can create again, even to details, his vision of a transformed
wilderness, America's future state: an America of extensive proprietary
domains; an America reproducing, in its lords and landed gentry
surrounded by freeholder and tenant, in its counties and boroughs and
parishes, the social and political aristocracy of old England.

The proprietary feudal grant was destined to play its part in the
colonization of America, but the resplendent vision of Gilbert did not
survive the reign of Elizabeth. Raleigh was the last of the great
Elizabethan adventurers, and with the accession of the pedantic James I
the New World was beginning to be regarded in the dry light of a
commercial opportunity. To the knights and merchants who had witnessed
the vain efforts of Gilbert and Raleigh, the chartered company seemed
better adapted to their purposes than the proprietary grant. The methods
that had proved fortunate in the Old World would doubtless prove equally
so in the New; and in the year 1609, men who were already netting one
hundred per cent profit from their investments in the India Company were
prepared to venture something in a solid business scheme to exploit the
resources of America.

A tentative scheme, failing for want of efficient organization, had
already been set on foot. Three years earlier, in 1606, James had been
induced to license sundry of his loving subjects "to deduce and conduct
two several colonies or plantations in America." Among those active in
the undertaking were Bartholomew Gosnold, recently returned from a
Western voyage, Richard Hakluyt, Sir Thomas Gates, Sir George Somers,
and Edward Maria Wingfield, a London merchant. Though not incorporated,
the patentees were formed into two companies, the London Company, so
called because its members were mainly London merchants, and the
Plymouth Company, consisting mainly of merchants from Plymouth and the
west of England. Each company was permitted to establish one colony
having a jurisdiction one hundred miles along the coast and one hundred
miles inland; the London Company anywhere between 34° and 41°, the
Plymouth Company anywhere between 38° and 45°, north latitude; provided
only that no colony should be located within one hundred miles of one
already established. The patent provided that there should be in each
colony, for managing its affairs, a resident council of thirteen members
which was to take instructions from the Royal Council for Virginia, a
body of fourteen men--afterwards enlarged--residing in England and
appointed and controlled by the king. The patentees were permitted to
trade freely within the limits designated by the grant, and to enjoy the
customs dues exacted from other Englishmen and from foreigners who might
wish to compete with them.

After a single vain attempt to establish a colony at Sagadahoc, the
Plymouth Company confined its activities to trade and exploration within
the region to which John Smith in 1614 gave the name of New England. Sir
Fernando Gorges was one of the patentees actively interested in these
ventures; and in 1620 he procured, for himself and associates to the
number of forty, a charter which transformed the old company into a
close corporation under the title of the New England Council or
Corporation for New England. Upon the patentees the charter conferred
the sole right to trade, to grant title to land, and to establish and
govern colonies within the region between 40° and 48°, north latitude,
in America. The New England Council possessed neither the capital nor
the popular support necessary for engaging in colonizing ventures; and
during the fifteen years of its existence it did little but sublet to
others the rights which it possessed. Of the council's land grants, of
which there were many both to individuals and to corporations, and
which, often conflicting, furnished the grounds for innumerable future
disputes, four only are important as the basis of permanent colonies in
New England. The territory at Plymouth was granted to the Pilgrims in
1621; in 1628 the territory between the Merrimac and the Charles Rivers
was conveyed to the Company of Massachusetts Bay; and two grants made in
1629, of territory between the Merrimac and the Piscataqua to John
Mason, of territory between the Piscataqua and the Kennebec to Fernando
Gorges, mark the beginnings of the colonies of New Hampshire and Maine.
All its ventures profited the New England Council nothing. February 3,
1635, the territory within its jurisdiction was parceled out among the
patentees, and on June 7, its charter of fruitless privileges was

It was reserved for the London Company to begin the planting of the
first American commonwealth; but it was by happy chances rather than by
wise foresight in the promoters that the colony outlived the company.
The first comers, who were set down at Jamestown in 1607, would soon
have perished but for the harsh good sense of the redoubtable Captain
John Smith; and two years' experience with the wilderness and the
Indian, with dissensions among settlers and councillors, demonstrated
that the patent was unsuited to the purposes for which it had been
granted. More colonists were needed in the colony, more capital required
to transport and maintain them, more authority to direct and control
them. To meet these needs, a charter was obtained in 1609 which created
an incorporated joint-stock company under the title of "The Treasurer
and Company of Adventurers and Planters of the City of London for the
First Colony of Virginia." Shares were offered for subscription, to be
paid for in money by the adventurers who remained in England, and in
personal service by the planters who went to the colony. Each
shareholder, whether adventurer or planter, was a member of the company,
and was to receive such dividends as his shares might earn. The
undertaking was widely advertised; and when the charter passed the
seals, shares had been subscribed by 659 individuals, including 21
peers, 96 knights, 58 gentlemen, 110 merchants, and 282 citizens, and by
56 of the companies of the City of London.

The affairs of the new company were to be managed by a treasurer and
council, resident in England, and appointed and controlled by the
freemen assembled in general court. The little colony in Virginia was
but an adjunct to the company, and its management was left, without
other than conventional and perfunctory restrictions, to the treasurer
and council, subject to the approval of the freemen. The first treasurer
was Sir Thomas Smythe, who was also the first president of the East
India Company, a great merchant in his day, whose influence in Virginia
was a predominant one until he was succeeded as treasurer by Edwin
Sandys in 1618. Smythe and his associates were little interested in the
transmission of English institutions to the New World. They did not
regard Virginia, as the historian is apt to do, in the interesting light
of an experiment in constitutional liberalism, or conceive of the
company as the mother of nations. Their object was to pay dividends to
the shareholders, and the colonist was expected to exploit the resources
of Virginia for the benefit of the company of which he was a member.
Virginia was in fact a plantation owned by the company; its settlers
were the company's servants, freely transported in its vessels, fed and
housed at its expense, the product of their labor at its disposal for
the benefit of all concerned.

With these ideas in mind, and enlightened by past experience, the
company appointed Sir Thomas Gates to be "sole and absolute Governor,"
and sent him out in 1609, together with five hundred settlers in nine
ships. Two vessels were wrecked, and what with plague and fever less
than half the new colonists ever reached Virginia. The governor was
himself stranded on the Bermudas; and when he finally arrived after nine
months, sixty starving settlers were found scattered along the James
River. Men who had been reduced to eating their dead comrades or the
putrid flesh of buried Indians were scarcely good material for
regenerating a feeble plantation. Sir Thomas Gates, therefore, decided
to abandon the colony. But by a happy chance, as he was sailing with the
survivors down the river, he met Lord de la Warr come from England with
fresh supplies and new recruits; whereupon he turned back, still hoping
to retrieve the desperate fortunes of Virginia.

The decision proved wise in the event. But it was doubtless due to the
drastic measures of the company that the misfortunes of previous years
were not repeated. The governor returned to England, leaving the colony
in the hands of De la Warr, who governed in the spirit of the
instructions issued to Gates at the time of his appointment. Popularly
known as "Dale's Laws," the regulations under which Virginia was finally
made self-supporting were published by Gates after his return in 1611,
under the title of "Articles, Laws and Orders, Divine, Politique, and
Martial for the Government of Virginia." The new code was based upon the
military laws of the Netherlands, and was enforced in the spirit with
which the experience of Gates and Dale had made them familiar. From
blasphemy to disrespect, from murder to idleness or embezzlement of the
common store, the company's servants were liable to meet the knife, the
lash, or the gallows at every turn. Until 1618 the régime of martial law
was maintained; and the settlers stood guard or marched to the fields at
the word of command, scarcely aware, doubtless, that they had been
granted all the liberties enjoyed by men "born within this our realm of

The military régime which made Virginia self-supporting did not make it
prosperous, or profitable to the company. In December, 1618, after an
expenditure of £80,000 sterling, there were in the colony "600 persons,
men, women and children, and cattle three hundred att the most. And the
Company was then lefte in debt neer five thousand pounds." The
hard-headed Smythe saw little prospect of the dividends which the
shareholders were demanding; and he was ready to give way to any one who
still had faith to sink yet more money in the enterprise that for a
dozen years had disappointed every expectation. Such an idealist was Sir
Edwin Sandys. Son of a Puritan Archbishop of York, he had studied at
Oxford under Richard Hooker, whose famous book he had read in
manuscript. The _Ecclesiastical Polity_ had perhaps confirmed Sandys in
a republican way of thinking; and in the year 1618 he was probably a
nonconformist--a "religious gentleman," as Edward Winslow called him: at
all events, a man of humanitarian and anti-prerogative instincts; a
friend of the Earl of Southampton, and leader of those in the company
who were in sympathy with the rising tide of liberal sentiment in
English politics.

The liberal policy which Sandys favored in England, he was now prepared
to adopt for the management of Virginia. Convinced that the military and
joint-stock régime, even if it had ever served a useful purpose, was
retarding the development of the colony, Sandys and Southampton
determined to reverse the policy of their predecessors by instituting
private property in land and conceding a measure of self-government. A
popular assembly was accordingly established in 1619; restrictions on
conduct and religious opinion were relaxed; and land grants, both to
individuals and to corporations, in small and large tracts, were made on
easy terms. It was hoped that an appeal to self-respect and to
self-interest would encourage immigration and foster thrift and
industry. When Sandys became treasurer in 1618 the time seemed
propitious; for it had already been discovered that Virginia tobacco
could be sold at a profit in London; and it was the expectation of
Sandys, by obtaining for the company its fair share of the profit
arising from the importation of tobacco into England, to repay to the
shareholders the long-delayed interest on their investments.

The scheme was not without great possibilities, and the company spared
neither money nor effort to make it a success. Within three years more
than thirty-five hundred emigrants crossed to Virginia. In 1621 the
expenditures of the company had reached a total of £100,000, and in 1624
the amount had been doubled. Yet, quite apart from the high death-rate
which depleted the colony, or the Indian massacre of 1622 which
threatened its existence, all the efforts of Sandys ended in failure.
Drawn into the main current of English politics, the Virginia Company
was unable to live in those troubled waters. James regarded with little
favor the liberalism which Sandys and Southampton were promoting in
England as well as in America. On high moral grounds he disliked the
use of tobacco, and for economic and fiscal reasons was opposed to its
cultivation in Virginia. He was determined, at all events, that such
profits as might arise from its importation should enrich the royal
exchequer rather than a powerful corporation controlled by men who were
carping at the king's prerogative. And the king found support in the
company itself; for Smythe and Warwick turned against the corporation
and furnished pretexts to prove that it had betrayed its trust and
should forfeit its rights. In 1624 the charter was accordingly annulled,
and Virginia became a royal province.

Thus ended the most serious attempt of a commercial company to make
profit out of American planting. Famous and successful in the annals of
colonization, it proved a complete disaster as a financial speculation.
During the reign of Charles I, merchants were therefore but little
disposed to venture their money in enterprises of that kind. Nor was
Charles himself, who guarded the royal prerogative more jealously even
than James had done, likely to look with favor upon the creation of
corporations which would prove useless in case of failure and might
prove dangerous if they succeeded. The rough sea of politics in the time
of the second Stuart was unsuited to floating successful colonial
ventures of any kind under governmental sanction; but in so far as he
was disposed to further the development of America, it was natural
enough for Charles, who found that his usurping Parliament was backed by
the mercantile interest, to frown upon colonial corporations, and to
make use of the proprietary feudal grant as a means of rewarding the
courtiers and nobles who supported him. The very year that the New
England Council surrendered its charter, Archbishop Laud was urging the
king to recall that of Massachusetts Bay. It was a few years later that
Fernando Gorges was made Lord Proprietor of Maine; a few years earlier
that Lord Baltimore, a loyal supporter of the House of Stuart, received
a feudal grant after the manner of the Durham Palatinate of that part of
Virginia which was to be known as the Province of Maryland.


The best accounts of early exploration and settlement in America are in
Channing's _History of the United States_, I, chaps. III-VII; and
Bourne's _Spain in America_, chaps, VI-IX. An admirable account of the
activities of English seamen in the sixteenth century is given by Walter
Raleigh in volume XII of his edition of Hakluyt's _Voyages_. An
interesting contemporary narrative of Drake's voyage around the world is
in Hakluyt's _Voyages_ (Raleigh ed.), XI, pp. 101-33. Hakluyt's
_Discourse on Western Plantinge_ is in the Maine Historical Society
Collections, series II, vol. II. For the rise of the chartered trading
companies, and their connection with early American colonizing
companies, see Cheyney's _Background of American History_, chaps.
VII-VIII. The best discussion of the English interest in colonization at
the opening of the seventeenth century is in Beer's _The Origins of the
British Colonial System_, chaps. I-III. The most elaborate and learned
account of the colonies in the seventeenth century is that of Osgood,
_The American Colonies in the 17th Century_, 3 vols. Macmillan, 1904.
The most readable account of the founding of Virginia is in Fiske's _Old
Virginia and Her Neighbours_, I chaps. I-VI. John Smith's account of the
settlement of Jamestown is in his _True Relation_, printed in Arber,
_Works of Captain John Smith_. Birmingham, 1884.


[1] _Pesos_=approximately $3.00.



     _They are too delicate and unfitte to beginne new Plantations and
     Collonies, that cannot endure the biting of a muskeeto._


     _To authorize an untruth, by toleration of State, is to build a
     sconce against the Walls of Heaven, to batter God out of his

     _The Cobler of Aggawam._

     _I have often wondered in my younger dayes how the Pope came to
     such a height of arogancie, but since I came to New England I have
     perceived the height of that tripple crowne, and also the depth of
     that sea._



Those who looked to America for great financial profit or immediate
political advantage were disappointed. The seventeenth century had run
half its course before the colonies became an important asset to the
English Government: no gold came from them to enrich its treasury, few
supplies to furnish its navy, while the revenue, derived from its slowly
growing trade was insignificant. Equally deceptive was the New World as
a field for corporate exploitation. The sagacity of Thomas Smythe and
the idealism of Edwin Sandys were alike unavailing. Before the Virginia
Company was dissolved in 1624 it had sunk nearly two hundred thousand
pounds in its venture "withoutt returne either of profitt or of any part
of the principall"; and in 1660 Lord Baltimore, whose colony was well
established, was himself living in straitened circumstances.

Yet within sixty years after the Susan Constant entered the James River,
seven colonies were firmly planted on the coast of North America:
Virginia and Maryland to the south; Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth,
Connecticut and Rhode Island, in New England; and between the two groups
of English settlements was the Dutch colony of New Netherland on the
Hudson. Within the limits of these colonies dwelt a population of more
than seventy thousand people, economically self-sufficing, possessed of
well-defined political institutions and clearly marked types of social
and intellectual life. The English migration and the founding of the
English colonies was in fact due mainly to the initiative of the
colonists themselves; and the institutions which they established in
America were different from those which statesmen and traders had
imagined. The character of colonial life and institutions was determined
by the motives which induced the settlers to leave the land of their
birth, by the inherited traditions which they carried with them into the
wilderness, and by the wilderness itself--the circumstances which, in
the new country, closed them round.

The motives which induced many Englishmen to come to America in the
seventeenth century must be sought in the profound social changes
occurring in the time of Elizabeth and the first Stuarts. The high hopes
with which the Virginia Company looked forward to successful
colonization were partly inspired by the prevailing belief that England
was overpopulated. There was much to justify the belief. The reign of
Elizabeth witnessed a striking increase in the number of unemployed, the
poverty-stricken, and the vagabond. The destruction of the monasteries
left the poor and defenseless without their accustomed sources of
relief; while steadily rising prices, due partly to the increased supply
of silver from the Spanish-American mines, were not infrequently
disastrous to those who were already living close to the margin of
subsistence. As never before country roads and the streets of towns were
encumbered with the vagrant poor, and the jails and almshouses were
filling up, as a result of Elizabethan legislation, with petty thieves,
"rogues and sturdy beggars."

That the surplus population would readily flow into the colonies, to the
advantage of all concerned, was the common belief. For successful
colonization, said the author of _Nova Britannia_ in 1609, but two
things are essential, people and money; and "for the first wee need not
doubt, our land abounding with swarms of idle persons, so that if wee
seeke not some waies for their foreine employment, wee must provide
shortly more prisons and corrections for their bad conditions." Yet for
more than a decade one of the chief difficulties of the Virginia Company
was to procure settlers. Reports from Virginia were discouraging. The
prosperous preferred to remain at home, and the company had "to take any
that could be got of any sort on any terms." Little wonder that the
colony for many years barely survived. It survived only by taking on
the character of a penal camp, in which the settlers worked for the
company that fed them, and ordered their daily routine by the
regulations of martial law.

The settlement was doubtless saved from destruction, but it did not
greatly prosper, under the military and joint-stock régime; for "when
our people were fed out of the common store, glad was he who could slip
from his labour or slumber over his task he cared not how." The first
step in the abolition of the joint stock was taken in 1616 when Sir
Thomas Dale "allotted to every man three acres of land in the nature of
farms." It was the beginning of better things, since not even the most
honest men, when working for the company, "would take so much pains in a
weeke as now for themselves they would do in a day." The first general
distribution was made in 1618, and within a few years the communistic
system was a thing of the past. Throughout the century the "head right"
was the nominal basis for the granting of land: fifty acres were
regarded as the equivalent of the cost of transporting one colonist. But
in fact the head right was customarily evaded. The payment of from one
to five shillings was usually sufficient to secure title to fifty acres,
and in 1705 the practice was legalized. Titles so secured were burdened
with the payment of a small quit-rent to the state; but the quit-rent
was difficult to collect, was often in arrears, and sometimes never

A greater incentive to settlement than free land was the discovery of a
crop that could be exported at a profit. Virginia had been founded to
raise silk and tropical products, and to supply England with naval
stores. But the difficulties were greater than had been anticipated, and
in 1616, when John Rolfe, having discovered a superior method of curing
the leaf, sold a cargo of native tobacco in London at a profit, the
future of Virginia was assured. Neither the plans of the company nor the
scruples of the king could prevail against the force of economic
self-interest. Twenty thousand pounds were exported in 1619, forty
thousand in 1622, sixty thousand in 1624. Tobacco became at once, and in
spite of long opposition on the part of the home Government remained,
the chief enterprise of the colony. Virginia was founded on tobacco, and
like the other Southern colonies, sacrificed everything to the raising
of her most important commodity; and for Virginia, as for the other
Southern colonies, the conditions necessary for the cultivation of her
great staple were of determining influence in the development of her
social institutions.

Those who were interested in the Virginia Company loudly proclaimed that
the recall of the charter would ruin the colony. But it was population,
rather than corporate or royal control, that Virginia needed, and the
profits from tobacco proved a more powerful incentive to large families
and immigration than all the efforts of king or company. Within a decade
after 1624 the number of settlers increased from 1232 to 5000. In 1649
the population had reached 15,000, and in 1670 it stood at 38,000. Land
was virtually free to those who could pay for the cost of clearing, and
the rich soil of the tide-water bottoms assured an easy living and the
prospect of accumulating a competence. As the conditions of life grew
easier, the Virginians, with the true instinct of frontiersmen,
described America as God's country, abounding in every good thing:
"Seldom any that hath continued in Virginia any time will or do desire
to live in England, but put back with what expedition they can." The
glowing accounts which reached England appealed to those of every class
whose straitened circumstances or unsatisfied ambitions disposed them to
a hazard of new fortunes. The yeoman farmer, whose income was small and
whose children would always remain yeomen; the lawyer and the physician,
the merchant and the clergyman, ambitious to become landowners and play
the gentleman; younger sons of the country gentry, for whom there were
no assured avenues of advancement: these felt the call of the New World.
Fretted by social restrictions, or pinched by rising standards of
living, they saw Virginia in the light of their ideals, and were willing
to exchange a safe but restricted position for the chance of economic
and social enfranchisement.

Since the main road to wealth and influence in Virginia was the raising
of tobacco, every emigrant with capital to invest at once became a
landowner; and the conditions of tobacco-planting disposed him to
enlarge his estate as rapidly as possible. It is true that one advantage
of tobacco over other products was its high acreage value. But the price
ordinarily was low, and many acres were necessary for large net
returns. Besides, the soil was soon exhausted, so that the successful
planter found it necessary to be always acquiring new land in order to
let the old lie fallow. It thus happened that, in spite of the cost of
clearing and the danger from the Indians, Virginia was not settled, as
its founders had intended, in compact towns modeled upon the English
borough, but in widely separated plantation groups, stretching far up on
both sides of the James River. The average size of patents granted
before 1649 was about four hundred and fifty acres; in the period
between 1666 and 1679 the average had risen to nearly nine hundred,
while there were ten patents ranging from ten to twenty thousand acres
each. By 1685 a total population not exceeding that of the London parish
of Stepney had acquired title to an area as large as all England.

For clearing and planting so large an area much unskilled labor was
essential. In Virginia, and in all the Southern colonies with the
exception of North Carolina, there accordingly existed, side by side
with the landowning planter class, and sharply distinct from it, a
servile laboring class which formed a large part of the total
population. In 1619, we are told, "came a Dutch man of war with 20
negars." The ship was probably English rather than Dutch. In either case
the circumstance marks the beginning of African slavery in the English
continental colonies; but the importation of slaves was slight until the
close of the century, and the laborers who cleared the forests and
worked the fields were largely supplied by contract, and were known as
"servants." The servant was a person bound over for a term of years to
the planter who paid his transportation or purchased the contract right
from its original owner. The term of service varied from two to seven
years, at the expiration of which the servant became a freeman.
Ex-servants sometimes migrated to other colonies, notably to North
Carolina after the foundation of that colony, or in the next century to
the up-country beyond the "fall line"; but many became renters or
tenants on the estates of the large planters, or in time became planters
themselves. The servant class included some condemned criminals and
political offenders, and some educated and cultured people who had
fallen on evil times; but they came mostly from the jails, the
almshouses, or the London streets. They were the unfortunate and the
dispossessed rather than the vicious--men who were vagabonds because
there was nothing for them to do, or petty thieves because they were
starving. They were, none the less, an inferior and a servile class. The
colonial law made no great distinction between the servant for life and
the servant for a term of years; during the term of his indenture, the
latter was subject to his master, driven and whipped like the negro
slave with whom he worked and ate and with whom he was classed.

Less clearly defined than the distinction between the free and the
unfree was the distinction, which began to develop toward the middle of
the century, and which was doubtless accentuated by the Cavalier
migration from England during the Commonwealth period, between the small
and the large landowner. The master of a great estate, enjoying a
certain leisure and exercising a political and social influence denied
to the average freeman, was set above the mass of the planters much as
in England the titled nobility was set above the gentry. Of this small
but important class, the first William Byrd was a notable example.
Uniting in his ancestry the Cavalier and the Roundhead traditions, he
inherited, before the age of twenty, 1800 acres of land and a recognized
social position in the colony. Before his death he had built up an
estate of 26,000 acres, which his son, in the next century, increased to
179,000 acres. He was at once planter, merchant, politician, and social
leader. His caravans of from fifty to one hundred pack-horses penetrated
regularly for many years to the Cherokee country beyond the Blue Ridge
Mountains. The furs which they brought back, together with the products
of his plantation, were exported to England and elsewhere in payment for
slaves, servants, or other commodities which were periodically landed at
his private wharf to be used on his own estate or retailed from his
general store to the small planters roundabout. Before he reached the
age of thirty, Byrd became, and remained throughout his life, a leader
in his own county and in the colony at large--a colonel of militia, a
burgess in the assembly, and member of the governor's council.

From the middle of the century Virginia society thus began to take on
the character which it retained throughout the colonial period. The
colony was primarily a rural and an agricultural community, combining in
curious fashion the democratic spirit of the frontier with the
aristocratic temper of an older civilization. The unit of social
organization was the plantation, which naturally tended to become, and
in the case of the larger plantations often became in fact, relatively
complete and self-sufficing--a little world in itself. The planter,
surrounded by his family and his servants and cut off from intimate or
frequent contact with his neighbors, producing, for the most part in
abundance, all the necessities and many of the luxuries of life, was
master of his _entourage_ and but little dependent upon the outside
world. Inevitably the conditions of plantation life developed the
aristocratic spirit, the sense of mastery and independence which comes
from directing inferiors in an isolated and self-sufficing enterprise.

Influences of environment were strengthened by the traditions which the
settlers had inherited. Neither planter nor servant came to America with
utopian ideals of society or government. It was discontent not dissent
that drove them out. Dissatisfied with their position in the English
social system, they were yet well content with the system itself; a
system which they were willing enough to establish in the New World in
the hope of obtaining in it a more desirable position for themselves.
And so it happened that the laborer and the farmer, the small landowner
and the master of a great estate, the clergyman and the high official,
were disposed to take as a matter of course the position which custom
assigned them, and in that position to exercise the authority and render
the obedience which was proper to it.

Tradition and environment thus conspired to establish a government in
which initiative and leadership fell to the great planters, while the
mass of the freemen exercised a restrained and limited supervision. It
was a happy accident, rather than any strong popular demand, that gave
to Virginia an elected chamber. Sir Edwin Sandys and the Earl of
Southampton, who gained control of the Virginia Company in 1618, hoped
to put the enterprise on a paying basis by lavish land grants and
liberal concessions in respect to religious and political liberty.
Governor Yeardley was accordingly sent out in 1619 with instructions to
call together "two Burgesses from each Plantation, freely to be elected
by the inhabitants thereof." In June of the same year twenty-two
burgesses, representing eleven districts, together with the governor and
council, assembled in the church at Jamestown and inaugurated
representative government in Virginia by passing a body of laws in which
the customs of England were adapted to the conditions of a frontier
community. After the dissolution of the company in 1624 the appointment
of the governor and council vested in the Crown, but the House of
Burgesses, elected at first by the freemen, but after the Restoration on
the basis of a freehold test, was continued. From the first the
assembly, filled by planters, exercised a beneficial influence in giving
a practical character to the laws of the province; while on certain
occasions, and notably during the period of the Commonwealth, it was the
dominant influence in the government of the colony.

But for the most part the assembly was the instrument rather than the
source of power. The directing influence was usually in the hands of the
great planter who combined the functions of merchant and country
gentleman, lawyer and politician and social leader. His knowledge of law
and his familiarity with affairs, his social connection and influence,
his greater leisure, the traditional authority which hung about his
position, all disposed the small planters to accept his initiative and
abide by his decisions. It was difficult to defeat his candidate for the
burgesses; difficult for the elected burgess not to defer to his
opinion. And if the great planters were influential among the burgesses,
they were predominant in the council. The home Government expected the
governor to manage the affairs of the colony by gathering to his support
the most wealthy and influential men in it. Accordingly, the great
planters were customarily appointed to the local offices and to the
council. Generally speaking, the governor and the great planters
established a community of interest on an exchange of favors. The small
group of men in the council, related by marriage, ambitious, shrewd, and
pushing, already wealthy or bound to become so, supported with
reasonable loyalty the royal interests, and found their reward in
exploiting, through the political machinery which they controlled, the
resources of the colony for their own profit. This compact was the basis
of the long régime of Berkeley. But the governor was made aware of the
source of his strength when he trespassed upon the preserves of the
oligarchy which supported him. His attempt to control the Indian trade
drove men like Colonel Byrd over to the side of Bacon, and the authority
of the governor collapsed like a pricked balloon.

Of this oligarchy of politician-planters, Colonel Byrd was indeed the
most notable. Already wealthy and influential, in 1687 he went to London
and secured, through the favor of William Blathwayt, the office of
receiver-general of the customs, to which was attached the office of
escheator; offices, among the most important in the colony, which he
held until his death. It was the duty of the receiver to receive the
quit-rents, and to receive them, at the option of the taxpayer, in
tobacco in exchange for certificates at the rate of about eight
shillings per hundredweight. Tobacco so received was stored in
warehouses, and sold at the close of the year by the receiver-general
for the benefit of the customs. The tobacco offered for the quit-rents
was naturally of inferior quality. Such as it was, the king favored
selling it at auction. But the Virginia assembly preferred to have the
receiver dispose of it by "private arrangement"; and in fact Colonel
Byrd found it convenient to make such "private arrangements" with
burgesses or members of the council, who sometimes paid as much as six
shillings for tobacco which would bring ten or twelve in the open

Members of the legislature who profited by such practices were doubtless
willing to stretch a point in favor of the receiver of the customs. In
1679, before he had become receiver, Colonel Byrd was able to obtain
from the assembly, on condition of maintaining fifty armed men to repel
Indian attacks on the frontier, a grant of ten thousand acres at the
Falls extending on both sides of the James River. The grant was
disallowed in England, but other grants of great value were obtained
with little difficulty. Patents were easily obtained, but they did not
become effective until the land was "settled" by clearing and
cultivating a minimum tract. For a poor man this was the chief obstacle
to acquiring a great estate; but a rich man was often able to avoid it
altogether. In 1688, Byrd secured a patent for 3313 acres. He failed to
"settle" it and the title lapsed. But the land could not be granted
again until the lapse of title was officially declared in the office of
the escheator. Colonel Byrd was fortunately escheator as well as
receiver, and the lapse of his own title was not declared until 1701,
when the same tract was immediately repatented to Nathaniel Harrison,
who straightway transferred it to his neighbor and very good friend, the
original patentee. In like manner the colonel preëmpted 5644 acres of
land, which he held without improvement for ten years when it was
transferred to his son.

The aristocracy, of which Colonel Byrd was a shining light, nevertheless
held by a somewhat precarious tenure. The crude and primitive conditions
of the wilderness, restricting both the occupations and the diversions
of life within narrow limits, inevitably ran the thoughts of men in much
the same mould. The routine of work and pleasure was much the same on
the great plantation as on the small: clearing and planting, spinning
and weaving, dancing and horse-racing, neighborly hospitality which was
generous and sincere because the opportunity to exercise it was rare,
attendance at church or at the county court, at elections, at the annual
muster--it was a range of activities too limited to permit of any
deep-seated sense of difference between man and man.

And, indeed, the main basis of distinction in this new world was a
purely external one--the possession of wealth; and wealth was in no
unreal sense the bequest of nature to capacity. Initiative and industry,
rather than the dead hand of custom, marked a man for distinction and
preferment. It was the land of opportunity where the servant could
become the farmer, the farmer a planter, where the planter, acquiring by
skill or happy chance a great estate, thereby entered in with the
political and social grandees. There were classes but no castes; not
birth or title, but individual enterprise determined rank and influence.
And in an undeveloped country the possession of a great estate was not a
social grievance, but an evidence of success in the perennial contest
with nature, the measure of personal prowess and a test of civic virtue.
The enrichment of Colonel Byrd, even by ways that were devious, was
viewed with complacence by his neighbors so long as it harmed them not.
Yet the submission of the small to the great planter was a convenience
rather than a necessity. The wilderness, with the Indian as a part of
it, developed a crude and a ruthless spirit, but never a cringing or a
submissive one. The gentleman and the magistrate were deferred to, but
neither was regarded as sacrosanct; and when, in the régime of Berkeley,
special privilege in alliance with official corruption seemed to be
narrowing the chances of the common man, the insurgent spirit of
frontier democracy, denying the validity of distinctions and demanding
fair play, found militant expression in Bacon's Rebellion. The episode
was an early instance of that struggle between rich and poor, between
exploiter and exploited, of that stubborn insistence upon equal
opportunity which have so often characterized the more decisive periods
of American history.


The origin of New England is inseparably connected with the Protestant
Reformation, that many-sided movement of which no formula is adequate to
convey the full meaning. From one point of view it was the
nationalization of the Church, the subjection of the ecclesiastical to
the lay power. In the end the principle of territorial sovereignty
everywhere prevailed, in Catholic no less than in Protestant countries:
whether Lutheran or Gallican or Anglican, whether completely separated
from Rome or retaining a spiritual communion with it, the Church
submitted to the principle of _cujus regio ejus religio_, and became an
instrument in the hands of kings for erecting the lay and territorial
absolutism on the ruins of the universal church-state. James I spoke for
all his kind when he cried out, "No Bishop no King!" The lay prince
wished not to destroy the Church, but to use it; the sum of his purpose
was to transfer the ultimate authority in conduct and thought from the
divinely appointed priest to the divinely appointed king.

But the Reformation was far more than resistance to Rome. It did not
cease when the king triumphed over the Pope. The "dissidence of dissent
and the Protestantism of the Protestant religion" was as incompatible
with royal as with priestly authority. In this "reformation of the
Reformation" the strength of the movement was everywhere in the towns.
It was generally true, and nowhere more so than in England, that
Protestantism was the result of a middle-class revolt against the
existing régime, a denial of established standards in politics and
morality, the determined attempt to effect a transvaluation of all
customary values.

The quarrel of the middle-class man with the world as he found it was of
long standing. In the feudal-ecclesiastical structure, fairly complete
in the eleventh century and to outward seeming still intact in the
fifteenth, there was no prepared niche for the _bourgeois_. The peasant
to obey and serve; the noble to fight and rule; the priest to instruct
and pray:--these, all in their different ways respected and respectable
careers, completed the sum of God's purpose in arranging the occupations
of men. Yet into this trinity the _bourgeois_ had intruded his unwelcome
presence. The secret of his rise was the skill of his hand to fashion
material things, and his practical intelligence to care for them.
Neither personal service nor personal prowess was the source of his
power. Untouched by the principle of homage or of _noblesse oblige_, he
commanded, or was himself commanded, through the medium of material
values. He put money in his purse because it was the measure of his
independence, the symbol of his worth; and he kept it there, guarding it
as the priest guarded his faith or the noble his honor. Long occupation
with the concrete world of affairs had given his mind a peculiar
quality; his intelligence was direct and firm, his thinking clear and
dry, without atmosphere, unrelieved by poetic imagination or the play of

Set apart by occupation and temperament, the middle-class man had little
in common with either the servile or the ruling class; little in common
with the noble who despised his birth, ridiculed his manners, envied his
wealth; little with the priest who found him too rigid, too intelligent,
too reserved with his money and his soul to be a good son of the Church;
little with the peasant who renounced him as a renegade or ignored him
as a _parvenu_. All these benefits the _bourgeois_ returned in full
measure, despising the peasant for his ignorance and servility resenting
the inquisitiveness of the clergy and the condescension of the nobility,
at the same time that he aspired to the power of the one and the
superior position of the other. And from the outside world the
_bourgeois_ had secured a measure of protection. With his money he had
purchased corporate independence and enfranchisement from feudal
obligation. The gild, at once an industrial enterprise, a religious
association, and a charitable foundation, bound him to his fellows and
rounded out his life.

At the close of the fifteenth century many circumstances had contributed
to identify the interests of the small country gentry with those of the
moderately well-to-do townsman, and to set them both in opposition to
the higher nobility and the wealthier merchants and promoters. The
control of trade was passing from the master merchant to the
capitalist, from the city to the state. Powerful financial monopolists
like the Fuggers and the Welsers, in alliance with the territorial
prince or the national government, were undermining the industrial
independence of town and gild. Exactions of State and Church were
increasing. The growing extravagance and immorality of the wealthy, both
burgher and noble, was matched by the worldliness of the upper clergy,
and accompanied by the decay of spiritual interests, the accentuation of
ritual and ceremony, and increased reliance upon external and formal
works as sufficient for salvation. From this world of the high-placed
favorites of fortune, where corruption flourished unashamed and power
was too often exercised without a redeeming sense of obligation, the
middle class was already withdrawing at the close of the fifteenth
century. The townsmen in Germany found satisfaction for their spiritual
and intellectual interests in reviving the religious activities of the
gilds, and in the formation of lay religious societies in which a
simplified form of worship was accompanied by study of the Bible and the
preaching of the unworldly virtues of upright living. It was this
separation of the _bourgeois_ from the world in which he lived that
constitutes the first protest, the beginning of the Protestant movement.

Ideal constructions are doubtless the psychic precipitates of social
experience, and the Protestant theory was but the reasoned expression of
the middle-class state of mind. Thwarted by the existing world of fact,
the leaders employed their practical and dexterous intelligence to
create a new world of semblance, a world of the spirit, in which the
way was illumined by the light of reason, and the individual rather than
the social conscience gave the sense of right direction. Material for
such a philosophy was ready to hand. The practice and the thinking of
the apostolic churches had been newly discovered by the study of the
secular and the sacred past; and the essence of all Protestant thinking
was implied in the phrase in which Luther embodied the teaching of St.
Paul: "Good works do not make the good man, but the good man does good
works." Not the conventional judgments of society, expressed through the
commands of Church or State, but the individual conscience, justified by
faith in God's purpose, determines a man's merit. St. Augustine's ideal
City of God was thus once more set over against the visible secular
world of man. Into this intangible community, a house not made with
hands, the elect and the select withdrew themselves, abiding there as in
a refuge, untouched by the corruptions of a spotted world, seeking with
humility the will of God and submitting with all the pride of conscious
merit to law.

As the middle-class experience implied the Protestant theory of
religion, it implied the Puritan conception of morals and conduct.
Puritanism originated in the towns for the same reason that it lingers
in the country; it was formerly the townsman rather than the countryman
whose ideas and manner of living stamped him as peculiar. The spiritual
and social isolation of the townsman is therefore the source of the
outward impassiveness of the Puritan, as well as of the intensity of
his inner experience: the continued impact of noble or priestly contempt
had crusted his nature with a manner that was rigid and resistant and
undemonstrative, beneath which smouldered the explosive forces of
thwarted ambition and the sense of unrecognized intellectual and moral
excellence. Conscious of a worth which society ignored, he transformed
his qualities into virtues, and erected his virtues into social
standards of value. Prudence and economy, restraint of manner, denial of
the sensuous and the sensual appeal, reserve of soul, the unmoved
endurance of the pricks of fortune--these became the virtues of the
Puritan because they were not the virtues of the world which despised
him: by these self-erected standards he justified himself and passed
judgment on the society in which he felt himself an alien and a

Opposition was therefore but fuel to the Puritan flame. Every
persecution of society or obstacle of nature encountered in the endeavor
to withdraw from the world was a confirmation of its corruption, a
device of the devil to tempt him astray, or God's wise method of testing
his faith. To persevere was the very proof of his election, the sure
evidence of right thinking. The doctrine of eternal torment in hell,
said Jonathan Edwards, used to appear "like a horrible doctrine to me. I
remember very well when I seemed convinced, and fully satisfied, but
never could give an account how, or by what means I was thus convinced."
The very painfulness of the idea was doubtless what induced him to
accept it. It was not the truth of the doctrine convincing his
intellect, but the discipline of the will involved in vanquishing the
horror of it, that gave him peace; so that in the end it seemed to him,
not so much true, but "exceeding pleasant, bright, and sweet." St.
Augustine furnished us one of the keys to Puritanism when he said: "No
man loves what he endures, but he may love to endure." The Puritan loved
to endure. To expect resistance and to meet it unmoved; to welcome
calumny and reviling with a steadfast mind; to transform a hostile
verdict of the majority into an unconscious award of merit:--such was
the Puritan temper in its most distinguished representatives.


In England the Puritan temper was given its effective edge during the
latter years of Elizabeth and the reigns of the first Stuarts. The
Armada was scarcely destroyed before the queen assumed a less
complaisant attitude toward dissent. James I warned the clergy at
Hampden Court that he would make them conform or harry them out of the
land. The third decade of the century witnessed the triumph of
Anti-Christ on every hand: in Germany the success of imperial arms was
crowned by the Edict of Restitution; with the capture of Rochelle, the
Huguenots in France lost their towns of refuge and found themselves at
the mercy of the state; and in England itself the first Charles, more
absolutist and more Catholic than his father, was thought to aim at
nothing less than the ruin of Parliament and the restoration of the
Roman religion. Under the stress of opposition there was accordingly a
marked accentuation of the Puritan and the Separatist spirit. To
Nonconformist and Independent alike the truth became more clear the more
it was traduced and maligned. Year by year there was a deepening sense
of being in the world but not of it; and to those who were already
spiritual exiles, the idea of removing to America came to seem but the
outward expression of an inner fact: "All the churches of Europe have
been brought under desolation; it maybe feared that the like judgements
are coming upon us; and who knows but God hath provided this place to be
a refuge for many, whom he meanes to save out of the generall

It was not the Puritan Nonconformists who first sought refuge on
American shores, but a less aggressive people, who were called Brownists
in derision, but who called themselves Separatists. Robert Browne first
formulated the doctrines of the sect; but its origin, and the reasons
for its persistence in the face of bitter persecution, are not
altogether clear. Poor in purse and feeble in numbers, Separatism found
adherents chiefly in London and Norfolk, and among the lower classes of
artisans and countrymen. It was in London and Norfolk that many thousand
Dutch refugees found homes during the reign of Elizabeth; and it was in
Norfolk that a kind of unofficial, lay religion had been for many
decades a marked feature of craft gild activities. Dutch influence and
the practice of the gilds may have furnished a fruitful soil for the
propagation of Separatism; but the leaders who formulated its doctrines
and ideals were mainly educated Englishmen, graduates of Cambridge many
of them, whose deliberate thinking carried them from Anglicanism to
Nonconformity, and from Nonconformity to Separatism. Such was Robert
Browne the founder, John Greenwood, Henry Barrowe, and John Penry; and
such were the later leaders, William Brewster and John Robinson. These
men, like the Puritans, were Calvinistic in doctrine; like the Puritans,
they held that true Christians formed an ideal commonwealth, whose ruler
Christ was, and whose law was the Bible; like the Puritans, they
believed that the test of the true Christian was an inner spiritual
condition bearing fruit in right living, rather than external conformity
to established custom. But the Separatist was at once less aggressive
and more radical than the Puritan Nonconformist. Desiring toleration for
himself, he accorded it to others; submitting to persecution, he refused
to practice it; and convinced that no purification of the Established
Church could make it the true house of God, his cardinal doctrine was
the separation of the spiritual and the temporal commonwealths. It was
the merit of the Separatist to have caught that inspiring vision which
was denied to most Protestant sects--the vision of the day when it
belongeth not to the magistrate "to compell religion, to plant churches
by power, and to force a submission to Ecclesiasticall Government by
lawes and penalties."

