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    Mary Beth Norton, Fredrik Logevall et all, A People & A Nation. A History of the United States

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    Johnathan R. Razorback
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    Date d'inscription : 12/08/2013
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    Mary Beth Norton, Fredrik Logevall et all, A People & A Nation. A History of the United States

    Message par Johnathan R. Razorback le Lun 26 Nov - 16:20

    "Three developments shaped mainland English colonial life between 1640 and 1720: escalating conflicts with Indians and other European colonies; the expansion of slavery ; and changes in the colonies’ political and economic relationships with England.
    The explosive growth of the slave trade significantly altered the Anglo-American economy. Mariners and ship owners profited handsomely from their human cargoes, as did planters who could afford slaves. Initially, the slave trade involved Indians and already enslaved Africans from the Caribbean, but it soon focused on cargoes from Africa. The large influx of West African slaves expanded agricultural productivity, fueled the international trading system, and dramatically reshaped colonial society.
    The burgeoning North American economy attracted new attention from colonial administrators. After the Stuarts were restored to the throne in 1660 (having lost it briefly during the English Civil War), London bureaucrats attempted to supervise American settlements so England benefited from their economic growth.
    As English settlements expanded, they came into violent conflict with powerful Indian nations, the Dutch, the Spanish, and the French. All European colonies confronted significant crises during the 1670s. By 1720, war—between Europeans and Indians, among Europeans, and among Indians allied with colonial powers—had become a familiar feature of American life. No longer isolated, the people and products of North American colonies had become integral to the world trading system and enmeshed in its conflicts
    ." (p.56)

    "Assuming the throne in 1660 (see Table 3.1), Charles II rewarded nobles and other supporters with huge tracts of land on the North American mainland, thereby establishing six of the thirteen polities that would form the American nation: New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania (including Delaware), and North and South Carolina (see Map 3.1). Known as the Restoration colonies, they were proprietorships, where one man or several men owned the soil and controlled the government." (p.56)

    "By the early eighteenth century, the English colonies nominally dominated the Atlantic coastline of North America. But the colonies’ formal boundary lines are deceiving because the western reaches of each colony were still largely unfamiliar to Europeans and because much of the land was still inhabited by Native Americans." (p.58)

    "By 1726, New Jersey had 32,500 inhabitants, only 8,000 fewer than New York." (p.60)

    "In 1681, Charles II granted the region between Maryland and New York to his friend William Penn, a prominent Quaker. Penn held the colony as a personal proprietorship, one that earned profits for his descendants until the American Revolution. Penn saw his province as a haven for persecuted coreligionists. Penn offered land to settlers on liberal terms, promising religious toleration, although only Christian men could vote; guaranteeing English liberties, and pledging to establish a representative assembly. He also publicized the availability of land in Pennsylvania through promotional tracts in German, French, and Dutch.
    By mid-1683, more than three thousand people—among them Welsh, Irish, Dutch, and Germans—had moved to Pennsylvania, and within five years the population reached twelve thousand. Philadelphia, sited on the easily navigable Delaware River, drew merchants and artisans from throughout the English-speaking world. From mainland and Caribbean colonies alike came Quakers who brought experience on American soil and trading connections. Pennsylvania’s fertile lands enabled residents to export surplus flour and other foodstuffs to the West Indies. Philadelphia rapidly acquired more than two thousand citizens and challenged Boston’s commercial dominance.
    Penn attempted to treat native peoples fairly. He learned to speak the language of the Delawares (or Lenapes), from whom he purchased land to sell to European settlers. Penn also established strict trade regulations and forbade the sale of alcohol to Indians. His policies attracted native peoples who moved to Pennsylvania in the late seventeenth century to escape clashes with English colonists in Maryland, Virginia, and North Carolina. Ironically, however, the same toleration that attracted Native Americans also brought non-Quaker Europeans—Scots-Irish, Germans, and Swiss— who showed little respect for Indian land claims and would clash repeatedly with them
    ." (p.60)

    "By 1720, key elements of the imperial administrative structure that would govern the English colonies until 1775 were in place. Anglo-Americans’ commitment to autonomous local government would later lead them into conflict with Parliament and the king."

    "Several key themes marked the development of Europe’s North American colonies in the mid-eighteenth century: population growth (through natural increase and immigration), new ethnic diversity, the increasing importance of urban centers, the creation of a prosperous urban elite including merchant families like the Franchevilles, rising consumption, and the new significance of internal markets. In the French and British mainland colonies, exports dominated the economy. Settlers along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts were tied to an international commercial system that fluctuated wildly. Yet expanding local populations demanded greater quantities and types of goods, and Europe could not keep up. Therefore, colonists increasingly depended on their own resources. Intermarried networks of wealthy families developed in Europe’s American possessions by the 1760s. These well-off, educated colonists participated in transatlantic intellectual life, such as the Enlightenment, whereas some colonists of the “lesser sort” could neither read nor write. Most colonists worked with their hands from dawn to dark. Divisions were most pronounced in British America, the largest and most prosperous settlements. By the last half of the century, social and economic distance among different ranks of Anglo-Americans had widened and produced new conflicts." (p.80)

