Overview of Colonial Experience: 1607-1763


1607-1763 Part 1

S. S. STUDY GUIDE:  Introduction — Overview of Colonial Experience: 1607-1763

 A.  Pre-Jamestown settlers

1585   —   Sir Walter Raleigh sent 7 ships and about 100 men to North America

  • Raleigh was granted a charter to set up a colony in North America.
  • Charter – a legal document giving certain rights to a person or company
  • He named his colony Virginia — in honor of Queen Elizabeth, the Virgin Queen.  (land located between Roanoke Island and the Potomac)
  • His men landed on Roanoke Island, off the coast of present day North Carolina.
      1. Settlers included John White, an artist who made drawings of the new land and its people.
      2. Settlers searched for a year without success for gold and silver.
  • Tired, discouraged, and hungry – they returned the next year to England.


1587   —   Raleigh asked John White to return to Roanoke with another group of colonists

  • Raleigh sent along women to help set up a farming community.
  • Among these women was John White’s daughter, Ellinor Dare.
  • While at Roanoke, she gave birth to the first English child born in North America — Virginia Dare.
  • When supplies ran low, White returned to England.
    • He left behind 117 colonists & his family, he instructed them to
        1. carve the name of the new location on a tree if they moved
        2. drawn a cross on the tree if they were attacked
    • Planning to return in 3 months, he did not return for 3 years.
  • England, preparing for war with Spain, needed all available ships to defend England against the Spanish Armada.


1588   —   Attack and Defeat of the Spanish Armada

  • Under the leadership of Sir Francis Drake, the Sea Dogs led the fight against the Spanish Armada.
  • During the fight, a violent storm scattered the Armada.


1590   —   White obtains a ship and returns to Roanoke Island

  • The Settlement was abandoned.
  • The word Croatoan was carved on a tree.
  • The word was both the name of local Indians & a nearby Island.

Due to a storm and rough waters, the captain decided the journey to the island was too dangerous & left for England against White’s wishes.

  • Before going ashore, they drew up the Mayflower Compact.
    1. They would consult each other about laws and work together
    2. With 41 signatures, it became the first set of written laws
  • After a harsh winter, they were befriended and helped by local Indians.
  • Shown how to grow corn and how to fish, they offered the first Thanksgiving following the first successful harvest.


1624   —   The Dutch establish the colony of New Netherland

  • Peter Minuit led a group of Dutch settlers to North America
    1. He bought Manhattan Island from the local Indians.
    2. He called his settlement on this island, New Amsterdam
  • The Dutch laid claim to what is today New Jersey and about half of New York, and organized it into the colony of New Netherland.
  • New Amsterdam became the capital of New Netherland.


1625   —   King James I died and was succeeded by his son, King Charles I

  • It was during the reign of Charles I that England and Scotland was finally united into one country called Great Britain.
  • His reign eventually ended in Civil War between the Anglicans (supporters of the King) and the Puritans (in control of Parliament.)
  • The Anglicans (led by Charles I) were defeated by the Puritans (led by Oliver Cromwell.)
  • Charles I was beheaded & the monarchy was temporarily abolished.


1629   —   The Massachusetts Bay Colony received a charter from King Charles I


1630   —   More than 1,000 Puritans on 17 ships arrive in North America

  • They were led by John Winthrop, who became their first governor.
  • For religious and economic reasons,  more than 20,000 Puritans arrived between 1630 – 1640 at Massachusetts Bay  — The Great Migration


1634   —   Maryland is settled by Lord Baltimore (Cecil Calvert, son of Sir George Calvert)

  • Sir George Calvert, the 1st Lord Baltimore, secured a charter from King Charles I in 1632, to establish a refuge for England’s Catholics.
  • The colony was named after the King’s wife, Queen Henrietta Maria.
  • Unfortunately, Sir George died before the charter could be signed.
  • His son, Cecil (the 2nd Lord Baltimore), fulfilled his dreams.
  • During the rule of Oliver Cromwell in England, many Anglicans (members of the Church of England) fled to Maryland.
  • As Protestants grew in number, Lord Baltimore ask the assembly to pass the Act of Toleration — granted religious freedom to all Christians.