When the seventeenth century opened, exile for opinion's sake was no new
thing for this despised and persecuted sect; and the little Separatist
congregation of Scrooby which John Robin son led out of England in 1608
had doubtless read in Foxe's _Book of Martyrs_ of the many early
Protestants who had removed in the days of Mary to live unmolested at
Basel or Geneva. They themselves could endure persecution with a
steadfast heart. But they were unable to prevail against the "errors,
heresies, and wonderful dissentions" which the devil had begun to sow
even among the elect, and so crossed to Holland and settled in
Amsterdam. In Amsterdam they were, indeed, free from persecution; but
the conditions of life were unfamiliar there, and the dissensions more
bitter even than in England. Therefore they moved on to Leyden, where
they were joined by other English congregations, and where they
remained, "knit together as a body in the most strict and sacred bond
and covenant of the Lord." Yet even there the world compassed them about
and was not to be resisted. Of the grinding toil which made them old
before their time they could not complain; but their children,
associating with foreigners and disposed to marry with them, were losing
their language and departing from their early instruction; while the
renewal of the war with Spain threatened the liberty they enjoyed in
their new home. To preserve the true faith intact, it was necessary to
withdraw still more completely from the world; and they turned to
America where they would be as isolated in fact as they were in idea.
And so they "left that goodly and pleasant citie, which had been their
resting place near 12 years; but they knew they were pilgrimes, and
looked not much upon these things, but lift up their eyes to the
heavens, their dearest countrie, and quieted their spirits."

Of many attempts to withdraw from the corruptions of a complex world of
fact in order to dwell in spiritual peace according to the simple law of
God or nature, few are more interesting than that which issued in the
little colony of Plymouth. But in point of numbers, and in respect to
the storm and stress of conflicting ideals which produce great events,
Plymouth was soon eclipsed by Massachusetts Bay. The repressive measures
of Elizabeth and James I bore less heavily on the Nonconformist than on
the Separatist; but during the early years of Charles the activities of
the former became the special object of royal displeasure. And from the
point of view of the king the Nonconformist who wished to remain in the
Church was, indeed, more dangerous than the Separatist who wished to get
out of it. The great majority of the Puritans were still of the former
type. Men like Cotton and Winthrop, less spiritual and more practical,
less unworldly and more resistant, than men like Robinson and Bradford,
were not prepared to renounce the land of their birth without a
struggle. They wished rather to get control of the Government in order
that their own ideas might prevail, and were more disposed to purify a
corrupt society by act of Parliament than by passive renunciation and
unobtrusive example.

And in the third decade of the century the Puritans were well on the way
to the control of Church and Parliament. All over England they were
sending to Westminster men of their own stubborn temper for whom
political and religious liberty were but two sides of the same shield.
They were buying up impropriated tithes and gaining control of
appointments to livings. In hundreds of parishes the congregations
remained outside while the official reader intoned the service from the
Prayer Book, and then entered to hear their chosen minister preach
doctrines that boded ill to the cause of royal authority. To the
over-sanguine it might have seemed that episcopacy was beginning to
break down into congregationalism, and congregationalism laying the
foundation for control of Parliament, when Charles I, in March, 1629,
pronounced the famous dissolution that marked the beginning of his
personal rule. It was then that many Nonconformists, despairing of
success at home, began to look to America as God's appointed refuge
"from the generall callamitie"; and the ten years from 1630 to 1640,
during which the king endeavored with the aid of Wentworth to dispense
with Parliament, and with the aid of Laud to crush out Nonconformity, is
precisely the period of the great Puritan migration to New England.

In the summer of that very year 1629 a group of Nonconformists, under
the lead of John Winthrop, a gentleman of Suffolk whose estate was
becoming inadequate to his customary manner of living, convinced
themselves that they could best serve God by renouncing the struggle
against king and bishop in order to set up in America a "due form of
Government both civil and ecclesiastical." And for such an enterprise it
seemed that the way had been miraculously prepared. In March, 1628, John
Endicott and five associates had obtained from the New England Council a
grant of land extending from a point three miles north of the Merrimac
River to three miles south of the Charles, and westward from the
Atlantic as far as the South Sea. The enterprise had in the mean time
been joined by many Nonconformists, and in 1629 the associates obtained
from the king a charter which confirmed their rights to the land, and in
addition authorized them, under the title of "The Governor and Company
of Massachusetts Bay," to establish and govern colonies within the
limits of their jurisdiction. All the powers of the company were
intrusted to a governor, deputy-governor, and board of eighteen
assistants, with the final authority in the freemen assembled in general
court. The officers were elected by the freemen of the company, and
freemen were admitted to the company by the officers. The charter
originally provided for the "election of the Governor and officers here
in England"; but before it passed the seals the phrase was omitted:
"With much difficulty," says Winthrop, "we got it rescinded." The change
was of vital importance for those who were preparing to set up, as free
as possible from all outside authority, a "due form of Government both
civil and ecclesiastical." Since the charter did not require the
company's elections to be held in England, the freemen and officers had
but to remove to America to transform a commercial corporation into a
self-governing colony.

With this end in view, the offices of the company were transferred to
those who signified their intention of removing. In March, 1630, all
arrangements were completed, and over a thousand people, including the
governor and officers of the company, left England. When they landed at
Salem in June the prospect was so disheartening that some two hundred
returned in the ships that brought them out; and of those who went on to
Boston Harbor two hundred died before December. The unfavorable reports
of those who returned discouraged migration for many months; but for ten
years after 1632 the repressive measures of Laud and Wentworth produced
a veritable exodus, so that in 1643 the population of Massachusetts Bay
is estimated to have been not less than sixteen thousand.

The leaders of the migration were substantial and hard-headed laymen
like Winthrop and Dudley, and able and conscientious clergymen such as
Cotton, Norton and Wilson, Davenport, Thomas Hooker, and Richard Mather.
During the eclipse of Parliament and the Country party in England, the
former found many avenues of advancement closed, while their estates,
even when carefully husbanded, would no longer permit them, as Winthrop
said, to "keep sail with their equals." The latter, excluded by their
Puritan and evangelical convictions from the profession for which they
were trained, turned to America as the most inviting field for service
among the elect of God. They were men of ability and conviction--"a
chosen company of men, picked out ... by no human contrivance, but by a
strange contrivance of God," to be the leaders of a chosen people.

Yet the Puritan colony was not made up of leaders. In firm intelligence,
in clearly realized conceptions of Church and State, in moral fervor and
spiritual exaltation, men like Winthrop and Davenport were far removed
from the rank and file. The great majority of those who first came to
Massachusetts were small "merchants, husbandmen, and artificers"; men
with little property or none at all; uneducated and home-keeping men
whose outlook was bounded by the parish; Puritans by temperament and
habit rather than by reasoned conviction: followers in a very real and
literal sense. Few of them would have come as individuals; but they came
as families and groups of families from the same community, yielding to
the call of a favorite minister or trusted neighbor. And few would have
come for religion's sake alone. Persecution was the efficient cause, but
straitened circumstances frequently gave point to the pricks of
conscience. Even Winthrop himself, a man of substantial possessions,
tells us that a consideration for his undertaking the New World venture
was that "his meanes heer are soe shortened as he shall not be able to
continue in that place and employment where he now is." How far more
persuasive an appeal was this to common folk! "This lande grows weary of
her inhabitants, soe as man is heer of less price amongst us than a
horse or sheep. All towns complain of the burthen of their poore though
we have taken up many unnecessary, yea unlawfull trades to maintaine
them. Children, servants, and neighbors (especially if they be poore)
are considered the greatest burthen. We stand heer striving for places
of habitation (many men spending as much labour and cost to recover or
keep sometimes an acre or two of land as would procure them many hundred
as good or better in another country) and in ye mean tyme suffer a
whole continent as fruitful and convenient for the use of man to lie
waste without any improvement."

Both in a spiritual and a material sense, it was to preserve and not to
dissolve the ties of community life that the Puritans, leaders and
followers alike, came to Massachusetts. Coming as townsmen seeking land,
they settled in towns, to which they often gave the names of the places
from which they came--for example, Boston, Plymouth, Dorchester. The
town was not originally an industrial center, but a group of
agricultural proprietors who procured from the company title to the land
which they held individually or in common according to custom, and which
they cultivated after the manner with which they were familiar. Free and
equal access to the soil was the principle upon which the original
grants were made: there were no quit-rents or charges; the allotments
were small, and so far as possible equal in value. And happily the
ideals of the settlers were suited to the environment in which they
found themselves. The soil was adapted to the raising of a variety of
farm products; corn and fodder and vegetables, swine and cattle and
horses; products requiring neither great estates nor servile labor for
profitable cultivation. Thus in New England the unit of settlement was a
group of small, free proprietors living together in villages and
managing their affairs by concerted action. The town and the town
meeting were as natural to New England as the plantation and the county
were to Virginia and the other Southern colonies.

But the community in New England was a spiritual as well as an
industrial enterprise, and the counterpart of the town was the church.
By the leaders especially, settlement was regarded more as a planting of
churches than as the founding of towns. In their view the church
covenant was the expression of the fundamental social pact, the public
confession of membership in the spiritual City of God, the very basis of
"that Church-State," that "due form of Government both civil and
ecclesiastical," which they had come to the New World to establish.

     "We covenant with our Lord and with one another"--so runs the Salem
     covenant, which may be taken as typical--"we avouch the Lord to be
     our God, and ourselves to be his people, in the truth and
     simplicity of our spirits. We promise to walk with our brethren,
     with all watchfulness and tenderness, avoiding jealousy and
     suspicion, back-bitings, censurings, provokings, secret risings of
     spirit against them; but in all offenses to follow the rule of our
     Lord Jesus, and to bear and forbear, give and forgive, as he hath
     taught us. We do hereby promise to carry ourselves in all lawful
     obedience to those that are over us, in church and commonwealth. We
     resolve to approve ourselves to the Lord in our particular
     callings; shunning idleness as the bane of any state; nor will we
     deal hardly or oppressingly with any, wherein we are the Lord's

Town and church were thus the basis of settlement; but whatever measure
of self-direction either might enjoy, neither was regarded as
independent. All legal authority was vested in the company and
exercised by the officers and freemen assembled in general court. Yet of
the two thousand settlers who came over in 1630, less than a score were
members of the company. Authority so narrowly confined could not long
remain unquestioned in a primitive community. In October, 1630, one
hundred and nine persons petitioned to be admitted to the freedom of the
corporation. It was a critical moment in the history of this "due form
of Government." Without numbers, the colony could not thrive; without
restriction of authority, it would be in danger of falling away from the
ideals of its founders. The circumstance was one of many to reveal the
essential difference, in respect to primary motive, between leaders and
followers. The mass of the settlers had migrated primarily to secure
economic enfranchisement: too great restraint would drive them to the
north, where colonists were desired by Mason and Gorges, or to Plymouth,
where the tolerant Pilgrims would welcome them perhaps on easier terms.
But Winthrop and his associates had migrated primarily to establish a
community that should live by God's law; and to admit all freeholders to
share in its direction would end in the defeat of that high purpose.

Weight of numbers prevailed at last; and the history of Massachusetts
Bay in the seventeenth century is the story of the vain and pathetic
effort of single-minded men to identify the temporal and the spiritual
commonwealths. The compromise presently made was the first step in the
final surrender. The one hundred and nine petitioners were admitted; but
it was shortly voted, in plain violation of the charter, that the
rights of the freemen should be confined to the election of the
assistants; and, "to the end that the body of the commons may be
preserved of honest and good men, it was likewise ordered that for time
to come no man shall be admitted to the freedom of this body polliticke
but such as are members of some of the churches within the lymitts of
the same." In order to preserve the purity of the state still more
effectively, it was voted, in 1636, that even church members should be
excluded unless the churches to which they belonged had secured the
approbation both of the magistrates and of a majority of the churches
already established.

The suffrage remained thus restricted until 1684, although a nominal
modification was made in 1664. But the freemen were not long content to
see their privileges confined to the election of assistants and
magistrates. The first protest was characteristically English. In 1632
the minister of Watertown Church, George Phillips, more independent in
his manner of thinking than the majority of the clergy, induced his
congregation to pass the first resolution in America against taxation
without representation: "It was not safe," they contended, "to pay money
after that sort for fear of bringing their posterity into bondage." A
magisterial reprimand from Governor Winthrop reduced the protestants to
the level of an apology; but in 1634 the freemen demanded to see the
charter, and when it became generally known that supreme authority was
vested in the freemen assembled in general court, rather than in the
board of assistants, the latter was forced to concede to the former a
share in the business of lawmaking. Since it was inconvenient for all
the freemen to attend the sessions of the general court in person, they
adopted the custom of sending two deputies from each town to represent
them. The assistants, thus overbalanced by the deputies, demanded the
privilege of the negative voice, a contention which the deputies were
inclined to deny, but which resulted, in 1644, in the separation of the
general court into two houses, the board of assistants constituting the
upper chamber and the deputies the lower. During the same period the
discretionary powers of the magistrates in administering the laws gave
the deputies much concern; and their constant protests were not without
effect, although the victory was mainly to the magistrates. The results
of the first decade of conflict between leaders and followers over the
distribution of political power are registered in the famous Body of
Liberties which was promulgated in 1641.

In spite of concessions to the freemen, political privilege remained
narrowly limited. Between 1631 and 1674 the total number of freemen
admitted was 2527, about one fifth of the adult male residents. The
suffrage was thus far more exclusive than a freehold test would have
made it. In town meeting, voting was not always restricted to freemen;
but in deciding important matters non-freemen were usually excluded. And
yet the formal restriction of political privilege, narrow as it was,
gives no true measure of the real concentration of political power.
Deference to the magistrate, no less than the habit of protest against
illegal action, was an English tradition. The circumstances of the
migration had tremendously accentuated the force of the religious
appeal, and the freemen, being church members, were of all the settlers
precisely that part most disposed to defer to the wishes of the clergy,
and to select for magistrates those whom they approved.

     "They daily direct their choice to make use of such men as mainly
     endeavor to keepe the truths of Christ unspotted, neither will any
     christian of sound judgment vote for any but such as earnestly
     contend for the faith, although the increase of trade and traffique
     may be a great inducement to some."

The freemen sometimes demonstrated their power, but the same men were
customarily returned to office year after year. The magistrates and the
clergy, a handful of men with practically permanent tenure, men of
strong character and of great ability for the most part, virtually
governed Massachusetts Bay for two generations.

They governed the colony, these "unmitred popes of a pope-hating
commonwealth," yet not without storm and stress; and of all their
difficulties, the quarrel with the freemen over the distribution of
political power was far from being the most perplexing. In 1681, Roger
Williams, a young minister of engaging personality, with "many precious
parts, but very unsettled in judgemente," came to Boston. He scrupled to
"officiate to an unseparated people," and soon went down to Plymouth,
where he "begane to fall into strange oppinions, and from opinion to
practise; which caused some controversie, by occasion whereof he left
them something abruptly." Returning to Massachusetts, he became minister
of Salem Church, which was itself thought to be tinged with radicalism.
But the radicalism of Williams went beyond all reason. He maintained
that the land of New England belonged to the Indians, and that the
settlers were therefore living "under a sin of usurpation of others
possessions." And he denied that the state had any rightful authority in
matters of conscience, holding with Robert Browne that "concerning the
outward provision and outward justice [the magistrates] are to look to
it; but to compell religion, to plant churches by power, and to force a
submission to Ecclesiasticall Government by lawes and penalties,
belongeth not to them." By farmer and magistrate alike the man was
regarded as a nuisance, and after three troubled years was banished from
the colony.

The ideas of Williams were too relevant not to arouse controversy, but
too remote from the spirit of the age to win many adherents. Of another
sort was Mistress Anne Hutchinson, a woman of "nimble wit and active
spirit," one of those popular village characters who go about among the
poor and sick, bringing wholesome draughts of cordial, gossip, and
consolation. As a taster of dry sermons there was none better; so that
many women of Boston, and not a few men, fell into the habit of
assembling at her house, where she discoursed on the latest sermon or
Thursday lecture, and by exegesis and comment and criticism made all
clear. And her doctrine went straight to the heart and intelligence of
the average man in the seventeenth century, as it does to-day and has in
all ages. "Come along with me says one of them. I'le bring you to a
woman that preaches better Gospell than any of your black-coats that
have been at the Niniversity, a woman of another kind of spirit, who
hath had many revelations of things to come; and for my part, saith he,
I had rather hear such a one that speaks from the mere motion of the
spirit, without any study at all, than any of your learned Scollers,
although they may be fuller of Scripture." This, indeed, was the secret
of Mistress Anne's power, that she spoke the language of the untutored,
and infused into the scholastic categories of theology the elemental and
familiar emotions of daily life.

The issue raised by Anne Hutchinson soon passed into politics, and the
little colony was divided into irreconcilable factions. The good woman
had a great following in Boston, including not a few in high places.
Wheelwright was her avowed defender; John Cotton was half convinced. The
credit of the party was raised by the accession of the brilliant Sir
Harry Vane, lately come from England, and destined to return hither to
vex a greater than Winthrop. Vane was as radical in politics as Mistress
Anne was in religion; and the two made common cause against the
magistrates and clergy. Had the issue been confined to Boston the result
could not have been doubtful, for the Boston Church was predominantly
Hutchinsonian; but the ministers as a body supported Winthrop and
Wilson, and the old magistrates were returned in the election of 1637.
The victory was a crucial one. The erratic Vane went off to England;
Cotton returned to his first allegiance; and when the cause of all the
trouble was cited to appear before the court in the fall of the same
year, the decree of banishment was a foregone conclusion. Like Luther
before the diet, Anne Hutchinson pressed for reasons--"I desire to know
wherefore I am banished." It was in the spirit of the Roman Church that
Governor Winthrop replied--"say no more; the Court knows wherefore, and
is satisfied."

The direct result of the expulsion of Williams and Anne Hutchinson was
the founding of Rhode Island, famous as an early experiment in the
separation of Church and State. Williams, with his few followers, denied
admittance to Plymouth, went on to the south and founded the town of
Providence. Into this region there shortly came the much larger group,
including William Coddington, who followed Anne Hutchinson into exile.
The settlements of Portsmouth and New Port, which they established
there, were united with Providence, under a patent procured by Williams
in 1643, to form the colony of Rhode Island, where flourished, to the
scandal of its neighbors, that "soul liberty" of which Williams was the
apostle. Yet not without difficulty. Peopled by those who were too
eccentric not to prove troublesome, the history of the little colony was
a stormy one--its peace "like the peace of a man who has the tertian
ague"; but its fame is secure, and, its founder, condemned by the common
sense of his age, will ever be celebrated as the prophet of those
primary American doctrines, democracy and religious toleration.

Rhode Island was founded by those who were not allowed to remain in
Massachusetts; Connecticut by those who, finding its conditions too
restricted, did not wish to remain there. Few facts have been more
potent in determining the history of America than the steady migration
in search of better opportunities. A decade had not passed before the
westward movement began. As early as 1633 many people at the Bay, fired
by favorable reports which John Oldham brought back from the Connecticut
Valley, began to have "a hankering after it." In 1634 the people of
Newtown, under the leadership of Thomas Hooker, asked permission of the
general court to remove there, advancing, in support of their petition,
"their want of accommodation for their cattle, the fruitfulness and
commodiousness of Connecticut, and the strong bent of their spirits to
remove thither." The petition was at first denied, but in 1636,
permission having at last been obtained, a considerable number from the
towns of Newtown, Dorchester, Watertown, and Roxbury migrated to the
west and south and settled the towns--Hartford, Wethersfield, and
Windsor--which became the nucleus of the colony of Connecticut.

While the fertility of the Connecticut Valley was doubtless attractive,
some of the motives which actuated Hooker and his followers lie
concealed in the naïve phrase, "the strong bent of their spirits."
Thomas Hooker, and to a less extent John Haynes and Roger Ludlow, were
men of outstanding ability. But as their towns were second to Boston,
they themselves were overtopped in influence by Winthrop and Cotton,
Dudley and Wilson. In the compact community of Massachusetts Bay, ideas
as well as cattle found accommodation difficult. In religion and
politics Hooker was more radical than Winthrop: he was not wholly out of
sympathy with Anne Hutchinson; and he defended the proposition that "the
foundation of authority is laid in the free consent of the people,"
whereas Winthrop maintained that the best part of the people "is always
the least, and of that best part the wiser part is always the lesser."
And so, when the petitioners were permitted to leave, the strong bent of
their spirits directed them, not only to the Connecticut, but southward
without the limits of the Massachusetts jurisdiction.

While Hooker and his associates, with room for their cattle and their
ideas, clear of Boston's shadow and the din of disputes over the
negative voice and the covenant of works, were establishing a more
liberal Bible Commonwealth on the Connecticut, Theophilus Eaton, a
merchant of "fair estate and great esteem for religion," and John
Davenport, a dispossessed London minister, were establishing at New
Haven a Bible Commonwealth stricter even than that of Massachusetts.
They had arrived, with their congregation of well-to-do middle-class
Londoners, at Boston in 1637, where they remained during the winter.
Winthrop would have retained them permanently; but Davenport found the
colony distracted by the Hutchinson episode, and was as much distressed
by the concessions which had been made to the "mere democracy" as Hooker
had been by the restraints in favor of a "mixed aristocracy." They
therefore moved on, accompanied and followed by some inhabitants of
Massachusetts, to establish at New Haven a community in which the
Scriptures should be the "only rule attended to in ordering the affairs
of government." But these "Brahmins of New England Puritanism" did not
find the peace which they pursued. The distractions which they left
Boston to avoid attended them in the wilderness; and in the end the
colony was united with the settlements to the north, where the liberal
ideas of Hooker had proved compatible, not only with strict morality and
frugal prosperity, but with religious and spiritual concord as well. The
charter of 1662 which founded the larger Connecticut embodied the ideas
of Hooker rather than those of Davenport, and was so wisely contrived
that it stood the shock of the Revolution and survived to the nineteenth
century as the fundamental law of Connecticut.

Internal difficulties growing out of conflicting ideals of Church and
State had scarcely achieved the dispersion of the New England
settlements before external dangers began to draw them together. As
early as 1637, and again in 1639, the Connecticut settlements,
threatened by the Dutch and the Indians, applied to Massachusetts Bay
for support against the common danger. The Dutch and the Indians were
less dangerous to Massachusetts than to Connecticut, but the possibility
of royal interference touched her more nearly. In 1634 Laud had obtained
the appointment of a commission to inquire into her affairs, and in 1642
the "ill news we have had out of England concerning the breach between
King and Parliament" gave further apprehension with respect to the
colony's chartered liberties. Accordingly, the third proposal of
Connecticut in 1642 met with a favorable response, and in the following
year the New England Confederation was founded. Rhode Island was without
the pale, but Massachusetts, Connecticut, Plymouth, and New Haven
entered into a "firm and perpetual league of friendship and amity for
offense and defense, mutual advice and succor, both for preserving and
propagating the truth and liberties of the Gospel, and for their own
mutual safety and welfare." The affairs of the league were to be
administered by a board of two commissioners from each colony.
Massachusetts, with a greater population than the other three combined,
agreed to bear her proper burden in men and money, and presumed at times
to exercise a corresponding influence. The smaller colonies were
naturally more willing to accept her money than disposed to submit to
her dictation; but in spite of disputes, the Confederation was
maintained for forty years, an effective influence in its day, and the
first of many compromises which led in the end to that more perfect
union which still endures.


Neither revolution in England nor the stress of conflicting ideals in
the colony turned the first generation of Massachusetts Bay leaders from
the straight course which they had laid. Magistrates and clergy went
steadily forward, emerging from Nonconformity into practical Separatism,
as resistant to Parliamentary as to royal control, as cool toward
Cromwell as toward Charles. During the quarter-century of their
domination, Massachusetts maintained a virtual independence of the
mother country and the effective leadership of Now England. Towards the
middle of the century the theocratic principle might have seemed more
firmly established than ever before. The relative tranquillity which
followed the banishment of Anne Hutchinson appeared to be a clear
justification of the action of the general court on that occasion. It
was therefore without hesitation that the authorities acted when Anne
Austin and Mary Fisher, two Quaker missionaries from Barbados, arrived
at Boston in 1656. The women were reshipped to Barbados; and a law was
straightway enacted which decreed the flogging and imprisonment of any
of the "cursed sect of haeritics commonly called Quakers" who might come
within the colony's jurisdiction.

In the seventeenth century, it was agreed that, next to the Münster
Anabaptists, the Quakers were of all dissenting sects the most pestilent
and blasphemous. They used no force in propagating their beliefs or in
defending their lives. They were believers in equality, and refused to
doff their hats to any man, respecting neither magistrate nor priest.
They were believers in liberty; no man to be restrained in matters of
opinion; but every man to go or come, to speak or remain silent, as
God's commands, by direct inner revelation, might be laid upon him. And
it appeared that God had laid his command upon many to go among the
unregenerate bearing testimony, and with sharp-tongued reproach and
reviling to prick as with thorns the seared conscience of a perverse and
stiff-necked generation. Persecution they welcomed as the martyr's
portion, the sure evidence of well-doing. "Where they are most of all
suffered to declare themselves, there they least of all desire to come."
And so, impelled by the force of the divine spirit, they came among the
reserved and seemly Puritans of Boston, with scandalous impropriety of
action bringing the staid Sunday sermon or Thursday lecture to
irremediable confusion, with voluble harangue and wealth of stinging
epithet pouring scorn upon the self-selected leaders of the chosen

The harassed magistrates wished only to be rid of them. But unlike
Williams and Anne Hutchinson, the Quakers came back as often as they
were banished; and as often as they returned, their conduct became more
outrageous, and, the penalties inflicted more severe. Yet oppression
bore its proper fruit. Persecution engendered sympathy; sympathy ripened
into conviction; and the more heretics were confined in the prisons, the
more heresy flourished in the streets. The popularity of Anne
Hutchinson's teachings had demonstrated how eagerly the average man
turned from the literalism of the Puritan clergy in response to the
appeal of one who spoke "from the mere motion of the spirit." Quakerism
was above all a spiritual gospel addressed to the emotions. Its humane
and liberal teachings, obscured but not concealed by the extravagance of
speech and conduct in its first apostles, stood out in striking contrast
to the repressive policy of the Puritan government as well as to the
cold, gray intellectualism of the Puritan religion. The Quakers were a
political danger as well as a public nuisance; for whether few or many
were likely to profess the Quaker faith, among covenanted and
uncovenanted alike their teachings fell on the fruitful soil of
discontent. The magistrates were well aware at last that a crisis was
impending; and they went steadily forward, with circumspection and not
without apprehension, indeed, but without flinching, to meet the final
test. In 1659 and 1660, according to law established and known, five
Quakers were condemned to death, and four were hanged on Boston Common.

The event was a significant one in early Massachusetts history, for it
revealed, in respect to theory and practice alike, the insecure
foundation upon which the Church-State rested. In respect to theory, the
Quakers were a perplexing problem precisely because they remorselessly
pressed the basic principles of Protestantism to their logical
conclusion. The doctrine of the inner light, like Anne Hutchinson's
notion of personal illumination, was implicit in the premises of Luther,
who had grounded the great protest on the conception of a covenant of
grace, and had laid it down, as the primary thesis, that "good works do
not make the good man, but the good man does good works." Luther's
revolt had, indeed, raised a vital social question: Are belief and
conduct in matters religious to be determined by the social will
registered in decrees of Church or State, or by the individual will
following the promptings of reason and conscience? For most dissenters
in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries there was a logical
difficulty in assenting to the first proposition and a practical
objection to assenting to the second: it was logically difficult to deny
the authority of Rome, which the practice and traditions of centuries
had recognized as voicing the will of Christendom, without denying the
validity of any external authority whatever; but it was practically
impossible to appeal unreservedly to the authority of the individual
reason and conscience without running into free thought and allowing
religion to dissolve in an infinite variety of opinion. Generally
speaking, most Protestant sects appealed from the outer to the inner
authority in order to establish their beliefs, and then from the inner
to the outer authority in order to maintain them. Luther himself, having
denied the right of the Church to compel his conscience, straightway
maintained that it was not for _Herr Omnes_ to determine matters of
religion, and fell back on the State as the defender of his faith
against the dangers of dissent. But it is indeed true that "the business
of dissenters is to dissent"; and the Massachusetts magistrates found
that the very arguments they had used to deny the authority of Laud were
now employed to deny their own. This was the logical opening in the
Puritan armor, that the Protestant Church-State or State-Church was but
a masked and attenuated Catholicism destined to be destroyed by the very
principles upon which it had been originally established.

If in respect to theory the hanging of the Quakers was a confession, in
the realm of practical politics it was but a Pyrrhic victory. The
authority of magistrate and clergy, strained to the breaking point,
never quite recovered its old security. The capital law was itself
passed by a bare majority, and the successive executions carried popular
opposition to the verge of insurrection. Nor did the executions achieve
the desired end. The last sentence was never carried into effect, and
for years the Quakers continued to molest the colony, pushing their
extravagances sometimes to the farthest limit. To fall to mere flogging
after having inflicted the death penalty was a fatal anti-climax which
marks a turning-point in Massachusetts history--the beginning of the end
of Winthrop's Bible Commonwealth.

The end was doubtless hastened by the Stuart Restoration and the recall
of the charter; but the theocratic ideal, carrying the germ of its own
decay, was predestined to failure. For the founders of the Bible
Commonwealth it was an axiom that Church and State were but two sides of
the same shield; a matter of course that the "body of the commons" must
be "preserved of honest and good men"; a reasonable hope that all good
men would be found within the churches. And the circumstances of the
migration seemed, indeed, a miraculous preparation for this easy
solution of human government; for persecution was taken to be but "a
strange contrivance of God" to gather "a chosen company of men"--the
sifted wheat for planting an ideal commonwealth. Yet of the first
settlers more than half refused to take the covenant, thus renouncing
the privileges of the ideal commonwealth without obtaining relief from
its burdens. A most disconcerting circumstance this at the beginning,
and of ill omen for the future! Doubtless some strange perversity of the
natural man, some inscrutable judgment of God for the discipline of his
people, must have kept so many outside the fold.

But in truth not all who came to Plymouth or Massachusetts were of the
sifted wheat. Under the stress of persecution and the stimulus of
migration, the mass of the first settlers doubtless caught something of
the spiritual exaltation which inspired the leaders. But it was not for
the many to live on that high level of purposeful resolution and
enduring courage. It is a significant fact that of those who came over
with Winthrop and Dudley two hundred returned in the ships that brought
them out; and of those who remained who shall say how many met the stern
realities of the New World with a sinking sense of disillusionment,
finding the material conditions of life harder and the spiritual peace
less satisfying than they had imagined? And many there were who had
never been touched by the Puritan ideal. "Men being to come over into a
wilderness," says the kindly Bradford, "in which much labour and servise
was to be done about building and planting, such as wanted help in that
respecte, when they could not have such as they would, were glad to take
such as they could, and so, many untoward servants, sundry of them
proved, were thus brought over, both men and women kind; who, when their
terms were expired, became families of themselves, which gave increase
hereunto. Another and maine reason hereof was, that men, finding so many
godly disposed persons willing to come into these parts, some began to
make a trade of it, to transport passengers and their goods, and hired
ships for that end; and then, to make up their freight and advance their
profite, cared not who the persons were, so they had money to pay them.
And also ther were sente by their freinds some under hope that they
would be made better; others that they might be eased of such burthens,
and they kept from shame at home that would necessarily follow their
dissolute courses. And by this means the country became pestered with
many unworthy persons, who, being come over, crept into one place or

Such unworthy persons doubtless swelled the mass of uncovenanted. Yet
the historian is apt to think that for many, honest and good men enough,
the cold inner temple of the ideal commonwealth must have proved more
forbidding than its wind-swept outer courts. To enter its portals was an
ordeal which the average man will not readily undergo, involving, as an
initial procedure, a confession of faults and a profession of faith, a
public revelation of inner spiritual condition, an exposure of soul to
the searching and curious inspection of the sanctified. And the covenant
itself was found to be no warmed and cloistered retreat, secure from the
rude impact and impertinent gaze of the world. Quite the contrary! To
enter the covenant was to renounce all private spiritual possessions, to
give one's intimate convictions into the keeping of others, to subscribe
to a very communism of the emotional life. This un-Roman Church was after
all but a public confessional, in which every brother was a confessor,
and life itself a penance for constructive sin. The soul that is
constantly exposed grows callous or diseased; and the New England
covenant provided a regimen well suited to repel the normal mind or
induce in its patients a fatal spiritual anæmia.

And with every decade the house of the covenant became at once more
difficult to enter and less comfortable to abide in. The Puritan was not
necessarily a sad or solemn person. Yet the light heart and the merry
mind were not the salient characteristics even of the cheerful Winthrop
or the genial Cotton; while the conditions of life in the
wilderness--the unrelieved round of exacting labor, the ever present
danger from the lurking Indians, the long cold winters with their
certain harvest of death from diseases which could be ascribed only to
the will of God and met with resignation instead of skill, the
succession of funerals as depressing as they were public and
pervading--were well calculated to deepen the somber cast of the Puritan
temper and accentuate the critical and introspective tendency of his
mind. Inspection of one's own and one's neighbor's conduct was, indeed,
always a Puritan duty; shut within the restricted horizon of a New
England village, it became a necessity and almost a pleasure. When few
stirring events diverted thought from the petty and the personal, when
pent-up emotion found little outlet in the graces or amusements of
social intercourse, observation and introspection fastened upon the
minutiæ of life and every eccentricity of speech and conduct was weighed
and assessed. Close espionage on conduct was matched by the careful
scrutiny accorded every novel opinion. When the weekly sermon was the
universal topic of conversation, the refinements of belief were more
discussed than essentials; often discussed, they were often
questioned--by strict Separatists like Roger Williams; by cavilers at
infant baptism like that "anciently religious woman," the Lady Deborah
Moodie; by fervid emotionalists, such as Anne Hutchinson or the Quaker
missionaries: and every discussion of the creed left it more precisely
defined, more narrow, and more official. Under the stress of conflicting
opinion and the attrition of acrid debate, the covenant of grace
steadily hardened into a covenant of barren works, in which an air of
sanctimony became an easy substitute for the sense of sanctification,
and the tithe of mint and cummin was allowed to overbalance the
weightier matters of the law.

While the covenant became more inelastic, and its rule of life more
strictly defined, the call of the world became more insidious and
alluring. As the colony became established beyond the fear of failure,
and life fell from an artificial and self-conscious venture to be but a
natural experience, as wealth increased and opportunities for relaxation
and idle amusement multiplied, the elemental instincts of human nature,
stronger than decrees of state, would not be denied. During the third
decade after the founding, the Christmas festival found its way into the
colony, and "dancing in ordinarys upon the marriage of some person" gave
occasion for scandal. Extravagance in "apparill both of men and women"
became the subject of repeated legislation: "we cannot but to our grief
take notice," so runs the law of 1651, "that intolerable excesse and
bravery have crept in uppon us, and especially amongst people of mean
condition, to the dishonor of God, the scandall of our profession, the
coruption of estates, and altogether unsuitable to our povertie."
Non-attendance at church did not become a problem for the magistrates
until 1646, but the fine then imposed proved ineffective; and year by
year the desecration of the Sabbath became more marked and more
difficult of correction. Many and sundry abuses were committed "by
several persons on the Lord's day, not only by children playing in the
streets and other places, but by youthes, maydes, and other persons,
both strangers and others, uncivilly walkinge in the streets and fields,
travelling from towne to towne, going on shipboard, frequentinge common
howses and other places to drinke, sport, and otherwise to misspend that
precious time."

"Maydes and youthes!" The words are significant, for by 1653 the first
generation of native-born New Englanders had indeed come upon the scene
to vex the Puritan fathers. How different from that of the first
settlers must have been the outlook of those who had never been in
England. They had never been oppressed by bishop or king; had never felt
the insidious temptation of a cathedral church, or witnessed the mockery
of the mass, or been repelled by a surpliced priesthood desecrating
God's house with incense and music; had never seen a maypole with its
accompaniment of licentious revelry, or witnessed the debauching effects
of a holiday festival. They had solemnly sat in unwarmed churches; they
had been present at elections; had seen men standing in the pillory or
women whipped through the streets; they had diverted themselves at
weddings or the husking-bee, or by walking in the woods, or by drinking
in a tavern. But no frivolous and superstitious world of Anti-Christ
compassed them about to point the moral of the harsh Puritan tale. Their
Puritanism was induced by precept and example rather than by the
compelling impact of a corrupt society.

Yet no conventionalized Puritanism, no mere living on the dead level of
habitual virtues could satisfy the leaders of the great migration. The
founding of Massachusetts was preëminently a self-conscious movement,
the work of able and resolute men who brought an unquenchable moral
enthusiasm to the support of a clearly defined purpose. They had counted
the cost and made their choice; and every instinct of proud and
self-contained men disposed them to minimize the difficulties which they
encountered in the New World and to exaggerate those which they had
overcome in the Old. Having staked their judgment on the wisdom of the
venture, they were bound to be justified in the event. To admit that
life on the physical and moral frontier was less than they had imagined
would be a humiliating confession of failure; and worse than a
confession of failure; for God had appointed this refuge for them, and
not to abide in it in all contentment would be to cavil at his purpose,
to question his decree. With the instinct of true pioneers they
therefore idealized the barren wilderness, pronouncing its air most
healing, its soil most fertile; and with unfailing optimism proving, by
the very sufferings they endured, how practicable, how spacious and
attractive was the habitation which they had set themselves to fashion.

Thus it was that the very influences which relaxed the hold of the
Puritan ideal upon the mass of the people served only to strengthen its
hold upon their leaders. With resolution stiffened by every obstacle,
magistrates and clergy pressed on to the appointed task, never doubting
that they were called upon to justify the ways of God to man. Drawing
their inspiration from Geneva and the ancient Hebrew code, they assumed,
with a courage as sublime as it proved futile, to foster moral and
spiritual excellence by decrees of state. Indifference or opposition
only called them to a stricter rule; for every physical disaster, every
denial of the creed or departure from the straight line of life, was
thought to be God's judgment upon them for some want of faith or failure
in the law. And in later years the chastisements of the Lord were
many:--the desolating King Philip's War; persistent interference with
their chartered Liberties; dissensions in the Boston Church and quarrels
of magistrates and clergy; the rise of "an anti-ministerial spirit" and
the growth of worldliness and lax living among the people. "What are the
reasons that have provoked the Lord to bring his judgments upon New
England?" Such was the primary question which the Synod of 1679 was
called upon to answer. "Declension from the primitive foundation work,
innovation in doctrine and worship"--this, according to a committee of
the deputies, was the true cause. "A spirit of division, persecuting
and oppressing of God's ministers and precious saints," said Mr. Flint
of Dorchester, "is the sin that is unseen." And not a few maintained
that all their troubles were but well-merited punishments for having
dealt too leniently with the Quakers.

And yet, in the year 1679, such explanations as these were falling to
the level of the conventional for many of the magistrates and even for
some of the clergy. After forty years few of the original leaders were
still alive. Winthrop died in 1649, Cotton in 1652, Thomas Dudley in
1653, John Wilson in 1667, Richard Mather in 1669. The days of
persecution and exile influenced the thinking of the second generation,
indeed, not so much as an experience, but rather as a tradition or a
tale that is told. Liberal influences, which were to oust the Mathers
from control of Harvard College, were already gaining ground in
Cambridge, while Boston had become the center of powerful material
interests which were to prove incompatible with the rigid ideals of the
founders. "The merchants seem to be rich men," writes Mr. Harris in
1675, "and their houses as handsomely furnished as most in London." In
1680 more than one hundred ships traded at the Bay, carrying fish,
provisions, and lumber to southern Europe, to the Madeiras, and to the
English sugar colonies in the West Indies. Many men who rose to
prominence in the third quarter of the century were more concerned for
the temporal than for the spiritual commonwealth; and when material
interests thus came into competition with the interests of religion, not
a few were prepared to compromise with the world, and so a secular and
moderate spirit crept in to corrupt the counsels of government.

