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Chapter 2 United States History, 1550 - 1877 (117)

James Moore
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National power and glory would put England in a powerful seat like Spain and France

Colonists would enrich England and themselves by providing English consumers with traded goods
The Social Crisis
1550-1600 England’s population rose from 3 million to 4 million
Enclosure Movement: A legal process that divided large farm fields in England that were previously collectively
owned by groups of peasants into smaller, individually owned plots
o Landlords sought profit from raising sheep for wool trading and crop rotations
Evicted small farmers
Fenced in “commons” previously open to all
Thousands flooded England’s cities
To deal with the large poor population England encouraged them to leave for the New World
o Become productive citizens
o Contribute to Nation’s wealth
Masterless Men
Masterless men: wandering or unemployed men
Working for wages was associated with servility and loss of liberty
Only those who controlled their own labor were truly free
New World offered a place of opportunity for laboring classes
o Could regain economic independence by acquiring land
o Criminals offered a second chance
Economic freedom and the possibility of passing it on to one’s children attracted the larges number of English
The Coming of the English
What challenges did the early English settlers face?
English Emigrants
1607-1700, 500,000 people left England
o 180K to Ireland
o 180K to West Indies
Sugar cultivation promised riches if you could obtain land
o 120K to Chesapeake area (Virginia and Maryland)
Tobacco production
Mostly single men from bottom on English society
o 21K New England (families)
o 23K to Middle Colonies (New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania) (families)ra
o Indentured Servants
Settlers who could pay for their own passage arrived in America free
o Quickly acquired land upon arrival
Indentured Servants: settlers who signed on for a temporary period of servitude to a master in exchange for passage
to the New World (usually 5-7 year)
o Could be bought or sold
o Couldn’t marry without master’s permission
o Subjected to physical punishment
o Labor enforced by the courts
At the end of their labor, servants received freedom dues and became free
Chapter 2 United States History, 1550 - 1877 (117)

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