England's North American Colonies and the Development of the Atlantic World Research Paper

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England's North American Colonies And The Development Of The Atlantic World

Besides the achievements and the colonial rule of the armed forces in the transformation of North Atlantic world, the effects of war cannot be underestimated. The end of the 18th Century saw the Atlantic world benefit both in economic and social terms is ways that paved way for permanent settlement. In the 17th Century, the Atlantic world was still reserved for raw materials and hemmed environments that exclusively generated benefits for the economic development of European nations. As of 18th Century, the Atlantic world had developed into a complex society of consumers and gained an entrepreneurial outlook. They became active participants in the Transocean economic trade, which had been opposed by the indigenous people. In a lifetime space, the North American world had transformed into an eminent area of the Western Hemisphere. This development was manifested in the form of change and growth in nature of the population (Heuman, 1993).

The Caribbean colonies began to export commodities such as lumber, horses, wheat, and fish and imported all kinds of manufactured products using ships owned and made by other colonies. New England shipping and merchant provided integral services to the people of Caribbean Island. Trade between Western Europe and England colonies flourished as largely facilitated by British ships. There was an annual growth in transatlantic crossing using ships. Following the trade balance between England North American colonies and Britain, the colonists were encouraged to pursue recoup of their deficits via trade with North Atlantic world. By mid 18th Century, the marine traffic volume crossing between North American colonies and British ports exceeded any other trade (Bailyn, 2007).

Populations of up to a million people lived in the North Atlantic thirteen colonies representing a significant population increase in 1750. Early colonial settlers faced a threat of serious diseases and their survival was exceedingly reduced. In England, the mortality rates for children were high as compared to that in the colonies; the expectancy of life was high. Women engaged in marriage at an early age giving them the chance to give birth to many children and the eventual outcome of large families. Women would have more than nine children and over thirty grandchildren (Cobbs, Jon Gjerde, & Blum, 2011). This was normal during those times. Population growth was catered for by the higher rates of birth. It did not matter whether they were refugees of war or economic conditions or persecution had victimized them in their mother country (Heuman, 1993).

Slavery expansion: At the middle of the 17th century, blacks lived in the colonies. The numbers of slaves increased while the population of the white immigrants forced a natural increment. The supply for slaves diminished because work opportunities had been discovered in England. Due to the scarcity of slaves, the white settlers shipped slaves from West Indies and Africa. South Carolina, Newport, Rhode Island, and Charleston were highly significant entry points for these slaves (Berlin, 1980).

Majority of the slaves had their homes in Southern colonies, but distribution of regional variation kept persisting. In Chesapeake region, holding of slaves was far beyond universal and most of the plantations had a maximum of twenty slaves. Typical planters in South Carolina, on the other side, had the freedom to own more than fifty slaves too work on their rice plantations (Smith, & Middleton, (2008). In the sparsely populated colonies of South Carolina, the number of whites was outdone by the blacks in a ratio of one white to eight blacks; they were able to keep their African culture and heritage as compared to those who were shipped to Maryland and Virginia. Even though, a foundation for the economy of the Southern was laid, slavery was not popular to the Northern colonies. Twenty percent of the New York population comprised of slaves in the early years of 1746. These slaves lived in the homes of their masters and performed domestic chores, being craftsmen' assistant and stevedores in port cities just like indentured apprentice and servants (Zandt, 2008).

The slaves tried to be resistant to their situation, but their efforts were always passive including feigning illness, equipment breakage, and overall, interrupting the plantation routine, but to some extent came to be violent. The Stono Rebellion, which was the biggest slave revolt in the colonial error, happened in
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South Carolina, accompanied with the given demographics. In 1739, close to a hundred fugitive slaves had twenty whites killed while traveling to Florida but were later killed after being captured. This rebellion ignited other revolts made by slaves for the later years (Berlin, 1980).