The rise of the moderate party and the divergence between clergy and
magistrate is therefore a notable feature of the last years of
Massachusetts history under the charter. In 1679, after the death of
Leverett, Bradstreet was elected governor. He was the leader of the
party of conciliation, one of many who, renouncing the rigid and
uncompromising policy of the clergy, were ready to coöperate with
Randolph in the hope of securing the essential interests of the colony
by a timely submission to the English Government. And it is significant
of the growing influence of the property interests that the moderates
were stronger in the upper than in the lower chamber. In 1682 the
governor and a majority of the assistants, "upon a serious consideration
of his Majesty's intimation that his purpose is only to regulate our
charter, in such a manner as shall be for his service and the good of
this his colony," announced themselves willing to surrender the bulwark
of the Puritan liberties. But the House of Deputies voted to "adhere to
their former bills," preferring with the clergy rather to "die by the
hand of others, than by their own."

The event reveals the opposition of the material and the ideal interests
which was a prime cause in the defeat of the great Puritan experiment.
The assistants were "men of the best estates," says Randolph, while the
deputies were "mostly an inferior sort of planters." Randolph was a
prejudiced observer; but it is undoubtedly true that the upper chamber
spoke for the shipbuilders and traders of Boston. Forty years earlier,
when Laud was preparing to annul the charter, both magistrates and
clergy made ready for forcible resistance. It was no longer possible.
Massachusetts had ceased to be a wilderness community cut off from
contact with the outside world. Her rapidly growing trade depended upon
English markets. The base of the fisheries was shifting northward, and a
French company at Nova Scotia was already seizing New England ships.
Without English protection trade would be ruined and the colony itself
fall a prey to France. Forcible resistance was therefore not to be
thought of. The material interests of Massachusetts bound her to the
home Government, and practical men were apt to think that even the
spiritual City of God would suffer less under Anglican than under
Catholic control.

The recall of the charter but opened free passage to the latent forces
that were already beginning to transform the life and thought of New
England. The theocratic ideal had so far lost its hold that the event to
which the clergy and a remnant of the magistrates looked forward as to a
cosmic catastrophe was accepted with resignation or indifference by the
mass of the people. Neither disaster nor serious disturbance accompanied
the inauguration of the new régime. The extension of the suffrage to the
freeholders removed more discontent than it created. A government
controlled by property interests approved itself as well as one directed
by religious ideas. The colony was no more distracted by the
introduction of the Anglican service than by the erection of the second
Boston Church; and even the passing of Harvard College, that citadel
and fortress of the old theocracy, into the hands of Boston and
Cambridge liberals, was far less a tragedy to Massachusetts than it was
to the Mathers.

The life of Cotton Mather was, indeed, a kind of tragedy, for he was the
most distinguished of those who grew to manhood under the old order only
to witness its fall and live in degenerate days. Not less able than his
father, but how much less influential! In early years his voice was a
commanding one, but he was destined to see his popularity wane and to
live most of his long life in comparative isolation and neglect in the
very community where Increase Mather had been a high priest indeed. In
such men as Cotton Mather the old spirit lived on, sharply accentuated
by defeat; and transformed, in such men as Jonathan Edwards, by dint of
morbid introspection and brooding on the sins of a perverse generation,
into a kind of disease, or spiritual neurasthenia. Such men could but
look back with poignant regret to the golden age that was past. Of that
golden age, Cotton Mather himself, "smitten with a just fear of
encroaching and ill-bodied degeneracies," sat down to write the history,
recording in the _Magnalia_ "the great things done for us by our God,"
in the hope that he might thereby do something "to prevent the loss of
the primitive principles and the primitive practices."

But he had imagined a vain thing. For even as the century drew to its
close, the old Bay colony was already drifting from its back-water
moorings, out into the main current of the world's thought. None could
know to what uncharted seas of political and religious radicalism they
were bearing on. None could foresee the time when Calvin's Institutes
would give way to the Suffolk Resolutions, when Adams would speak in
place of Endicott, or the later day when Emerson would preach a new
antinomianism more desolating than any known to Winthrop or Bradford.


This period is fully treated in Channing's _History of the United
States_, I, chaps, VIII-XIV; and in Tyler's _England in America_, chaps.
V-VII, IX-XIX. See also Fiske's _Old Virginia and Her Neighbours_, I,
chaps. VII-XI, XIV; and Eggleston's _Beginners of a Nation_ and _The
Transit of Civilization from England to America_. The constitutional
aspects of the colonial settlements are exhaustively treated in Osgood's
_The American Colonies in the 17th Century_. For the economic and social
history of the colonies, see Bruce's _Social Life in Virginia_ and _The
Economic History of Virginia in the 17th Century_, and Weeden's
_Economic History of New England_. Contemporary pamphlets relating to
the colonies are to be found in Force's _Tracts and Other Papers_, 4
vols. Washington, 1838. To understand the motives and ideals of the
Separatists and Puritans one must read their own accounts. Of these, the
most charming is Bradford's _History of Plymouth Plantation_. This, as
well as Governor Winthrop's _Journal_, is printed in Jameson's _Original
Narratives of Early American History_. Johnson's _Wonder Working
Providence_, in the same collection, is a history from the point of view
of a loyal Puritan of average education and intelligence. Morton's _New
English Canaan_ (1632) and _The Simple Cobler of Aggawam_ (1647) are
printed in Force's _Tracts and Other Papers_, vols. II, III. A hostile
account of the Puritan experiment is in Samuel Gorton's _Letter to
Nathaniel Morton_, in Force's _Tracts_, etc., vol. IV. About three
quarters of a century after the founding of Massachusetts, Cotton Mather
wrote his _Magnalia Christi Americana, or the Ecclesiastical History of
New England_, 2 vols. Hartford, 1855. In Bk. I he gives an account of
the founding from the point of view of one who felt that New England was
then departing from the "primitive principles."



     _Your trade is the mother and nurse of your seamen; your seamen are
     the life of your fleet; your fleet is the security of your trade,
     and both together are the wealth, strength, and glory of Britain._



The decay of the old Puritanism in Massachusetts, so distressing to
Cotton Mather, was but a faint reflection of the change which had come
over England since the return of Charles II to Whitehall. With the fall
of the Puritan régime moral earnestness and high emotional tension,
regarded as contrary to nature and reason, gave way to a rationalizing
habit of mind, to seriousness tempered with well-bred common sense or
spiced with a pinch of cynical indifference. Religion fell to be a
conventional conformity. Theologians, wanting vital faith in God, were
content to balance the probabilities of his existence. Amusement became
the avocation of a leisure class, and the average man was intent like
Samuel Pepys to put money in his purse, in order to indulge himself "a
little the more in pleasure, knowing that this is the proper age to do
it." From Milton and the Earl of Clarendon to William Pitt, England was
no country of lost causes and impossible enthusiasms. It was a pragmatic
age, in which the scientific discoveries of Newton are the highest
intellectual achievement, and the conclusion of Pope that "everything
that is is best" gives the quality of poetic insight.

In this ago the direction of English affairs fell to men well suited to
the national temper. The first Charles suffered martyrdom for his faith;
the second, determined never again to go on his travels, set the
standard of public morality by selling himself to France, and with a
smile professing the belief that honor in man and virtue in woman were
but devices to raise the price of capitulation. And so he often found
it; for he was himself served by men who, having renounced their Puritan
principles for place and power, were prepared to forswear the Stuarts in
order to follow the rising star of William of Orange. William was an
able statesman, indeed, but his interest was in the grand alliance; he
"borrowed England on his way to Versailles," and governed it in the
interest of the Dutch Coalition. Queen Anne and the first Georges
reigned but did not govern; and in the early eighteenth century power
fell to men of supple intelligence and complacent conviction--to
Marlborough and little Sidney Godolphin, to Harley and St. John and
Sunderland, and at last to Robert Walpole, the very personification of
the shrewd curiosity, the easy-going morals, the material ambitions of
his generation.

Little wonder if in such an age colonies were regarded as providentially
designed to promote the trade's increase. The recall of the
Massachusetts charter was but one of many circumstances which reveal
the rise in England of renewed interest in the plantations. Faith in
colonial ventures had never, indeed, quite disappeared, nor had the
early Stuarts ever been wholly indifferent to their American
possessions. But the fate of the Virginia Company had cooled the ardor
of moneyed men, and the Civil War, focusing attention for a generation
upon fundamental questions of morals and politics, absorbed the energies
of government and nation. With the establishment of the Protectorate
imperial interests again claimed attention. Cromwell, calling the
merchants to counsel, inaugurated a vigorous policy of maritime and
colonial expansion. The Dutch war and the conquest of Jamaica recalled
to men's minds the triumphs of Elizabeth; and those who gathered round
Charles II--bankrupt nobles, pushing merchants, and able
statesmen--turned to the business of trade and colonies with an
enthusiasm unknown since the days of Gilbert and Raleigh.

Yet it was an enthusiasm well tempered to practical ends, purged of
resplendent visions and vague idealisms. The plantations, regarded as
incidents in the life of commerce, were thought to be important when
they were found to be prosperous. In 1661 the king was assured that his
American possessions were "beginning to grow into Commodities of great
value and Esteeme, and though some of them continue in tobacco yet upon
the Returne hither it smells well, and paies more Custome to his
Majestie than the East Indies four times ouer." It was a statement of
which the new king was not likely to miss the significance. Determined
to preserve the prerogative without offending the nation, Charles was
never indifferent to the material welfare of England; the expansion of
trade would increase his own revenue, while the vigilance which
preserves liberty he thought likely to be relaxed among a prosperous and
well-fed people. To commercial and colonial expansion the merry monarch
therefore gave his best attention. If he yawned over dull reports in
council, he listened to them with ready intelligence, and was prepared
to encourage every reasonable project for the extension of the empire.

For new colonial ventures opportunity was not lacking. Widely separated
settlements along the American coast were cut in twain by New Netherland
and flanked on either side by the possessions of France and Spain. To
forestall rivals in occupying all the territory claimed by England, and
to exploit intelligently its commercial resources, seemed at once a
public duty and a private opportunity. And no region was thought more
important, either in a commercial or a military way, than the Cape Fear
and Charles River valleys. So at least reasoned the Earl of Clarendon,
Ashley Cooper, and Sir John Colleton; to them, associated with five
others, was accordingly issued in 1663, and again in 1665, a proprietary
grant to the Carolinas. The patentees, upon whom the charter conferred
the usual right to establish and govern colonies, expected that the
surplus population of Barbados and the Bahamas, where capital and
slavery were driving out white laborers and small farmers, would readily
migrate to the Charles River, and there engage in the cultivation of
commodities--such as silk, currants, raisins, wax, almonds, olives, and
oil--which, being raised neither in England nor in any English
plantation, would serve to redress the balance of trade and doubtless
net a handsome profit to those with faith to venture the first costs of
settlement. With the English market assured, a thriving trade and a
prosperous colony seemed the certain result.

In these expectations the patentees were disappointed. Dissenters
already settled in the region of Albemarle Sound were little disposed to
submit to restrictions which they had left Virginia to avoid. In 1665
and 1666 some discontented Barbadians, making an essay to settle on the
coast farther south, found the country less inviting than they had been
led to expect, and returned to Barbados as the lesser evil. The terms on
which the proprietors granted land, liberal enough but frequently
changed; restrictions laid on trade almost before there was anything to
exchange; the doctrinaire Fundamental Constitutions which John Locke,
fresh from the perusal of Harrington, wrote out in the quiet of his
study for governing little frontier communities the like of which he had
never seen,--all had little effect but to irritate those who were
already on the ground and discourage others from going there. In 1667,
there were no inhabitants in Carolina south of Albemarle Sound; in 1672
scarcely more than four hundred. Not silk and almonds but provisions
were raised; for it was necessary "to provide in the first place for the
belly" before endeavoring to redress the balance of England's commerce.
As late as 1675 the proprietors complained that an expenditure of
£10,000 had returned them nothing but the "charge of 5 or 600 people who
expect to live on us." An exaggeration, doubtless; but in truth the
Carolinas never profited the proprietors anything, never drew off much
of the surplus population of Barbados, nor supplied England with olives
or capers. North Carolina raised tobacco, which was carried by New
England traders to Virginia or the Northern colonies. The inhabitants of
the Southern province, reinforced by French Huguenots and English
dissenters, exported provisions to the West Indies. Yet South Carolina,
disappointing to the proprietors, was destined in the next century, when
rice became its staple product, to serve in an almost ideal way the
purpose for which it had been founded.

The Carolina charter had scarcely been issued before the Dutch were
ousted from the valley of the Hudson. It was an old grievance that the
Hollanders, under many obligations to England, should have presumed to
occupy territory already granted by James I to the Plymouth Company. And
now, wedged in between the New England and the Southern colonies,
holding the first harbor on the continent and well situated to share
with France in exploiting the fur trade, the grievance had become
intolerable. But the offense of all was the complacence with which the
merchants of New Amsterdam ignored the English Trade Acts. Reconciled at
last to the strange perversity of Virginia in raising tobacco, the
English Government had made the best of a bad bargain by laying a
prohibition upon its cultivation in England; yet with this result: an
English industry had been suppressed by law only that the Dutch, who
still contested England's right to share in the spice and slave trade,
might carry Virginia tobacco to European ports, smuggle European
commodities into the English settlements, and so diminish the profits of
British merchants and annually deprive the royal exchequer of £10,000 of
customs revenue. When the Dutch war was imminent in 1664, an English
fleet, therefore, took possession of Now Amsterdam in order to secure to
England the commercial value of the tobacco colonies. Before the
conquest was effected the king conferred upon his brother, the Duke of
York, a proprietary feudal grant of all the territory lying between the
Connecticut and Delaware Rivers.

At the time of the conquest the colony of New Netherland was occupied by
Dutch farmers and traders on western Long Island and on both sides of
the Hudson as far north as the Mohawk River; central Long Island was
inhabited in part by New Englanders; the eastern end entirely so. To
establish English authority in the province, harmonizing at once the
interests of the Catholic Duke of York, the Dutch Protestants, and the
New England Puritans, was a difficult task, but it was accomplished with
much skill by Colonel Nicolls, who was the first English governor.
Religious toleration was granted; land titles were confirmed; and a body
of laws, known as the Duke's Laws, based upon Dutch custom and New
England statutes, was prepared by the governor and with some murmuring
accepted by the inhabitants. In 1683 Governor Dongan, yielding to
popular demand, established a legislative body consisting of the
governor's council and a house of eighteen deputies elected by the
freeholders, and the freemen of the corporations of Albany and New York.
With the accession of James as King of England, the province temporarily
lost its popular assembly; in 1688 it was annexed to New England under
the jurisdiction of Andros; and after the Revolution it was distracted
for many years by political quarrels growing out of the Leisler
Rebellion. Yet none of these events interfered with the economic
development of the colony. In 1674 the population was about 7000.
Natural increase, together with immigrants from England and New England,
Huguenot exiles from France, and refugees which the armies of Louis XIV
drove out of the Palatinate, swelled the number to about 25,000 in 1700.
Dutch merchants at Albany did a thriving business in furs; and in 1695
New York City, with a population of 5000, was already the center of an
active trade, mainly West Indian, by no means wholly legal, in
provisions and sugar.

The conquest of New Amsterdam was scarcely completed before the Duke of
York, by "lease and re-lease," and for the sum of ten shillings,
conveyed to his friends, Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, the
territory between the Hudson and the Delaware Rivers, afterwards known
as New Jersey. Dutch settlers already occupied the west shore of New
York Harbor; and there were Swedes as well as Dutch on the lower
Delaware. Favorable concessions offered by the proprietors soon
attracted New Englanders from Long Island and Connecticut, who located
in the region of Monmouth and Middletown. The proprietors nevertheless
found more vexation than profit in their venture; and in 1673 Lord
Berkeley sold his rights to two Friends, John Fenwick and Edward
Byllinge, who were intent upon founding a refuge for the Quakers in
America. Many Quakers soon settled in West Jersey along the Delaware,
and upon the death of Carteret the proprietary rights to East Jersey
were purchased by William Penn and other Friends who had succeeded to
the rights of Fenwick and Byllinge. A mixed population and conflicting
claims made the history of the first Quaker colony a turbulent one. In
1688 both Jerseys were annexed to New York; and in 1702, the proprietors
having surrendered all their rights, the two colonies became the single
royal province of New Jersey.

Of those who were interested in securing a refuge for the Quakers, the
most active was William Penn, who had suffered ridicule and persecution
for his faith, and who now desired a clearer field than the Jerseys
offered for his political and religious experiments. In 1681 he
therefore procured from the king a proprietary grant of the territory
lying west of the Delaware from "twelve miles north of New Castle Town
unto the three and fortieth degree of Northern Latitude." The land
within these vague limits was thought to be "wholly Indian," and the
purposes of Penn did not run counter to the colonial policy of the
Government. Optimism or ignorance disposed the Lords of Trade to believe
that Pennsylvania could as readily as the Carolinas be devoted to the
cultivation of "oyle, dates, figgs, almons, raisins, and currans." To
the political hobbies of Penn the Government was indifferent, while the
intractable Quakers were classed with jailbirds and political offenders
as people who were more useful to England in the plantations than at
home. The proprietor's "Account of the Province of Pennsylvania,"
translated into Dutch, German, and French, promising religious and
political liberty, and offering land on easy terms to rich and poor
alike, attracted good colonists in large numbers. Within ten years there
were 10,000 people, mostly Quakers, in Pennsylvania and the Delaware
counties. Political wrangling, somewhat difficult to understand and
scarcely worth unraveling, distracted the colony of brotherly love for
many years; but from the beginning the province prospered. The settlers
were as thrifty as New England Puritans, and they had better soil and a
more hospitable climate. Provisions were soon raised for export; and in
1700, according to Robert Quarry, the Quakers of Pennsylvania had
"improved tillage to that degree that they have made bread, flower, and
Beer a drugg in all the markets of the West Indies."


As early as 1656 London merchants were inquiring "whether it would not
be a prudentiall thing to draw all the Islands, Colonies, and Dominions
of America under one and the same management here." Enterprising
capitalists who had ventured their money in Jamaica or Barbados were
content to leave the honor and profit of founding new colonies to
idealists like Penn and Shaftesbury; but they eagerly welcomed the
restored monarch after the unsettled conditions of 1659, and were
prepared, even before he landed, to tell him "how the forraigne
plantations may be made most useful to the Trade and Navigation of these
Kingdomes." Of all the busy promoters whose private interests were, by
some strange whim of Providence, in such happy accord with the nation's
welfare and the theories of economists, none was more conspicuous than
Martin Noel. He was a man of varied activities: a stockholder in the
East India Company; a farmer of the inland post office and of the
excise; a banker who made loans, and issued bills of exchange and
letters of credit. His many ships traded in the West Indies, in New
England and Virginia, and in the Mediterranean. During the wars of the
Protectorate he was himself a commissioner of prize goods, issued
letters of marque, and judged the prizes taken by his own vessels. A
center of great interest was his place at the Old Jewry; the resort of
ship captains, merchants, investors, contractors, officials of the
Government. The capital for financing one of the Jamaica expeditions was
raised there by Noel, who was rewarded by a grant of twenty thousand
acres of sugar land after the conquest of the island. He had been
intimate with Cromwell, and after the return of Charles won the
reputation of being, in all affairs of trade and plantations, "the
mainstay of the Government." It was through Martin Noel, and men of his
kind, that the old colonial system began to be shaped to serve the ends
of the moneyed and mercantile interests of England.

[Illustration: Areas settled by 1660, and between 1660 and 1700.]

Enterprising men like Noel were prosperous enough, but their extended
vision enabled them to complain intelligently of the decay of trade. In
the year 1660 exports made not more than a fourth part of the eight and
a half millions of England's foreign commerce. Money was scarce,
interest high, rents and prices low. No one doubted that the effective
remedy for these ills lay in establishing a "favorable balance of
trade." But in the path of this achievement stood the old rivals of
England--Holland, Spain, and France. Imports from France overbalanced
exports thither in the proportion of 2.6 to 1.6. Spain still worked the
rich silver veins of the Andes, and the conquest of Jamaica had opened
English eyes to the high value of her West Indian possessions. Above
all, the thrifty Dutch, intrenched in the East Indies and on the west
coast of Africa, supplied Europe with the major part of Oriental
products and denied England's right to share with them the honor and
profit of importing slaves into Spanish America. To restore the balance
of the French trade, and to contest with Holland and Spain for the
lucrative commerce of the East and the West Indies was the underlying
economic motive of the wars and diplomacy, as well as of the colonial
policy of the Restoration period; it was for this that the Royal African
and Hudson Bay Companies were organized; for this the Dutch and French
wars were waged; for this regulations were enacted for trade and
plantations. And to contemporaries the wisdom of such measures was
evident in the result: at the close of the century, although imports
remained approximately the same as in 1660, exports had reached the
unprecedented figure of seven millions sterling.

In achieving this result, the plantations were expected to play an
important part; and no one doubted that they had done so. During the
decade after the Restoration, the commerce between England and her
American possessions was about one tenth of her total foreign trade; in
1700 it was about one seventh. Imports from the colonies rose from
£500,000 to more than £1,000,000, and exports to the colonies from
£105,910 to £750,000. But the mere increase of trade was no perfect
index of the importance of the plantations; for the colonial trade built
up the merchant marine far more, in proportion to its volume, than any
other. The American voyages were long; plantation commodities bulked
large in proportion to their value; and whereas much of the commerce
between England and Europe was carried in foreign ships, colonial trade
was confined to British vessels. If, therefore, the merchant marine more
than doubled during the Restoration, that happy result was thought to be
largely due to the colonies. "The Plantacion trade is one of the
greatest nurseries of the Shipping and Seamen of this Kingdome, and one
of the greatest branches of its trade," said the customs commissioners
in 1678; "the Plantacions, New Castle trade, and the fisheries, make 3/4
of all the seamen in ye Nation."

The colonies which enlisted the enthusiasm of the commissioners were
the plantations proper. There were men, such as Charles Davenant, who
thought New England might have its uses; but the high value of Maryland
and Virginia, of Barbados and Jamaica, was obvious to all. Maryland and
Virginia, it is true, were not quite ideal colonies, since it was found
necessary, in their interest, to prohibit the raising of tobacco in
England. But the sugar islands were without reproach. England was not
now, as in the time of James I, thought to be overpopulated; and
Barbados and Jamaica found favor, not only because their products were
neither raised nor made in England, but because they could be exploited
by slave labor. It was pointed out that happily "by taking off one
useless person, for such generally go abroad [to the islands], we add
Twenty Blacks to the Labour and Manufactures of the Nation." Negroes
procured in Africa at slight cost might, indeed, be counted as
commodities of export, while the island colonies cultivated precisely
those commodities which England would otherwise have imported from
foreign countries. And the statistics of the custom-house confirmed the
theory of the pamphleteer; in 1697, seven eighths of all colonial
commerce was with the tobacco and sugar plantations, and Jamaica alone
offered a greater market than all the Northern and Middle colonies

It was thus the West Indies which statesmen had chiefly in mind when
they set about regulating trade and navigation to the end that "we may
in every part be more sellers than buyers, and thereby the Coyne and
present stocke of money be preserved and increased." Three acts of
Parliament, embodying the ideas of London merchants interested in the
tobacco and sugar plantations, formulated the principles of England's
commercial code. The famous Navigation Act of 1660 confined colonial
carrying trade wholly, and the foreign carrying trade mainly, to English
and colonial shipping, and provided that certain colonial
products--sugar, tobacco, cotton-wool, indigo, ginger, dyeing-woods; the
so-called "enumerated" commodities--could be shipped only to England or
to an English colony. In 1663 the Staple Act prohibited the importation
into the colonies of any commodities raised or made in Europe,--with the
exception of salt, of horses and provisions from Scotland and Ireland,
of wine from the Madeiras and the Azores, and of commodities not allowed
to be imported into England,--unless they were first landed in England.
In order not to discriminate against English in favor of colonial
consumers of colonial products, a third act was passed in 1673 providing
that enumerated commodities, which paid a duty when shipped directly to
England, should pay a duty when shipped from one colony to another. In
1705 rice, molasses, and naval stores were added to the list of
enumerated commodities, and in 1733 prohibitive duties, never enforced,
were laid upon rum, molasses, and sugar imported from foreign islands
into the continental colonies. The purpose of these laws, and of the
supplementary acts, of which more than half a hundred were passed
between 1689 and 1765, was to foster the industries of the empire at the
expense of foreign countries, and to develop colonial industry along
lines that did not bring it into competition with English agriculture or

Information gathered by the Privy Council committees, which the Stuarts
appointed to coördinate the work of managing trade and the plantations,
soon demonstrated that it was easier to make laws than it was to enforce
them. Until the end of the century, illicit trade, inseparably connected
with piracy, became increasingly flagrant in nearly every colony. West
Indian buccaneers, lineal descendants of the Elizabethan "sea dogues,"
nesting at Jamaica under English sanction until after the peace with
Spain in 1670, resorted to Charleston, New York, Providence, or Boston,
and under licenses granted by royal governors joined hands with the
colonial free-trader or East Indian "interlopers" to make the acts of
trade a byword and a reproach. New England and Dutch merchants,
"regarding neither the acts of trade nor the law of nature," carried
provisions to Canada during the French wars. Tobacco was taken to
Holland and Scotland, or smuggled from Maryland through Pennsylvania
into the Northern colonies. Bolted flour and provisions were exchanged
by New York traders in the Spanish islands for molasses and rum.
European commodities and the spices and fabrics of the Orient, secured
at trifling cost from pirates or "interlopers" in exchange for rum or
Spanish pieces of eight, were carried in small boats up the innumerable
estuaries that indent the coast from New England to Virginia. Indolent
governors were often ignorant of the law; dishonest ones, willing for
money down to wink at its violation; and even those, like Bellomont,
who were honest and energetic, found themselves without the necessary
machinery for its effective enforcement.

If the violation of the Trade Acts called loudly for a more direct
supervision of the colonies, the growing menace of Canada enforced the
same lesson. Under the imbecile Charles II, Spain was no longer, as in
Elizabethan times, the first danger. Colbert's attention to colonial
affairs, as well as Louis XIV's European ambitions, soon obscured the
commercial rivalry of England and Holland, while the accession of
William of Orange to the throne of the Stuarts, by pledging England to
twenty years of war against the House of Bourbon, revealed the startling
fact that it was New France rather than New Spain which threatened the
security of British America. English settlements had not yet passed the
Alleghany foothills before French missionaries and explorers had
penetrated by the chain of lakes to the heart of the continent. Jean
Nicolet as early as 1640, Radisson and Grosseilliers in 1660, were
canoeing down the Wisconsin River toward the Mississippi; and in 1671,
the year before Count Frontenac landed at Quebec to begin the
regeneration of Canada, Saint-Lusson, with impressive ceremony in the
presence of fourteen native tribes at Sault Ste. Marie, took possession
of the great Northwest in the name of the Grand Monarch.

It was no mere spirit of adventure, or dream of limitless empire, that
dispersed the French settlements over so wide an area. As Virginia was
founded on tobacco, so was Canada on furs; and unless the Indians on
the northern lakes could be induced to bring their furs down the St.
Lawrence, Quebec might add luster to the crown of Louis, but it could
not greatly increase the commercial strength of France. A firm alliance
with the northern tribes was therefore the first object. It was for this
that military posts were established on the waterways of the interior.
And every stockaded fort was at once a trading camp and a mission house:
merchants lured the Indian with brandy and firearms; civil officials and
men at arms impressed him with the authority of the great king; Jesuit
priests, strangely compounding true devotion and unscrupulous intrigue,
learned the native languages, and with the magic of the crucifix and the
_Te Deum_ converted the spirit-fearing savages into loyal children of
the Bishop of Rome. Canada, with its center at Quebec, and its outposts
at Michilimackinac and Sault Ste. Marie, was little more than "a musket,
a rosary, and a pack of beaver skins": not so much a colony, indeed, as
a mesh of interlacing interests cunningly designed to convert fur into
gold. And so long as the tribes of the northern lakes annually brought
their rich freightage of mink and beaver to Fort Frontenac or Montreal,
to be exchanged there for arms and brandy, beads, hatchets, bracelets,
and gay-colored fabrics, gold was not lacking--for the pockets of clever
merchant and corrupt official, if not always for the royal treasury of

"The colonies of foreign nations so long settled on the sea board,"
wrote the Intendant Talon in 1671, "are trembling with fright in view of
what your Majesty has accomplished here in the last seven years." In
fact, the thrifty and unadventurous farmers along the Atlantic were as
yet only too indifferent to the importance of Canada; still less did
they foresee the New France of which La Salle was at that moment
dreaming. After a dozen years of heart-breaking discouragements, that
somber idealist finally reached the Gulf of Mexico by way of the
Mississippi. It was on the 9th of April, 1682, at the mouth of the
Father of Waters, that he proclaimed the sovereignty of Louis XIV over
"this country of Louisiana, from the mouth of the river St. Louis,
otherwise called the Ohio, as also along the river Colbert, or
Mississippi, and the rivers that discharge thereinto, from its source as
far as its mouth at the sea." To make sure the title thus announced to
the silent wilderness, a pillar bearing the arms of France was erected,
and a lead plate buried in the sand. The inscription would scarcely have
frightened away even a stray Englishman, had he chanced to see it; but
when, in December of the same year, La Salle built his wooden fort on
the rock of St. Louis, there began to emerge from the world of dreams to
the world of realities the vision of a greater New France, held together
by a chain of forts on all the inland waterways from the mouth of the
St. Lawrence to the mouth of the Mississippi, and exploiting, through
friendly alliance with the native tribes, the rich fur trade of the

It was during the last decade of the Stuart régime, when the efficient
committee known as the Lords of Trade had charge of colonial affairs,
that the English Government first set seriously about the task of
checking the growing power of France and of suppressing illicit trade.
To aid the governors in enforcing the navigation laws, collectors and
comptrollers of the customs had been established in nearly every colony
by 1678; in 1688 William Dyre, responsible to the English customs
commissioners, was appointed surveyor-general and placed at the head of
the American service; and it was mainly on the ground of illegal trade
that Massachusetts was made a crown colony in 1684. The doughty Colonel
Dongan, who came out as Governor of New York in 1683, was one of the
first to see the importance of Canada; and after 1685 he was supported
by James in the attempt to divert the fur trade from Montreal to Albany
by bringing the Iroquois Indians under English control. The scheme,
which involved nothing less than the ruin of Canada, was by no means a
visionary one. The Five Nations, lying south of the chain of lakes,
could profit but little by the fur trade while it remained in French
hands. But let Albany replace Montreal as the chief market, and they
would become the indispensable middle carriers between the northern
tribes and the English. And the northern tribes were themselves not
ill-disposed to such a change. Undoubtedly the French had better manners
than the English; undoubtedly French fire-water was of excellent flavor.
But the traders whom Dongan sent to Michilimackinac proved beyond cavil
that English goods were cheap; and so long as a beaver skin was the
price of a debauch on French brandy, whereas a mink skin was sufficient
to attain the same exaltation by means of English rum, the French
control of the fur trade rested on a precarious basis. The chief
obstacle to Dongan's scheme was the division of executive authority in
the colonies, the apathy of colonial assemblies, and the lack of an
adequate military force to protect the Iroquois from the enmity of the
French. It was precisely to change these conditions, and to avoid the
very evils which soon came to pass, that James II, who had at least the
merit of an intelligent interest in the colonies, placed all New England
under the single jurisdiction of Andros in 1686, and, in 1688, united
New York and the Jerseys to New England.

The Revolution which drove James from the throne discredited his
measures, but the twenty years of war with France which the Revolution
brought in its train proved the wisdom of his policy. When Indian
massacres inspired at Quebec made a desolate waste of the New England
frontier, while Boston and New York merchants filled their pockets by
supplying the enemy with munitions of war, the inadequacy of the
colonial system for defense, as well as all the worst evils of illicit
trade, stood clearly revealed. Until 1715, the Board of Trade, which
William appointed in 1696, maintained the traditions, if it did not
exhibit all the efficiency, of the old committee of the Lords of Trade.
The Navigation Act of 1696, providing for nearly thirty officials at an
annual cost of £1605, for the first time systematically extended the
English customs service to the colonies. In the following year seven
admiralty courts, subject to the Lords of the Admiralty, were erected in
the continental colonies to try cases arising out of the violation of
the Trade Acts, while special courts for dealing with piracy were
established in 1700. But the customs and admiralty services, although
directly responsible to the English Government, could never be fully
effective unless they were vigorously supported by the colonial
Governments. It was in order to make the enforcement of the commercial
code more effective, as well as to secure better coöperation among the
colonial Governments for military defense, that the Board of Trade
repeatedly advised the recall of all the charters as a measure necessary
above all others. The advice of the Board was followed only in part. The
union of New England and New York was abandoned. Massachusetts received
a new charter; Connecticut and Rhode Island retained their old ones;
Penn's charter, annulled in 1692, was restored in 1694. But under the
charter granted to Massachusetts in 1691 the governor was appointed by
the Crown; New Jersey was made a royal province in 1702; and Maryland in
1691, although it was given back to the Baltimores in 1715. When the
Peace of Utrecht was signed in 1713, the system devised by the Board of
Trade for controlling the colonies thus lacked little of being
completely established. The English customs and admiralty services had
been fully extended to America; and while control of legislation was
left mainly in the hands of assemblies elected in each colony, executive
authority was entrusted to Crown officials in every colony except
Pennsylvania, where the governor was appointed by the proprietor, and
Rhode Island and Connecticut, where he was still elected by the people.


It is only by courtesy that these measures for confining the trade of
the empire may be called a colonial system; and it would have been well
if England, profiting by the experience of the French wars, had set
seriously about the task of fashioning a method of government adapted to
the political as well as the commercial needs of her New World
possessions. But it was not to be. With the accession of George I,
enthusiasm for plantation ventures declined; interest in the colonies,
undiminished, indeed, was more than ever concentrated upon their
commercial possibilities; and the constructive policy of the Stuarts
gave way, in the phrase of Burke, to one of "salutary neglect." The
neglect was, indeed, by no means complete. Information was assiduously
gathered; many new laws were passed; the number of officials greatly
increased, and governors more carefully instructed; colonial statutes,
more consistently inspected, were more often annulled. Yet it is true
that for three decades after the Peace of Utrecht no attempt was made to
transform the commercial code into a colonial system. And even the
commercial code was administered in "a gentlemanlike and easy-going
fashion: little was embitered and nothing solved."

Of many circumstances which contributed to this result, the effect of
the Revolution on English politics was fundamental. Kings who ruled by
grace of a statute, instead of by divine right, inevitably lost
administrative as well as legislative authority. Colonial policy was
therefore no longer determined, as in Stuart times, by the king in
council, but by the ministers; by ministers who might listen to the
Board of Trade, but could not take advice unless it squared with the
wishes of the Parliament that made them. When, in 1715, Secretary
Stanhope appointed George Vaughan, an owner of sawmills in New
Hampshire, to be lieutenant-governor of that province, the Board of
Trade protested; and quoted, in support of its protest, the remarks of
Bellomont about Mr. Partridge. "To set a carpenter to preserve woods,"
said Bellomont, "is like setting a wolf to guard sheep; I say, to
preserve woods, for I take it to be the chiefest part of the business of
a Lt. Governor of that province to preserve the woods for the king's
use." The protest was ignored; and for thirty years, while the Board of
Trade fell almost to the level of a joke, the colonies were managed by a
Secretary of State who was likely to be less interested in preserving
the woods for the king's use than in advancing the interests of the Whig
oligarchy which governed England.

It could not well have been otherwise. The Whig oligarchy, having driven
the Stuarts from the throne, was bound to identify the welfare of the
empire with the maintenance of the House of Hanover. Convinced that so
long as there was peace and plenty in the land Jacobite exiles would
wait in vain for the day when the body of James II, lying unburied in
the church of St. Jacques, might be restored to English soil, ministers
labored to make the nation loyal by making it comfortable. It was
therefore necessary to guard with jealousy the material interests of
the inarticulate Tory squire, who still harbored a sullen loyalty to the
Stuarts, as well as of the merchants and moneyed men whose fortunes were
bound up with the Revolution settlement. And year by year the
Parliamentary influence of the latter increased. Members of the South
Sea and East India Companies had seats in the House of Commons; and the
West India Islands, where, it was estimated in 1775, property to the
value of £14,000,000 was "owned by persons who live in England," were in
very truth represented there. William Beckford, who entered Parliament
in 1747, possessed of a great fortune acquired in Jamaica sugar
plantations, and soon to become all-powerful in "the City," was only the
most famous of those who effectively voiced the demands of colonial
landlords and London merchants. "Such men used in times past to come hat
in hand," said Newcastle; "now the second word is, 'you shall hear of it
in another place.'" In fact, although ministers bowed to the king and
spoke of His Majesty's Government, they knew well that the fortunes of
the kingdom were in the hands of the big property interests that
buttressed an unstable throne.

And these masters of England, never interested in the colonies apart
from their commercial value, were less so than ever during this Indian
summer of prosperous content. Rising prices made the era of, the first
Georges a golden age of agriculture; while the effect of the French wars
was to "exalt beyond measure the maritime and commercial supremacy of
England." The Treaty of Meuthen facilitated the importation of cloth
into Portugal and the flow of Brazilian bullion to London. Levantine
trade began to open to England after the conquest of Gibraltar and
Minorca. English merchants acquired special privileges at Cadiz by the
Treaty of Utrecht; and the _Assiento_ gave to the South Sea Company a
monopoly of importing slaves into New Spain, and enabled it to secure,
"by the ingenuity of British merchants," the greater part of the general
commerce of the Spanish colonies. In 1710, the number of vessels
clearing from English ports was 3550; it was 6614 in 1714; and during
the same period the shipping of London increased from 806 to 1550. In
1758, imports from the continental colonies into England stood at
£648,683, and from the West Indies at £1,834,036. "The colonies," said
the elder Horace Walpole, "are the source of all our riches"; for it was
the colonies, and above all the West Indies,--that subterranean channel
by which the silks and teas from Vera Cruz, and Peruvian gold from
Puerto Bello, found their way into England,--which alone "preserve the
balance of trade in our favour."

If, as sometimes happened, powerful Parliamentary interests complained
of conditions in the colonies, the Government was ready to comply with
their demands. During the Walpole régime, the private smuggler in
Spanish commerce, whether Englishman or New Englander, was suppressed in
order that the South Sea Company might enjoy a monopoly of that
profitable business. When Jamaica planters, unable to sell their sugar
in Europe or Massachusetts in competition with the French islands,
clamored for relief, the famous Molasses Act of 1733 was passed, laying
prohibitive duties upon the importation of sugar, molasses, and rum into
the continental colonies. And in 1750, at the behest of the woolen and
iron interests, rapidly growing industries in New England and
Pennsylvania were restricted in order that the English landowner and
English woolen and iron manufacturers might find in America the markets
which they were losing in Europe. But in general neither the landed nor
the industrial interests pressed the Government to meddle with the
plantations; and when no one complained, ministers of the temper of
Walpole or Newcastle were not disposed to concern themselves with the
reform of the colonial system, or to inquire too curiously into the
honesty or the efficiency with which it was administered. According to
their philosophy, it mattered little whether the Governor of Virginia
was an able man, or whether he resided in London or Jamestown; what
mattered was that Newcastle should succeed, by a judicious distribution
of offices, in maintaining a Parliamentary majority for the party which
guarded the liberties of England. It mattered little whether the
admiralty courts fell under the control of the merchants and landowners
who dominated colonial assemblies; what mattered was that the colonial
merchant and landowner should be prosperous and maintain a safe credit
balance with English merchants. And therefore let the governors be
punctiliously instructed to perform their duties strictly; but let
those be recalled who irritated the best people in the colonies by too
officiously endeavoring to carry out their instructions. So long as the
colonial planter was content and the Tory squire could not complain of
high taxes or low rents, so long as merchants of standing in London or
New York found business good, so long as the English manufacturer had
ready markets and the trading companies distributed high dividends, it
seemed folly indeed to attempt, with meticulous precision, to enforce
the Trade Acts at every unregarded point, to construct ideal governments
for communities that were every year richer than the last, or to provide
at great expense for an adequate military defense against Canada when
peace with France was the settled policy of England.

Unhappily for this policy of _quieta non movere_, peace with France came
to an end after thirty years. And if since the Peace of Utrecht the
English colonies had grown rich and populous, the French had
strengthened their hold on all the strategic points of the interior from
Quebec to New Orleans. The province of Louisiana, founded in 1699 by
D'Iberville to forestall the English in occupying the mouth of the
Mississippi, contained a population of more than ten thousand white
settlers in 1745. The governor maintained friendly relations with the
Choctaw Indians, and endeavored to alienate the Cherokees and the Creeks
from the English alliance, and so to divert the rich peltry trade of the
Southwest from Fort Moore and Charleston to New Orleans. Attached to
Louisiana for administrative purposes were the small but thriving French
settlements on the Mississippi, between the Illinois and the Ohio
Rivers, centering about Forts Chartres, Cahokia, and Kaskaskia. Between
Louisiana and Canada all the connecting waterways, save alone the upper
Ohio, were guarded by military establishments and trading posts--on
Green Bay, on the Wabash and Miami Rivers, at the southern end of Lake
Michigan, at Detroit and Niagara. By discovery and occupation, the
French claimed all the inland country; denied the right of Englishmen to
settle or trade there; were prepared to defend it by force, and, in case
of war, to release upon the unguarded English frontier from Maine to
Virginia those savage tribes, whom legend credits with many noble
virtues, but whom the colonists by bitter experience well knew to be
cruel and treacherous and bestial beyond conception.

