Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776

By James Truslow Adams | Go to book overview

CHAPTER III
THE DAWN OF THE CENTURY

Culture and Ideals of the Colonists -- Religious Attitude -- Morals -- Law -- The West India Trade -- French Rivalry

AFTER the first half century or so of colonization the American continental colonies showed most striking increases in population as contrasted with the comparatively stationary or dwindling numbers of whites in the island plantations.1 A mainland population estimated to be about fifty-two thousand in 1650 had become two hundred and seventy-five thousand by 1700.2 In that year there may have been six thousand persons in New Hampshire, seventy thousand in Massachusetts including Maine, six thousand in Rhode Island, and twenty-four thousand in Connecticut, or a hundred and six thousand in all. Although the New England colonies were actively engaged in the slave trade, in which Rhode Island took the lead, economic factors did not make slave-holding profitable, and the black population, bond and free, was comparatively small.3 A few Jews, commercially important mainly in Rhode Island, some French Huguenots, and a considerable number of Scotch-Irish and Germans mostly in New Hampshire and Maine, formed almost the only elements added to the English stock.4

____________________
1
F. W. Pitman gives the West Indian statistics. Development of the British West Indies, ( Yale Press, 1917), pp. 369ff.
2
Century of Population Growth, (Washington, 1909), p. 4. Cf. also F. B. Dexter, "Estimates of Population in the American Colonies," American Antiquarian Society Proceedings, vol. V, pp. 22-50. All statistics in the colonial period are mere approximate estimates and should never be considered as accurate in the modern sense.
3
W. E. Du Bois, Suppression of the African Slave Trade, ( Harvard University Press, 1916), pp. 27ff.
4
Cf. M. J. Kohler, "The Jews in Newport," American Jewish Historical Society Publications, No. 6, pp. 62 ff.; L. Huhner, "The Jews of New England,"ibid., No. 11, pp. 78ff.; G. F. Daniels, The Huguenots in Me Nipmuck Country, ( Boston, 1880); E. R. Potter, "Memoir concerning the French Settlements in Rhode Island", Rhode Island Historical Tracts, No. 5, ( Providence, 1879); Maine Historical Society, Coll., Ser. II, vol. III, pp. 351ff.; E. L. Parker, "History of Londonderry", N. H., ( Boston,, 1851); H. J. Ford, Scotch Irish in America, ( Princeton University Press, 1915), pp. 223. ff.; New Hampshire Historical Society, Proceedings, vol. IV, pp. 143ff.

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Revolutionary New England, 1691-1776
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface V
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xiii
  • Chapter I Introductory 3
  • Chapter II the Machinery of Empire 18
  • Chapter III the Dawn of the Century 30
  • Chapter IV the Policy of Unified Control 46
  • Chapter V Attempts at CoÖperation, Imperial and Colonial 60
  • Chapter VI the Rising Tide 84
  • Chapter VII Diverging Interests 111
  • Chapter VIII Expanding Energies 138
  • Chapter IX the Great Divide 169
  • Chapter X the Wrong Turning 200
  • Chapter XI the Fate of a Continent 221
  • Chapter XII War and Business 250
  • Chapter XIII the Price of Peace 278
  • Chapter XIV the Insoluble Problem 304
  • Chapter XV Darkening Skies 338
  • Chapter XVI the Issue Defined 369
  • Chapter XVII the Defeat of the Conservatives 406
  • Chapter XVIII Civil War 433
  • Index 453
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