The labor force was not supplied by slaves in the Northern colonies, even though slaves existed. By the end of 1740, 9% of Philadelphia population comprised of slaves while New York had 18%. This added up to approximately 15000 slaves existing in New England. Obvious differences existed between the South and North slavery. Slaves in the North had their homes in the cities and performed their duties at homes or shops. Very few or otherwise countable families owned a handful of slaves. The slavery plantations were actually different from this slavery. There were high chances that the urban slaves were literate, learned skills, and were occasionally hired out based on wages (Heuman, 1993).

Increased populations exerted massive pressure on the limited land resource because the planters occupied the best portions of land. With limited opportunities for new entrants in the settled areas of the coast, most Irish, Scottish, and German immigrants penetrated into the interior parts where availability of land was in abundance. They filtered into the backyards of Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania establishing fertile farms and growing adequate foodstuff for their upkeep (Bailyn, 2007).

Colonial industry and trade: the North American colonies were among the network of traders in the Atlantic trading, which linked them with West Indies, Africa and England. The trading pattern commonly known as the triangular trade, engaged exchanging of products from fisheries, plantations, colonial farms and England forests manufacturing goods as well as West Indies who produced sugar, Molasses and slaves. In England, sugar and molasses were distilled thus producing rum, which was exchanged for African slaves. Another valuable market was Southern Europe, which bought colonial food products (Berlin, 1980).

Trade was closely linked to colonial industry. A substantial amount of shipping in the Atlantic area relied on aircrafts that were stimulated by shipbuilding, vessels that were created by North American Colonies. They included lumber mills, sewing of sails, and production of naval stores. The mercantile theory motivated North American Colonies to produce raw materials for the industrializing economy of England; coal and pig iron became critical export products. England placed restrictions on finished products. For instance, the parliament was worried about the possibility of harsh competition from colonial settlers thus; they prohibited exportation of hats manufactured by colonies. Further, they imposed limits on the number of hats produces by each shop (Zandt, 2008).

The social structure: the indentured servants and slaves occupied the bottom part of the ladder. The colonial elites comprised of wealthy merchants and successful planters in North America. Prosperity signs were visible in motor and brick, in the areas of Chesapeake. Rather, the most prosperous and modest forms of housing for the 17th Century had paved way for spacious mansions of the 18th Century. Town houses belonged to planters from South Carolina and moved to areas such as Newport as they escaped from the summer heat. Both in their social and lifestyle pursuits such as racing of horses, the gents from southern emulated the country squire of England (Cobbs, Jon Gjerde, & Blum, 2011).

Holders of large portions of land were not only confined to the southern colonies. The Dutch patron descendants and men who had been given land by the royal governors of England controlled the middle estates of the colonies. Tenant farmers worked tirelessly. They were rewarded with crops for their labor. In the cities situated in the north, merchants owned all the wealth: below the merchants were the middle class comprising of skilled shopkeepers and artisans. By being apprentices, artisans were able to learn their trade thus becoming journeymen after completing their apprenticeship term. While working as wage employees, the journeymen resided in the houses of their former masters and dined at his table. This enabled them to save adequately and go into a business, which was the dream of every artisan (Zandt, 2008).

Although England made unpromising and late entry in the battle for colonies, they made profound contributions to the history of religion in North Atlantic region. Alongside the Dutch, England was among the primary sources of protestant colonizers in the U.S. For a long time, England was at loggerheads with the Roman Catholic of Portugal, France, and Spain. In the colonies of Britain, a wide range of Protestants alongside Catholics was involved from Western Europe, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. Native Americans originating from Africa and the mainland colonies further made the religious assortments more complicated. The mingling of people…

Sources Used in Documents:


Bailyn, B. (2005). Atlantic History: Concept and Contours. Boston: Harvard University Press,

pp 59-140

Berlin, I. (1980). Time, Space, and the Evolution of Afro-American Society on British Mainland

North America. The American Historical Review, Vol. 85, No. 1 pp. 44-78

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