The possession of this hinterland was now, toward the middle of the
century, become the vital issue; for the claims of France could not stay
the populous English colonies from pushing their frontier across the
mountains, or prevent skillful English traders from undermining the
loyalty of her Indian allies. There were settlements in the southern
up-country as far west as Fort Moore on the Savannah, as far as Camden
and Charlottesburg, and beyond Hillsborough. The outpost of Virginia was
at Wills Creek, within striking distance of the Ohio; the valleys of the
Blue Ridge were filling with Scotch-Irish and Pennsylvania Dutch; while
German and Dutch farmers of New York occupied both sides of the Mohawk
nearly to its source. Oswego, long since established on Lake Ontario,
was abundantly justifying the ambitious scheme inaugurated sixty years
earlier by Governor Dongan; for official corruption at Montreal had not
made French goods cheaper since the days of Frontenac, and the northern
Indians yearly resorted to Oswego to trade with the English. And every
year unlicensed traders, such as Christopher Gist and William Trent, not
to mention many "more abandoned wretches," hired men on the Pennsylvania
or Virginia frontier and with goods on pack-horses crossed the
Alleghanies to traffic among the western Indians. In 1749, Céloron de
Bienville, sent by the Governor of Canada to take possession of the Ohio
Valley, found English traders at Logstown and Scioto, and in nearly
every village as far west as the Miami. This was the very year that John
Hanbury, a London merchant, and some Virginia gentlemen, among whom were
Lawrence and Augustine Washington, petitioned the Board of Trade for a
grant of five hundred thousand acres of land on the upper Ohio. And the
petition was granted, in order that the country might be more rapidly
settled, and "to cultivate the friendship and carry on a more extensive
commerce with the native Indians, and as a step towards checking the
encroachments of the French."

Those who went into the back country received little assistance from
Government, either English or colonial, in extending the frontier, and
but little in defending it. Tide-water rice or tobacco planters,
peaceful and gain-loving Quakers at Philadelphia, New York or Boston
merchants trading in the West Indies, all untouched by Indian massacre
and absorbed in local politics, begrudged money spent to protect a
half-alien people, often without their jurisdiction. The English
Government, for its part, had long observed the comfortable maxim that
if her navy policed the sea, the colonists were bound to provide their
own defense in time of peace. Money for Indian presents was regularly
sent; garrisons maintained in Nova Scotia and in the West Indies;
assistance sometimes given for forts on the exposed New York or Carolina
frontier. But the expense was slight indeed: in 1783 the total amount
appropriated for defending the continental colonies, exclusive of Nova
Scotia and not counting money for Indian presents, was £10,000; in 1743,
it was £25,000. And the war which opened in 1743 demonstrated that a
government which neglected defense in time of peace could scarcely
provide it in time of war. The New England frontier was once more
devastated by pillage and massacre; and Philip Schuyler, to the high
disgust of his Iroquois allies, was forced to abandon and burn Fort
Saratoga for lack of supplies to maintain it. Yet New England farmers
made possible the capture of Louisburg, and the colonies together raised
nearly eight thousand troops to coöperate, in the conquest of Canada,
with the fleet and army which the Duke of Newcastle promised but never
sent. Massachusetts was, indeed, generously repaid for the heavy expense
which she incurred; but two hundred and seventeen chests of Spanish
dollars and one hundred barrels of copper coin, sufficient to restore
her credit, were scarce full return for the restoration of Louisburg to
France after the war was over.

With how much ease, during the six years that followed the Peace of
Aix-la-Chapelle, might the English and colonial Governments have
prevented the worst horrors of the French and Indian War! Deprived of
her Indian allies, Canada would scarce have been a danger; and at no
time were the Indians better disposed toward the English. "All I can
say," Céloron de Bienville announced when he returned from the Ohio in
1750, "is that all the nations of these countries are very ill-disposed
toward the French, and devoted to the English." And in the next year
Père Piquet complained that Oswego "not only spoils our trade, but puts
the English into communication with a vast number of our Indians far and
near. It is true that they like French brandy better than English rum;
but they prefer English goods to ours, and can buy for two beaver skins
at Oswego a better silver bracelet than we sell at Niagara for ten."
Strongly garrisoned forts at Albany, at Oswego, and on the Ohio would
have transformed this friendly disposition into a firm alliance. But
there was little loyalty in the red man's heart for an unmilitary
people; and cheap goods, however they might win the Indian in time of
peace, made but a silken cord to hold him in time of war. "We would have
taken Crown Point, but you prevented us," said Chief Hendrick at the
conference hastily summoned at Albany to prepare for defense on the eve
of war. "Instead you burned your own fort at Saratoga and ran away from
it. You have no fortifications, no, not even in this city. The French
are men; they are fortifying everywhere. But you are all like women,
bare and open, without fortifications." Not one representative of seven
colonies had authority to reassure him. Sir William Johnson did, indeed,
negotiate a treaty of alliance with the Iroquois and the western
Indians; and the Virginia assembly, yielding at last to Governor
Dinwiddie's insistent demands, appropriated some money for maintaining
the wooden fort, well named Fort Necessity, which Colonel Washington had
built on the Ohio. But it was too late. The French built a better fort
at Duquesne; and they had scarcely defeated the Virginia colonel and
destroyed his fort before the English traders were driven from the
Indian villages, and no English flag was to be seen west of the
mountains. It was the western tribes that brought Braddock's expedition
to a disastrous end. While the Quakers at Philadelphia denounced the
iniquity of war, these quondam allies of England ravaged the frontiers
of Pennsylvania and Virginia, and the northern tribes that had gladly
come to Oswego to trade in 1754, assisted Montcalm to capture and
destroy it in 1756.

Reverses in America were but part of the multiplied disasters which
befell English arms at the opening of the Seven Years' War. At the close
of the year 1756, with Hanover threatened and Minorca taken, with the
Bourbon arms victorious in India and the Bourbon fleet unchecked upon
the sea, with a million and a half of colonists seemingly helpless
before eighty thousand French in America, it was clear at last that
ministers who employed organized corruption to buttress the throne, who
rarely read the American dispatches, and were not quite sure where Nova
Scotia was, had endangered that very peace and material prosperity with
which they had been so long and so exclusively occupied. In this crisis
many plans were forthcoming, at Albany and in London, for colonial union
and imperial defense; plans doubtless excellent in themselves, but
impracticable under the circumstances. They were therefore laid aside
until the war should be over. A plan of attack, not of defense, was now
the prime necessity. In face of this necessity, the Whig oligarchy,
abdicated its high function of "muddling through" the business of
government, while "an afflicted despairing nation turned to a private
gentleman of slender fortune, wanting the parade of birth and title, as
the only saviour of England." "I know," said William Pitt, "that I can
save England, and that nobody else can."

A most galling boast for both your houses of Pelham and Yorke, but a
true one. Within three years the nation was raised from the depths of
despair to the high level of its great leader's assured and arrogant
confidence. It was not by colonial systems that Pitt brought victory,
but by organizing efficiency in place of corruption and by inspiring
many men to heroic effort. Wisdom born of sympathy and common sense soon
accomplished in America what neither the bullying of Loudoun nor the New
Englander's hatred of the French could effect. In 1756 no more than five
thousand troops were raised in all New England and New York. Governor
Pownall was haggling as usual with his assembly over a levy of two
thousand men, when there arrived in Boston Pitt's order that henceforth
colonial officers should take rank with regulars, according to the date
of their commissions. The simple order was worth more than many plans of
union. The very next morning, when the dispatch was read out, the Old
Bay assembly voted the entire seven thousand men originally asked of the
Northern colonies; and during the year 1758 nearly twenty-five thousand
provincial troops were raised for the war. With this support, the
English army and fleet, for the first time ably led and efficiently
directed, soon destroyed the power of France in Canada: Louisburg was
once more captured; Crown Point and Niagara were taken; Oswego was
rebuilt; while the French, deserted by their savage allies as soon as
the English won victories, destroyed their own fort at Duquesne; and at
last the intrepid General Wolfe, fortunately aided by a strange
combination of accidents, scaled the Heights of Quebec and defeated the
army of Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham.

When the war was over and Canada no longer the menace it had been, men
without imagination, turning again to the schemes which had been laid
aside in 1756, began to devise measures for a closer supervision of the
"plantations," and for raising "a revenue in Your Majesty's dominions in
America for defraying the expenses of defending, protecting, and
securing the same." They were not aware that since the recall of the
Massachusetts charter the colonies had become something more than
plantations, or that there was arising on the continent of America a
people whose interests were national rather than imperial, and whose
ideals of well-being transcended the dead level of material ambitions.


For the settlement of the Southern and Middle colonies in this period,
see Channing _History of the United States_, II, chaps. II, IV; Andrews,
_Colonial Self-Government_, chaps. VI-VII, IX, XI. The best discussion
of the reasons for a revival of interest in the colonies during the
Restoration, and of the establishment and practical application of a
system of colonial administration and control, is Beer's _The Old
Colonial System_, Part I, 2 vols. See particularly, I, chaps, I-IV. For
this subject, see also, Channing, II, chaps. I, VIII; Andrews, _Colonial
Self-Government_, chaps. I-II; Andrews, _British Committees,
Commissions, and Councils of Trade and Plantations_ (Johns Hopkins
Studies, 1908); and Andrews, _The Colonial Period_, chap. V. For the
relations between England and her colonies in the first half of the
eighteenth century, see Dickerson, _American Colonial Government_
(Cleveland, 1912); Andrews, _The Colonial Period_, chaps. VI, VII;
Greene, _Provincial America_, chaps. II-IV, XI; and Beer, _British
Colonial Policy_, chap. I. The importance of the West Indies in
determining the policy of Walpole is brought out by Temperley, _American
Historical Association Reports_, 1911, vol. I, p. 231. For the rise of
New France and the conflict of France and England in America, see Fiske,
_New France and New England_, chaps, I-II, IV, VIII-X; Thwaites, _France
in America_, chaps. I, IV, VI, VIII; Channing, II, chaps. V, XVIII-XIX.
The most fascinating as well as the fullest treatment of this subject is
contained in the works of Francis Parkman. His _Count Frontenac and New
France under Louis XIV; Half Century of Conflict_, 2 vols., and
_Montcalm and Wolfe_, 2 vols., make a fairly continuous history of the
subject from 1672 to 1763.



     _America is formed for happiness but not for empire._


     _At length one mentioned me, with the observation that I was merely an
     honest man, and of no sect at all, which prevailed with them to chuse



All accounts agree in celebrating the marvelous growth of the
continental colonies in the eighteenth century. When the Massachusetts
charter was recalled they were in fact British "plantations"; weak and
scattered coast settlements, hemmed in by hostile Indians, separated
from each other by long stretches of wilderness; without the inclination
or the opportunity for intercourse, they struggled in isolation, often
for bare existence. At the time of the passage of the Stamp Act they
were wealthy and stable communities, whose thrifty and venturesome
people had long since joined colony to colony all along the coast, and
were already pushing across the mountains to occupy the great interior
valleys. And with rapid material development there had come a confident
and aggressive spirit, a proud and intractable temper, a certain
self-righteous sense of separation from the Old World and its
traditions. The very rivalries between colony and colony were the
result of close contact and daily intercourse, their very jealousies
born of interrelated interests and the recognition of a common destiny.

In 1689 not more than 80,000 people lived in New England, a trifle more
in the Southern, and half as many in the Middle colonies. Seventy years
later, when all New France could not boast more than 80,000 people of
European birth or descent, New England alone had a population of
473,000, the Middle Colonies about 405,000, and the plantations south,
of Delaware 417,000, not including 300,000 negro slaves. Within three
quarters of a century the people of the continental colonies had
increased nearly eightfold--from 200,000 in 1689, to 1,500,000 in 1760.
And material prosperity had kept pace with the increase in population;
so that there was some truth, even if some exaggeration, in the
statement of Peter Kalm that "the English colonies in this part of the
world have increased so much in their numbers of inhabitants, and in
their riches, that they almost vie with Old England."

Of this rapid growth the colonists were well aware. They took to
themselves full credit, as their descendants have done ever since, for
having transformed a wilderness into a land of peace and plenty. With
Richard Burnaby they could quite agree that such a town as Philadelphia,
planted scarce eighty years, must be the "object of every one's wonder
and admiration." It was this sense of unparalleled achievement that gave
courageous conviction to the steady assertion of colonial rights. And
the form of government in the provinces was well suited to secure for
the colonists that independence which they claimed as a birthright, and
the practical achievement of which is the cardinal political fact of the
century. For it was no part of British policy to burden the English
exchequer with the maintenance of the colonial establishments. The
normal province was thought to be one in which legislation was entrusted
mainly to local assemblies elected by the colonists, while executive and
administrative authority rested mainly with a governor and council
responsible to the king. At the opening of the eighteenth century,
colonial governments mostly conformed to this model: in each colony the
owners of property regularly elected an assembly which levied taxes and
made laws; in each colony, except in Rhode Island and Connecticut, the
governor, and usually the council as well, were appointed by the Crown.

With authority thus divided, conflict was sure to arise. In theory, the
interests of colony and Crown may have been identical; in fact the
assemblies looked at the affairs of the colony from the point of view of
immediate local needs, while the governor was bound by his instructions
to regard his province as but one of many whose special interests must
be subordinated to the welfare of the whole empire. Of the assemblies'
many advantages in this perennial conflict, control of the purse was the
chief. "The governor," says a contemporary, "has two masters; one who
gives him his commission, and one who gives him his pay." It required no
little courage, and was likely to prove useless in the end, to ignore
the latter master in obedience to the former. Placemen were little
inclined to irritate those who paid them and were on the spot to watch
their every move; while even the ablest governors often found themselves
deserted by the Crown whose interests they attempted to defend. Before
the middle of the century ministers were generally indifferent to the
constitutional tendencies in the colonies; repeated recommendations of
the Board of Trade for an independent civil list went unheeded, and
governors, such as Spotswood, who stirred up trouble by endeavoring to
carry out their instructions, were likely to be replaced by others whose
adroit concessions to the assemblies created the illusion of a
successful administration.

The concrete disputes in which the persistent opposition of governor and
assembly found expression were many--quit-rents in Maryland, control of
the judges in New York, taxation of proprietor's estates in
Pennsylvania, and everywhere questions growing out of the problem of
defense and the demand for paper money. Instructed in English precedent,
the assemblies knew well how to condition the grant of salary or
necessary revenue upon the governor's surrender to their demands. But
more insidious and far-reaching in its constitutional effects was the
practice by which the governor's executive and administrative functions
were restricted. Money bills, even when unconnected with special riders,
were often made minutely specific, both in respect to the purposes for
which the money was to be used, and in respect to the officials by whom
it was to be expended. Even salaries in the army were sometimes granted
by individual appropriation. In many colonies, and notably in New York,
it was by the constant and excessive use of specific appropriations that
the governors were reduced to the level of executive figureheads--mere
agents of the colonial assembly rather than representatives of the Crown
exercising wise and effective administrative discretion. This process
was especially rapid during the French wars, when the assemblies were
enabled to exact tremendous concessions in return for indispensable aid
against the common enemy. "The New York Assembly," said Peter Kalm about
1750, "may be looked upon as a Parliament or Diet in miniature.
Everything relating to the good of the province is here debated." In
1763 he might have said the same, not of New York alone, but of
Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. And the
governors of these provinces could have told him, as they repeatedly
told the Board of Trade, that not only was everything debated there, but
there everything was finally decided.

The assemblies, which had thus so largely taken to themselves the
functions of government, claimed to declare the rights and defend the
interests of the people. But in fact they represented their colonies
very much as Parliament represented England. In every colony a property
test restricted the number of those who had a voice in the elections;
while political methods and the traditions of society united to place
effective control in the hands of the eminent few. No secret ballot or
Australian system guarded the independence of the voter. It was not an
age in which every individual was supposed to count for one and none
for more than one. The rigid maintenance of class distinctions, even in
New England, where students in Harvard College were seated according to
social rank and John Adams was but fourteenth in a class of twenty-four,
made it presumptuous for the ordinary man to dispute the opinion of his
betters or contest their right to leadership: to look up to his
superiors and take his cue from them was regarded as the sufficient
exercise of political liberty. The times were thought to be out of joint
when effective control of colonial politics rested not with a few men
who, through wealth or social standing, through official position,
through well-considered marriage connections, had built up the rival or
consolidated "interests" which played, each on its little stage, the
part of Bedford or Pelham or Yorke in Old England.

The foundation of this miniature aristocracy was wealth; wealth acquired
in the South mainly from the great plantations, in the North mainly from
commerce. In South Carolina the unhealthful swamp lands, driving the
planters to the coast during most of the year, made Charleston one of
the first commercial centers of America. Three hundred and sixty vessels
cleared from that port in 1764. Manigault and Mazyck, Laurens and
Rutledge, were therefore merchants of note as well as planters,
exporting provisions to the West Indies, the staples rice and indigo to
England or to the Continent south of Finisterre, and bringing back
slaves and English manufactures. In Virginia and Maryland, where there
were no cities of importance, the planters turned all their profits
into slaves and land. The second William Byrd, inheriting 26,000 acres,
left to his son 179,000 acres of the best land in Virginia, and the
right to represent his county in the assembly. All the great planters,
Ludlow and Carter, Randolph, Fairfax and Blair, lived on their estates,
and from their private wharves exported the tobacco which English
commission merchants sold in London, and for which they sent in return
such English commodities of all kinds as the planter might order. The
great estates along the Hudson, owned by men like Van Rensselaer, a
descendant of the old Dutch patroon, or Phillipse and Courtland and
Livingston, who had profited by the lavish grants of early English
governors, rivaled in extent the plantations of Virginia; and like the
planters of South Carolina their owners were often engaged in commerce,
and were connected, through business or marriage, with the wealthy
merchant families of New York City--the Van Dams, Crugers, Waltons, and

Elsewhere in America there were not, as in these provinces, great
estates ranging from two hundred thousand to more than a million acres.
But the thrifty Quakers of eastern Pennsylvania, engaging in less
extensive enterprises, were less often in debt than the planters of the
South, and no less shrewd at a bargain than the Dutch merchants of New
York. Possessed of the best land in the province, or engaged at
Philadelphia in the export of provisions to the West Indies, they built
up many respectable estates among them, and by effective organization
the leaders of the sect controlled the colony for many decades in the
interest of a Quaker-merchant aristocracy inhabiting the three eastern
counties of the province. And even in New England material interests
were transforming the structure of society. Slave-owning planters of
Newport now dominated the little colony which Roger Williams had
established as an experiment in democracy and soul liberty. Boston
shared with New York and Philadelphia the export of provisions with
which the farms of the Middle and Northern colonies supplied the West
Indies. It was the chief center of the New England fisheries.
Shipbuilding was there, as at Newport, a great industry; and there, as
at Newport, rum was extensively distilled from molasses procured in the
sugar islands. The vessels of Boston and Newport merchants, loaded with
rum and fish and tropical products, traded in many European ports, in
the Azores, or on the African coast, returning with wine and slaves and
every kind of English manufacture. In this material atmosphere the old
Puritan spirit was being strangely subdued to the stuff it worked in.
Wealth and shrewdness were more effective than orthodoxy in achieving
social and political eminence. A few names familiar to the seventeenth
century are still to be met with in high places--Sewall, Dudley, Quincy,
Hutchinson; but in the middle of the eighteenth century the names of
repute in the Old Bay colony are mostly new--Oliver, Bowdoin, Boylston,
Cooper, Phillips, Cushing, Thatcher; names rescued from obscurity by men
who had won distinction in the pulpit or at the bar, or by men who had
made money in trade, and whose descendants, marrying with the old
clerical or official families, had pushed their way, in the second or
third generation, into the social and political aristocracy of the

Such were the "men of considerable estates" in whose hands the English
Government was generally well content to leave the control of colonial
politics; and as they were the men who profited most by the connection
with England, they were the men whose outlook upon the world was least
provincial and most European. Planters and merchants of the South,
exporting their staples directly to England, were in constant
communication with their London agents. Business or politics had taken
many of them more than once across the ocean. Not a few had been sent in
their youth to be educated in England; and had resided there for some
years, forming acquaintance with prominent English families, listening
to debates in the Commons or to arguments in the courts of law,
diverting themselves in theaters and coffee-houses, acquiring the latest
modes and mannerisms, moulding themselves upon some favorite model of a
city magnate or country gentleman. In the Northern colonies, trade
relations with England were less direct. Business rarely called the
merchant to Europe; and Yale or Harvard was regarded as a satisfactory
substitute for Oxford or Cambridge. Yet the merchants of Boston and New
York had their agents in many European ports; kept informed of
conditions of trade and shipping throughout the world; and eagerly
scanned the foreign gazettes which recounted the political and social
happenings of Old England. In North and South, the well-to-do, as they
were able, built and furnished their houses upon English models, and
were not content with modes of dress which were known, twelve months
late, not to be the fashion abroad. Especially fortunate were those
whose wealth was dignified by distinction of birth, the walls of whose
houses were hung with oil portraits of eminent ancestors.

And the genuine colonial aristocrat, such as Colonel Byrd or Governor
Thomas Hutchinson, was proud to have it thought that his mind as well as
his house was furnished after the best English fashion. Even more than
others, those who were condemned to be provincials of the province
consciously endeavored, to avoid provincialism of the spirit; to be
mistaken in London for an English gentleman of parts was a much-sought
compensation for being, at Williamsburg or Boston, no more than the
first gentleman of America. In the middle of the eighteenth century,
eccentricity was not yet a mark of genius; and the "best people in the
colonies" learned from English authors what high intellectual merit
there was in being close to the center. "Your authors know but little of
the fame they have on this side of the ocean," Franklin assured William
Strahan when he wrote to order six sets of a new edition of Pope's
works. The four thousand volumes at Westover, or the books in Governor
Hutchinson's Boston house, would have given any cultivated Englishman a
reputation for good taste and discriminating judgment. Colonel Byrd
could as readily as Voltaire detect in the fantastic beliefs of an
American savage "the three great articles of Natural Religion." We find
the youthful Adams, who read Bolingbroke for his style and laboriously
copied out Berkeley and Tillotson, entering the lists of "moderns" to
defend the advantages of eighteenth-century Boston against those of Rome
in the age of Tully, renouncing, with the assurance of Locke, and with
some of his phrases, the outworn fallacy of innate ideas, and naïvely
confiding to his journal, after the manner of Diderot, that a man born
blind would have never a notion of color. Franklin was only the most
distinguished of those who read with pleasure the Queen Anne poets and
essayists, who learned in Tillotson that theology might be compatible
with reason and common sense, or in Shaftesbury that an enlightened
free-thinker might still be a gentleman and a man of virtue. Among the
cultivated and the well-bred it was no more than good form to open the
mind to all the tolerant liberalisms of the age; and no one in the
colonies lost caste who endeavored, in the manner if not in the
substance of his thinking, to achieve the polished urbanity of those
Englishmen who made a point of being scholars without a touch of
pedantry, and men of virtue without the taint of prejudice.

Yet few of these emancipated citizens of the world had permitted the
dissolvent philosophy of the century to enter the very pith and fiber of
their mental quality. For the rich and the well-born it was rather an
imported fashion, an attractive drapery laid over the surface of minds
that were conventional down to the ground, the modish mental recreation
of men who lived by custom and guided their steps in the well-worn paths
of precedent. In America, as in England, as in France, itself, the
formulæ of radicalism were well pronounced by many whose hearts grew
faint at the first rude contact with the thing itself. And of all the
phrases of that age, the ones best suited to the temper and purposes of
the colonial aristocracies, and understood by them with reservations the
most characteristically English, were those employed by Locke to justify
the natural right of Englishmen to become free while remaining unequal.
The colonials of substantial estates, long occupied in their assemblies
in resisting the governor's authority, thought of themselves often
enough as but rehearsing the traditional conflict between Crown and
Parliament. Like their prototypes they identified the rights of property
with natural right, and translated political liberty in terms of
prescriptive privilege. The rights of man and the rights of Englishmen
were thus thought to be synonymous terms: a happy confusion by which it
was possible for them to defend liberty against the encroachments of
their equals in England, without sharing it with their inferiors in the


"My ancestors," says Devereaux Jarrett, who was born on a small
plantation in New Kent County, Virginia, about 1733, "had the character
of honesty and industry, by which they lived in credit among their
neighbors, free from real want, and above the frowns of the world. This
was also the habit in which my parents were. They always had plenty of
plain food and raiment, suitable to their humble station. We made no
use of tea or coffee; meat, bread, and milk was the ordinary food of all
my acquaintance. I suppose the richer sort might make use of those and
other luxuries, but to such people we had no access. We were accustomed
to look upon what were called _gentle folks_ as beings of a superior
order. For my part, I was quite shy of them, and kept off at a humble
distance. A periwig in those days, was a distinguishing badge of gentle
folk. Such ideas of the difference between gentle and simple, were, I
believe, universal among all my rank and age."

The distinction between gentle and simple was doubtless less absolute
than the disillusioned Jarrett represents it to have been. Even in the
South there were many gradations of wealth, and it was no uncommon thing
for a man to rise, as Jarrett did himself, from mean birth to a
considerable eminence. Yet in none of the colonies was the distinction
altogether unreal. The mass of the voters,--small freehold farmers in
the country and "freemen" in some of the towns,--holding themselves
superior to the unfranchised, yet not claiming equality with the favored
few; the tenant farmer or small shopkeeper, deferring to the freeholder
and the freeman, but aware that fortune had placed him above the artisan
and day laborer; the artisan and the day laborer, proud that none could
call them "servant":--these were the simple folk who in all the colonies
made the great majority of free citizens. Chiefly occupied with earning
daily bread by the labor of their hands, many were content to escape the
debtor's prison, the best well satisfied with a modest competence. They
heard of countries beyond sea, but their outlook was bounded by the
parish. The provincialism of their minds was not dispelled by communion
with the classics of all ages, and no cheap magazine or popular novel
came to dull the edge of native shrewdness or curiosity. They read not
at all, or they read the Bible, the _Paradise Lost_ or the _Pilgrim's
Progress_, or some chance book of sermons or of theology, or book of
English ballads. Periwigs and gold braid were not for them, nor was it
any part of their ambition to enter the charmed circle of polite
society, to associate on terms of equality with the "best people" in the

Yet with whatever semblance the older settlements might take on the
character of European civilization, America was bound to be the land of
opportunity so long as there was abundance of free land to entice the
ambitious and the dispossessed. Early in the century, as good land
became scarce in the older towns of New England, and proprietors began
to deny the commons to the landless, venturesome and discontented men,
accepting the challenge of a savage-infested wilderness, moved northward
along the rivers into Maine and New Hampshire, or beyond the original
Connecticut settlements into the valley of the Housatonic. Here land was
less often than formerly disposed of to groups of proprietors intent to
maintain the traditions of town and church; acquired by the older towns
or by land agents, it was more often sold to companies or to individuals
for the profit it would bring. The famous New Hampshire grants, one
hundred and thirty townships in the present State of Vermont, fell
mainly to speculators who sold to the highest bidder, covenanted and
uncovenanted alike, among the throng of home-seekers who pushed into
this western country in the seventh decade of the century. Long before
the Revolution opened, there thus existed in New England a fringe of
pioneer settlements--such as Vassalboro and Durham on the Androscoggin
and the Kennebec, Concord and Hinsdale on the Merrimac and the
Connecticut, Pittsfield and Great Barrington on the Housatonic--which
formed a newer New England, less lettered and scriptural than the old,
where class distinctions were little known, where contact with the
Indian and the wilderness had added a secular ruthlessness and ingenuity
to the harsh Puritan temper, and where the individual, freed from an
effective "village moral police," learned in the rough school of nature
a new kind of conformity unknown to the ancient Hebrew code.

In the Middle and Southern colonies, even more than in New England,
expansion of population into the interior was a notable feature of the
eighteenth century. In 1700 the estate of William Byrd at the James
River Falls was on the Indian frontier; North Carolina was unoccupied
south of Albemarle Sound or west of the Nottaway River; there were few
settlers in South Carolina north of the Santee, or south or west of it
except the Charleston planters who had appropriated all the land within
sixty miles of the coast and within twenty of every navigable river.
Sixty years later the unoccupied coast regions were settled, and the
surplus population of Virginia and Maryland, excluded from the
tide-water by the engrossers of great estates, or oppressed by its
restricted social conditions, had occupied the cheap lands of eastern
North Carolina, or, following the James and the Rappahannock, had
settled in the up-country between the "Fall Line" and the Blue Ridge.
Cattle-raisers, learning from Indian traders of the fertile interior,
followed the trails with their "cowpens," which in turn gave place to
permanent farms. In this back country, the great plantation was not
often found, and slavery played little part. There were few superiors
where farms were comparatively small, and where most men worked with
their hands and consumed provisions raised by their own labor. Of those
who came from the older settlements to occupy the up-country, many were
"such as have been transported hither as servants, and being out of
their time ... settle themselves where land is to be taken up that will
produce the necessities of life with little labor." William Byrd
described with engaging wit the ne'er-do-wells who maintained a
precarious existence below the Dividing Line; and Governor Spotswood
deplored the shiftless servants who lived on the Virginia frontier. Yet
we may suppose that freedom often transformed the idle bondsman into an
industrious freeholder. Nor were all the settlers of the Virginia back
country emancipated servants. In 1732 Peter Jefferson patented a
thousand acres at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was in this
frontier community above the Fall Line that Patrick Henry and Thomas
Jefferson were born; here they grew to manhood; here they were inspired
with those ideals of society so inimical alike to the imperial designs
of the British Government and to the complacent pretensions of the
slave-owning aristocracies of the tide-water.

Yet the first distinctive American frontier was not created alone by the
movement of population westward from the older settlements; like every
successive frontier in our history, it became the mecca of emigrants
from British and continental lands. Before 1700, exiled Huguenots and
refugees from the Palatinate began to seek the New World; and during the
eighteenth century men of non-English stock poured by the thousands into
the up-country of Pennsylvania and of the South. In 1700 the foreign
population in the colonies was slight; in 1775 it is estimated that
225,000 Germans and 385,000 Scotch-Irish, together nearly one fifth of
the entire population, lived within the provinces that won independence.
Persecution and the ravages of war, taxes that were heavy at any time
and intolerable in time of famine, were among the causes that disposed
many thousands of Protestant families from Ulster, and from the thickly
populated districts of Switzerland and the Rhine country, to seek new
homes in a land of better promise. To cross the ocean was no slight
undertaking for unlettered and home-keeping people. But since the
founding of Pennsylvania knowledge of America had spread among the
peasants of Germany, and there was no lack of "Neulanders"--the emigrant
agents of that day--who described the New World in glowing terms, and
stood ready for a consideration to carry any who wished to be
transported to its shores. And the way was facilitated by the English
and colonial Governments: to forestall the French in settling the
interior, secure the trade of the Indians in time of peace, and erect a
barrier against them in time of war, foreigners were accorded
naturalization, land was offered on easy terms, and toleration granted
to all Protestant sects.

Foreigners were not attracted to New England, where the Puritans
scrutinized all newcomers with a jealous eye; while New York was avoided
on account of the unhappy experience of Governor Hunter's Palatines and
the refusal of the great landowners along the Hudson to grant freehold
title. Most of the Germans, seeking homes in the best advertised and
most German of all the colonies, landed at the port of Philadelphia.
Germantown had been founded by Francis Daniel Pastorius in 1683, but it
was not until forty years later, after the devastating wars of the
Spanish Succession, that his countrymen occupied in force the
neighboring counties of Lancaster, Montgomery, and Bucks, pushed up into
Lehigh and Northampton, and across the Susquehanna into Cumberland and
Adams. Much to their surprise, doubtless, for it was scarcely the
business of the emigrant agent to inform them, they learned that land in
this German mecca sold for from £10 to £15 per hundred acres, and bore a
quit-rent of one halfpenny. Many occupied the land as squatters, and it
is estimated that 400,000 acres were settled without title between 1732
and 1740. But the newcomers or their children soon learned of better
opportunities to the south, where Maryland land sold for from £2 to £5
per hundred acres, and the up-country forestallers, such as Carter and
Beverley, under-sold the Pennsylvania land office in order to attract
settlers. As early as 1726 the stream of German migration began,
therefore, to move along the mountain slopes to the south and west.
During the middle decades of the century, they occupied in increasing
numbers the Piedmont of Virginia, crept southward along the west side of
the Blue Ridge in the Shenandoah Valley, and out into the up-country of
the Carolinas west of the great Pine Barrens.

[Illustration: Growth of English Settlements, 1700-1760.]

At the same time as the Germans, and in even greater numbers, came the
Scotch and Scotch-Irish, mostly disappointed settlers in Ulster who
found land titles insecure there and the promise of religious liberty
unfulfilled. A few, not easily discouraged, came to the Berkshires and
the New Hampshire hills; more occupied the Mohawk and Cherry Valleys of
New York; the great majority, like the Germans, settled in Pennsylvania
and the up-country of the South. In Pennsylvania, they went for the most
part beyond the German frontier, occupying the country from Lancaster to
Bedford, the Juniata Valley and the Redstone country, and in the decades
before the Revolution, attracted by free lands west of the Alleghanies,
as far as Pittsburg on the upper Ohio. Like the Germans they pushed
south into the Piedmont of Virginia, and along the Alleghany slope of
the Shenandoah, and into the Southern up-country as far as the Savannah
River. Sometimes mixing with the Germans, the main body of the
Scotch-Irish was everywhere farther west. Too martial to fear the
Indians, and too aggressive to live at peace with them, they were the
true borderers of the century, the frontier of the frontier, forming,
from Londonderry in New England to the Savannah, an outer bulwark,
behind which the older settlements, and even the peace-loving Germans
themselves, rested in some measure of security.

The German or Scotch-Irish immigrant was doubtless grateful to the
Government which offered him a refuge; but in the breast of neither was
there any sentimental loyalty to King George, or much sympathy with the
traditions of English society. Whether Mennonite or Moravian, German
Lutheran or Scotch Presbyterian, they were men whose manner of life
disposed them to an instinctive belief in equality of condition, whose
religion confirmed them in a democratic habit of mind. That every man
should labor as he was able; that no man should live by another's toil
or waste in luxurious living the hard-earned fruits of industry; that
all should live upright lives, eschewing the vanities of the world, and
worshiping God, neither with images nor vestments nor Romish ritual, but
in spirit and in truth:--these were the ideals which the foreign
Protestants brought as a heritage from Wittenberg and Geneva to their
new home in America. And if we may accept the impressions of an English
observer, life in the Shenandoah Valley was in happy accord, in the
middle of the century, with the arcadian simplicity of these ideals. "I
could not but reflect with pleasure on the situation of these people,"
says Richard Burnaby. "Far from the bustle of the world, they live in
the most delightful climate, and the richest soil imaginable; they are
everywhere surrounded with the most beautiful prospects and sylvan
scenes; ... they ... live in perfect liberty; they are ignorant of want,
and acquainted with but few vices. Their inexperience of the elegancies
of life precludes any regret that they possess not the means of enjoying
them; but they possess what many persons would give half their dominions
for, health, content, and tranquillity of mind."

[Illustration: Area of German Settlements and Frontier Line in 1775.]

The description does not lack truth, but perhaps it somewhat smacks of
fashionable eighteenth-century philosophy. And assuredly no region on
the frontier was more favored than the famous Shenandoah Valley. Little
question that conditions were less idyllic in other places. Missionaries
who preached the Great Awakening in western Pennsylvania and in the
Southern back country were often enough appalled by evidence of
ignorance and low morals. And on the far outer frontier at White Woman's
Creek, Mary Harris, still recalling after forty years' exile that "they
used to be very religious in New England," told Christopher Gist in 1751
that "she wondered how white men could be so wicked as she had seen them
in these woods." Neither the lyric phrase of Burnaby nor the harsh
verdict of Mary Harris fitly describes those interior communities that
stretched from Maine to Georgia. But there, as elsewhere, doubtless, the
practice of men's lives, even among the frontier Puritans of New
England, or the German Protestants and Scotch Presbyterians of the
Middle and Southern colonies, often fell short of their best ideals.
Leaving the sheltered existence of long-settled communities, set down on
a dangerous Indian frontier or at best in a virgin country, where
customary restraints were relaxed, where churches were few and schools
often unknown, where action more readily followed hard on desire and
men's will made all the majesty of the law, the aggressive primary
instincts had freer play, and society could not but take on a strain of
the primitive. Even more than the original colonists, these dwellers on
the second frontier caught something of the wild freedom of the
wilderness, something of the ruthlessness of nature, something also of
its self-sufficiency, something of its somber and emotional influence.

Between this primitive agricultural democracy of the interior and the
commercial and landed aristocracy of the coast, separated geographically
and differing widely in interests and ideals, conflict was inevitable.
When, in 1780, Thomas Jefferson said that "19,000 men below the Falls
give law to more than 30,000 living in other parts of the state," he was
proclaiming that opposition between the older and the newer America
which found expression in provincial politics from the middle of the
eighteenth century, which made a part of the Revolution, and which in
every period since has been so decisive a feature of our history. In the
eighteenth century the frontier was the home of a primitive radicalism.
Where offenses were elemental and easily detected, legal technicalities
and the chicanery of courts seemed but devices for the support of idle
lawyers; where debtors were most numerous and specie most scarce, few
could understand why paper money would not prove a panacea for poverty;
where every man earned his own bread and where submission to the
inevitable was the only kind of conformity that was deemed essential,
slavery and a state church were thought to be but the bulwark of class
privilege and the tyranny of kings. After the French wars the interior
communities of the Middle and Southern colonies, finding themselves
unfairly represented in the assemblies, were first made aware that their
interests were little likely to be seriously regarded either by the
king's ministers or the merchants and landlords who shaped legislation
at Williamsburg, Philadelphia, or New York. For defending the border in
the desolating war that drove the French out of America, it now seemed
that they were to be rewarded by land laws made for the rich, an
administration of justice burdensome for sparsely settled communities, a
money system that penalized them for being debtors, or taxes levied for
the support of a church which they never entered. And so, before the
Revolution opened, the Western imagination had conjured up the specter
of a corrupt and effete "East": land of money-changers and self-styled
aristocrats and a pliant clergy, the haunt of lawyers and hangers-on,
proper dwelling-place of "servants" and the beaten slave: a land of
cities, scorning the provincial West, and bent on exploiting its
laborious and upright people. And who could doubt that men who bought
their clothes in London would readily crook the knee to kings? Who could
question that special privilege in the colonies was fostered by the
laws of trade, or that aristocracy in America was the reward of
submission to England?


The appearance before the Revolution of class and sectional conflict
within the colonies was no more incompatible then than it has been since
with a growing sense of solidarity against the outside world. And in
developing this sense of Americanism, this national consciousness, the
frontier was itself an important influence. Physiographically separated
from the coast region, untouched by its social traditions, often hostile
to its political activities, the people of the back country had but
little of that pride of colony which made the Bostonian critical of the
New Yorker, or gave to the true Virginian a feeling of superiority to
the "zealots" of New, England. To the Scotch-Irish or German dweller in
the Shenandoah Valley it mattered little whether he lived north or south
of an imaginary and disputed line that divided Maryland from
Pennsylvania. Political subjection to Virginia could not remove the Blue
Ridge Mountains which isolated him far more effectively from
Williamsburg than from Baltimore, or the racial and religious prejudice
that disposed him to give more credit to ministers trained at Princeton
than to clergymen ordained by the Bishop of London. In the back country,
lines of communication ran north and south, and men moved up and down
the valleys from Pennsylvania to Georgia, whether in search of homes or
in pursuit of trade or to spread the gospel, scarcely conscious of the
political boundaries which they crossed, and in crossing helped to

If the physiography of the back country cut across provincial
boundaries, the mingling of diverse races, in an environment which
constrained men to act along similar lines while leaving them free to
think much as they liked, could not but wear away the sharp edges of
warring creeds and divergent customs. The many Protestant sects,
differing widely in externals, were not far apart in fundamentals; and
as in leaving their European homes the chief causes of difference
disappeared, so life in America brought all the similarities into strong
relief. In this new country, where schools were few and great
universities inaccessible, the Presbyterian ideal of an educated clergy
could not be always maintained, while sects which in Europe had
professed to despise learning came to regard it more highly in a land
where the effects of ignorance were more apparent than the evils of
pedantry. No man could afford to be fastidious in any minor point of
religious practice when a good day's journey would no more than bring
him to the nearest church. Mr. Samuel Davies, one of the early
presidents of Princeton, and for some years a missionary on the Virginia
frontier, said that people in the up-country came twenty, thirty, and
even forty miles to hear him preach. In a letter to Mr. Bellamy, of
Bethlehem, he describes his labors, and asks for ministers to help him,
from "New England or elsewhere." So true is it, as Colonel Byrd had
observed in North Carolina, that "people uninstructed in any religion
are ready to embrace the first that offers."