1639   —   The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut

  • Written by the Connecticut settlers, it expanded the idea of representative government and became the first constitution.
  • It extended the right to vote to all male property owners and limited the powers of the governor.B.  Establishment of the 13 English Colonies


1603   —   Queen Elizabeth I of England died — End of the Tudor Family

  • King James VI of Scotland was crowned King James I of England
  • This marked the beginning of the Stewart Family.
  • King James began the process that would eventually unite England and Scotland into one country called Great Britain.


1606   —   The Virginia Company of London received a charter from King James I.

  • This charter granted the company the right to settled in Virginia.
  • It also guaranteed colonists the same rights as English subjects.
  • To raise money, the company organized a joint stock company.
    1. The company sold shares to investors.
    2. When the company raised enough capital, or money for investment, it outfitted ships for trading voyages.
    3. If the ships returned safely, the cargo was sold.
    4. Investor then received a share of the profits.


1607   —   Three ships and 104 (out of 144) men sailed into the Chesapeake Bay.

  • They sailed up the James River and founded Jamestown.
  • Before long, many died from disease due to swampy land, too many mosquitoes, and undrinkable water.
  • The first women arrived in 1608.
  • Captain John Smith took charge between 1608 & 1609.


1612   —   John Rolfe introduces Caribbean Tobacco — Produced Virginia’s first profit


1619   —   A Dutch Ship arrives at Jamestown with the first African Slaves

  • Africans were treated as Indentured servants for the first 35 years.
  • Unfortunately, this system was replaced with slavery by the late 1600s.

Virginian settlers established the House of Burgesses

  • First representative government in the New World
  • Burgesses means representative
  • Based on the Magna Carta of 1215  (King John & the Great Council of Nobles)


1620   —   The Pilgrims arrive at Plymouth Colony

  • Known as Separatists (those who wanted to break away from the Church of England), they were persecuted for their religious beliefs.
  • In September, more than 100 men, women, and children set sail on the Mayflower for the New World.
  • Their charter gave them permission to set up a settlement in Virginia.
  • On the way there, a storm and rough waters forced them far to the north.
  • They landed near present day Cape Cod.1640   —   Swedish setters establish New Sweden, a colony along the Delaware River.


1644   —   Roger Williams received a charter for a new colony

  • Fleeing from Massachusetts Bay in 1635, Williams spent the winter at Narragansett Bay.
  • In the spring, the Indians sold him some of land for a settlement.
  • In 1644, he received a charter to establish a colony at that location.
  • This colony was first called Providence Plantations.
  • Later, Providence and other towns united & formed Rhode Island.
  • Roger Williams is the father of “Separation of Church & State
  • Rhode Island became the most religious free of the 13 colonies.


1655   —   The Dutch from New Netherland attack and take over New Sweden.


1663   —   King Charles II gave Carolina to 8 nobles to establish a colony there

  • Carolina, named in honor of Charles I, stretched from Virginia to Florida.
  • The northern region was settled by poor farmers from Virginia.
  • The southern region was settled by wealthy families from Great Britain.
    1. They built Charles Town, later shortened to Charleston.
    2. The settlers eventually discovered that the climate & swampy lands were excellent for the establishment of rice plantations.
    3. They eventually turned to slavery to meet their labor needs.
  • Differences between the two regions led to the division of the Colony into North Carolina and South Carolina.


