British America

Tobacco Colonies 2
1606 Virginia colony settled under King James I, named after his predecessor Queen Elizabeth I
1632 Maryland colony settled, named after Mary the wife of Charles I

New England Colonies 4
1620 Massachusetts colony started at Plymouth under the Pilgrim Fathers with separate settlements forming at Connecticut, New Haven, Rhode Island, New Hampshire
1665 New Haven combined with Connecticut

Middle Colonies 4
1664 New York colony granted to King Charles II's brother, the Duke of York, the future King James II
1680 Pennsylvania settled (William Penn) a mass emigration of English Quakers
1702 James had granted two friends the province of New Jersey and it now became a royal colony
1704 Lower counties on the Delaware separate from Pennsylvania
Click here for a map showing New York City, with Chesapeake Bay and Baltimore to the south, the Susquehanna River flowing through Pennsylvania in the west, and the Potomac River and Washington DC

Southern Colonies 3
1663 Carolana originally named after Charles I, settled under Charles II, with Carolina Colony splitting into North and South in 1729
1732 Georgia settled by James Oglethorpe, providing a buffer between the Spanish in Florida, and South Carolina

The 1730's and 1740's is referred to as the Great Awakening, the Outpouring of the Holy Spirit, reforming the nation, starting in the church, the Church of England.
Leaders: John Wesley, George Whitefield, Jonathan Edwards.

In 1700, the population was about 250,000 English speaking settlers along with other Europeans, and African slaves.

By 1775, the population was about 2½ million.

The Boston Tea Party, The East India Company, and Revolution

The East India Company, based in London, operated from 1600 to 1858, and was one of the richest and longest-lived trading companies in history. Its influence on British colonial policy indirectly influenced American history. At the time that the English colonies were becoming increasingly restive, the company was trying to strengthen its position in Canton in China, and as a result was purchasing greater and greater quantities of tea. The colonial response to the tea tax in 1767 (The Townshend Acts) resulted in a precipitous decline in consumption, from 900,000 pounds of tea in 1769 to just 237,000 in 1772.

Smuggled tea was a big issue for Britain (and the East India company) since approximately 86% of all the tea in America at the time was smuggled Dutch tea, with no taxes paid. Although the British tea was, according to many, more appealing in taste, some Patriots e.g. the Sons of Liberty encouraged the consumption of smuggled tea as a political protest against the Townshend taxes. Colonists declared it "violated" their rights as Englishmen stating "no taxation without representation" i.e. to be taxed by their representatives and not by a British parliament in which they were not represented.

With warehouses overflowing with unsold tea, the company negotiated with Parliament for the right to sell tea directly to the colonies without paying export duties, thus lowering the price, but still paying the tax imposed by the Townshend Acts. It was granted in the Regulating Act of May 10, 1773. Instead of gaining additional sales, the act produced more opposition. Colonial tea importers resented the move and feared additional infringement on their business.

The Boston Tea Party was a political and mercantile protest by the Sons of Liberty in Boston Massachusetts on December 16 1773. Protesters had successfully prevented the unloading of tea in three other colonies, but in Boston embattled Royal Governor Thomas Hutchinson refused to allow the tea to be returned to Britain. Demonstrators, some disguised as Native Americans, destroyed an entire shipment of tea. They boarded the ships and threw the chests of tea into the Boston Harbor.

Over the next four months, the British government responded harshly, issuing the Coercive Acts (called the Intolerable Acts) which closed Boston's port (until the tea was paid for), ending local self-government (in Massachusetts), and restricting town meetings in Boston for a year. Colonists up and down the Thirteen Colonies in turn responded by convening the First Continental Congress to
  1. petition the British monarch for repeal of the acts and
  2. co-ordinate colonial resistance to them.

The crisis escalated, and the Revolutionary War began at Concord near Boston on April 19, 1775 following Paul Revere's midnight ride: The British are Coming (to arrest leaders and confiscate militia ordnance).

After the Revolution, the East India Company had little direct contact with America.

Go Top

** End of Report