Yet in many a community, on the frontier and in every part of the Middle
colonies, the mingling of races compelled men, however well instructed,
to ignore the minor points of their proper creeds. The Moravian
missionary Schnell, preaching at South Branch, Virginia, to an audience
of English, Germans, and Dutch, quite satisfied them all by discoursing
from the text, "If any man thirst, let him come to me and drink."
Although his principles forbade him to baptize the children which were
brought to him, they "liked Brother Schnell very much," and desired him
to remain with them. And communities there were where men had forgotten
the very names almost of Protestant sects. Some people in Hanover
County, assembling on Sundays to read a book of Whitefield's sermons
which by some chance had come their way, and being desired by the county
court to declare what religion they were of, found themselves at a loss
for a name, "as we knew but little of any denomination of Protestants,
except Quakers." But at length, "recollecting that Luther was a noted
reformer, and that his books had been of special service to us, we
declared ourselves Lutherans; and thus we continued until Providence
sent us the Rev. Mr. William Robinson." Aided by Luther and edified by
Whitefield, they were quite content to be further instructed and
"corrected" by Mr. Robinson, Presbyterian though he was, "being informed
that his method of preaching was awakening."

And, indeed, toward the middle of the century, the "awakening" preacher
was everywhere welcome. In America, as in England itself, a strange
lethargy had fallen on the churches in that interlude between the
Puritan régime and the Revolution. Dead literalism had crept into the
pulpits, and conventional conformity too often did duty for conviction
among the people. It was a condition which could not endure in
communities where religion was still the chief intellectual and
emotional refuge from the daily routine of commonplace duties. Thus it
happened that both in the older settlements, where for the unlettered
the dull round of life was rarely broken either by real or fictitious
adventure, and in those newer regions where primitive conditions brought
the primal passions readily to the surface, the burning words of the
revivalist met with ready and unprecedented response. Let him but preach
"vital" religion, and none questioned too closely into his formal
beliefs, or inquired of what nationality or province he might be. For
the preachers of "vital" religion--whether the Moravian Schnell or the
Methodist Whitefield, whether the Puritan Jonathan Edwards, profoundest
theologian of his generation, or the Presbyterian enthusiasts, such as
Gilbert Tennant and Mr. Davies, who went out from the little Log College
to carry the gospel to the mixed population of the Middle and Southern
colonies--all alike appealed to those instinctive emotions which make
men kin and from which every religion springs. In forming the new spirit
of Americanism, few events were more important than the Great Awakening.
During that sudden up-surging of religious emotionalism, which for a
decade rolled like a tidal wave over the colonies, provincial
boundaries and the distinctions of race and creed were in some measure
forgotten in a new sense of common nature and human brotherhood.

True it is that the Great Awakening was accompanied by no lack of acid
jealousies and unchristian recrimination. In almost every sect "New
Light" separated from "Old Light," "New Side" from "Old Side," in most
unfraternal division. Gilbert Tennant, imitating Whitefield and
out-heroding Herod, exhausted ecclesiastical billingsgate in quest of
terms to characterize those clergymen--Congregational or Presbyterian or
Anglican; those "letter-learned Pharisees," those "moral negroes," those
"plastered hypocrites"--who stood out in stiff-necked opposition to
revivalist methods of inculcating vital religion. Schism divided the
Presbyterians for more than a decade; many congregations in eastern
Connecticut, renouncing the Say brook Platform and the Half-Way
Covenant, "separated" from the Association; and in Massachusetts the
quarrel between revivalists and anti-revivalists only accentuated the
breach between new and old Calvinists. And true it is that the flood
tide was followed by the ebb: the tremendous emotional upheaval, which
began with the Northampton sermons of Jonathan Edwards in 1734, seemed
to cease after 1744 as suddenly as it came. For more than a year
scarcely one person was converted in all Boston, said Thomas Prince in
1754. Jonathan Edwards waited in vain from 1744 to 1748 for a single
applicant for admission to the Northampton Church. And the great
Whitefield himself, returning to America in 1744, 1754, and 1764,
although always gladly heard by thousands, found that the old magic had
unaccountably lost its wonder-working power.

Yet division is sometimes the prelude to more effective union. It was
precisely in sowing dissension within the sects that the Great Awakening
broke down barriers between the sects; and by separating men in the same
locality it united men in different localities. The graduates of Log
College, a very seminary of revivalism, disowned by Philadelphia
Presbyterians, found encouragement among New Englanders of East Jersey
and New York Presbyterians who had been educated at New Haven. In 1746,
men from three colonies, whom the Great Awakening had brought in to
closer relations, founded the College of New Jersey, afterwards located
at Princeton. Although destined to become the intellectual citadel of a
new Presbyterianism, two of its first three presidents were born in New
England, two were graduates of Yale College, and one was a
Congregationalist, while Samuel Blair, an alumnus of the new
institution, was not thought unworthy to be minister of the Old South
Church of Boston. These are but isolated instances of the leveling of
religious barriers between Protestant sects in the Northern colonies. In
the decades following the Great Awakening New England religious
solidarity was already a thing of the past. While cultivated and
tolerant liberals of Boston, dallying with Arminian and Arian delusions
that were but the prelude to Unitarianism, departed from the old
Calvinism in one direction, Jonathan Edwards and his disciples were
formulating the "New England Theology" which enabled the clergy of
Connecticut and western Massachusetts to approach within hailing
distance of Scotch Presbyterianism. Ministers of "Consociated" churches
scrupled not, indeed, to call themselves Presbyterians. From 1766 to
1775, representatives from the Connecticut Association, and from the
Synods of New York and Philadelphia, snuffing on every tainted breeze
the danger of a prospective Anglican Episcopate, met annually in joint
convention; and a few years later it was without reproach that the
Connecticut Congregationalists could refer to the plan for a still more
intimate fellowship as "a Scheme for the Union of the Presbyterians of

The fear of Anglicanism may remind us that the leveling of religious
barriers was in part brought about by the movement toward political
union. And in generating this new sense of solidarity, whether in
respect to religion or politics, better facilities for intercourse and
communication were not without importance. It is difficult for us,
living in an age when a man may breakfast in Philadelphia and dine the
same day in Boston, to remember that Franklin was "about a fortnight"
making the same distance in 1724. Yet a quarter of a century later, when
the means of travel were not much more expeditious even if they were
more certain, men journeyed continuously up and down the road that led
from Boston to New York and Philadelphia, and from Philadelphia out into
the back country and along the Shenandoah Valley. So much so, that the
inhabitants of the little town of New Brunswick, says Peter Kalm, "get
a considerable profit from the travellers who every hour pass through on
the high road." Communication by correspondence, immensely facilitated
after the establishment of the "General Post Office" by Parliament in
1710, served often to create cordial relations between men living in
different colonies; men who perhaps had never seen each other, and who
might have been, as the good John Adams sometimes was, disillusioned by
personal contact. Newspapers, long since established in Philadelphia and
Charleston, as well as in New York and Boston, regularly carrying the
latest intelligence from every colony into every other, wore away
provincial prejudice and strengthened intercolonial solidarity by
revealing the common character of governmental organization and of
political issues from Massachusetts to South Carolina. The assembly at
Williamsburg or at Philadelphia, guarding local privileges against the
encroachments of prerogative, was made aware that in fundamentals the
conflict was American rather than merely provincial, and proclaimed its
rights more stubbornly and with far greater confidence for knowing that
assemblies in New York and Boston were enlisted in the common cause.

In strengthening this sense of political solidarity, the last French
wars were of great importance. Aroused as never before to a realization
of the common danger, colonial Governments coöperated, imperfectly,
indeed, but on a scale and with a unanimity hitherto unknown, in an
undertaking which none could doubt was of momentous import to America
and to the world. Never before were so many men from different colonies
brought into personal contact with one another; never before had so many
Americans of all classes heard the speech and observed the manners of
Britons. It was an experience not to be forgotten. The Puritan recruit
from Massachusetts might write home lamenting the scandalous irreligion
that prevailed among the levies from other colonies; but the irritating
condescension of British regulars made him aware that he had after all
more in common with the most unregenerate American than with any
Englishman. The provincial, subtly conscious of his limitations when
brought into contact with more traveled and cosmopolitan men, endures
less readily than any other to be reminded of his inferiority. Who shall
estimate the effect upon the proud and self-contained Washington of
intercourse with supercilious British officers during the Braddock
expedition? In how many unrecorded instances did a similar experience
produce a similar effect? No bitterness endures like that of the
provincial despised because of his provincialism. He has no recourse but
to make a virtue of his defects, and prove himself superior by
condemning qualities which he may once have envied. And Americans were
the more confirmed in this attitude by the multiplied proofs of the
Englishman's real inferiority for the business in hand. Who were these
men from oversea to instruct natives in the art of frontier
warfare?--men who proclaimed their ignorance of the woods by standing
grouped and red-coated in the open to be shot down by Indians whom they
could not see! From the experience of the last French war there emerged
something of that sublime self-confidence which stamps the true
American. And in that war was generated a sense of spiritual separation
from England never quite felt before--something of the contempt of the
frontiersman for the tenderfoot who comes from the sheltered existence
of cities to instruct him in the refinements of life.

After the Peace of Paris provincial politics takes on, indeed, a certain
militant and perfervid character hitherto unknown, and not wholly due to
the restrictive measures of the Grenville Ministry. It was as if the
colonists, newly stirred by a naïve, primitive egoism, still harboring
the memory of unmerited slights, of services unappreciated oven if paid
for, had carried over into secular activities some fanatical strain from
the Great Awakening, something of the intensity of deep-seated moral
convictions. And in no unreal sense this was so. The mantle of Samuel
Davies fell upon Patrick Henry. The flood tide of religious emotionalism
ebbed but to flow in other channels? and men who had been so profoundly
stirred by the revivalist were the more readily moved by the appeal of
the revolutionary orator.

In diverting the current of quickened religious feeling into political
channels, the influence of Princeton College was a memorable one.
Founded by Presbyterians less interested in creeds than in vital
religion, and barring no person on "account of any speculative
principles," the new institution furnished an education that was
"liberal" in the political as well as in the intellectual sense of the
term. From this center emanated a new leaven. Here young men came from
all the Middle and Southern country to receive the stamp of a new
Presbyterianism compounded of vital religion and the latter-day spirit
of Geneva. In this era, by such men as John Madison, Oliver Ellsworth,
and Luther Martin, were founded the two famous societies, _Cliosophic_
and _American Whig_, where the lively discussions were doubtless more
often concerned with history and politics than with the abstract points
of theology or religion. It was in 1768 that John Witherspoon, the very
personification of the new influence, became president of the college. A
Scotchman educated at Edinburgh, he became at once an ardent defender of
the colonial cause, as "high a Son of Liberty as any man in America,"
destined to be better known as a signer of the Declaration of
Independence than as a Presbyterian minister of the gospel. During
twenty years previous to the Revolution, many men went out from
Princeton to become powerful moulders of public opinion. Few were
counted as theologians of note; few were set down as British Loyalists.
But they were proud to be known as Americans and patriots: ministers who
from obscure pulpits proclaimed the blessings of political liberty;
laymen who professed politics with the fervor of religious conviction.

And the Puritan spirit, in like manner deserting the worn-out body of
old theologies, was reincarnated in secular forms, to become once more
the animating force of New England civic life. The fall of the Puritan
theocracy was followed, half a century later, by the rise of the Puritan
democracy. As the old intimacy between State and Church disappeared,
the churches turned to the people for that support which was no longer
accorded by government. Thus there came into general use the famous
Half-Way Covenant, a wide-open back door through which all men of
blameless lives and orthodox beliefs might press into the churches, a
kind of ecclesiastical manhood suffrage undermining the aristocracy of
the fully regenerate. As a partial remedy for the evils arising out of
this democratization of religion and church government, a closer union
of the churches under ministerial supervision was advocated, and finally
adopted in Connecticut under the name of "Consociation." But the scheme
was defeated in Massachusetts; and it is significant that the men who
defeated it, no friends, many of them, of the Half-Way Covenant,
appealed to that very democratic principle of which the Half-Way
Covenant was a practical application. It was a son of Cotton Mather who
warned the people of the churches never blindly to "resign themselves to
the direction of their ministers; but consider themselves, as men, as
Christians, as Protestants, obliged to act and judge for themselves in
all the weighty concernments of Religion." To resign themselves to their
ministers was thought, indeed, to be but the first step backward toward
Anglican oppression and Papal tyranny.

A far more profound opponent of ecclesiastical aristocracy was the
Reverend John Wise, of Ipswich. He belongs to that illustrious minority
which stood out against the witchcraft delusion. Fined and imprisoned
upon one occasion for leading his town to refuse the collection of
taxes not imposed by a representative assembly, he was a proper man to
declare that "power is originally in the people." As men are "all
naturally free and equal," civil government "is the effect of human
free-compacts and not of divine instigation." And "if Christ has settled
any form of power in his Church he has done it for the benefit of every
member. Then he must needs be presumed to have made choice of that
government as should least expose the people to hazard, either from
fraud, or arbitrary measures of particular men. And it is as plain as
daylight, there is no species of government like a democracy to attain
this end." So argued the Ipswich preacher in 1717. Fifty years later,
his _Vindication of the Government of the New England Churches_, too
radical for his own day, was seen to be the very thing needed; in 1772,
when "consociation" had broken down even in Connecticut, when
Anglicanism was associated in men's minds with royal oppression, and
when political and religious liberty seemed destined to stand or fall
together, then the work of John Wise was reprinted and two editions were
exhausted within the year.

Accompanying the endeavor to find a common theoretical basis for Church
and State was the disposition to apply a common test to public and
private conduct. Rousseau voiced one of the strongest convictions of his
age when he said that "those who would treat politics and morality apart
will never understand anything about either one or the other." With the
decay of creeds, true religion was thought by many to be inseparable
from civic virtue, while political philosophy, preaching the
regeneration of an "artificial" society by returning to the simple life
of nature, was often conceived with an emotional fervor which raised
civic duties to the level of religious rites. In America, long before
Rousseau startled the world with his paradoxes, men who could not agree
on creeds or forms of government found common ground in thinking that
the test of true religion was that it made good citizens, the test of
rightly ordered society that it made good men. In the early letters of
John Adams we may note how one man's mind was won to this new ideal.
"There is a story about town," he writes to Charles Cushing, "that I am
an Arminian." Time was when such a rumor would have been too serious to
be reported, without comment, in the postscript of a long letter. In
1756, even this young candidate for the ministry felt that such issues
were becoming remote and unreal. He but voiced the growing discontent
when he asked, "where do we find a precept in the gospel requiring
ecclesiastical synods, councils, creeds, oaths, subscriptions, and whole
cart-loads of other trumpery that we find religion encumbered with in
these days?" Independent thinking, fortified by the authority of Locke
and Sidney, Bacon and Tillotson, and the author of Cato's Letters,
enabled him to announce, in the very spirit and all but the very words
of Diderot and Rousseau, of whom he had never heard, that "the design of
Christianity was not to make good riddle-solvers or good
mystery-mongers, but good men, good magistrates, and good subjects." And
so he renounced the ministry in favor of "that science by which mankind
raise themselves from the forlorn, helpless state, in which nature
leaves them, to the full enjoyment of all the inestimable blessings of
social union."

It is but an evidence of the force of this new ideal that Benjamin
Franklin, in whose life and writings it finds best expression, became
the most influential American of his time and won in two continents the
veneration that men accord to saints and prophets. At the age of sixteen
some books against Deism came his way; but "the arguments of the Deists,
which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me to be stronger than the
refutations; [and] I soon became a thorough Deist." Yet experience
straightway led this original pragmatist to the conclusion that,
although a materialistic philosophy of life "might be true, it was not
very useful." Without faith in religions, yet unable to do without
religion, he set down the list of virtues which he thought might be of
benefit to himself and at the same time of service to his fellows;
qualities which all the sects might unite in proclaiming good, and which
any man might easily acquire by a little persistence in self-discipline.
Aiming to become himself "completely virtuous," he dreamed of some day
formulating the universal principles of the "Art of Virtue," and of
uniting all good men throughout the world in a society for promoting the
practice of it. And what was this Art of Virtue but a socialized
religion divested of doctrine and ritual? "I think vital religion has
always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue; and the
Scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined what
we _thought_, but what we _did_; and our recommendation will be that we
did good to our fellow creatures." The evangelist Whitefield, when
Franklin once promised to do him a personal service, assured the
philosopher that if he made that kind offer for Christ's sake he should
not miss a reward. It was in the spirit of the new age speaking to the
old that the sage replied: "Don't let me be mistaken; it was not for
Christ's sake, but for yours."

Franklin spoke indeed for the new age and the New World. He was the
first American: the very personification of that native sense of destiny
and high mission in the world, and of that good-natured tolerance for
the half-spent peoples of Europe, which is the American spirit; a living
and vocal product, as it were, of all the material and spiritual forces
that were transforming the people of the British plantations into a new
nation. All racial and religious antagonisms, all sectional and
intercolonial jealousies, all class prejudice, were in some manner
comprehended and reconciled in Franklin. He was as old as the century
and touched it at every point. What an inclusive experience was that of
this self-made provincial who as a printer's boy heard Increase Mather
preach in Boston and in his old age stood with Voltaire in Paris to be
proclaimed the incomparable benefactor of mankind! Provincial! But was
this man provincial? Or was that, indeed, a province which produced such
men? Was that country rightly dependent and inferior where law and
custom were most in accord with the philosopher's ideal society? In
that transvaluation of old values effected by the intellectual
revolution of the century, it was the fortune of America to emerge as a
kind of concrete example of the imagined State of Nature. In contrast
with Europe, so "artificial," so oppressed with defenseless tyrannies
and useless inequalities, so encumbered with decayed superstitions and
the débris of worn-out institutions, how superior was this new land of
promise where the citizen was a free man, where the necessities of life
were the sure reward of industry, where manners were simple, where vice
was less prevalent than virtue and native incapacity the only effective
barrier to ambition! In those years when British statesmen were
endeavoring to reduce the "plantations" to a stricter obedience, some
quickening influence from this ideal of Old World philosophers came to
reinforce the determination of Americans to be masters of their own


     For the constitutional and political tendencies in this period, see
     Charming, _History of the United States_, II, chaps, X-XII; Greene,
     _Provincial America_, chaps, V, XII; Andrews, _The Colonial
     Period_, chap. VII. Economic, social, and intellectual
     characteristics are well described in Channing, II, chaps, XV-XVII;
     Greene, chaps, XVI-XVIII; Andrews, _The Colonial Period_, chaps,
     III, IV. The best account of religious changes in the eighteenth
     century is in Walker, _History of Congregationalism in America._
     See also, Fiske, _New France and New England_, chap. VI. Of special
     importance for the influence of Princeton College and for the
     religious conditions in the up-country are _The Life of Devereaux
     Jarrett_ (Baltimore, 1806); and Alexander, _Biographical Sketches
     of the Founder and the Alumni of Log College_ (Princeton, 1845).
     The expansion of population into the interior and the coming of the
     Germans and Scotch-Irish are well described in Channing, II, chap,
     XIV; and Greene, chap. XIV. For a full treatment of the German
     migration see Faust, _The German Element in the United States_ (2
     vols. 1909); for the Scotch-Irish see Hanna, _The Scotch-Irish_ (2
     vols. 1902). The best account of the characteristics of frontier
     society in this period is in Turner, _The Old West_, in
     _Proceedings of the Wisconsin Historical Society_, 1908, p. 184. Of
     considerable importance for understanding colonial society in this
     period are the observations of foreign travelers, notably Kalm and
     Burnaby whose narratives are printed in Pinkerton, _Voyages_
     (London, 1808-14), vol. XIII. For understanding the temper and
     ideals of America in the eighteenth century, no writings are of
     equal importance with those of John Adams and Benjamin Franklin,
     especially the _Diary_ of the former (_Works of John Adams_, 10
     vols. Boston, 1856) and the _Autobiography_ of the latter, in his
     collected works and separately printed in many editions. See
     Bigelow edition. _The Life of Benjamin Franklin written by



     _If they accept protection, do they not stipulate obedience?_


     _The decree has gone forth, and cannot now be recalled, that a more
     equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth, must be
     established in America._



As Chateaubriand said of the Revolution in France, that it was complete
before it began, so may it be said that America was free before it won
independence. The strict letter of the law counts for less in times of
emotional stress than the strong sense of prescriptive right, and formal
allegiance is in no way incompatible with a deep-seated feeling that
submission must be voluntary to be honorable. Before the outbreak of the
French war such a feeling was common throughout the colonies. The state
of mind which conditioned the formal argument for colonial rights and
drove the colonists into revolution is revealed in a sentence which
Franklin wrote in 1755: "British subjects, by removing to America,
cultivating a wilderness, extending the domain, and increasing the
wealth, commerce, and power of the mother country, at the hazard of
their lives and fortunes, ought not, and in fact do not thereby lose
their native rights." It was as much as to say that Americans were in
fact free because they ought to be free, and that they ought to be free
because they had made for themselves a new country.

The issue between England and America is therefore not be resolved by
computing the burden of a penny tax, or by exposing the sordid motives
of British merchants and Boston smugglers, still less by coming "armed
at all points with law cases and acts of Parliament, with the
statute-book doubled down in dog's ears" to defend either the cause of
liberty or authority. The issue, shot through and through, as all great
issues are, by innumerable sordid motives and personal enmities and
private ambitions, was yet one between differing ideals of justice and
welfare; one of those issues which, touching the emotional springs of
conduct, are never composed by an appeal to reason, which formal
argument the most correct, or the most skilled dialectic, serve only to
render more irreconcilable. "In Britain," said Bernard in 1765, "the
American governments are considered as corporations empowered to make
by-laws, existing only during the pleasure of Parliament. In America
they claim to be perfect states, no otherwise dependent upon Great
Britain than by having the same king." Few Englishmen could imagine an
empire of free states; few Americans could understand a nation bound
against its will.

The policy which history associates with the name of Grenville did not
originate with him, nor yet with his royal master, George III. It was
the unhappy experience of the Austrian Succession War that enforced upon
the English Government the necessity of a stricter attention to the
colonies. Ministers who then set themselves to read the American
dispatches were amazed to find the governors everywhere without adequate
support against the assemblies, the assemblies everywhere indifferent to
imperial interests. After the Peace of Aix-la-Chapelle plantation
affairs were accordingly placed under the direction of the able Halifax;
and in 1752 the governors were instructed to transmit all correspondence
"to His Majesty by one of His Majesty's principal Secretaries of State."
To remedy an untoward situation many schemes were broached, on the eve
of the Seven Years' War, designed to bring the colonies "to a sense of
their duty to the king, to awaken them to take care of their lives and
fortunes." The need of the hour was a union of the colonies for military
defense; and in 1754, on the initiative of the English Government,
representatives from seven colonies adopted a scheme drafted by Franklin
and known as the Albany Plan of Union. It was ominous for the success of
all such attempts in the future that a plan which was thought by the
ministers too weak to be effective was thought by the colonial
assemblies too strong to be safe. In any case, with hostilities already
begun, the issue could not be pressed to a conclusion when, as the Board
of Trade asserted, "a good understanding between your Majesty's
governors and the people is so absolutely necessary." Under the stress
of war, all ministerial projects for a stricter control of the colonies
were accordingly laid aside until the restoration of peace.

The war itself only proved once more how defective was England's
colonial administration. Three years of devastating Indian warfare again
demonstrated the necessity of an adequate defense of the frontier, and a
stricter control of Indian trade. A customs service which collected
annually £2000 of revenue and cost £7000 to maintain, manned by
officials who sold flags of truce to traders carrying ammunition and
supplies to the enemy, was seen to be but an expensive luxury in time of
peace and a military weakness in time of war. The assistance which Pitt,
and Pitt alone, could induce the colonists to render, however adequate,
was purchased at the price of concessions which deprived the governors
of all but nominal influence, while placing in the assemblies the
effective powers of government. And the results achieved by the Peace of
Paris but confirmed the conclusions which followed from the experience
of the war. The territory then acquired by England was imperial in
extent; and the acquisition of it had in six years raised the annual
cost of her military and naval establishment from £70,000 to £350,000.
This far-flung and diversified empire had to be organized in order to be
governed, and defended in order to be maintained. In view of the
unprecedented responsibilities thus thrust upon the little island
kingdom, it seemed that the oldest and most prosperous, the most English
and best disposed of England's colonies might well be asked to submit to
reasonable restraints in the interests of the empire, and in their own
defense to furnish a moderate assistance.

Before the war was over assiduous royal governors were offering counsel
as to the "regulation of the North American governments." If there is
to be a new establishment "upon a true English constitutional bottom,"
wrote Bernard in 1761, "it must be upon a new plan," for "there is no
system in North America fit to be made a module of." High officials in
England were not lacking who agreed with the Massachusetts governor. The
Peace of Paris was scarcely signed before Charles Townshend, First Lord
of Trade in Bute's Ministry, proposed that the authority of Parliament
should be invoked to remodel the colonial Governments upon a uniform
plan, to pass stringent laws for enforcing the Trade Acts, and by
taxation to raise a revenue in America for paying the salaries of royal
officials and for the maintenance of such British troops as might be
stationed there for the defense of the colonies. Townshend's proposals
would doubtless have been formulated into law had it not been for the
fall of Bute's Ministry in April; but the measures which were finally
carried by Grenville, if they left the colonial charters untouched, were
no less comprehensive, in respect to the purely imperial matters of
trade and defense, than those initiated by his brilliant predecessor.

Adequate and well-administered laws for advancing the trade and securing
the defense of the empire were, indeed, the primary objects of
Grenville's colonial legislation. Grenville, who was the fingers rather
than the soul of good government, could not endure the lax
administration of the customs service which in the course of years had
given the colonies, as it were, a vested interest in non-enforcement. He
accordingly set himself to correct the faults which Walpole had
condoned in the interest of the Hanoverian succession, and which
Newcastle had utilized in the service of the Whig faction. Commissioners
of the customs, long regarding their offices as sinecures and habitually
residing in England, were ordered to repair at once to their posts in
America. Additional revenue officers were appointed with more rigid
rules for the discharge of their duties. Governors were once more
instructed to give adequate support in the enforcement of the Trade
Acts. The employment of general writs, or "writs of assistance," was
authorized to facilitate the search for goods illegally entered; and
ships of war were stationed on the American coast to aid in the
suppression of smuggling.

More careful administrative supervision was but the prelude to
additional legislation. Throughout the eighteenth century, the trade of
the Northern and Middle colonies with the French and Spanish West Indies
had been one of the most extensive branches of colonial commerce. To
divert this traffic to the British sugar islands, Walpole had carried
the Molasses Act in 1733. But the Molasses Act, though many times
renewed and now in 1763 once more about to expire, had never been
enforced, and had never, therefore, either benefited the British sugar
planters or brought any revenue into the treasury. It was to secure one
or both of these advantages that Grenville procured from Parliament the
passage in 1764 of the law known as the Sugar Act; a law which reduced
the duty upon foreign molasses imported into the continental colonies
from 6_d._ to 3_d._, and imposed new duties upon coffee, pimento, white
sugar, and indigo from the Spanish and French West Indies, and upon wine
from the Madeiras and the Azores. Even such men as Bernard, Hutchinson,
and Colden believed that the new duties would destroy a trade which they
asserted was indispensable to the Northern colonies and highly
beneficial to the commerce of the empire. But the sugar planters,
powerfully represented in Parliament, demanded protection, while to
Grenville's mind the systematic violation of a law was rather an
argument against its repeal than an evidence of its impracticability.
The measure, therefore, became a law; and for its better enforcement the
jurisdiction of the admiralty courts was extended, and naval officers
were empowered to act as collectors of the customs.

Less noticed at the time, but scarcely less important in its effects
upon trade and industry, was the law passed by Parliament in the same
year for regulating colonial currency. With the rapid development of
commerce in the eighteenth century, and on account of the steady flow of
specie to London, the colonies had commonly resorted to the use of paper
money as a legal tender in the payment of local debts. Such men as
Franklin and Colden defended the practice on the ground of necessity,
and it was undoubtedly true that without the issue of new bills of
credit the colonies could not have given the military assistance
required of them for the conquest of Canada. But it was equally true
that in most colonies, except Massachusetts where the issues had been
retired in 1749, and New York where their par value had been
consistently maintained, the evils of depreciated currency had long
existed and still went unremedied. Debtors profited at the expense of
creditors, while colonial assemblies often took advantage of the
situation to pass laws enabling the American trader to avoid meeting his
just obligations to English merchants. In response to the loud
complaints of the latter, and without adequately discriminating between
the uses and the abuses of a colonial paper currency, Parliament passed
the act "to prevent paper bills of credit hereafter issued in any of his
Majesty's colonies, from being declared to be a legal tender in payment
of money, and to prevent the legal tender of such bills as are now
subsisting, from being prolonged beyond the periods limited for calling
in and sinking the same."

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Grenville had already turned to the problem
of defense, so inseparably connected with the question of Indian
relations and Western settlement. The English Government had long
recognized the necessity of securing the friendship of the Indians; and
to this end it had fostered the settlement of the interior. Indian
traders, employing methods none too scrupulous, had been encouraged to
ply their traffic beyond the mountains. Many thousands of acres of land
had been granted, to individuals and to companies of promoters, in the
belief that "nothing can more effectively tend to defeat the dangerous
designs of the French," or better enable the English "to cultivate a
friendship and carry on a more extensive commerce with the Indians
inhabiting those parts." It was a policy which all Americans could
understand. To those colonists who had fought with Washington to beat
back the tide of Indian massacre, to those who had witnessed the
destruction of Fort Duquesne, the conquest of Canada had no meaning
unless it opened the great West to free settlement. And during the
latter years of the war, thousands of families in all the old provinces
were prepared, as Franklin said, "to swarm," while many hundreds had
crossed the mountains and were already seated in the upper valleys of
the Ohio.

Yet before the war began, the Board of Trade perceived that the policy
originally advocated required serious modification. It was obvious
enough that if titles to land were granted, not only by the English
Government, but also by different colonies claiming jurisdiction over
the same territory, endless conflict and litigation would be the sure
result. And it soon appeared that the actual occupation of the interior
was after all far more likely to provoke the hostility than to win the
allegiance of the Western tribes. Overreached and defrauded in nearly
every bargain, the Indian hated the trader whose lure he could not
resist, and with the coming of the surveyor and the settler was well
aware that the pretended friendship of the English was but a thin mask
to conceal the greed of men who had no other desire than to rob him of
his land. During the latter years of the war, after the conquest of
Canada placed the allies of France under the heavy hand of Amherst and
opened the way to actual settlement, it became clear that an ominous
spirit of unrest was spreading throughout all the Northwest. It was
precisely to guard against the danger of an Indian uprising, which in
fact came to pass in the formidable conspiracy of Pontiac, that the
Board of Trade formulated as early as 1761 the policy which found
expression in the famous Proclamation of October 7, 1763. The
Proclamation announced the intention of the English Government to take
exclusive control of Indian relations and Western settlement. "For the
present," all territory west of the Alleghanies, from the new provinces
of Florida on the south to Canada on the north, was to be "reserved to
the Indians." Governors were forbidden to grant land there. Those who
had already settled within reserved territory were required to remove
forthwith; and every Indian trader was bound to give security for
observing such rules as the Imperial Government might establish. It was
the intention of the ministers, although unfortunately not so expressed
in the Proclamation, to open the reserved lands to settlement as soon as
Indian titles could be justly extinguished. In accordance with this
intention, the Government negotiated the Treaty of Fort Stanwix in 1768,
by which the Six Nations ceded to the Crown their rights to lands south
of the Ohio; and both before and after that event it was seriously
concerned with projects for new colonies in the interior. The most
famous of these projects was that of the Vandalia Colony, for which a
royal grant was about to be executed in 1775 when the promoters were
requested to "wait ... until hostilities ... between Great Britain and
the United Colonies should cease."

Undoubtedly the Proclamation of 1763 was primarily a measure of
defense; but even if strictly enforced, which was found to be quite
impossible in fact, it could not alone have secured unbroken peace on
the frontier. Primitive in his instincts and treacherous in his nature,
the Indian harbored in his vengeful heart the rankling memory of too
many grievances, was too easily swayed by his ancient but now humiliated
French allies, to be held in check without a show of force to back the
most just and wisely administered policy. The English Government would
doubtless have been content to leave the management of defense in the
hands of the colonists had they shown a disposition to undertake it in a
systematic manner. After the Albany Plan was rejected by the assemblies,
the Board of Trade recommended a scheme by which commissioners,
appointed in each colony by the assembly and approved by the governor,
should determine the military establishment necessary in time of peace,
and apportion the expense for maintaining it among the several provinces
on the basis of wealth and population. Shirley and Franklin were
heartily in favor of such a plan. But there is no reason to think that a
single assembly could have been got to agree to it, or to any measure of
a like nature. "Everybody cries, a union is absolutely necessary," said
Franklin in amused disgust, "but when it comes to the manner and form of
the union, their weak noddles are perfectly distracted." The colonies
being thus unwilling to coöperate in the management of their own
defense, the Board of Trade could see no alternative but an
"interposition of the authority of Parliament." This alternative the
Government therefore adopted; and the permanent establishment of British
troops in America to overawe the Indians and maintain the conquest of
Canada, already proposed by Townshend, was now determined upon by
Grenville. It was the opinion of Grenville, as well as of most men in
England and of many in America, that the colonies might rightly be
expected to contribute something to the support of such troops. The
Mutiny Act, requiring the assemblies to furnish certain utensils and
provisions to soldiers in barracks, was now first extended to the
colonies; and for raising in America a portion of the general
maintenance fund, the ministry, with some reluctance on the part of
Grenville, proposed a stamp tax as the most equitable and the easiest to
be levied and collected. "I am, however, not set upon this tax," said
Grenville. "If the Americans dislike it, and prefer any other method of
raising the money themselves, I shall be content." It was soon apparent
that the Americans did dislike it; and in February, 1765, Franklin,
speaking for the colonial agents then in England, urged that the money
be raised in "the old constitutional way," by requisitions upon the
several assemblies. "Can you agree on the proportions each colony should
raise?" inquired the minister. Franklin admitted that it was impossible;
and Grenville, more concerned with what was equitable than with what was
politic, pressed forward with his measure to require the use of stamped
paper for nearly all legal documents and customs papers, for
appointments to offices carrying a salary of £20 except military and
judicial offices, for grants of franchises, for licenses to sell
liquor, for packages containing playing-cards and dice, for all
pamphlets, advertisements, hand-bills, calendars, almanacs, and
newspapers. The revenue which might be raised by this law, estimated at
£60,000, was to be paid into the exchequer, and to be expended solely
for supporting the British troops in America.

At the time there were few men either in England or in the colonies who
imagined that the Stamp Act would release forces that were destined to
disrupt the empire. It was scarcely debated in the House of Commons.
"There has been nothing of note in Parliament," wrote Horace Walpole,
"but one slight day on the American taxes." And even in America few men
supposed that it would not be executed, however much they might dislike
it. It was impossible to prevent the passage of the act, Franklin
assured his friends. "We might as well have hindered the sun's setting.
That we could not do. But since 't is down, my friend, ... let us make
as good a night as we can. We may still light candles." It was not
candles alone that were lighted, but a conflagration; a conflagration
which soon spread from the New World to the Old and burned away, as with
a renovating flame, so much that was both good and bad in that amiable
eighteenth-century society.


If the experience of the last French war convinced the English
Government that a stricter control of the colonies was necessary, the
conquest of Canada convinced the colonists that they could defend
themselves, and at the same time removed the only danger which had ever
made them feel the need of English protection. As early as 1711, Le
Ronde Denys warned the New Englanders that the expulsion of the French
from North America would leave England free to suppress colonial
liberties, while another French writer predicted that it would rather
enable, the colonies to "unite, shake off the yoke of the English
monarchy, and erect themselves into a democracy." The prediction was
often repeated. Between 1730 and 1763, many men, among them Montesquieu,
Peter Kalm, and Turgot, asserted that colonial dependence upon England
would not long outlast the French occupation of Canada. The opposition
to Grenville's colonial legislation, which gathered force with every
additional measure, seemed now about to confirm these predictions.

No single law of these early years would have caused its proper part of
the resistance which all of them in fact brought about. A measure of
oppression could be attributed to each of them, but the pressure of any
one was not felt by all classes or all colonies alike. The Proclamation
of 1763 was an offense chiefly to speculators in land, and to those
border communities that had fought to open free passage to the West only
to find the fertile Ohio valleys "reserved to the Indians"--the very
tribes which had brought death and desolation to the frontier. The Sugar
Act was a greater grievance to the New England distiller of rum and the
exporters of fish and lumber than it was to the rice and tobacco
planters of the South. New York merchants were seriously affected by
the Currency Act, which scarcely touched Massachusetts, and which, in
Virginia, meant money in the pockets of creditors, but bore hardly on
debtors and the speculators who bought silver at Williamsburg in
depreciated paper in order to sell it at par in Philadelphia. The famous
Stamp Act itself chiefly concerned the printers, lawyers, officeholders,
the users of the custom-house, and the litigious class that employed the
courts to enforce or resist the payment of debt.

Only when regarded as a whole was the policy of Grenville seen to spell
disaster. Each new law seemed carefully designed to increase the burdens
imposed by every other. The Sugar Act, for example, taken by itself, was
perhaps the most grievous of all. The British sugar islands, to which it
virtually restricted the West Indian trade of the Northern colonies,
offered no sufficient market for their lumber and provisions, nor could
they, like the Spanish islands, furnish the silver needed by continental
merchants to settle London balances on account of imported English
commodities. Exports to the West Indies and imports from England must,
therefore, be reduced; the one event would cripple essential colonial
industries such as the fisheries and the distilling of rum, while the
other would force the colonists to devote themselves to those very
domestic manufactures which it was the policy of the English Government
to discourage. These disadvantages, which attached to the Sugar Act
itself, were accentuated by almost every other cardinal measure of
Grenville's colonial policy. With the chief source of colonial specie
cut off, the Stamp Act increased the demand for it by £60,000; when the
need for paper money as a legal tender was more than ever felt, its
further use was shortly to be forbidden altogether; when the diminished
demand for labor, occasioned by restrictions upon the West Indian trade,
was likely to stimulate migration into the interior, the West was closed
to settlement. And the close of the French war, which had raised the
debt of the colonies to an unprecedented figure, was the moment selected
for restricting trade, remodeling the monetary system, and imposing upon
the colonies taxes for protection against a danger which no longer
threatened. Little wonder that to the colonial mind the measures of
Grenville carried all the force of an argument from design: any part,
separated from the whole, might signify nothing; the perfect correlation
of the completed scheme was evidence enough that somewhere a malignant
purpose was at work bent upon the destruction of English liberties.

Members of the House of Commons who yawned while voting the new laws
were amazed at the commotion they raised in America. In all the colonies
scarcely a man was to be found to defend any of them. Those afterwards
known as loyalists, with Hutchinson, Colden, Dulaney, and Galloway as
their most distinguished representatives, were of one accord with the
Lees, with Patrick Henry, with Dickinson, and the Adamses, in asserting
that the Stamp Act and the Sugar Act were inexpedient and unjust.
Hutchinson urged the repeal of both measures. Colden assured the Board
of Trade that the Currency Act, so far as New York was concerned, was
uncalled for and very prejudicial to colonial industry and the
manufactures of England. The three-penny duty on molasses, said Samuel
Adams, will make useless one third of the fish now caught, and so
remittances to Spain, Portugal, and other countries, "through which
money circulates into England for the purchase of her goods of all
kinds," must cease. "Unless we are allowed a paper currency," Daniel
Coxe wrote to Reed, "they need not send tax gatherers, for they can
gather nothing--never was money so very scarce as now." Governor Bernard
expressed the belief that if the proposed measures were executed "there
will soon be an end to the specie currency of Massachusetts."
Undoubtedly the general opinion of America was voiced by the Stamp Act
Congress when it affirmed that the payment of the new duties would
prove, "from the scarcity of specie, ... absolutely impracticable," and
render the colonists "unable to purchase the manufactures of Great

But the colonists did not ground their case upon expediency alone, or
rest content with argument and protest. And the bad eminence of the
Stamp Act was due to the fact that it alone, of all the measures of
Grenville, enabled the defenders of colonial rights to shift the issue
in debate and bring deeds to the support of words. Last of all the
cardinal measures to be enacted, the Stamp Act attracted to itself the
multiplied resentments accumulated by two years of hostile legislation.
It alone could with plausible arguments be declared illegal as well as
unjust, and it was the one of all most open to easy and conspicuous
nullification in fact. The Proclamation of 1763 was, indeed, nullified
almost as effectively, but with no accompaniment of harangue, or of
burning effigies, or crowds of angry men laying violent hands upon the
law's officials. If the Stamp Act seemed the one intolerable grievance,
round which the decisive conflict raged, it was because it raised the
issue of fundamental rights, and because it could be of no effect
without its material symbols--concrete and visible bundles of stamped
papers which could be seen and handled as soon as they were landed, and
the very appearance of which was a challenge to action.