1664   —   New York and New Jersey are established

  • Rivalry between England and The Netherlands led to war in Europe.
  • Urged by traders, King Charles II ordered an attack on New Netherland.
  • Governor Stuyvesant was forced to surrender due to few weapons.
  • King Charles II gave this land to his brother, James the Duke of York.
    1. James renamed the colony New York in his honor.
    2. At first, James governed the colony directly.
    3. Eventually, he gave in to Puritan pressure and allowed the settlers to establish a representative assembly.
  • During his rule, James realized that New York was too large to govern.
    1. He gave the land located between the Hudson and Delaware rivers to his friends, Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret.
    2. They renamed this land New Jersey.
    3. For awhile, NJ was divided into East Jersey and West Jersey.
    4. In 1702, the two settlements were joined as a single royal colony under the control of the English Crown.


1680   —   New Hampshire was established out of 3 coastal settlements north of Boston1682   —   William Penn (a Quaker convert) arrived in and settled Pennsylvania.

  • The Society of Friends (Quakers) were the most persecuted religious group in England.
  • William Penn was given a charter by his father’s friend, King Charles II.
  • Penn named this colony Sylvania, meaning woodlands.
  • The King changed the name to Pennsylvania (or Penn’s woodlands) in honor of William Penn’s father.
  • Having no access to the sea, Penn asked James (the Duke of York) to give up some land along the lower Delaware River.
  • James gave him the land that was originally known as New Sweden.
  • This land area became known as Pennsylvania’s Lower Counties.


1685   —   King Charles II died and was succeeded by James, the Duke of York


1686   —   King James II established the Dominion of New England

  • King James II tried to exercise tighter control over the colonies.
  • He dismissed the assemblies of all the colonies from New Hampshire to New Jersey and grouped them into the Dominion of New England.
  • The colonists angrily protested this change.


1688   —   The Glorious Revolution

  • Before the angry colonists could take further action against King James II, Parliament called for a revolt against the Catholic King.
  • Parliament asked William and Mary (daughter of King James II) of the Netherlands to lead the revolt and take over the thrown.
  • They ended the Dominion of New England and restored the colonial elected assemblies.


1589   —   William and Mary sign into law the English Bill of Rights

  • Protected the rights of individuals & guaranteed the right to trial by jury
  • Outlawed cruel and unusual punishments
  • Forbid the raising of taxes or an army without Parliament’s approval.
  • Guaranteed colonists the same protection.


1701   —   The Lower Counties of Pennsylvania established their own assembly

  • They did not want to travel to a far-away assembly in Philadelphia.
  • Later, the Lower Counties broke away & formed the colony, Delaware.


1732   —   Georgia, the last of England’s 13 colonies was established

  • This land was carved out of the southern portion of South Carolina.
  • Named in honor of King George II, it was founded as a refuge for English debtors by James Oglethorpe.
  • Arriving in 1733, the settlers built Georgia’s first settlement, Savannah.


1735   —   The New York trial of John Peter Zenger — Freedom of the Press

  • He published the newspaper, The New York Weekly Journal
  • He expose the dishonesty of New York’s  Governor, William Cosby.
  • Imprisoned for 8 months, he went to trial.
  • It took the jury 10 minutes to find him “not guilty”.


1754   —   Fighting broke out in the Ohio Valley (land claimed by both France & England)

  • Washington (sent by Governor Dinwiddie to protect Virginian land claims) took 150 men to built a fort in the upper Ohio River Valley.
  • When he arrived, the French had already built Fort Duquesne at the precise site selected by Washington.
  • At first, Washington surprised and scattered the French.
  • In a counterattack, the French surrounded and defeated Washington.
  • He and his men were released and allowed to return to Virginia.


1759   —   The Fall of Quebec

  • The city was defended by the Marquis de Montcalm
  • The combined British and colonial forces were led by General James Wolfe and Admiral Jeffrey Amherst.


1760   —   The Fall of Montreal


1763   —   The Treaty of Paris ended The Great War for Empire

  • French power ended in North America.
  • Great Britain gain Canada and all French lands east of the Mississippi.
  • Spain received all French lands west of the Mississippi, but gave up Florida to Great Britain.