    "Ultimately, elites would need the support of non-English Americans. When they moved toward revolution in the 1770s, they deliberately began speaking of “the rights of man,” rather than “English liberties,” to attract recruits." (p.88)

    "The newest British settlement, Georgia, was chartered in 1732 as a haven for imprisoned English debtors. Its founder, James Oglethorpe, envisioned Georgia as a garrison where farmers who would defend the southern flank of English settlement against Spanish Florida." (p.89)

    "Enlightenment rationalism affected politics, too. Locke’s Two Treatises of Government (1691) and works by French and Scottish philosophers challenged a divinely sanctioned, hierarchical political order originating in the power of fathers over families. Men created governments and could alter them, Locke declared. A ruler who broke the social contract and failed to protect people’s rights could legitimately be ousted from power peacefully or violently. Enlightenment theorists proclaimed God’s natural laws governed even monarchs.
    The world in which such ideas were discussed was select. Most residents of North America were illiterate. Those who could read often could not write. Books were scarce until the 1750s, and colonial newspapers did not appear until the 1720s. Parents, older siblings, or local widows who needed extra income taught youngsters to read. More fortunate boys (and genteel girls after the 1750s) might learn to write in private schools. Few Americans other than some Church of England missionaries in the South tried to instruct enslaved children. And only the most zealous Indian converts learned Europeans’ literacy skills. Thus, the cultures of colonial North America were primarily oral, communal, and local. Face-to-face conversation was the major means of communication. Different locales developed divergent cultural traditions. Through public rituals colonists forged their cultural identities.
    " (p.93)

    "Such cities were medium-sized towns by today’s standards. In 1750, the largest, Boston and Philadelphia, had just seventeen thousand and thirteen thousand inhabitants, respectively." (p.97)

    "Britain’s overwhelming victory in that war, confirmed by treaty in 1763, forever altered the balance of power in North America. France was ousted from the continent and Spain from Florida, with major consequences for interior indigenous peoples and British colonists. Indians, who were experts at playing European powers against one another, lost a major diplomatic tool. Anglo-Americans no longer feared the French on their northern and western borders or the Spanish in the Southeast.
    The coastal British colonies would never have risked breaking with their mother country, some historians contend, had France controlled the Mississippi River and the Great Lakes in 1776. The British victory in 1763 left Great Britain with a massive war-related debt. Consequently, Parliament for the first time imposed revenue-raising taxes on the colonies in addition to the customs duties that had long regulated trade. That exposed differences in the political thinking of Americans and Britons that had previously been obscured by a shared political vocabulary.
    During the 1760s and early 1770s, Anglo American men and women resisted new tax levies and Britain’s attempts to tighten controls over provincial governments. The colonies’ elected leaders became increasingly suspicious of Britain’s motives. They laid aside old antagonisms to coordinate their responses to the new measures. As late as the summer of 1774, though, most were seeking a solution within the empire; few harbored thoughts of independence
    ." (p.107)

    "In the Treaty of Paris (1763), France ceded its major North American holdings to Britain. Spain, an ally of France toward war’s end, gave Florida to the victors. France ceded Louisiana west of the Mississippi to Spain, in partial compensation for its ally’s losses elsewhere. The British thus gained control of the continent’s fur trade. No longer would the English seacoast colonies have to worry about the threat posed by France’s extensive North American territories.
    The British triumph stimulated some Americans like Benjamin Franklin to predict a glorious future for British North America.
    " (p.113)

    "The Stamp Act (1765), Grenville’s most important proposal, required tax stamps on most printed materials, placing the heaviest burden on merchants and the colonial elite, who used printed matter more than ordinary folk. Anyone who purchased a newspaper, made a will, transferred land, accepted a government appointment, or borrowed money would have to pay the tax. Never before had a revenue measure of such scope been proposed for the colonies. The act also required that tax stamps be purchased with scarce sterling coin. Violators would be tried by vice-admiralty courts, where judges rendered decisions, leading Americans to fear the loss of their right to trial by jury. Finally, such a law broke with the colonial tradition of self-imposed taxation." (p.116)

    p.119.
    -Mary Beth Norton, Fredrik Logevall et all, A People & A Nation. A History of the United States, Brief Ninth Edition, Volume I: To 1877, 2012, 497 pages.




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    « La racine de toute doctrine erronée se trouve dans une erreur philosophique. [...] Le rôle des penseurs vrais, mais aussi une tâche de tout homme libre, est de comprendre les possibles conséquences de chaque principe ou idée, de chaque décision avant qu'elle se change en action, afin d'exclure aussi bien ses conséquences nuisibles que la possibilité de tromperie. » -Jacob Sher, Avertissement contre le socialisme, Introduction à « Tableaux de l'avenir social-démocrate » d'Eugen Richter, avril 1998.

    "Il y a, de nos jours, beaucoup de gens qui s'accommodent très aisément de cette espèce de compromis entre le despotisme administratif et la souveraineté du peuple, et qui pensent avoir assez garanti la liberté des individus, quand c'est au pouvoir national qu'ils la livrent. Cela ne me suffit point." -Alexis de Tocqueville, De la Démocratie en Amérique, vol II, Quatrième Partie : Chapitre VI, 1840.


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