While all Americans agreed that the Stamp Act, like the Sugar Act, was
unjust, or at least inexpedient, not all affirmed that it was illegal.
Hutchinson was one of many who protested against the law, but admitted
that Parliament had not exceeded its authority in passing it. But the
colonial assemblies, and a host of busy pamphleteers who set themselves
to expose the pernicious act, agreed with Samuel Adams and Patrick
Henry, with the conciliatory John Dickinson, and the learned Dulaney,
that the colonists, possessing all the rights of native-born Englishmen,
could not legally be deprived of that fundamental right of all, the
right of being taxed only by representatives of their own choosing.
Duties laid to regulate trade, from which a revenue was sometimes
derived, were either declared not to be taxes, or else were
distinguished, as "external" taxes which Parliament was competent to
impose, from "internal" taxes which Parliament could impose only upon
those who were represented in that body. And the colonies were not
represented in Parliament; no, not even in that "virtual" sense which
might be affirmed in the case of many unfranchised English cities, such
as Manchester and Liverpool; from which it followed that the Stamp Act,
unquestionably an internal tax, was a manifest violation of colonial

The ablest arguments against the Stamp Act were those set forth by John
Dickinson, of Philadelphia, and Daniel Dulaney, of Maryland: the ablest
and the best tempered. Unfortunately, the conciliatory note was all but
lost in the chorus of angry protest and bitter denunciation that was
designed to spur the Americans on to reckless action rather than to
induce the ministers to withdraw an unwise measure. Clever lawyers
seeking political advantage, such as John Morin Scott; zealots who knew
not the meaning of compromise, such as Patrick Henry and Samuel Adams;
preachers of the gospel, such as Jonathan Mayhew, who took this occasion
to denounce the doctrine of passive resistance, and with over-subtle
logic identified the defense of civil liberty with the cause of religion
and morality;--such men as these, with intention or all unwittingly
raised public opinion to that high tension from which spring
insurrection and the irresponsible action of mobs. Everywhere stamp
distributors, voluntarily or to the accompaniment of threats, resigned
their offices. Stamped papers were no sooner landed than they were
seized and destroyed, or returned to England, or transmitted for
safe-keeping to the custody of local officials pledged not to deliver
them. Often inspired and sometimes led by citizens of repute who were
"not averse to a little rioting," the mobs were recruited from the quays
and the grogshops, and once in action were difficult to control. In true
mob fashion they testified to their patriotism by parading the streets
at night, "breaking a few glass windows," and destroying the property of
men, such as Hutchinson and Colden, whose unseemly wealth or lukewarm
opinions were an offense to stalwart defenders of liberty.

The November riots disposed of the stamps but not of the Stamp Act.
Business had to go on as usual without stamps or cease altogether.
Either course would make the law of no effect; but the latter course
would be a strictly constitutional method of resistance, while the
former would involve a violation of law. Many preferred the
constitutional method. Let the courts adjourn, they said, and offices
remain vacant; let print-shops close, and ships lie in harbor: English
merchants will soon enough feel the pressure of slack business and force
ministers to another line of conduct. A good plan enough for the man of
independent fortune, for the judge whose income was assured, or the
thrifty merchant who, signing a non-importation agreement, had laid in a
stock of goods to be sold at high prices. But the wage-earner, the small
shopkeeper who was soon sold out, the printer who lived on his weekly
margin of profit, the rising lawyer whose income rose or fell with his
fees: such men were of another mind. The inactivity of the courts "will
make a large chasm in my affairs, if it should not reduce me to
distress," John Adams confides to his _Diary_ in December; and adds
naïvely that he was just on the point of winning a reputation and a
competence "when this execrable project was set on foot for my ruin as
well as that of my country." Men who saw their incomes dwindle were
easily disposed to think that the cessation of business was an admission
of the legitimacy of the law, a kind of betrayal of the cause. And it
was to counteract the influence of lukewarm conservatives, men who were
content to "turn and shift, to luff up, and bear away," that those who
regarded themselves as the only true patriots, uniting in an association
of the Sons of Liberty, set about the task of "putting business in
motion again in the usual channels without stamps."

The object of the Sons of Liberty was in part, but only in part,
attained. Newspapers were printed as usual, and certainly there was no
lack of pamphlets. Retailers did not hesitate to sell playing-cards or
dice, nor were the grogshops closed for want of stamped licenses. Yet
the courts of law were nearly everywhere closed for a time, and if the
clamor of creditors and the influence of lawyers forced them to open in
most places, in New York and Massachusetts, at least, they did little
business or none at all so long as the Stamp Act remained on the
statute-book. But it was in connection with commercial activities that
the plan of the conservatives was most effective. Non-importation
agreements, generally signed by the merchants, were the more readily
kept because the customs officials were inclined to refuse any but
stamped clearance papers, while the war vessels in the harbors
intercepted ships that attempted to sail without them. As the
conservatives had predicted, the effect was soon felt in England.
Thousands of artisans in Manchester and Leeds were thrown out of
employment. Glasgow, more dependent than other cities upon the American
market, loudly complained that its ruin was impending; and the merchants
of London, Bristol, and many other towns, asserting that American
importers were indebted to them several million pounds sterling, which
they were willing but unable to pay, petitioned Parliament to take
immediate action for their relief.

And, indeed, to ignore the situation in America was now impossible. The
law had to be withdrawn or made effective by force of arms. When the
matter came up in Parliament in January, 1766, Grenville, as leader of
the opposition, still claimed that the Stamp Act was a reasonable
measure, and one that must be maintained, more than ever now that the
colonists had insolently denied its legality, and with violence
amounting to insurrection prevented its enforcement. But the Rockingham
Whigs, whose traditions, even if somewhat obscured, marked them out as
the defenders of English liberties, were pledged to the repeal of the
unfortunate law. Lord Camden, in defense of the colonial contention,
staked his legal reputation on the assertion that Parliament had no
right to tax America. Pitt was of the same opinion. Following closely
the argument in Dulaney's pamphlet, which he held up as a masterly
performance, the Great Commoner declared that "taxation is no part of
the governing or legislating power." He was told that America had
resisted. "I rejoice that America has resisted," he cried in words that
sounded a trumpet call throughout the colonies. "Three millions of
people, so dead to all the feelings of liberty as voluntarily to submit
to be slaves, would have been fit instruments to make slaves of all the
rest.... America, if she fell, would fall like the strong man with his
arms around the pillars of the constitution." More convincing than the
eloquence of Pitt was the evidence offered by the merchants' petitions,
and by the shrewd and weighty replies of Franklin in his famous
examination in the House of Commons, to show that the policy of
Grenville, legal or not, was an economic blunder. The Stamp Act was
accordingly repealed, March 18, 1766; and a few weeks later, as a
further concession, the Sugar Act was modified by reducing the duty on
molasses from 3_d._ to 1_d._, and some new laws were passed intended to
remove the obstacles which made it difficult for the Northern and Middle
colonies to trade directly with England. Yet the ministers had no
intention of yielding on the main point: the theoretical right of
Parliament to bind the colonies in all matters whatever was formally
asserted in the Declaratory Act; while the reënactment of the Mutiny Law
indicated that the practical policy of establishing British troops in
America for defense was to be continued.


The repeal of the Stamp Act was the occasion for general rejoicing in
America. Loyal addresses were voted to the king, and statues erected to
commemorate the virtues and achievements of Pitt. Imperfectly aware of
the conditions in England that had contributed to the happy event, it
was taken by the colonists to mean that their theory of the constitution
had been accepted. The Declaratory Act was thought to be no more than a
formal concession to the dignity of government; and although the Mutiny
Act was causing trouble in New York, and merchants were petitioning for
a further modification of the Trade Laws, most men looked forward to the
speedy reëstablishment of the old-time cordial relations between the two
countries. The Sons of Liberty no longer assembled; rioting ceased; the
noise of incessant debate was stilled. "The repeal of the Stamp Act,"
John Adams wrote in November, 1766, "has hushed into silence almost
every popular clamor, and composed every wave of popular disorder into a
smooth and peaceful calm."

And no doubt most Englishmen would willingly have let the question rest.
But an unwise king, stubbornly bent on having his way; precise
administrators of the Grenville type, concerned for the loss of a
farthing due; egoists like Wedderburne, profoundly ignorant of colonial
affairs, convulsed and readily convinced by the light sarcasms with
which Soame Jenyns disposed of the pretensions of "our American
colonies": such men waited only the opportune moment for retrieving a
humiliating defeat. That moment came with the mischance that clouded the
mind of Pitt and withdrew him from the direction of a government of all
the factions. The responsibility relinquished by the Great Commoner was
assumed by Charles Townshend, Chancellor of the Exchequer, a man well
fitted to foster the spirit of discord which then reigned, to the king's
great content, in that "mosaic" ministry. In January, 1767, without the
knowledge of the Cabinet, this "director of the revels" pledged himself
in the House of Commons to find "a mode by which a revenue may be drawn
from America without offense." Since the Americans admit that external
taxes are legal, he said, let us lay an external tax. Backed by the
king, he accordingly procured from Parliament, in May of the same year,
an act laying duties on glass, red and white lead, paper, and tea. The
revenue to be derived from the law, estimated at £40,000, was to be
applied to the payment of the salaries of royal governors and of judges
in colonial courts. A second act established a board of commissioners to
be stationed in America for the better enforcement of the Trade Acts;
while a third, known as the Restraining Act, suspended the New York
Assembly until it should have made provision for the troops according to
the terms of the Mutiny Act.

The Townshend Acts revived the old controversy, not quite in the old
manner. Mobs were less in evidence than in 1765, although riots
occasioned by business depression disturbed the peace of New York in the
winter of 1770, and the presence of the troops in Boston, the very sight
of which was an offense to that civic community, resulted in the famous
"massacre" of the same year. Yet the duties were collected without much
difficulty; and although the income derived from them amounted to almost
nothing, the commissioners reorganized the customs service so
successfully that an annual revenue of £30,000 was obtained at a cost of
£13,000 to collect. Forcible resistance was, indeed, less practicable in
dealing with the Townshend Acts than in the case of the Stamp Act; but
it was also true that men of character and substance, many of whom in
1765 had not been "averse to a little rioting," now realized that mobs
and the popular mass meeting undermined at once the security of property
rights and their own long-established supremacy in colonial politics.
Desiring to protect their privileges against encroachment from the
English Government without sharing them with the unfranchised populace,
they were therefore more concerned than before to employ only
constitutional and peaceful methods of obtaining redress. To this end
they resorted to non-importation agreements, to petition and protest, so
well according with English tradition, and to the reasoned argument, of
which the most notable in this period was that series of _Farmer's
Letters_ which made the name of John Dickinson familiar in Europe and a
household word throughout the colonies.

If in point of action the defenders of colonial rights were inclined to
greater moderation, in point of constitutional theory they were now
constrained to take a more radical stand. When Franklin, in his
examination before the House of Commons in 1766, was pressed by
Townshend to say whether Americans might not as readily object to
external as to internal taxes, he shrewdly replied: "Many arguments have
lately been used here to show them that there is no difference;--at
present they do not reason so; but in time they may possibly be
convinced by these arguments." That time was now at hand. As early as
1766, Richard Bland, of Virginia, had declared that the colonies, like
Hanover, were bound to England only through the Crown. This might be
over-bold; but the old argument was inadequate to meet the present
dangers, inasmuch as the Townshend Acts, the establishment of troops in
Boston and New York, and the attempt to force Massachusetts to rescind
her resolutions of protest, all seemed more designed to restrict the
legislative independence of the colonies than to assert the right of
Parliamentary taxation. Franklin himself, to whom it scarcely occurred
in 1765 that the legality of the Stamp Act might be denied, could not
now master the Massachusetts principle of "subordination," or understand
what that distinction was which Dickinson labored to draw between the
right of taxing the colonies and the right of regulating their trade.
"The more I have thought and read on the subject," he wrote in 1768,
"the more I find ... that no middle doctrine can well be maintained, I
mean not clearly with intelligible arguments. Something might be made of
either of the extremes: that Parliament has a power to make all laws for
us, or that it has a power to make no laws for us; and I think the
arguments for the latter more numerous and weighty than those for the
former." Before the Townshend duties were repealed, the colonists were
entirely familiar with the doctrine of complete legislative
independence; and the popular cry of "no representation no taxation"
began to be replaced by the far more radical cry of "no representation
no legislation."

In support of argument and protest, the colonists once more resorted to
the practice of non-importation. The earliest agreement was signed by
Boston merchants in October, 1767. But a far more rigid association, not
to import with trifling exceptions any goods from England or Holland,
was formed in New York in August, 1768, and agreed to by the merchants
in most colonies. Better observed in New York than elsewhere, it was so
far maintained as to reduce the English importations into the Middle and
Northern colonies from £1,333,000 in 1768 to £480,000 in 1769. In
inducing the Ministry of Lord North to repeal the duties the association
played its part; but from the point of view of the conservatives it was
not without its disadvantages. The importation of goods from Holland was
forbidden in order to catch the smuggler; but the smuggler ignored the
agreement as readily as he signed it. Yet for a time the association was
no burden to the fair trader, who in anticipation had doubled his
orders, or sold "old, moth-eaten goods" at high prices. The merchants
were "great patriots," Chandler told John Adams, "while their old rags
lasted; but as soon as they were sold at enormous prices, they were for
importing." And in truth the fair trader's monopoly could not outlast
his stock, whereas the smuggler's business improved the longer the
association endured. In the spring of 1770, the New York merchants, with
their shelves empty, complaining that Boston was more active in
"resolving what it ought to do than in doing what it had resolved,"
declared that the association no longer served "any other purpose than
tying the hands of honest men, to let rogues, smugglers, and men of no
character plunder their country." Supported by a majority of the
inhabitants of the city, and undeterred by the angry protests of the
Sons of Liberty, they accordingly agreed to "a general importation of
goods from Great Britain, except teas and other articles which are or
may be taxed." Boston and Philadelphia soon followed the lead of New
York, and before the year was out the policy of absolute non-importation
had broken down.

The adoption of the modified non-importation policy was the more readily
approved by conservative patriots everywhere inasmuch as the English
Government had already made concessions on its part. It was on March 5,
the very day of the Boston massacre, that Lord North, characterizing the
law as "preposterous," moved the repeal of all the Townshend duties,
saving, for principle's sake, that on tea alone. For the second time a
crisis seemed safely passed, and cordial relations seemed once more
restored. British officers concerned in the massacre, defended by the
patriots John Adams and Josiah Quincy, were honorably acquitted in a
Massachusetts court. The New York Assembly, recently permitted to issue
bills of credit to the extent of £120,000, made annual provision for the
troops, and friendly relations between soldiers and citizens were again
resumed. Imports from England at once rose to an unprecedented figure.
Tea was procured from Holland; the 3_d._ duty well-nigh forgotten. In
England most men regarded the ten years' quarrel as finally composed.
For three years the colonies were barely once mentioned in Parliament,
and a page or two of the _Annual Register_ was thought sufficient space
to chronicle the doings of America. America also seemed content. During
these uneventful years the high enthusiasm for liberty burned low, even
in Massachusetts. "How easily the people change," laments John Adams,
"and give up their friends and their interests." And Samuel Adams
himself, implacable patriot, working as tirelessly as ever, but deserted
by Hancock and Otis and half his quondam supporters, had so far lost his
commanding influence as to inspire the sympathy of his friends and the
tolerant pity of his enemies.

It was hardly for the purpose of restoring the prestige of Samuel Adams,
though nothing could have been better designed to that end, that Lord
North, rising in the House of Commons on April 17, 1773, offered a
resolution permitting the East India Company to export teas stored in
its English warehouses free of all duties save the 3_d._ tax in America.
Many years later the Whig pamphleteer Almon asserted that the measure
was inspired by the king's desire to "try the question with America."
The statement is unsupported by contemporary evidence. Lord North said
that the measure was intended solely in the interest of the Company,
which had in fact but just been rescued from bankruptcy by the
interposition of the Government, and the resolution was passed into law
without comment and without opposition. Information obtained from
reliable American merchants determined the directors to take advantage
of the opportunity thus offered. They were assured that, although there
was strong opposition to the 3_d._ tax, "mankind are in general governed
by interest," and "the Company can afford their teas cheaper than the
Americans can smuggle them from foreigners, which puts the success of
the design beyond a doubt." Acting upon this assurance, cargoes of
assorted teas amounting to 2051 chests were sent to the four ports of
Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Charleston.

But the American merchants who advised this step had fatally misjudged
the situation. The approach of the tea-ships was the signal for instant
and general opposition. Smugglers opposed the East India Company venture
because it threatened to destroy the very lucrative Holland trade; the
fair trader because it conferred a monopoly upon an English corporation,
but above all because, if the Company could sell its tea, the
non-importation agreement, that favorite conservative method of
obtaining redress, at once effective and legal, would have proved after
all a useless measure. Unless they were ready for decisive action, the
long struggle against Parliamentary taxation must end in submission.
Many conservatives were content to try non-consumption agreements; but
it was a foregone conclusion that if the tea was once landed, it would
be sold, and a great majority were in favor of destroying it or sending
it back to England. The latter method was employed in New York and
Philadelphia; but in Boston Governor Hutchinson refused to issue return
clearance papers until the cargoes were discharged. There the radicals,
with the moral support of the great body of conservative citizens,
carried the day. On December 16, 1773, undisturbed by the English ships
of war, men disguised as Mohawks, "no ordinary Mohawks, you may depend
upon it," boarded the East India Company's vessels and emptied its tea
into Boston Harbor.

Neither the Government nor the people of England were now in any mood
for further concessions. The average Briton had given little thought to
America since the repeal of the Stamp Act. He easily recalled that three
years before the ministers had good-naturedly withdrawn the major part
of the Townshend duties, and since then had rested in the confident
belief that the quarrel was happily ended. The destruction of the tea
seemed to him a gratuitous insult, for it passed his understanding that
the Americans should resent a measure which enabled them to buy their
tea cheaper than he could himself; and he was, therefore, ready to back
the Government in any measures it might take for asserting the authority
of Parliament over these excitable colonists whose whims had too long
been seriously regarded. This task the Government, now for the first
time effectively controlled by the king, was quite willing to undertake,
all the more so on account of the recent burning of the Gaspée and the
dishonorable publication of Hutchinson's letters. By overwhelming
majorities Parliament accordingly passed the coercive acts, closing
Boston Harbor to commerce until the town made compensation to the East
India Company, remodeling the Massachusetts charter in such a manner as
to give to the Crown more effective control of the executive and
administrative functions of government, making provision for quartering
troops upon the inhabitants, and providing for the trial in England of
persons indicted for capital offenses committed while aiding the
magistrates to suppress tumults or insurrection.

Drastic as these measures were, they were regarded in England as the
necessary last resort, unless the Government, hitherto so indulgent and
long-suffering, was prepared to ignore the most flagrant flouting of its
laws and to renounce all effective control of the colonies. In the
colonies, on the other hand, they were generally thought, even by
conservative patriots, to be clear evidence of a bold and unblushing
design, unapproved by the majority of Englishmen, no doubt, but harbored
in secret for many years by the king's hireling ministers, to enslave
America as a preliminary step in the destruction of English liberties.
Firm in this belief, the colonists elected their deputies to the First
Continental Congress, which was called to meet at Philadelphia on the
1st of September, 1774, in order to unite upon the most effective
measures for defending their common rights.


The causes which had brought the two countries to this pass lie deeper
than the hostile designs of ministers, or the ambition of colonial
agitators bent on revolution. It has been said that the Revolution was
the result of an unfortunate misunderstanding. A misunderstanding it
was, sure enough, in one sense; but if by misunderstanding is meant lack
of information there is more truth in the famous epigram which has it
that Grenville lost the colonies because he read the American
dispatches, which none of his predecessors had done. In the decade
before the Declaration of Independence every exchange of ideas drove the
two countries farther apart, and personal contact alienated more often
than it reconciled the two peoples. It was the years of actual residence
in England that cooled Franklin's love for the mother country. "Had I
never been in the American colonies," he writes in 1772, "but was to
form my judgement of civil society from what I have lately seen, I
should never advise a nation of savages to admit of civilization."
Governor Hutchinson, one of the most aristocratic and most English of
Americans, was amazed to find himself but an alien in a far country
during the years of exile which gave him his first sight of English
society since 1742. Cultivated man of the world as he thought himself,
but Puritan still, it was with a profound sense of disillusionment that
he mingled with the "best people" of England. How pathetic are those
London letters of this unhappy exile who likes the people of Bristol
best because they remind him of Boston select-men, whose one desire is
to return home and lie buried in the land of his fathers! It is not too
fanciful to think that if Hutchinson had lived earlier in England he
might have died a patriot, whereas had Franklin seen as little of
England as his son he might have ended his days as a Loyalist. It was
"Old England" indeed that these cultivated Americans loved: the England
of Magna Carta and the Petition of Right; the England of Drake, of Pym
and Falkland, and of the Glorious Revolution; the little island kingdom
that harbored liberty and was the builder of an empire justly governed:
they thought of England in terms of her history, scarcely aware that her
best traditions were more cherished in the New World than in the Old.

Rarely, indeed, would an appeal to England's best traditions have met
with less cordial response among her rulers. For during the decade
following the Peace of Paris the vision of liberty was half obscured by
the vision of empire. Observant contemporaries noted the sudden rise of
an insular egoism following the war that in Voltaire's phrase saw
"England victorious in four parts of the world." Cowper was not alone in
complaining "that thieves at home must hang, but he that puts into his
over-gorged and bloated purse the wealth of Indian provinces, escapes";
and Horace Walpole has recorded in his incomparable letters, with a
cynical and an engaging wit which reflects the spirit of the times
better than his own sentiments, the corruption and prodigality, the
levity and low aims of that generation. With many noble exceptions, the
men who gathered round the young king, the men who "lived on their
country or died for her," who too often admired if they could not always
emulate the brutal degradation of a Sandwich or the matchless _abandon_
of the young Charles James Fox, had singularly little in common with
those American communities which the Frenchman Ségur fancied "might have
been made to order out of the imagination of Rousseau or Fénelon."

Had they known them better they would have liked them less; and in fact
ten years' "discussion of the points in controversy only served to put
farther asunder" men who reasoned from different premises and in a
different temper. Englishmen were generally content with the fact of
power registered in legal precedents; but Americans, profoundly
convinced that they deserved to be free, were ever concerned with its
moral justification. "To what purpose is it to ring everlasting changes
... on the cases of Manchester and ... Sheffield," cried James Otis. "If
these places are not represented, _they ought to be_." This _ought_ is
the fundamental premise of the entire colonial argument. "Shall we
Proteus-like perpetually change our ground, assume every moment some new
strange shape, to defend, to evade?" asks a Virginian in 1774. This was
precisely what could not be avoided. For the end determined the means.
If, therefore, the distinction between external and internal taxes was
untenable, it convinced the American, not that Parliament had a right to
tax the colonies, but only that it had no right to legislate for them.
And when Englishmen grounded the legislative rights of Parliament upon
the solid basis of positive law, the colonial patriot appealed with
solemn fervor to natural law and the abstract rights of man. Little
wonder that the more logical the American argument became the less
intelligible it appeared to most Englishmen, and what seemed at last the
very axioms of politics to the colonial radical struck the conservative
British mind as the sophistry of men bent on revolution.

If ten years' discussion convinced American patriots that they possessed
more rights than their philosophy had yet dreamed of, constant dwelling
on their condition developed a sensitiveness which registered oppression
where none had been felt before. What a profound influence had those
liberty-pole festivals so assiduously promoted by men like Samuel Adams
and Alexander MacDougall: "for they tinge the minds of the people; they
impregnate them with the sentiments of liberty; they render the people
fond of their leaders in the cause, and averse and bitter against all
opposers." In August, 1769, John Adams dined with three hundred and
fifty Sons of Liberty at Dorchester, in an open field. "This," he said,
noting the effect of the patriotic toasts and the inspiring popular
songs, "is cultivating the sensations of freedom." For a decade these
excitable Americans did, indeed, cultivate the sensations of freedom;
went out periodically, as it were, to "snuff the approach of tyranny on
every tainted breeze"; a practice which, becoming habitual, developed a
peculiar type of mind which marked a man out from his fellows. Such a
man was William Hall, Esquire, of North Carolina, at whose house Josiah
Quincy stopped; "a most sensible, polite gentleman, and, although a
Crown officer, a man replete with the sentiments of general liberty."
How useless, indeed, were arguments drawn from positive law, or the
citation of many legal precedents, to convince men _replete with
sentiments of general liberty!_

And those who so assiduously cultivated the sensations of freedom could
not easily deny themselves the martyr's crown. Like the Girondins in
France at a later day, many American patriots, such as Josiah Quincy
himself and Richard Henry Lee, have somewhat the air of loving liberty
because they had read the classics. They liked to think of themselves as
exhibiting "a resolution which would not have disgraced the Romans in
their best days"; and seem almost to welcome persecution in order to
prove that the spirit of Regulus still lived. It was no mere dispute in
the practical art of politics that engaged them, but a cosmic conflict
between the unconditioned good and the powers of darkness. "It is
impossible that vice can so triumph over virtue," writes Lee in all
soberness, "as that the slaves of Tyranny should succeed against the
brave and generous asserters of Liberty and the just rights of
Humanity." Even the common people, said Joseph Warren, "take an honest
pride in being singled out by a tyrannous administration." Knowing that
"their merits, not their crimes, make them the objects of Ministerial
vengeance," they refused to pay a penny tax with the religious fervor of
men doing battle for the welfare of the human race. Consider the dry
common sense with which Dr. Johnson disposed of the alleged Tyranny of
Great Britain: "But I say, if the rascals are so prosperous, oppression
has agreed with them, or there has been no oppression"; and contrast it
with the reverent spirit which pervades the writings of John Dickinson
or the formal protests of the Continental Congress. Reconciliation was
indeed difficult between men who could treat the matter lightly, in the
manner of Soame Jenyns, and men who, with John Adams, thought themselves
one company with that "mighty line of heroes and confessors and martyrs
who since the beginning of history have done battle for the dignity and
happiness of human nature against the leagued assailants of both."

This lyric enthusiasm for liberty, and the radical political theories
which were its most formal expression, were all the more
incomprehensible to the average Briton inasmuch as they were the result
of a conflict of interests in America quite as much as of English
legislation. "The decree has gone forth," said John Adams, "that a more
equal liberty than has prevailed in other parts of the earth, must be
established in America." Not for home rule alone was the Revolution
fought, but for the democratization of American society as well. The
quarrel with Great Britain would hardly have ended in war, had the
landed and commercial interests, those little aristocracies which had
hitherto controlled colonial politics, been free to conduct it in their
own fashion. At every stage in the controversy, the most uncompromising
opponents of Parliamentary taxation were those who felt themselves
inadequately represented in colonial assemblies. Fear of British tyranny
was most felt by those who had little influence in shaping colonial
laws. And half the bitter denunciation of corruption in England was
inspired by jealous dislike of those high-placed families in America
whose ostentatious lives and condescending manners were an offense to
the laborious poor, or to men of talent ambitious to rise from obscurity
to influence and power.

What Heaven-sent opportunity, then, was this quarrel with Britain for
all those who resented the genial complacence with which fortune's
favorites, "with vanity enough to call themselves the better sort,"
monopolized privilege in nearly every colony! The Virginia Stamp Act
Resolutions, which according to Governor Bernard of Massachusetts
sounded "an alarum bell to the disaffected," would assuredly never have
been passed by the Pendletons or the Blands, nor yet by Peyton Randolph,
who swore with an oath that he would have given £500 for a single vote
to defeat them. They were carried by the western counties under the
leadership of Patrick Henry, recently elected from the back country to
sit in sober home-spun garb with the modish aristocrats of the
tide-water. Product of the small farmer democracy beyond the "Fall
Line," uniting the implacable temper of the Calvinist with the
humanitarian sentiments of the eighteenth-century _philosophe_, he
joined hands with Jefferson and the Lees to form the radical party. It
was this party which carried Virginia into rebellion against England.
And it was this party which destroyed the domination of the little
coterie of great planters by abolishing entail, disestablishing the
Anglican Church, and proclaiming a state constitution founded, in theory
if not altogether in fact, upon the principles of liberty and equality
and the rights of man.

From the point of view of most cultivated and conservative Americans,
admirable indeed were the restrained and conciliatory arguments of John
Dickinson in support of the right of the colonies to be taxed only by
their own representatives. But how vulnerable was his position in
defending the existing government in Pennsylvania, by which the three
Quaker counties, with less than half the population of the province,
elected twenty-four of the thirty-six deputies in the assembly! "We
apprehend," so runs a petition from the German and Scotch-Irish counties
of the interior, "that as freemen and English subjects, we have an
indisputable title to the same privileges and immunities with his
Majesty's other subjects who reside in the counties of Philadelphia,
Chester, and Bucks." German Protestants and Scotch-Irish Presbyterians,
resenting Quaker domination more than they feared British tyranny, and
the mechanics and artisans and small shopkeepers of Philadelphia,
unwilling "to give up our liberties for the sake of a few smiles once a
year," made the strength of the radical and revolutionary party in
Pennsylvania. Opposed to all attempts to infringe their rights "either
here or on the other side of the Atlantic," they at last gained control
of the anti-British movement, and made use of it, employing the very
arguments which Dickinson and his kind had used in resistance to British
oppression, to overthrow the Quaker-merchant oligarchy that had so long
governed the colony in its own interests.

One day in 1772 old Governor Shirley, then living in retirement, heard
that the "Boston Seat" was responsible for the opposition to
Hutchinson's administration. When they told him who it was that made the
Boston Seat, he is said to have replied: "Mr. Cushing I knew, and Mr.
Hancock I knew, but where the devil this brace of Adamses came from I
know not." He might have been told that they had risen from obscurity to
inject into politics the acrid and self-righteous spirit of their
Puritan ancestors. It would be interesting to inquire to what issue the
quarrel with England would have been conducted had it been left to Mr.
Cushing and Mr. Hancock. Half the persistent opposition of the brace of
Adamses to British legislation was inspired by the commanding position
of a few families in Boston--the Hutchinsons and Olivers, who "will rule
and overbear in all things." As a youngster John Adams had confided to
his _Diary_: "I will not ... confine myself to a chamber for nothing.
I'll have some boon in return, exchange: fame, fortune, or something."
Laborious days had gained him little. "Thirty seven years, more than
half the life of man, are run out," he complains in 1773, "and I have my
own and my children's fortunes to make." Yet there was his boyhood
friend, Jonathan Sewall, already attorney-general, "rewarded ... with
six thousand pounds a year, for propagating as many ... slanders against
his country as ever fell from the pen of a sycophant." And the
Hutchinsons and Olivers! With what concentrated bitterness does the
young lawyer write of these men who, he is convinced, had submitted to
be ministerial tools for the aggrandizement, of their families. His
bitterness is the greater, and his conscious rectitude the more
obtrusive, because he also, the virtuous Adams, might have sat in that
gallery. For the wily Hutchinson had offered him the lucrative post of
solicitor-general--the open road to power; but he had declined it; he
could not be bought by the man "whose character and conduct have been
the cause for laying a foundation for perpetual discontent and
uneasiness between Britain and the colonies, of perpetual struggle of
one party for wealth and power at the expense of the liberties of this
country, and of perpetual contention in the other party to preserve
them." Not in England was the plot hatched, but in Boston itself; and
much brooding on his injuries and his abnegations had brought Adams to
the pass, in 1774, that he could set down the names of the three
"original conspirators."

It was this opposition of interests in America that chiefly made men
extremists on either side. Adams would have been less radical had
Hutchinson and Jonathan Sewall been more so; and perhaps Hutchinson and
Sewall might have been more loyal patriots had the brace of Adamses been
less bitter ones. Most of those who in the end became Loyalists were men
who had once been opposed to the ministerial policy, and many remained
so to the end of their lives. But with every stage in the conflict they
looked with increasing apprehension upon the growing influence of
obscure leaders who proclaimed the rights of the people. The prevalence
of mobs; the entrance of the unfranchised populace, by means of "body"
meetings and mass meetings, into the political arena; the leveling
principles and the smug self-righteousness of the patriot
politicians;--all this led many a conservative to consider whether his
interest were not more threatened by the insurgence of radicalism in
America than by the alleged oppression of British legislation. Boston is
indeed mad, Hutchinson writes in 1770. The frenzy, kept up by "two or
three of the most abandoned atheist fellows in the world, united with as
many precise enthusiast deacons, who head the rabble in all their
meetings," was not higher "when they banished my pious great-grandmother,
when they hanged the Quakers." People of "the best character and
estate ... decline attending. Town Meetings where they are
sure to be outvoted by men of the lowest orders." And even in
Philadelphia, where, according to Joseph Reed, "there have been no mobs,
the frequent appeals to the people must in time occasion a change." "We
are hastening on to desperate resolutions," he assured Dartmouth, and
"our most wise and sensible citizens dread the anarchy and confusion
that must ensue."

They were, indeed, hastening on to desperate resolutions on that 5th of
September when men from twelve colonies assembled in Carpenter's Hall to
form the First Continental Congress. A body of able men, it represented
the division as well as the unity that prevailed in America; for there
Galloway and Isaac Low, soon to become Loyalists, sat with Patrick Henry
and Samuel Adams, ready to welcome independence; of one opinion that
American rights were threatened, irreconcilably opposed in their
methods of defending them. John Adams, traveling by easy stages to
Philadelphia, had noted with some surprise how greatly the Middle
colonies feared "the levelling spirit of New England"; and he now found
in the Congress many men who would hear "no expression which looked like
an allusion to the last appeal"; men who were quite content to confine
the action of Congress to protest and negotiation, deeming a
non-intercourse measure useless if voluntary and revolutionary if
maintained by force. For two weeks the advantage seemed to lie with
these men; but on September 17, when the famous "Suffolk Resolutions"
were laid before Congress, many conservatives, unwilling to abandon a
neighboring colony however much they might regret the step it had taken,
voted with the radicals of New England and Virginia to approve the act
which virtually put Massachusetts in a state of rebellion. The final
stand of the conservatives was made eleven days later when Galloway
introduced his Plan for a British American Parliament, a serious and
practicable plan according to Lord Dartmouth, "almost a perfect plan,"
thought John Rutledge, of South Carolina, for effecting a permanent
reconciliation. But the motion, upon which "warm and long debates
ensued," was finally rejected by a majority of one colony, and late in
October the resolution itself, and all minutes concerning it, were
expunged from the records of Congress.

After the rejection of Galloway's Plan, conservatives and radicals
united to formulate the non-intercourse measures, which New England
delegates thought so essential, and those famous addresses--to the
King, to the Inhabitants of Great Britain, to the Inhabitants of the
British Colonies--which Pitt declared to be unsurpassed for ability and
moderation. Able and moderate the addresses undoubtedly were; the work
of conservative deputies, designed to conciliate conservatives in
America and win Whig support in England. But the important work of the
First Continental Congress was embodied in the "Association," through
which Congress "recommended" to the colonies the adoption of
non-importation, non-consumption, and non-exportation agreements to
become effective December 1, 1774, March 1 and September 10, 1775. From
previous experience it was well understood that such agreements as
these, far more drastic than any which had yet been tried, would prove
ineffective if they remained purely voluntary associations; and what
made the non-intercourse policy of the First Congress distasteful to
conservative men were the measures taken to enforce it. To this end it
was provided that there should be appointed in "every county, city, and
town" a committee of inspection "whose business it shall be to observe
the conduct of all persons touching the Association"; to publish the
names of all who violated it; to inspect the customs entries; and to
seize and dispose of all goods imported contrary to its provisions. Thus
was a voluntary agreement not to do certain things transformed into a
kind of general law to be enforced upon all alike by boycott and
confiscation of property.

The Association of the First Congress created a revolutionary government
and gave birth to the Loyalist as distinct from the conservative party.
Radicals and conservatives had differed in respect to the theoretical
basis of colonial rights and the most effective methods of securing
redress. But the authority now assumed in the name of Congress raised
the ultimate question of allegiance. Of the pamphleteers and preachers
who now denounced the Association as a revolutionary measure, Samuel
Seabury perceived the issue most clearly and stated it most effectively:
"If I must be enslaved, let it be by a King at least, and not by a
parcel of upstart, lawless committeemen." Whether to submit to the king
or to the committee--this was, indeed, the fundamental question during
those crucial months from November, 1774, to July, 1776. For extremists
on either side, the question presented no difficulty; for conservatives
like Hutchinson, who had long since lost all sympathy with prevailing
measures of resistance, or for radicals like Samuel Adams and Patrick
Henry, who pressed eagerly forward toward independence. But in 1774 the
great majority of thinking men, abhorring the notion of war or
separation from England, were yet convinced that strong protest, and
even a kind of forcible resistance, was justified in order to maintain
their just rights. These men sooner or later found themselves "between
Scylla and Charybdis ": compelled to choose what was for them the lesser
evil; to acknowledge the authority of Parliament in spite of laws which
they regarded as oppressive and unconstitutional, or to identify
themselves with the cause of Congress however ill-advised they may have
thought its action. Those men who wished to take a safe middle ground,
who wished neither to renounce their country nor to mark themselves as
rebels, could no longer hold together, and the conservative party
disappeared: perhaps one half chose sooner or later to submit to British
authority; the other half, either with deliberation or yielding
insensibly to the pressure of events, went with their country.

That a majority of conservatives refused to meet this issue until after
the battle of Lexington, and many not until the Declaration of
Independence "closed the last door of reconciliation," was largely due
to the widespread belief that if the colonies took a bold, stand the
English Government would once more back down. Upon the conduct of
radicals and conservatives alike, this persistent belief, one of those
delusions which often change the course of history, exercised, indeed, a
decisive influence. Even as high a Son of Liberty as Richard Henry Lee
would have favored more cautious measures in the First Congress had he
not been certain that "the same ship which carries home the resolutions
will bring back the redress." Inspired among radicals partly by the
feeling that so just a cause could not fail, the conviction was chiefly
grounded upon information sent home by Americans residing in England. If
Congress is unanimous, wrote Franklin in September, 1774, "you cannot
fail of carrying your point. If you divide you are lost." Josiah Quincy,
sent to England in order to get first-hand information, wrote letter
after letter to men in every part of America, assuring them that the
oppression of the colonies was an affair of corrupt ministers who were
not supported by one in twenty of the inhabitants of Great Britain.
"Corruption and the influence of the Crown hath led us into bondage," is
the common cry here. "To Americans only we look for salvation." But
yesterday a noble lord had assured him that, "this country will never
carry on a civil war against America; we cannot, but the ministry hope
to carry all by a single stroke." Certainly, he assured his friends, the
common opinion here is that "if the Americans stand out, we must come to
their terms."

Above all, therefore, America must stand out; she must be "firm and
united," waiting the day when England would come to her terms. But the
difficulty was to be firm and at the same time united; for with every
measure bolder than the last, conservative men grew timid or deserted
the cause to swell the ranks of the Loyalist party. It was precisely to
preserve the appearance of unity where none existed that the journals of
the First Congress had been falsified; for this reason alone many
conservatives had voted for the Association; and in the year 1775, after
the battle of Lexington had precipitated a state of war, radical members
of the Second Congress voted for conciliatory petitions, and
conservatives voted to take up arms against the British troops, in the
hope that if the colonists showed themselves unanimous in the profession
of loyalty, and at the same time unanimous in their determination to
resort to forcible resistance as a last resort, the English Government
would never press the matter to a conclusion.

In February, 1775, Lord North had, indeed, offered resolutions of
conciliation. The measure amazed his own followers and was greeted by
the Whigs with Homeric laughter. Offers of conciliation could scarcely
have arrived in America at a more inopportune time,--the very moment
almost when the battle of Lexington came like an alarm-bell in the night
to waken men from the dream of peace. And the resolutions themselves had
all the appearance of being a clever ruse designed to separate the
Middle colonies from New England and Virginia, in order to destroy that
very union which Americans believed to be the best hope of obtaining
real concession. Such the Whigs in England asserted them to be; and
generally so regarded in America, they were everywhere rejected with
contempt. In November, after the non-exportation agreement became
effective, when an American army was endeavoring to drive the British
troops out of Boston, Lord North declared in Parliament that whereas
former measures were intended as "civil corrections against civil
crimes," the time was now come for prosecuting war against America as
against any foreign enemy; and with the opening of the new year it was
at last becoming clear, even to the most optimistic, that the English
Government was prepared to exact submission at the point of the sword.

As the vain hope of conciliation died away, the radicals, under the able
lead of John Adams and Richard Henry Lee, pushed on to a formal
declaration of independence. This was now, indeed, the only way out for
them. The non-intercourse policy, injuring America more than it injured
England, had proved a hopeless failure. During the year 1775 imports
fell from, £2,000,000 to £213,000; and after the non-exportation
agreement became effective, business stagnation produced profound
discontent and diminished the resources necessary for carrying on war.
So drastic a self-denying ordinance could not be maintained, for "people
will feel, and will say, that Congress oppresses them more than
Parliament." Unable "to do without trade," they were "between Hawk and
Buzzard"; and on April 6, 1776, the ports of America were opened to the
world. "But no state will treat or trade with us," said Lee, "so long as
we consider ourselves subjects of Great Britain." A declaration of
independence was therefore recognized, gladly by some, with profound
regret by many more, as the only alternative to submission; for it alone
would make possible that military and commercial alliance with France
without which America could not successfully withstand the superior
power of Great Britain; and at the same time it would enable the _de
facto_ colonial Governments, with a show of legality, to suppress the
disaffected Loyalists and confiscate their property to the uses of the
cause which they had so basely betrayed.

On June 7, 1776, Richard Henry Lee, in behalf of the Virginia delegation
and in obedience to instructions from the Virginia Assembly, accordingly
moved "that these united colonies are, and of right ought to be free and
independent states; ... that it is expedient forthwith to take the most
effectual measures for forming foreign alliances"; and "that a plan of
confederation be prepared and transmitted to the respective colonies for
their consideration." Debated at length, the final decision, already a
foregone conclusion, was deferred in deference to the wishes of the
conservative Middle colonies. It was on July 2 that the momentous
resolutions were finally carried; and two days later the Congress
published to the world that famous declaration which derived the
authority of just governments from the consent of the governed, and
grounded civil society upon the inherent and inalienable rights of man.
In the history of the Western world, the American Declaration of
Independence was an event of outstanding importance: glittering or not,
its sweeping generalities formulated those basic truths which no
criticism can seriously impair, and to which the minds of men must
always turn, so long as faith in democracy shall endure.


The men who with resolution and high hope pledged their lives, their
fortunes, and their sacred honor to the defense of these novel
principles, could scarcely have foreseen the emotional reaction that was
soon to follow; the profound disillusionment of those weary years when
only an occasional victory came to lift the despondency occasioned by
constant defeat: years when "the spirit of the people begins to flag, or
the approach of danger dispirits them"; when "few of the numbers who
talked so largely of death and honor" were to be found on the field of
battle; when a febrile enthusiasm for liberty and the just rights of
humanity seemed strangely transformed into the sordid spirit of the
money-changer; those years of the drawn-out war when drudgery in
obscure committee rooms was valued above declamation and the practical
sense of Robert Morris counted for more than the finished oratory of
Richard Henry Lee; the times that tried men's souls, when "the summer
soldier and the sunshine patriot ... shrinks from the service of his
country, but he that stands ... deserves the love of man and woman."
Happily for America there were many who kept the faith, who fought the
good fight, during these dark days. Yet one is apt to think that the
Declaration must have proved a vain boast of rebels but for that
Virginia colonel whom the Congress appointed, on June 17, 1775, to be
"General and Commander in Chief of the armies of the United Colonies";
that man so modest that he thought himself incompetent for the task, yet
of such heroic resolution that neither difficulties nor reverses nor
betrayals could bring him to despair; that man of rectitude, whose will
was steeled to finer temper by every defeat, and who was not to be
turned, by any failure or success, by any calumny, by gold, or by the
dream of empire, from the straight path of his purpose.

He had come, in June, 1776, fresh from the notable achievement which
drove the British army out of Boston, to defend New York against the
most formidable military and naval force ever seen in America. With a
rashness born of inexperience or the necessity of making a stand,
Washington carried his undisciplined farmers and frontier riflemen
across to Brooklyn Heights on Long Island, to meet inevitable defeat at
the hands of General Howe. A ship or two, which the slow-moving British
commander might have sent up the East River, would have prevented the
masterly retreat which saved the American army from capture. But Howe
seemed bent only upon occupying New York, which thus became, and until
the end of the war remained, the British and Loyalist headquarters. With
a deliberation that enraged the Loyalist and non-plussed his
subordinates, the general pushed the patriot army northward to White
Plains, missing there a second opportunity to win a decisive battle. But
the capture of Fort Washington on the Hudson opened the river to the
British navy, and compelled the American forces to retreat through New
Jersey, and across the Delaware River at Trenton into Pennsylvania. Half
a year had not passed since the Declaration of Independence when the
cause of America seemed already lost. "We looked upon the contest as
nearly closed," Major Thomas assured his patriot friends, "and
considered ourselves a vanquished people." The indifferent populace of
New York and New Jersey came in crowds to swear allegiance to the
victorious army. No one doubted that Howe would cross the river and take
Philadelphia. The jubilant Loyalists of the capital city awaited their
deliverance. Congress, bundling its records into a farm wagon, scrambled
away to Baltimore. And even the steadfast Washington, with his
tatterdemalion army reduced to three thousand effectives, wrote that if
new troops could not be raised without delay "the game is nearly up."

Of Villeroi, a general in the army of Louis XIV, it was said that he
had "well served the king--William." It might be said of Howe that he
shares with Washington the merit of achieving American independence. He
never quite deserted the patriot cause; and now, at this critical
moment, instead of pressing on to Philadelphia, he retired his main
army, leaving only some Hessian outposts at Trenton and Bordentown. This
arrangement enabled Washington to revive the waning enthusiasm of the
country by executing one of the most daring and brilliant strokes of the
war. Amidst the snow and sleet of a bitter December night, he ferried
his forlorn little force through the floating ice of the Delaware, and
on Christmas morning of 1776 surprised and captured Colonel Ball and one
thousand Hessians. Cornwallis, on the point of departure for England,
was hastily recalled to recover the lost ground; but he was
out-generaled and defeated, and Washington occupied Morristown Heights,
where he would indeed have been "left to scuffle for Liberty like
another Cato," had he not been, to his great amazement, allowed by the
British commander to remain unmolested there until the next spring. "All
winter," he writes, "we were at their mercy, with sometimes scarcely a
sufficient body of men to mount the ordinary guards, liable at every
moment to be dissipated, if they had only thought proper to march
against us."

If the conduct of the British general in the winter of 1777 amazed
Washington, his management of the next campaign was even more
inexplicable. The army of Burgoyne was then moving slowly southward
from Canada by way of Lake Champlain and the Hudson River. It was the
intention of the ministers that Howe should coöperate with the northern
army; and Washington supposed that the purpose of the campaign was to
effect a complete separation of New England from the more Loyalist
Middle and Southern colonies. As this was thought to be precisely the
most fatal circumstance which could come to pass, an army, far larger
than that of Washington, was gathering to check if possible the advance
of Burgoyne. But Howe neither moved north to the relief of Burgoyne, nor
sent any part of his troops until it was too late. Wasting the early
summer in fruitless maneuvers in northern Jersey, he finally carried his
army by sea to the Chesapeake Bay, where he arrived on the 21st of
August. The general had sailed three hundred miles, and had now to march
fifty miles more, in order to reach Philadelphia, which was ninety-two
miles from the point where he first embarked; and the army of
Washington, the very army which he had sailed so far and wasted so many
precious weeks to avoid, still lay across his path. At Brandywine and
Germantown he fought, and easily won, the battles which could no longer
be avoided. The way to Philadelphia was indeed open; but the fate of the
northern army was already sealed. Caught in the difficult forests of the
Hudson Valley, with supplies exhausted, unable either to retreat or to
advance, on October 17, thirteen days after Howe won the battle of
Germantown, Burgoyne lost the battle of Saratoga and surrendered his
entire army to General Gates.

The loss of Philadelphia was almost forgotten in the general rejoicing
that followed the victory of Saratoga. And the surrender of Burgoyne was
indeed a decisive event; for it inspired Americans with new resolution
and was followed by the formal alliance with France. For months Franklin
had been in France preparing the way for a treaty. The very presence of
the man on the streets of Paris was an influence in favor of the
American cause. To the Frenchmen of that day, when Voltaire and Rousseau
and Fénelon had come into their own, this sage from the primitive
forest, already famous as a scientist, this homely preacher of the
virtues of frugality, with his unconventional wisdom and his genial
tolerance, was the ideal philosopher of that state of nature which they
had in imagination set over as a shining contrast to the artificial and
corrupt society in which they lived. The enthusiasm of the nation for an
oppressed people gave support to the Government when war was once
declared, but it cannot be said that it had much influence in inducing
the king to agree to the alliance with England's rebellious colonies.
Bringing to bear all the resources which native wit and long experience
had placed at his command, Franklin had already, encumbered as he was
with unwise colleagues, procured much secret assistance. And it was
probably the intention of the French Government not to depart from this
policy; but after the surrender of Burgoyne, French agents in London
assured Vergennes that the colonies were on the point of making peace
with England, and of joining her, as the price of independence, in an
attack upon the French West Indies. Since war seemed inevitable, it was
manifestly better to have the assistance of America than her opposition.
Vergennes therefore signified to Franklin his willingness to negotiate a
treaty without delay; and there was signed under date of February 6,
1778, at Versailles, a defensive and offensive alliance between the
United States of America,--recently founded upon the revolutionary
principle of popular sovereignty, and His Most Christian Majesty, Louis
XVI, by Grace of God King of France and Navarre.[2]

In spite of the resource and tenacity of Washington and the convenient
inactivity of Howe, it is difficult to see how the Revolution could have
succeeded without the assistance which now came from France. Contrary to
expectation, French troops and even the French navy were of little
direct aid until the battle of Yorktown. But French gold financed the
war. In the winter of 1778, when Washington's heroic remnant of barefoot
soldiers lay starving at Valley Forge while Pennsylvania farmers sold
provisions to the British and Loyalists who were comfortable and merry
at Philadelphia, the Continental Congress was already a discredited and
half bankrupt Government. Confiscated Loyalist property was sold for the
benefit of the new State Governments; and Congress, unable to collect
its requisitions, was forced to rely upon ever-increasing issues of
paper money. In this very year $63,000,000 were added to the $38,000,000
already in circulation, and in 1779 the printers turned out $143,000,000
more. Laws fixing prices were without effect, and the value of paper
fell to 33 cents on the dollar in 1777, to 12 cents in 1779, and to 2
cents in 1780. When a pound of tea sold for $100, when Thomas Paine
bought woolen stockings at $300 a pair and Jefferson brandy at $125 a
quart, General Gates could with $500,000 of paper get a hundred yards of
fence built in which to guard British prisoners, but arms and munitions
of war were forthcoming only so long as drafts on Franklin were honored
by the French Government.

But if the French alliance brought assistance to the Americans, it
induced the English Government to undertake a more vigorous prosecution
of the war. The ministers had doubtless thought that the policy of
conducting the war with the olive branch and the sword in either hand
would prove successful. Certainly Howe had so interpreted his
instructions. He had fought only when it was necessary to fight; easily
accomplished everything he seriously attempted; never pressed any
advantage; had supposed that by occupying the principal cities,
affording protection to the loyal, and by moderation winning the
lukewarm, the flame of rebellion would burn low for want of fuel and in
good time quite flicker out. Too faithfully followed by half, this
policy had ended in the humiliation of Saratoga and in the added burden
of a war with France. News of Burgoyne's surrender scarcely reached
England before offers of conciliation, embracing more than every
concession the colonies had originally demanded, were hastily pushed
through Parliament and entrusted to commissioners sent to America to
negotiate peace. It was now too late. Once before, just after the battle
of Long Island, General Howe, declaring himself authorized to discuss
terms of conciliation, had induced Congress to send a committee to meet
him at Staten Island. The conference came to nothing; and the only
effect of the episode was to create a strong suspicion in the mind of
the French Minister that the Americans would abandon their Declaration
at the first convenient opportunity. It was above all necessary that the
ardor of France should not again be damped by any further dallying with
English offers. The commissioners were therefore coolly received, and
the attempt of Johnstone to bribe Washington and Reed, published by
Congress in August, 1778, only furnished new fuel to the patriot flame.

Aroused by the French alliance and the flouting of its offers of
conciliation, the English Government now set about to wage war in
earnest. General Howe had returned to England in May, 1778, to stand a
Parliamentary investigation; and when General Clinton who succeeded him
evacuated Philadelphia, and, barely escaping disaster at the battle of
Monmouth, carried his army back to New York, the olive branch was thrown
away and the war took on a new character. Ignoring the patriot army, the
British general resorted to the policy of ruthless raids against the
prosperous Northern coast communities, burning their towns and their
shipping, destroying their industries, and carrying off their
provisions. In 1779, Virginia, which since 1776 had quietly raised
tobacco, and the provisions which had so largely subsisted Washington's
army, was laid waste all along its easily accessible river highways.
Savannah was taken late in 1778, and at the close of the next year
Clinton himself commanded an expedition which in May, 1780, captured the
city of Charleston and forced General Lincoln to surrender his army of
2500 Continental troops. "We look upon America as at our feet," wrote
Horace Walpole. And in fact the occupation of Georgia and South Carolina
was regarded by the English, by the American Loyalists, and by many
patriots, as the prelude to the conquest of the entire South and the end
of the rebellion.

Little wonder if in these days of constant defeat and declining
enthusiasm Congress too often fell to the level of a wrangling body of
mediocre men. After the first years the ability that might have given it
dignity was largely employed in the army, on diplomatic missions, or in
the establishment and administration of the new State Governments. The
particularism of the time is revealed in the belief that a man's first
allegiance was to his State; to construct a constitution for
Massachusetts was thought to be a greater service than to draft the
Articles of Confederation; to be Governor of Virginia a higher honor
than to be President of Congress. The political wisdom of the decade is
therefore chiefly embodied in the first state constitutions and the
legislation of the new State Governments. The constitutions gave formal
expression to the philosophy of the Revolution, but in their detailed
arrangements followed closely the practices and traditions inherited
from the colonial period; popular sovereignty was everywhere declared,
but everywhere limited by basing the suffrage upon property, and often
half defeated by adopting an administrative mechanism in harmony with
the prevailing belief that good government springs from "power balanced
and cancelled and dispersed." The new régime was not altogether such as
Patrick Henry or Jefferson would have made it, but it marked a safe and
conservative advance toward the "establishment of a more equal liberty"
than had hitherto prevailed.

The erection of stable State Governments greatly diminished the power
and the prestige of federal authority. Insensibly the Congress and the
Continental army found themselves dependent upon thirteen sovereign
masters. The feebleness with which the war was supported sometimes
strikes one as incredible; but the amazing difficulty of maintaining an
army of ten thousand troops for the achievement of independence, in the
very colonies which had raised twenty-five thousand for the conquest of
Canada, was due less to the lack of resources, or to indifference to the
result, than to the uncertain authority of Congress, the republican fear
of military power, and the jealous provincialism which had everywhere
been greatly accentuated by the establishment of the new state
constitutions. Washington's army naturally looked with contempt upon a
Government that could not feed or clothe its own soldiers. Congress,
jealous of its authority for the very reason that it had none,
criticized the army in defeat and feared it in victory. The State
Governments, refusing to conform to the recommendations of Congress,
alternately complained of its weakness and denounced it for usurping
unwarranted power. Each State wished to maintain control of its own
troops, and was offended if, in the Continental forces, its many
military experts were not all major-generals. The very colony which gave
little support to the army when war raged in another province, cried
aloud for protection when the enemy crossed its own sacred boundaries;
and, with perhaps one eighth of its proper quota of men at the front,
with its requisitions in taxes unpaid, wished to know whether it was
because of incompetence or timidity that General Washington failed to
win victories.

After all the wonder is rather that Congress accomplished anything than
that it did so little. A Frenchman, asked what he did during the Terror,
replied that he lived. It was no small merit in the Continental Congress
that it held together and maintained even the tradition of union; a
higher merit still that in the midst of war it fashioned a federal
constitution which the thirteen States, more divided by jealousy and
their newly won authority than they were united by a common danger,
could be induced to approve. Yet this task the Congress with difficulty
got accomplished. In 1777, after months of debate, it adopted the
Articles of Confederation. Leaving political sovereignty in the several
states, they provided for a federal legislature with a very limited
authority to make laws, but no federal executive to enforce them.
Hopelessly inadequate as this constitution was to prove, the small
States, notably Maryland, refused to approve it until the larger States
ceded their Western lands to the common Government. Virginia, possessed
of the most extensive domain, held out longest, but finally renounced
her claims January 2, 1781; and in March of that year it was announced
that Maryland had ratified the Articles of Confederation, which thus
became the first constitution of the United States.

In 1779, while the States were wrangling over their Western lands, a
little band of valiant backwoodsmen won a victory which gave substance
to their claims and made their cessions something more than waste paper.
Throughout the war the frontier communities were most loyal supporters
of the Revolution. Their expert riflemen, organized in companies, of
which that of Daniel Morgan is perhaps the most famous, served in the
army of Washington, helped Gates to win the battle of Saratoga, and were
of indispensable service in driving Clinton out of North Carolina in
1780, and Cornwallis in 1781. The borderers of Pennsylvania and
Virginia, and the little settlements at Watauga and Boonesboro,
maintained a heroic defense against the Indians, who were paid by
General Hamilton, the British commander at Detroit, to wage a war of
massacre and pillage on the frontier. Against intermittent Indian raids
the backwoodsmen could defend their homes; but so long as the British
held Detroit and Vincennes and the Mississippi forts, there could be no
peace in the interior, and even if the colonies won independence, it
was likely that the Alleghanies would mark the boundary of the new
State. Under these circumstances, George Rogers Clark, trapper and
expert woodsman and Indian fighter, set himself, with the confident
idealism of the frontiersman, to achieve an object which must have
seemed to most men no more than a forlorn hope. It was in 1777 that he
crossed the mountains to Virginia, secured the secret and semi-official
authorization of Patrick Henry, the Governor of the State, and raised a
company of one hundred and fifty men with which to undertake nothing
less than the destruction of British power in the great Northwest.

In May, 1778, the little band floated from Redstone down the Ohio, at
the falls built a fort which they named Louisville in honor of the
French King, and finally, on July 4, reached Kaskaskia. Guided by some
hunters who had joined them, they took the fort by stratagem. The
Indians, for the moment a greater danger than the British, were overawed
by the skill and the masterful personality of Clark; and the Creoles,
conciliated by his moderation, gladly joined in the capture of Cahokia.
Not until February, 1779, was the intrepid commander ready to march on
Vincennes. General Hamilton had recently come there with a small force,
and there he proposed to remain until spring before marching to the
recapture of Kaskaskia and the destruction of the settlements south of
the Ohio, never dreaming that men could be found to cross the "drowned
lands" of the Wabash in the inclement winter months. This fearful
challenge was what Clark and his men accepted; marching two hundred and
thirty miles over bogs and flooded lowlands; without tents, and
sometimes without food or fire; as they neared Vincennes breaking the
thin ice at every step, often neck-deep in water; yet succeeding at
last, they took the fort and sent Hamilton to Virginia a prisoner of
war. Detroit remained in British hands; but the possession of Vincennes
and the Mississippi forts probably saved the Kentucky and Tennessee
settlements from destruction, and doubtless had some influence in
disposing England to cede the Western country at the close of the war.

Yet in spite of this signal victory, in spite of the French alliance,
the darkest days of the war were yet to come. In the year 1780 the
Revolution seemed fallen from a struggle for worthy principles to the
level of mean reprisals, a contest of brigands bent on plunder and
revenge. That it had come to this pass was partly due to Clinton's
policy of detached raids; but the policy of raids was a practical one
precisely because in nearly every colony there was a large body of
active Loyalists, a larger number still who were indifferent, wishing
only to be left alone, ready to submit to whichever side might win at
last. Driven from their homes, plundered by British or patriot raiders,
they in turn organized for revenge, sought plunder where they could find
it, caring not whether they served under Loyalist or Revolutionist
banners. In South Carolina, laid waste by the light troops of Tarleton
and the partisans of Marion and Sumpter, in all the regions round New
York, in the Jerseys, on Long Island and in parts of Connecticut, even
the semblance of government and the customary routine of ordered society
disappeared. The issues that had once divided men were forgotten while
bands of Associated Loyalists and bands of Liberty Boys plundered the
inhabitants indiscriminately, hailed each other as they passed in the
night, or agreed, with the honor that prevails among thieves, to an
equitable division of the spoils.

And few victories came in this disastrous year to cheer the remnant of
tried Americans. Clinton's invasion of North Carolina was, indeed, a
failure; and at the close of 1780, after the frontier troops had
overwhelmingly defeated General Ferguson at King's Mountain, the British
were forced to evacuate that strongly revolutionary colony. But
Washington could do little more than hold with the desperation of
despair to West Point, where his army had lain helpless and almost
passive since the battle of Monmouth. Congress, barely able to hold
together, could not maintain even that "verbal energy" which had once
distinguished it. In this year as never before men served their country
with one hand and with the other filled their pockets by manipulating
the currency which had fallen to be a worthless scrip. And it was in
this year, when fidelity seemed a forgotten virtue, when men enlisted in
the army and deserted to the enemy with equal indifference, that
Benedict Arnold, entrusted at his own request with the command of West
Point, forswore his trust and wrote treason across the fair record of a
patriot's achievements. Well might Washington write, "I have almost
ceased to hope"; and Laurens, "How many men there are who in secret
say, could I have believed it would come to this!"

Yet at last a happy combination of circumstances enabled the American
and French forces, for the first time operating in complete accord,
to bring this disastrous war to a most successful conclusion. Well aware
of the importance of the Southern campaign, Washington had procured for
Greene, the ablest of his generals, command of the forces which were
gathering in North Carolina to resist the advance of Cornwallis in 1781.
Defeated at the Cowpens and checked at Guilford, the British commander
was forced to retire to Wilmington; but instead of returning to
Charleston he moved into Virginia to join Arnold, convinced that the
conquest of the Old Dominion must precede that of North Carolina. In May
and June he carried ruin to all the prosperous towns of the province;
but in July, when the American forces under Lafayette had been greatly
strengthened, it was no longer safe for the British commander to divide
his army. Acting under orders from Clinton, Cornwallis accordingly
retired to the coast and fortified the neck of land at Yorktown.
Washington had scarcely been apprised of this circumstance before he
received a letter from the Count de Grasse, commander of the French
naval forces in the West Indies, proposing joint operations in Virginia
during the summer, and promising to bring his fleet to the Chesapeake
sometime in August. The opportunity was a rare one. Abandoning the
projected attack on New York, Washington and Rochambeau joined their
forces and marched rapidly through New Jersey, entering Philadelphia the
very day that De Grasse appeared at the mouth of the bay. They had
already joined Lafayette before Admiral Graves arrived from New York
with a British fleet to rescue the British general. Had Graves been a
Rodney or a Nelson he might have given a different issue to the American
Revolution; but he was not the man to win against great odds, and after
an indecisive engagement he sailed away, leaving Cornwallis to his fate.
Hemmed in by 16,000 American and French troops, the unhappy general, who
never met Washington but to be defeated, surrendered his army of 7000,
men on the 19th of October, 1781.

"It is all over!" cried Lord North when Germaine told him of the
surrender of Cornwallis. The loss of 7000 men was not in itself an
irremediable disaster; but the effort of the king and the "King's
Friends" to establish the personal rule of the monarch had alienated the
nation, while their attempt to subjugate the colonies had embroiled
England with all Europe. In armed conflict with France, Spain, and
Holland, opposed by the "armed neutrality" of Russia, Sweden, Denmark,
the Empire, Portugal, the Two Sicilies, and the Ottoman Empire, never
had the isolation of the little island kingdom been more splendid, or
British prestige so diminished. The demand of the nation for peace could
no longer be resisted, and the Whig party came into power over the
king's will, and entered into negotiation with the enemies he had made.
The American ambassadors were instructed by Congress and bound in honor
not to make a treaty without the knowledge and consent of France. But
in spite of Franklin's protest, Jay and Adams, who suspected, not
without some show of reason but contrary to the fact, that Vergennes
would oppose the extension of the United States beyond the Alleghanies,
broke their instructions as readily as Jay broke his pipe, and without
consulting their faithful ally arranged the terms of peace with England.

Independence was acknowledged as the indispensable preliminary to
negotiation. John Adams declared that he "had no notion of cheating
anybody," and it was agreed that British creditors should "meet with no
lawful impediment to the recovery of all ... _bona fide_ debts
heretofore contracted" in the colonies. The skill of Franklin and the
resolute persistence of Jay and Adams, together with the desire of the
English Government to make a peace without delay, enabled the Americans
to gain, in every other disputed point, all they could hope for and more
than they had any reason to expect. It was conceded that they should
enjoy the customary right of fishing in Northern waters. The best effort
of England to secure a restoration of property and of the rights of
citizens to the Loyalists was unavailing, and the compensation of that
unhappy class fell to the Government whose losing cause it had
supported. But of all the provisions of this Peace of Paris, the most
important, next to the acknowledgment of independence, was the one which
gave to the new State that incomparably rich woodland and prairie
country extending from the thirty-first, degree of north latitude to
the Great Lakes, and as far west as the Mississippi River. With these as
its main provisions, the definitive treaty was signed on September 3,
1783, and ratified by Congress January 14, 1784.

Before the treaty of peace was signed, the cessation of hostilities had
been formally declared and announced to Washington's army on the 19th of
April, eight years to a day after the battle of Lexington. British
troops occupied New York until November 29, when the evacuation of the
city was finally completed, and the United States of America entered the
company of independent nations, the exhausted and half-ruined champion
of those principles of liberty and equality which were soon to transform
the European world. With the British troops there sailed away, never to
return, a great company of Loyalist exiles; part of the thousands who
renounced their heritage and their country in defense of political and
social ideals that belonged to the past. America thus lost the service
of many men of ability, of high integrity, and of genuine culture;
clergymen and scholars, landowners and merchants of substantial estate,
men learned in the law, high officials of proved experience in politics
and administration. The great achievements of history have their price;
and American independence was won only by the sacrifice of much that was
best in colonial society. Something fine and amiable in manners,
something charming in customs, much that was most excellent in the
traditions of politics and public morality disappeared with the ruin of
those who thought themselves, and who often were in fact, of "the better

[Illustration: Area of Settlement in 1774; Boundary proposed by Spain
in 1782; Boundary secured by Treaty of 1783; and Settlements West of
Alleghanies in 1783.]

Happily for America not all of the "better sort" deserted their country.
On the 4th of December, five days after the last British ship cleared
New York Harbor, a little company of officers was gathered in the Long
Room of Fraunce's Tavern. They were waiting to bid farewell to General
Washington. No sign of rejoicing greeted the entrance of the familiar
figure; and this masterful man of proved courage and inflexible will,
this self-contained soul who endured calumny in silence, who accepted
victory in even temper and defeat with high fortitude, was now strangely
moved as he looked upon his beloved companions. Lifting a glass of wine
he said simply: "With a heart full of love and gratitude I now take
leave of you, most devoutly wishing that your latter days may be as
prosperous and happy as your former ones have been glorious and
honorable." When all had taken the general's hand and received his
embrace, they walked together through the narrow street to Whitehall
Ferry, where a barge lay waiting. As the oars struck the water
Washington stood and lifted his hat; and his comrades, returning the
salute in silence, watched the majestic figure until it disappeared from
sight. Less than two years before, in the spring of 1782, the army would
have made Washington king. He was now on his way to Annapolis, to
present himself before Congress in order to resign the high office which
eight years before he had accepted with so much diffidence, and to claim
the indulgence of retiring from the service of his country. This, as it
happened, came to pass on the 23d of December. On the day following he
rode away to his home at Mount Vernon, a private citizen of the
Republic which he had done so much to establish; a citizen of the
Republic, and of the world's heroes one of the most illustrious.


A good brief account of the Revolution is in Smith's _The Wars Between
England, and America_ (1914), chaps, I-VI; a fuller and better account
in Channing's _History of the United States_, III, chaps. I-XII; all
things considered the ablest summary is Lecky's _The American
Revolution_. An able and suggestive work is Fisher's _The Struggle for
American Independence_, 2 vols. 1908. Sir George Otto Trevelyan, with
wide information, strong Whig sympathies, and great charm of style, has
written the most fascinating work on the subject. _The American
Revolution_, 4 vols. 1905. The best study of British measures which
precipitated the struggle is Beer's _British Colonial Policy,
1754-1765_. 1907. For bibliography and summary of contemporary
literature, Tyler's _Literary History of the American Revolution._
Selections from newspapers and contemporary documents are in Moore's
_Diary of the American Revolution_, 2 vols. 1860. For the Loyalists, see
Tyler, in _American Historical Review_, I; Van Tyne, _The Loyalists in
the American Revolution_. 1902. For the attitude of the clergy, and the
influence of religious and sectarian forces, see Van Tyne, in _American
Historical Review_, XIX; Cross, _The Anglican Episcopate_. 1902.
Thornton (_The Pulpit of the American Revolution._ Boston, 1860)
reprints a number of contemporary sermons by New England clergy. For the
Western settlements see Roosevelt, _Winning of the West_, 4 vols.;
Alden, _New Governments West of the Alleghanies_, in _Wisconsin
Historical Bulletin_, II; Turner, in _American Historical Review_, I;
Thwaites, _How George Rogers Clark Won the North West_. 1903. The
opposition between the interior and the coast regions, and the bearing
of this on the formation of radical and conservative parties in the
Revolution, are well brought out in Lincoln's _The Revolutionary
Movement in Pennsylvania_ (University of Pennsylvania Studies. 1901);
and Henry's _Patrick Henry_, 3 vols. 1891. The letters, journals, and
papers of leading Americans in the Revolution have been very fully
printed. The ablest of the radicals was John Adams (_Works of John
Adams_, 10 vols. 1856); Franklin became increasingly radical with the
progress of events (_Writings of Benjamin Franklin_, 10 vols. 1903-07);
Dickinson was the ablest of the conservatives who joined the Revolution,
but with great reluctance (_Writings of John Dickinson_, 3 vols. 1895);
the extreme conservative and Loyalist view is best represented by
Hutchinson (_Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson_, 2 vols. 1884). For
the period of the war perhaps the most illuminating writings of all are
the letters of Washington (_The Writings of George Washington_, 14 vols.


[2] Professor C.H. Van Tyne, of the University of Michigan, has recently
found new material in the Paris Archives, notably a Vergennes memoir of
1782 and memoirs presented by the ministers at the time of forming the
treaty, which to his mind proves conclusively that the Government would
never have formed the alliance with America had it not been convinced
that otherwise the colonies were prepared to join England in the
conquest of the French West Indies.



1. Adams, J. _Familiar Letters of John Adams and His
   Wife Abigail Adams._ Boston, 1875.

2. Andrews, C.M. _The Colonial Period._ New York,

3. Beer, G.L. _The Origins of the British Colonial System,
   1578-1660._ New York, 1908.
   _The Old Colonial System, 1660-1754._ Part
   I. The Establishment of the System,
   1660-1688. 2 vols. New York, 1912.
   _British Colonial Policy, 1754-1765._
   New York, 1907.

4. Bruce, P.A. _The Economic History of Virginia._ 2
   vols. New York, 1896.

5. Channing, E. _History of the United States._ Vols. I-III.
   New York, 1905-1912.

6. Eggleston, E. _The Beginners of America._ Philadelphia,
   _The Transit of Civilization._ Philadelphia, 1901.

7. Ellis, G.E. _The Puritan Age and Rule in the Colony of
   Massachusetts Bay, 1629-1685._ Boston, 1888.

8. Fisher, S.G. _The Struggle for American Independence._
   2 vols. Philadelphia, 1908.

9. Fiske, J. _The Discovery of America._ 2 vols. Boston,
   _The Beginnings of New England._ Boston,
   _Old Virginia and Her Neighbours._ 2 vols.
   Boston, 1897.
   _The Dutch and Quaker Colonies._ 2 vols. Boston, 1900.
   _New France and New England._ Boston, 1902.

10. Ford, P.L. _The True George Washington._ Philadelphia,

11. Franklin, B. _The Life of Benjamin Franklin Written by
    Himself._ 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1881.

12. Hart, A.B. _American History Told by Contemporaries._
    4 vols. New York, 1887.

13. Hart, A.B. _The American Nation._ 27 vols. New
    York, 1904-1907 (first nine volumes).

14. Henry, W.W. _Patrick Henry; Life, Correspondence,
    and Speeches._ 3 vols. New York, 1891.

15. Hutchinson, P.O. _Diary and Letters of Thomas Hutchinson._
    2 vols. Boston, 1884.

16. Jameson, J.F. _Original Narratives of Early American
    History._ 15 vols. New York, 1906-1914. (Especially
    valuable are the following: Bourne, E.G. _The Northmen,
    Columbus, and Cabot_; Hosmer, J.K. _Winthrop's
    Journal._ 2 vols.; Davis, W.T. _Bradford's History of
    Plymouth Plantation_, Burr, G.L. _Narratives of the
    Witchcraft Cases._)

17. Lecky, W.E.H. _The American Revolution._ New
    York, 1912.

18. MacDonald, W. _Select Charters and Other Documents._
    New York, 1906.

19. Osgood, H.L. _The American Colonies in the 17th Century._
    3 vols. New York, 1904-1907.

20. Parkman, F. _Frontenac and New France._ Boston. 1877.
    _Half Century of Conflict._ 2 vols. Boston. 1892.
    _Montcalm and Wolfe._ 2 vols. Boston, 1891.

21. Trevelyan, G.O. _The American Revolution._ 4 vols.
    New York, 1905-07.

22. Tyler, M.C. _The Literary History of the American
    Revolution._ 2 vols. New York, 1897.

23. Walker, W. _History of Congregationalism in America._
    New York, 1899.

24. Weeden, W.B. _The Economic and Social History of
    New England._ 2 vols. Boston, 1890.

25. Wells, W.V. _The Life and Public Services of Samuel
    Adams._ 2 vols. Boston, 1865.

26. Wendell, B. _Cotton Mather._ New York. 1891.


Abraham, Plains of, 159.

_Account of the Province of Pennsylvania_, William Penn's, 134.

Acts of Trade. _See_ Navigation Acts.

Adams, John, social rank, 166;
  influenced by English writers, 171;
  religious ideas, 197;
  demands a "more equal liberty," 202, 240;
  on the Stamp Act, 221, 225;
  defends officers concerned in the "Massacre," 230;
  complains of desertion by the people, 231;
  dines with the Sons of Liberty, 238;
  opposition to the Hutchinsons and Olivers, 243;
  in the First Continental Congress, 246;
  urges a declaration of independence, 251;
  negotiator of Treaty of 1783, 271.

Adams, Samuel, opposes Sugar Act, 218;
  and the Stamp Act, 220;
  deserted by his friends, 231;
  promotes patriotic meetings, 238;
  in the First Continental Congress, 245;
  one of earliest to desire independence, 248.

Aden, 15.

Admiralty courts, established, 145, 146;
  fall under control of assemblies, 151;
  jurisdiction extended, 208.

Africa, 17, 18, 168.

_Aggawam, Cobler of_, 65.

Albany, Congress of. _See_ Congress.

Albemarle Sound, 129.

Albuquerque, 27.

Alexandria, 5.

Allyon, 32.

Almon, John, 231.

Alva, Duke of, 37.

Amboina, 27.

America, Hakluyt's account of, 47.

American Whig Society at Princeton, 194.

Amherst, Jeffrey, 210.

Amsterdam, 37.

Amusements in Massachusetts, laws against, 116.

Anabaptists, 108.

Andros, Sir Edmund, 132, 145.

Androscoggin, 175.

Anglican Church, established in Massachusetts, 122;
  frontier communities opposed to, 183;
  disestablished in Virginia, 241.

Anglican episcopate, fear of, 190, 196.

Annapolis, 273.

Anti-ministerial spirit in Massachusetts, 119.

Antioch, 5.

Antwerp, 6, 36, 37.

Arabia, 13.

Arianism in New England, 189.

Aristocracy, in Virginia, 72;
  and colonial politics, 165;
  in Massachusetts, 168;
  frontier communities opposed to, 182;
  the Revolution a movement in opposition to, 240.

Aristotle, 23.

Armada, defeat of the, 43.

"Armed neutrality," 270.

Arminianism in New England, 189.

Army, the Revolutionary, character of, 254, 255, 259;
  supplied from Virginia, 262;
  causes of weakness of, 263;
  attitude toward Congress, 263, 264;
  frontier troops in, 265, 268;
  French troops coöperate with, 269;
  willing to make Washington king, 273.

Arnold, Benedict, 268, 269.

"Art of Virtue." Franklin's idea of religion as the, 198.

Articles of Confederation, 252, 264.

Asia, relation between Europe and, 1, 7, 10-12, 16.

Assembly. _See_ Government.

_Assiento_, the, 150.

Assistants, Board of. _See_ Government, Massachusetts.

Associated Loyalists, 268.

Association of the First Continental Congress, 247;
  creates the Loyalist party, 247, 248;
  why conservatives voted for, 250.
  _See_ Non-importation agreements.

Atlantis, 23.

Augsburg, 6.

Austin, Anne, 108.

Austrian Succession, War of the, 203.

Azores, 168.

Back country. _See_ Frontier.

Backwoodsmen. _See_ Frontier.

Bacon, Francis, 38, 197.

Bacon, Nathaniel, 76, 79, 80.

Bacon, Roger, 23.

Bagdad, 5.

Bahamas, the, 128.

Balance of trade. _See_ Trade.

Balboa, 28.

Baltimore, Lord, 64-66, 146.

Banda, 27.

Barbados, 108, 128, 129, 138.

Barcelona, 6.

Barrowe, Henry, 88.

Basle, 6.

Beckford, William, 149.

Bellamy, Rev. Mr., 185.

Bellomont, Earl of, 141, 148.

Berkeley, George, 171.

Berkeley, John, Lord, 132, 133.

Berkeley, Sir William, 30, 76, 79.

Berkshires, 179.

Bernard, Gov. Francis, 203;
  advises remodeling colonial governments, 206;
  opposes Grenville's measures, 208, 218;
  on the Virginia Resolutions, 241.

Bible Commonwealth, ideal of a, 112 _ff._ _See_ Massachusetts Bay.

Bienville, Céloron de, 154, 156.

Bills of credit. _See_ Currency.

Blair, Rev. Samuel, 189.

Bland, Richard, 228.

Blathwayt, William, 77.

Blue Ridge Mountains, 176, 179.

Board of Trade, created, 145;
  system for colonial control, 146;
  advises recall of charters, 146;
  decline of influence, 148;
  and the establishment of a civil list, 164;
  prepares scheme for colonial defense, 212.

"Body of Liberties," 99.

Bokhara, 5.

Bolingbroke, Henry St. John, Viscount, 126, 171.

Boonesboro, 265.

Bordentown, 256.

Borderers. _See_ Frontier.

Boston, 95, 109, 120, 168.

Boston Church, 102, 119, 122.

Boston "Massacre," 226, 230.

Boston Port Bill, 234.

"Boston Seat," 234.

Boston "Tea Party," 233.

Boundaries, established by the Treaty of 1783, 271.

_Bourgeois_, the, 81 _ff._

"Brace of Adamses," 243.

Braddock expedition, 157.

Bradford, William, 65, 90, 113.

Bradstreet, Governor of Massachusetts Bay, 121.

Brandywine, battle of, 257.

Brewster, William, 88.

Bristol, 223.

Browne, Robert, 87, 88, 101.

Brownists, 87 _ff._

Bruges, 6.

Buccaneers, 41, 140.

Bullion. _See_ Precious metals.

Burgesses, the Virginia House of, 75 _ff._

Burgoyne's expedition, 256, 257.

Burnaby, Richard, 161, 162.

Bute, John Stuart, Earl of, 206.

Byllinge, Edward, 133.

Byrd, the first William, 73, 76, 175;
  the second William, 167;
  the third William, 170, 176, 185.

Cabot, 39.

Cadamosto, 21.

Cadiz, 44, 150.

Cahokia, 153, 266.

Cairo, 5.

Calicut, 5.

Cam, Diego, 21.

Cambulac, 8.

Camden, settlement of, 153.

Camden, Lord, 223.

Canada. _See_ France in America.

Cape Fear, 128.

Cape Non, 18.

Cape of Good Hope, 22.

Carolinas, founding of the, 128 _ff._
  _See_ North Carolina; South Carolina.

Carpenter's Hall, 245.

Carpini, 9.

Cartagena, 43.

Carteret, Sir George, 132, 133.

Cartier, Jacques, 39.

Cathay, 10.

Cavalier migration, 72.

Cavendish, 45.

Ceuta, 20.

Ceylon, 8.

Chalons, 6.

Champlain, 45.

Charlemagne, 2.

Charles I, 63, 86, 90, 91.

Charles II, 125, 127.

Charles V, 28, 34.

Charles River, 128.

Charleston, 152, 166, 232, 262.

Charlestown, 95.

Charlottesburg, 153.

Charter, of Connecticut, 106;
  of Massachusetts Bay, 91, 96, 106;
  of Virginia, 55, 58.

Chartres, Fort, 153.

Chateaubriand, epigram on the Revolution, 202.

Chatham. _See_ Pitt, William.

Cherokees. _See_ Trade, Indian.

Cherry Valley, 179.

China, 5, 16.

Chocktaws. _See_ Trade, Indian.

Christmas festivals in Massachusetts, 116.

Church, the Reformation and the Catholic, 80 _ff._

Church covenant, 96, 112, 114.

City of God, Puritan ideal of the, 84.

Civic virtue, religion identified with, 194;
  Revolutionary philosophy influenced by classic ideal of, 239.

Clarendon, Earl of, 128.

Clark, George Rogers, 265-67.

Class conflict in the Revolution, 240.

Classes. _See_ Social conditions.

Clergy. _See_ Massachusetts Bay.

Clinton, Sir Henry, succeeds Howe, policy of raids, 261;
  expedition to South Carolina, 262;
  driven out of North Carolina, 268;
  orders Cornwallis to fortify Yorktown, 269.

Cliosophic Society at Princeton, 194.

Coddington, William, 103.

Coercive Acts, 233, 234.

Colden, Cadwallader, 208, 217, 221.

Coligny's colony destroyed, 39.

Colleton, Sir John, 128.

Colonial control, English system of, established, 134, 145, 146;
  in the eighteenth century, 147;
  attitude of Walpole and Newcastle toward, 151;
  effect of Austrian war on, 152;
  frontier defense and, 154;
  Seven Years' War proves inadequacy of, 157;
  new policy of, 203;
  effect of Seven Years' War on, 214;
  opposition to Grenville's policy of, 215 _ff._;
  effect of tea episode on policy of, 233.
  _See_ Defense.

Colonial government. _See_ Government.

Colonial governors. _See_ Governors.

Colonial Manufactures Act, 151.

Colonial rights, Franklin on, 202;
  Bernard contrasts English and American ideas of, 203;
  Stamp Act raises question of, 214;
  the Townshend Acts and, 227;
  apparent settlement of dispute over, 231;
  revived by the Coercive Acts, 234;
  fundamental reasons for dispute over, 234;
  breach widened by every discussion of, 237;
  influence of classic ideals on patriot ideas of, 239;
  religious spirit characterizes patriot conception of, 240;
  class struggle in America accentuated by dispute over, 240;
  unfranchised classes active in the defense of, 244;
  effect of the Revolutionary war on the question of, 267.

Colonies, begin to be valuable, 127;
  important for English trade, 137;
  special value of the plantation type of, 138.

Colonization of America, motives leading to the, 46, 66-68, 70, 86, 89-94,
  113, 118, 128, 130-34, 177;
  revival of interest in the, 126;
  effect of civil war on, 127;
  decline of interest in, 147.

Columbus, Bartholomew, 27.

Columbus, Christopher, 1, 2, 22-26.

Commerce. _See_ Trade.

Commercial code. _See_ Colonial control.

Commission merchants, employed by Southern planters, 167.

Commissioners, Board of, 226.

Commissioners of peace, 261.

Committees of the Association, 247.

Committees of Trade and Plantations, 140.

Communication. _See_ Intercourse.

Company of Massachusetts Bay. _See_ Massachusetts Bay.

Conciliation, conservatives hope for, 249;
  North's Resolutions of, 250;
  patriots renounce hope of, 251;
  renewed offer of, 261.

Concord, 175.

Congress, Albany, 156-58, 204, 212;
  First Continental, 234, 245, 250;
  Second Continental, influenced by reports from England, 250;
  issues paper money, 259, 260;
  moves to Baltimore, 255;
  influence declines, 262;
  relations with army and State Governments, 264;
  adopts Articles of Confederation, 264;
  ratifies treaty of peace, 272;
  receives resignation of Washington, 273.

Congress, Stamp Act, 218.

Connecticut, founded, 104;
  New Haven united to, 106;
  takes initiative in forming New England Confederation, 106, 107;
  frontier, settlements in, 174;
  "consociation" in, 190, 195.

Conquistadores, 31.

Conservative party. _See_ Party.

"Consociation" in Connecticut, 190, 195.

Constantinople, 1, 5.

Constitution. _See_ Articles of Confederation; State Governments.

Cooper, Anthony Ashley, 127.

Cornwallis, Charles, defeated by Washington, 256;
  in North Carolina, 269;
  surrenders at Yorktown, 270.

Coronado, 33.

Cortez, Hernando, 32.

Corvino, John de, 9.

Cotton, John, 90, 93, 102, 115, 120.

Council. _See_ Government.

Council of Trent, 35.

Counter-Reformation, 35.

Country gentry, 82.

Courts, effect of Stamp Act on, 221, 222.

Covenant, the Church, 96, 112, 114;
  Half-Way, 188, 195.

"Cowpens," 176.

Cowpens, battle of, 269.

Coxe, Daniel, 218.

Cozumel, 32.

Creeks. _See_ Trade, Indian.

Cromwell, and the colonies, 107, 127.

Crown Point, 159.

Crowns of St. Louis, the gold, 13.

Cruger, John, 167.

Crusades, the, 4.

Cuba, 25, 52.

Currency, use of paper, 208;
  English Government restricts paper, 209;
  opposition to Currency Act, 215-18;
  specie diminished by Sugar Act, 216;
  Grenville's measures increase demand for specie, 217;
  New York permitted to issue Bills of Credit, 230;
  French loans finance the war, 259;
  Continental Congress issues paper, 259.

Cushing, Charles, 197.

Customs, 144, 205, 207, 208, 222.

Cuzaco, 34.

D'Abreu, 27.

D'Ailly, Pierre, 23.

Dale, Sir Thomas, 60, 68.

"Dale's Laws," 60.

Damascus, 5.

Dancing, forbidden in Massachusetts, 116.

Dartmouth, Lord, approves Galloway's plan, 246.

Davenport, John, 93, 105.

Davies, Rev. Samuel, 185-87.

Davis, John, 45.

Debtor class. _See_ Social conditions.

Declaration of Independence. _See_ Independence.

Declaratory Act, 224, 225.

Defense, system of, 145, 152, 155;
  colonial troops raised for, 159;
  apathy of assemblies in matter of, 164;
  French wars and, 204, 205;
  Grenville's policy of, 209, 213;
  Board of Trade's scheme for, 212;
  conquest of Canada removes need for, 214, 215. _See_ Colonial control.

De Grasse, Count, 269, 270.

De la War, Lord, 60.

Demarcation Line, 26, 28.

Democracy. _See_ Frontier; Colonial rights.

Deputies. _See_ Government.

De Soto, 33.

Detroit, 153, 265, 266.

Diaz, Bartholomew, 22.

Diaz, Denis, 21.

Dickinson, John, 219, 220, 227, 228, 242.

Dinwiddie, Robert, 157.

_Discourse of a North West Passage_, 30.

_Discourse on Western Plantinge_, 46.

Discovery of America, 25 _ff._

Distilling, 168, 216.

Dongan, Thomas, 132, 144, 154.

Dorchester, 95, 104.

Doria, Tedisio, 18.

Drake, Sir Francis, 42-14.

"Drowned lands" of the Wabash, 266.

Ducats, first appearance of, 13.

Dudley, Thomas, 93, 120.

"Duke's Laws," 131.

Dulaney, Daniel, 217, 220, 223.

Duquesne, Fort, 157, 159.

Durham Palatinate, 64.

Durham, Town of, 175.

Dutch, the, 36;
  India companies of, 44, 45;
  threaten Connecticut, 106;
  driven from New Netherland, 130, 131;
  English rivalry with, 136.

Dyre, William, 144.

Eannes, Gil, 21.

East India Company, English, 45, 53;
  influence in Parliament, 149;
  exports tea to America, 231-33;
  Parliament demands compensation for, 234.

East Indies, English interest in the, 136.

Eaton, Theophilus, 105.

_Ecclesiastical Polity_,61.

Economic changes, thirteenth to sixteenth century, 48.

Eden, Richard, 45.

Edict of Restitution, 86.

Edwards, Jonathan, 85, 123, 187.

Effingham, Sir Thomas Howard of, 44.

Elizabeth, 39, 90.

Ellsworth, Oliver, 194.

Emanuel, King of Portugal, 26.

Endicott, John, 91.

English Government, attitude toward the colonies, 127, 134 _ff._,148 _ff._,
  163, 169;
  frontier policy of, 178;
  new colonial policy, 203, 204;
  new measures for defense, 209;
  effect of tea episode on, 233-34;
  offers conciliation, 250;
  effect of the French alliance on, 260 _ff._ _See_ Colonial control.

Engrossers of land, 176, 179

Entail, abolished in Virginia, 241.

Enumerated commodities, 139, 140.

Eratosthenes, 17.

Escheator in Virginia, office of, 77.

Escobar, 21.

"External" taxes, 227.

"Fall Line," 176.

_Farmer's Letters_, 227.

Fenwick, John, 133.

Ferguson, General, 268.

Feudal régime, 3.

Fisher, Mary, 108.

Fisheries, 39, 122, 137, 168, 216, 271.

Five Nations. _See_ Indians, Iroquois.

Flags of truce, used by illicit traders, 205.

Flint, Rev. Mr., 120.

Florida, 32, 33.

Florin, first appearance of, 13.

Forestallers of land, 176, 179.

Fort Chartres, 153.

Fort Duquesne, 157, 159.

Fort Frontenac, 142.

Fort Moore, 152, 153.

Fort Necessity, 157.

Fort St. Louis, 143.

Fort Stanwix, Treaty of, 211.

Fort Washington, 255.

Fox, Charles James, 237.

Foxe's _Book of Martyrs_, 88.

France in America, Coligny and Cartier, 39;
  Champlain, 45;
  exploration of the Great Lakes, 141;
  of the Mississippi, 143;
  occupation of the interior waterways, 152;
  contest for the Ohio Valley, 154;
  loss of Canada, 159.

Francis I, 38, 39.

Franklin, Benjamin, 161;
  influenced by English writers, 170, 171;
  religious ideas of, 198;
  on colonial rights, 202;
  drafts Albany Plan of Union, 204;
  defends paper money, 208;
  favors Board of Trade's plan for defense, 212;
  opposes Stamp Act, 213;
  examination in House of Commons, 224, 227;
  becomes more radical, 228;
  residence in England strengthens his patriotism, 235;
  thinks England will yield, 249;
  in France, 258;
  protests against separate negotiations with England, 271.

Fraunce's Tavern, 273.

Freemen, 99, 132, 173.

French alliance, resolution of Congress in favor of, 252;
  negotiated, 258, 259;
  importance of, 259 _ff._

French and Indian War. _See_ Seven Years' War.

French West Indies, 151, 259.

Friends. _See_ Quakers.

Frontenac, Count, 141.

Frontenac, Fort, 142.

Frontier, in Virginia, 78, 79;
  in Massachusetts, 115, 116, 155;
  in Carolina, 129;
  west of the Alleghanies, 153;
  importance of, in the eighteenth century, 174, 182, 184;
  foreigners settle on the, 177;
  Grenville's policy for the defense of the, 209, 210, 215, 217;
  radicalism of the, 241;
  Revolution supported by the, 265, 268;
  Treaty of 1783 and the, 271.

Fundamental Constitutions of Carolina, 129.

Fur trade. _See_ Trade, Indian.

Galloway, Joseph, 217, 245, 246.

Gama, Vasco da, 1, 26.

Gates, General Horatio, 257.

Gates, Sir Thomas, 56, 59.

General writs, 207.

Geneva, 119.

Genoa, 6, 9.

"Gentle folk" in the eighteenth century, 173.

Gentlemen Adventurers, 46.

George III, 225, 270.

Georgia, occupied by the British, 262.

Germans, 153, 177, 242.

Germantown, founded, 178;
  battle of, 257.

Gibraltar, 6.

Gilbert, Sir Humphrey, 30, 54.

Gilds, 82, 83, 87.

Gist, Christopher, 154, 181.

Glasgow, 223.

Godolphin, Sidney, 126.

Gold. _See_ Precious metals.

Gold Coast, 20.

Golden Hind, 43.

Gomez, 32.

Good Hope, Cape of, 22.

Gorges, Fernando, 56, 57, 64.

Gorton, Samuel, 65.

Gosnold, Bartholomew, 55.

Government, colonial, in the eighteenth century, 163;
  controlled by the "best people," 169;
  unequal representation in assemblies, 183;
  French wars strengthen assemblies, 205;
  plans for remodeling, 206;
  dispute with England opens way for democratization of, 227, 240,
  247, 262;
  effect of the war on, 267, 268. _See_ Massachusetts, Virginia, etc.

Governors, colonial, 147, 151, 152, 207.

Grand Khan, 10.

Graves, Admiral, 270.

Great Awakening, the, 181, 186, 193.

Great Barrington, 175.

Green Bay, 153.

Greene, Nathaniel, 269.

Greenwood, John, 88.

Grenville, George, colonial policy of, 203 _ff._;
  opposition to the measures of, 215 _ff._;
  opposes repeal of Stamp Act, 223;
  epigram on loss of the colonies by, 235.

Grosseilliers, 141.

Guilford Court-House, battle of, 269.

Guinea, Gulf of, 20, 21.

Hakluyt, Richard, 30, 46, 56.

Half-Way Covenant, 188, 195.

Halifax, Earl of, 204.

Hall, William, 238.

Hamburg, 6.

Hamilton, Henry, 265, 266.

Hampden Court Conference, 86.

Hanbury, John, 154.

Hancock, John, 231, 243.

Hanover County, Virginia, 186.

Harley, Robert, 126.

Harrington, James, influence on Locke, 129.

Harris, Mary, at White Woman's Creek, 181.

Harrison, Nathaniel, 78.

Hartford, 104.

Harvard College, 120, 122, 123, 169.

Haversham, Lord, 125.

Hawkins, John, 41.

Haynes, John, 104.

Hayti, 25.

Head right, 68.

Hendrick, Iroquois chief, 156.

Henry, Patrick, born on frontier, 176;
  influenced by Samuel Davies, 193;
  opposes Stamp Act, 219, 220, 241;
  in the First Continental Congress, 245;
  eager for independence, 248;
  Governor of Virginia, authorizes the Clark expedition, 266.

Henry the Navigator, Prince, 20, 21.

Hillsborough, town of, 153.

Hinsdale, town of, 175.

Hippon, Captain, 45.

Hispaniola, 32.

Hojeda, 26.

Home rule. _See_ Colonial rights.

Honduras, Bay of, explored, 26.

Hooker, Richard, _Ecclesiastical Polity_, 61.

Hooker, Thomas, founder of Connecticut, 93, 104, 105.

Hormos (modern Ormuz), 8, 15.

Housatonic settlements, 174, 175.

Howe, Sir William, 254-57, 260, 261.

Hudson, Henry, 45.

Hudson River settlements, 131.

Huguenots, 130, 132, 177.

Hunter, Robert, 178.

Hutchinson, Anne, 101, 108, 109, 116.

Hutchinson, Thomas, 170;
  opposes Grenville's measures, 217;
  but regards them as legal, 219;
  property of, destroyed by mob, 221;
  refuses clearance to the tea ships, 233;
  letters published, 233;
  effect of exile on, 235;
  disliked by John Adams, 243, 244;
  thinks Boston has gone mad, 245.

Ilkhans of Persia, 15, 16.

Illicit trade. _See_ Trade.

Immigration. _See_ Germans;

Imperial Defense. _See_ Defense.

Independence, predicted, 215;
  desired by some in 1774, 245;
  but not generally desired before 1776, 248, 249;
  Lee and Adams lead the movement for, 251;
  Lee introduces resolution for, 252;
  significance of the Declaration of, 253;
  acknowledged by England, 271.

India, 5, 8, 13-17, 236.

Indian presents, 155.

Indian trade. _See_ Trade, Indian.

Indians, influence on colonists, 79;
  threaten New England, 106;
  massacres inspired at Quebec, 145;
  Iroquois, 144, 145, 155, 157, 211;
  Pontiac's conspiracy, 211;
  employed by British in Revolution, 265.

Indigo, 166.

Industry. _See_ Trade.

"Inner Light." _See_ Quakers.

Intellectual conditions, 161, 169, 170, 175, 180 _ff._, 184 _ff._

Intercourse, with England, 169;
  intercolonial, 184, 190.

"Interests," political term, 166.

"Interlopers," East Indian, 140.

"Internal" taxes, 227.

Intolerable Acts, 233, 234.

_Introduction to Cosmography_, Waldseemüller's, 27.

Iron manufactures, 151.

Iroquois. _See_ Indians.

Isabella, 24.

Italian cities, 1, 5, 6, 18.

Jaffa, 5.

Jamaica, 127, 135, 138, 140, 149-50.

James I, 62, 86, 90.

James II, 145.

Jamestown, 58, 75.

Jarrett, Devereaux, 172.

Jay, John, 271.

Jefferson, Peter, 176.

Jefferson, Thomas, born on frontier, 176;
  opposed to tide-water aristocracy, 182;
  leader of radical party in Virginia, 241.

Jenghis Khan, 7.

Jenyns, Soame, 235, 240.

Jesuits, 35, 40, 142.

John of Good Memory, King of Portugal, 19.

Johnson, Samuel, 202, 239.

Johnson, Sir William, 157.

Johnstone, "Governor," 261.

Joint-stock company, rise of the, 53 _ff._

Joint-stock régime in Virginia, 58, 68.

Judges, control of, 164.

Kalm, Peter, 162, 165, 191, 215.

Kaskaskia, 153, 266.

Kentucky settlements, 267.

King George's War, 152.

"King's Friends," 270.

King's Mountain, battle of, 268.

Kublai Khan, 7, 8.

Lafayette, 269, 270.

Land, grants in Virginia, 70, 77, 167;
  in Massachusetts, 95;
  in the Carolinas, 129;
  in New York, 131;
  in the Ohio Valley, 154, 209;
  in Pennsylvania, 178;
  in Maryland, 179;
  importance of free land in the eighteenth century, 174 _ff._;
  Proclamation of 1763 restricts grants of, 211;
  cession of Western, 265.

Landowners, influence legislation, 183.

Laodicea, 5.

La Salle, 143.

Laud, William, 64, 91, 106.

Laurens, of South Carolina, 166, 269.

Laurentian _Portolano_, 18.

Lawyers, and the Stamp Act, 221.

Lay religious societies, 83.

Lee, Richard Henry, influence by the classics, 239;
  thinks England will yield, 249;
  introduces resolutions of independence, 251, 252;
  influence declines, 254.

Leeds, 223.

Legislation, character of eighteenth-century colonial, 164;
  representation and, 228, 229.

Leisler Rebellion, 132.

Leon, Ponce de, 32.

Le Ronde Denys, 215.

Levant, 1, 6, 11, 15, 17, 150.

"Levelling spirit of New England," feared in the Middle colonies, 246;
  strengthened by the Revolution, 244 _ff._

Leverett, Governor of Massachusetts, 121.

Lexington, battle of, 257.

Leyden, 89.

Liberalism in Massachusetts, 120, 122.

Liberty. _See_ Colonial rights.

Liberty Boys, 268.

Liberty Pole festivals, 238.

Lincoln, Benjamin, 262.

Locke, John, 129, 171, 172, 197.

Log College, 187, 189.

Logstown, 154.

London, 6, 37, 150, 223.

London Company, 56, 57.

Londonderry, 180.

Long Island, early settlements on, 131;
  battle of, 254.

Lords of Trade, Committee of the, 143, 145.

Louis XVI, 258, 259.

Louisburg, 155, 159.

Louisiana, 152.

Louisville, 266.

Low, Isaac, 245.

Loyalists. _See_ Party.

Lubec, 6.

Luther, Martin, 84, 110, 111.

Lutherans in America, 180 _ff._

Luxuries in the eighteenth century, 173.

Lyons, 6.

MacDougall, Alexander, 238.

Madeiras, 120.

Madison, James, 194.

Magalhaes. _See_ Magellan.

Magellan, 28.

Magistrates. _See_ Government.

_Magnalia_, Cotton Mather's, 123.

Maine, 57, 64, 174.

Malacca, Straits of, 5, 8, 27.

Manchester, 223.

Manufactures. _See_ Trade.

Marcos, Friar, 33.

Marion, Francis, partisan leader in South Carolina, 267.

Marlborough, Duke of, 126.

Marseilles, 6.

Martin Luther, 194.

Martyr, Peter, 34.

Maryland, proprietary grant of, 64;
  and English trade, 138;
  charter recalled and restored, 146;
  quit-rents in, 164;
  social conditions in, 166, 167;
  forces cession of Western lands, 265.

Mason, John, 57.

Massachusetts Bay, grant of territory, 57;
  charter of, 64;
  settlement of, 90 _ff._;
  government of, 96 _ff._;
  dissensions in, 100 _ff._;
  and the New England Confederation, 106;
  relations with the Protectorate, 107;
  hangs the Quakers, 108 _ff._;
  ideals of the founders, 112 _ff._;
  growth of material interests in, 120;
  recall of the charter, 121 _ff._;
  charter of 1691, 146;
  repaid for conquest of Louisburg, 155;
  troops raised in the Seven Years' War, 159;
  rise of Puritan democracy in, 194 _ff._;
  paper money retired, 208;
  class conflict in, 242-44.

Massacre of 1622 in Virginia, 62.

Mather, Cotton, 120, 123.

Mather, Increase, 120, 123.

Mather, Richard, 93, 120.

Mayhew, Jonathan, 220.

Mediterranean. _See_ Levant.

Mendoza, Cardinal, 23.

Mendoza, Governor of New Spain, 33.

Mennonites, 180.

Mercantile theory, 48 _ff._

Merchant marine, 125, 137.

Merchants, growing influence in Boston, 120;
  colonial system fashioned to suit the interests of English, 134 _ff._;
  trade with France during war, 145;
  colonial legislation influenced by, 183.
  _See_ Trade.

Meuthen, Treaty of, 150.

Mexico, 32, 33.

Miami, English traders on the, 154.

Michilimackinac, 142, 144.

Middle colonies, population of, 162;
  extension of frontier in, 175 _ff._;
  North's resolutions of conciliation and the, 251;
  "levelling spirit of New England" feared in the, 246;
  opposed to declaration of independence in 1776, 253.

Middleton, New Jersey, 133.

Milan, 6.

Mississippi Forts, 265, 266.

Mississippi River, discovered, 33;
  explored, 143;
  boundary of the United States, 272.
  _See_ France in America.

"Mohawks," 233.

Mohawk Valley settlements, 131, 153, 179.

Molasses Act, 139, 151, 207.

Moluccas, 5.

Monasteries, effect of destruction of the, 67.

_Mondo Novo_, 27, 29.

Money Bills, 164.

Mongols, 7, 15.

Monmouth, settled, 133;
  battle of, 261.

Monopoly, non-importation and, 229.

Montcalm, Marquis de, 159.

Montesquieu, 215.

Montezuma, 32.

Montreal, 39, 45, 142.

Moodie, Lady Deborah, 116.

Moors, Prince Henry and the, 20.

Moravians, 180, 186.

Morgan, Daniel, 265.

Morris, Robert, 254.

Morristown Heights, 256.

Mount Vernon, 274.

Mutiny Act, extended to the colonies, 214;
  reënacted, 224;
  causes trouble in New York, 225, 226, 230.

Narvaez, 33.

National state, rise of centralized, 48 _ff._

Nationality, rise of sentiment of, 184 _ff._;
  French wars develop, 191;
  Franklin the embodiment of, 199.

Native-born New Englanders, first generation of, 117.

Natural rights, 172, 237.

Naval stores, 50.

Navigation Acts, establishment of system of, 139 _ff._;
  Act of 1696, 145;
  violation of, 140, 152;
  how regarded on the frontier, 184;
  Molasses Act, 151, 207;
  Sugar Act, 207;
  modified in 1766, 224;
  petition for further modification, 225;
  Board of Commissioners to enforce, 226.

Necessity, Fort, 157.

Netherlands. _See_ Dutch.

"Neulanders," 177.

New Brunswick, 191.

"New Castle trade," 137.

Newcastle, Duke of, 149, 151, 155.

New England, named, 56;
  land grants in, 57;
  and the English colonial system, 138;
  united under Andros, 145;
  conquers Louisburg, 155;
  population of, 162;
  social conditions in, 168 _ff._;
  frontier in, 174;
  not attractive to foreigners, 178;
  religious division in, 189;
  coast towns raided, 262.
 _See_ Massachusetts Bay.

New England Confederation, 106.

New England Council, 57, 91.

New England theology, 190.

New Hampshire, 67, 174, 179.

New Haven, 105, 107.

New Jersey, 132, 145, 146.

"New Light," 188.

New Netherland, 45, 128, 131.

New Orleans, 152.

New Port, 103, 168.

"New Side," 188.

New Spain, 31, 150.

Newspapers, 191, 222.

Newton, Isaac, 126.

Newtown, 104.

New York, founded, 130;
  annexed to New England, 132, 145;
  control of judges in, 164;
  social conditions in, 167;
  paper money in, 208, 209;
  avoided by foreign settlers, 178;
  and the Restraining Act, 226;
  riots in, 226;
  non-importation agreement in, 229, 230;
  permitted to issue bills of credit, 230;
  and East India Company tea, 232, 233;
  Howe occupies the city of, 255;
  war conditions in, 268;
  projected attack on the city of, 269;
  evacuated by British and Loyalists, 272.

Niagara, 153, 159.

Nicolet, Jean, 141.

Nicolls, Col. Richard, 131.

Noel, Martin, 135 _ff._

Nombre de Dios, 43.

Nonconformists, 87, 88, 90.

Non-importation agreements, 221, 222, 229, 230, 246.

North, Lord, 230, 231, 250, 270.

Northampton, 188.

North Carolina, 175, 269.

Northwest, conquest of the, 265-67.

_Nova Britannia_, 67.

Nova Scotia, 122, 155.

Oderic, Friar Beatus, 9.

Ohio Valley. _See_ Frontier; Defense.

Old colonial system. _See_ Colonial control.

Oldham, John, 104.

"Old Light," 188.

"Old Side," 188.

Orient, importance of the relations of Europe and the, 1, 4-7, 13.

Oswego, 153, 154, 156, 157, 159.

Otis, James, 231, 237.

Overpopulation of England, colonization and the belief in, 67, 138.

Palatinate, 177.

Paper money. _See_ Currency.

Parliament. _See_ English Government.

Particularism, 262, 263.

Partridge, Lieutenant-Governor, 148.

Party: the Conservatives, attitude toward Stamp Act, 222;
    and the Townshend Acts, 227, 229, 230;
    and the tea episode, 232;
    fear the growing influence of lower classes, 240 _ff._;
    tend to become Loyalist, 244;
    in the First Congress, 245 _ff._;
    support Galloway's plan, 246;
    disappearance of the, 248 _ff._;
    influence in forming the new state constitutions, 263.
  the Loyalists, oppose Grenville's measures, 217;
    in the First Congress, 245;
    the "Association" creates the party of, 247 _ff._;
    growth of the, 249 _ff._;
    New York the headquarters of, 255;
    in Philadelphia, 259;
    property confiscated, 259;
    encouraged by the conquest of South Carolina, 262;
    take part in the war, 267, 268;
    ruined by the Treaty of 1783, 271;
    America suffers loss by the exile of, 272.
  the Radicals, oppose Stamp Act, 219 _ff._;
    organize as Sons of Liberty, 222;
    take advanced ground on the Townshend Acts, 227-30;
    active opposition to the East India Company's tea monopoly, 232, 233;
    aim to revolutionize colonial governments, 240 _ff._;
    control First Congress, 245 _ff._;
    establish revolutionary government, 217 _ff._;
    not wholly satisfied with new State Governments, 263.

Pastorius, Francis Daniel, 178.

Patent for Rhode Island, 103.

Peace of Paris, of 1763, effect on colonial policy of England, 205;
  of 1783, provisions of the, 270-72.

Pegalotti, 9.

Peking, 5, 8.

Penn, William, 133.

Pennsylvania, founded, 133;
  charter annulled and restored, 146;
  taxation of proprietary estates in, 164;
  mecca of the Germans, 177;
  and of the Scotch-Irish, 179;
  Quaker government opposed by western counties of, 242;
  Loyalist stronghold, 259.

Penry, John, 88.

Pepys, Samuel, 125.

Perestrello, Felipe Moñiz de, 22.

Periwigs, badge of "gentle folk," 173, 174.

Peru, conquest of, 84.

Philadelphia, growth of, 162;
  Germans land at, 178;
  First Congress meets in, 234;
  taken by Howe, 257;
  evacuated by Clinton, 261.

Philip II, 34-37.

Philippine Islands, 28.

Philip's War, 119.

Phillips, George, 98.

"Philosophers," America and the French, 199, 200.

Piedmont of Virginia, 179.

Pine Barrens, 179.

Pinzon, 26, 28.

Pioneers. _See_ Frontier.

Piquet, Père, 156.

Piracy, 40, 146.

Pitt, William, and the Seven Years' War, 158 _ff._;
  opposes Stamp Act, 223;
  admires papers of the First Congress, 247.

Pittsfield, 175.

Pizarro, Francisco, 34.

Pizarro, Hernando, 34.

Plan for a British-American Parliament, Galloway's, 246.

Plantation type of colony. _See_ Colonial control.

Plantation in Virginia, the, 70 _ff._, 74, 166.

Pliny, 13.

Plymouth colony, 57, 87, 107.

Plymouth Company, 56.

Pola, Marco, 8, 9.

Politics. _See_ Government: Party.

Pope, Alexander, 126, 170.

Population, of the colonies, 66, 161, 162;
  of Virginia, 69, 71;
  of Massachusetts Bay, 93;
  of Carolina, 129, 130;
  of New York, 132;
  of Pennsylvania, 134;
  of Louisiana, 152;
  of New France, 157;
  German and Scotch-Irish, 177.

Porto Rico, 32.

Portsmouth, 103.

Portugal, 19, 37, 150.

Post office established in the colonies, 191.

Potosi, mines of, 34.

Pownall, Governor of Massachusetts, 158.

Precious metals, European interest in Asia largely determined by the
  desire for, 10-14;
  America valuable to Spain because of, 31 _ff._;
  important for the national state of the sixteenth century, 49 _ff._;
  flow into England from Portugal and the West Indies, 150;
  lack of specie in frontier communities, 183;
  drain of specie leads to use of paper money, 208.

Presbyterians in America, 180 _ff._, 189, 190, 194.

Prices, 14, 149.

Prince, Thomas, 188.

Princeton College, 184, 190, 193 _ff._

Privateers, Elizabethan, 41 _ff._

Proclamation of 1763, 210, 215, 219.

Proprietary estates in Pennsylvania, taxation of, 164.

Proprietary feudal grant, as an instrument of colonization, 54, 55.

Protectorate, 127.

Protestant sects, in the sixteenth century, 111;
  on the American frontier, 185 _ff._;
  effect of the Great Awakening on, 188 _ff._

  European origin of, 80 _ff._;
  in England, 86;
  a Church-State incompatible with the principles of, 110 _ff._

Providence, founding of, 103.

Provincialism in the eighteenth century, 170, 174.

Ptolemaic theory, 17.

Puritanism, origin of, 80 _ff._;
  conception of morals, 84;
  in England, 86 _ff._;
  in New England, 91 _ff._;
  and the Massachusetts State Church, 110 _ff._;
  decline of the rigid ideals of, 122, 125;
  in the eighteenth century, 168, 194.

Purse, control of the, 164.

Quakers, in Massachusetts, 108 _ff._;
  in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, 133, 134;
  indifferent to defense of the frontier, 157;
  control Pennsylvania in the eighteenth century, 167 _ff._;
  Revolution destroys political power of the, 242.

Quebec, 45, 159.

Quincy, Josiah, 230, 238, 239, 249, 250.

Quit-rents, 68, 77, 95, 164, 178.

Radicals. _See_ Party.

Radisson, 141.

Raids, Clinton's policy of, 261 _ff._

Raleigh, Sir Walter, 46, 54, 55.

Rail, Colonel, 256.

Randolph, Edward, 121.

Randolph, Peyton, 245.

Receiver-general of the customs in Virginia, 77.

Redstone, 179, 266.

Reed, Joseph, 245, 261.

Reformation. _See_ Protestantism.

Religion, transformation of, 168 _ff._;
  on the frontier, 175, 180, 184;
  politics influenced by, 193;
  John Adams's ideal of, 197;
  Franklin's idea of, 198.
  _See_ Puritanism.

Renaissance, 31.

Representative government. _See_ Government.

Requisitions, 213.

Restraining Act, 226.

Revolution of 1688, 145, 147.

Rhode Island, 103, 107, 146, 168.

Rice, 130, 166.

Riders, assemblies make use of, 164.

Rights. _See_ Colonial rights.

Robinson, John, 88, 90.

Robinson, Rev. William, 186.

Rochelle, capture of, 86.

Rockingham Whigs, 223.

Rolfe, John, 69.

Rousseau, Jean Jacques, 196.

Roxbury, 104.

Rubruquis, William de, 9.

Rum, 168, 216.

Rutledge, John, 246.

Sagadahoc, 56.

St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, 84, 86.

St. Augustine, town of, 33.

St. Brandan, Isles of, 23.

St. John, Henry, Viscount Bolingbroke, 126, 171.

St. Louis, Fort, 143.

St. Lucar, 28.

Saint-Lusson, 141.

St. Paul, 84.

Salem, 93, 100, 101.

Sandwich, Earl of, 236.

Sandys, Sir Edwin, 59, 61, 65.

San Domingo, 32.

San Juan de Ulloa, 41, 42.

Santa Maria, 25.

Sanuto, Marino, 15.

Saratoga, battle of, 257, 260.

Sault Ste. Marie, 141.

Savannah, 262.

Saybrook Platform, 188.

Schiltberger, Johan, 9, 16.

Schnell, Rev. Mr., 186, 187.

Schuyler, Philip, 155.

Sciota, 154.

Scott, John Morin, 220.

Scotch-Irish, 153, 177, 180, 242.

Scrooby, 88.

Seabury, Samuel, 248.

Senegal, 20.

Separatists, 87 _ff._

"Servants," 71, 176.

Seven Cities, the, 23, 33.

Seven Years' War, 156, 165, 191, 204, 208, 214.

Severac, Jordanus de, 9.

Sewall, Jonathan, 243, 244.

Shaftesbury. _See_ Cooper.

Shenandoah Valley, 178, 180.

Shipbuilding, 168.

Shirley, William, 212, 242.

"Simple folk" in the eighteenth century, 173.

Six Nations. _See_ Indians, Iroquois.

Slave trade, 71, 150, 166.

Slavery, in Virginia, 71;
  in Barbados and the Bahamas, 128;
  in the West Indies, 138;
  slave population, 162;
  in Rhode Island, 168;
  on the frontier, 176, 183.

Smith, John, 56, 58.

Smuggling. _See_ Trade, illicit.

Smyth, Sir Thomas, 59, 63, 65.

Social conditions, in England, 66, 67, 70;
 in Virginia, 70, 78;
 in New England, 95, 113, 116, 121;
 in the eighteenth century, 166 _ff._,172;
 on the frontier, 175, 180, 184.

Somers, Sir George, 56.

Sons of Liberty. _See_ Party.

"Soul Liberty," 103, 107.

South Carolina, founded, 128, 129;
 in the eighteenth century, 166, 175;
 occupied by the British, 262;
 laid waste by guerrilla war, 267.

Southampton, Earl of, 61.

South Sea, 30-32.

South Sea Company, 149, 150.

Spain, and England, 34-37, 40, 136.

Spanish exploration and settlement in America, 31 _ff._

Spanish Succession War, 178.

Specific appropriations, increase of assemblies' power through, 164.

Spotswood, Alexander, 164, 176.

"Squatters" in Pennsylvania, 178.

Stamp Act, passed, 213, 214;
  opposition to the, 216, 218, 220;
  legal and illegal methods of resisting, 220, 221;
  repeal, 223;
  effect of repeal, 224;
  resolution of frontier counties of Pennsylvania on the, 241.

Staple Act. _See_ Navigation Acts.

State Governments, 241, 259, 262.

Strahan, William, 170.

Stuart Restoration, 112, 125, 128, 134.

Suffolk Resolutions, First Congress approves the, 246.

Suffrage, 75, 96, 99, 122, 132, 165.

Sugar Act, 208, 215-18, 224.

Sumptuary legislation in Massachusetts, 116.

Swedes, on the Delaware, 132.

Synod of 1679, 119.

Syria, 13.

Tabriz, 5, 8.

Talon Intendant, 142.

Tarleton, Lieutenant-Colonel, 267.

Taxation. _See_ Colonial rights.

Tea, 226, 231-33.

Tennant, Gilbert, 187.

Tennessee settlements, 267.

Theocracy. _See_ Massachusetts Bay.

Thomas, Major, 255.

Tobacco, and the founding of Virginia, 62;
  influence on Virginia institutions, 69-71;
  official corruption in connection with the sale of, 77;
  yields revenue to English customs, 127;
  not permitted to be raised in England, 130, 131;
  Virginia staple in eighteenth century, 167.

Tordesillas, Treaty of, 26.

Toscanelli, 29.

Town meeting, 95, 99.

Townshend, Charles, 206, 225, 230.

Trade, colonial industry and, 120, 168, 130-34, 149, 166, 215;
  English colonization and, 50 _ff._, 125, 127, 129, 136, 138, 139, 147,
  150, 218, 221, 222, 229;
  illicit, 130-32, 140, 144, 145, 160, 205;
  Indian, 73, 76, 140, 144, 145, 150, 152-56, 207, 208-11;
  Oriental, 4-6, 13-15, 19.

Trade regulation. _See_ Colonial control.

Travelers, thirteenth-century Oriental, 9-11.

Treasure. _See_ Precious metals.

Trebizond, 8.

Trent, William, 154.

Trenton, 255, 256.

Trinidad, 26.

Turgot, 215.

Turkestan, 5.

Turks, 15, 17.

Ulster, 177.

Union. _See_ Congress; Nationality.

United States, 271, 272.

Up-country. _See_ Frontier.

Utrecht, Peace of, 150.

Vaca, Cabeza de, 33.

Valley Forge, 259.

Vandalia Company, 211.

Vane, Sir Harry, 102.

Van Tyne, Claude Halsted, 259, note.

Vassalboro, 175.

Vaughan, George, 148.

Velasquez, 32.

Venice, 6.

Vera Cruz, 150.

Vergennes, 258, 259.

Vermont, 175.

Verrazano, 30, 38.

Vespucci, Americus, 27.

Villeroi, 255.

Vincennes, 265-67.

_Vindication of the Government of the New England Churches_, John
  Wise's, 196.

Virginia, founded, 55;
  royal province, 63;
  growth of, 67 _ff._;
  social and political conditions in, 73 _ff._, 166, 172;
  sectional conflict in, 241;
  instructs delegates for independence, 252;
  raided by British troops, 262;
  cedes Western lands, 265;
  raided by Cornwallis, 269.

"Virtual" representation, 220.

Virtue. _See_ Civic virtue.

"Vital" religion, 186 _ff._

Vivaldi, the, 18.

Voltaire, Franklin and, 199.

Voyages, Hakluyt's, 46.

Wabash River, 266.

Waldseemüller, 27.

Walpole, Horace, Lord, 150.

Walpole, Horace, Earl of Orford, 214, 236, 262.

Walpole, Robert, Earl of Orford, 151.

War of Independence, 253 _ff._

Warren, Joseph, 239.

Warwick, Earl of, 63.

Washington, Augustine, 154.

Washington, George, builds Fort Necessity, 157;
  and the Braddock expedition, 192;
  appointed commander-in-chief of the Continental Army, 254;
  early campaigns of the war, 254-57;
  thinks the "game nearly up," 255;
  amazed at Howe's conduct, 257;
  at Valley Forge, 259;
  effort to bribe, 261;
  criticism of, 264;
  at West Point, 268;
  at Yorktown, 269, 270;
  bids farewell to his officers, 273;
  army proposes to make him king, 273.

Washington, Lawrence, 154.

Watauga, 265.

Watertown, 98, 104.

Watling's Island, 25.

Wealth, colonial aristocracy based on, 166.

Wedderburne, Alexander, 225.

Wentworth, Thomas, Earl of Strafford, 91.

West. _See_ Frontier.

West Indies, trade of continental colonies with, 120, 150, 166;
  importance for English colonial system, 138;
  planters influential in Parliament, 149.

West Point, 268.

Western lands, ceded to the Federal Government, 265.

Westward movement, 104. _See_ Frontier.

Wethersfield, 104.

Whig oligarchy, attitude toward the colonies, 148 _ff._;
  and the Seven Years' War, 158.

Whigs, 251, 271.

Whitefield, the evangelist, 186, 188, 199.

Whitehall Ferry, 273.

White Plains, battle of, 255.

White Woman's Creek, 181.

William III, 126, 145.

Williams, Roger, 100, 103, 116.

Wills Creek, 153.

Wilmington, 269.

Wilson, John, 93, 102, 120.

Windsor, 104.

Wingfield, Edward Maria, 56.

Winthrop, John, 90, 93, 98, 102-105, 112, 115, 120.

Wisconsin River, 141.

Wise, John, 195.

Witchcraft delusion, 195.

Witherspoon, John, 194.

Wolfe, James, 159.

Woolen manufactures, 151.

Writs of assistance, 207.

Yale College, 169, 189.

Yarkand, 5.

Yeardley, Governor of Virginia, 75.

York, James, Duke of, 131.

Yorktown, surrender of Cornwallis at, 269, 270.

Yucatan, 32.

Zaiton, 8.

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