The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America--The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675
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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize
Bernard Bailyn gives us a compelling, fresh account of the first great transit of people from Britain, Europe, and Africa to British North America, their involvements with each other, and their struggles with the indigenous peoples of the eastern seaboard.
The immigrants were a mixed multitude. They came from England, the Netherlands, the German and Italian states, France, Africa, Sweden, and Finland, and they moved to the western hemisphere for different reasons, from different social backgrounds and cultures. They represented a spectrum of religious attachments. In the early years, their stories are not mainly of triumph but of confusion, failure, violence, and the loss of civility as they sought to normalize situations and recapture lost worlds. It was a thoroughly brutal encounter—not only between the Europeans and native peoples and between Europeans and Africans, but among Europeans themselves, as they sought to control and prosper in the new configurations of life that were emerging around them.
settlements’ history and would last for two generations before a consistent and integrated regional culture evolved. That end product of the Great Migration would prove to be far different, in its peculiar provincialism, from anything the founders had imagined. CHAPTER 13 Abrasions, Utopians, and Holy War 1 SOCIAL DISAGREEMENTS, personality conflicts, and theological controversies within this carefully managed exodus to the New World emerged quickly as the thousands of settlers,
Hutchinson, whose arguments were more elusive and whose dialectical skills were more intimidating. He temporized. He could not definitely confirm, he said, that he knew for a fact that she had explicitly said that the clergy were under a covenant of works. In fact, it was not clear what precisely she had said to him, nor, in what he had heard of her wrangles with others, what exactly she had said to anyone else, and when. Given such an opening Hutchinson felt her confidence rising, and turning
the labor force. The widespread adoption of slavery in the post-Restoration years, as the key force in tobacco production, completed the transformation of the Chesapeake world. It had been widely understood, well before 1650, that in the long run slaves were more profitable laborers than servants. Planters in Maryland and Virginia knew as well as Emmanuel Downing in Massachusetts that it was cheaper to maintain twenty “Moores” than one English servant. But only in the long run. Slaves were
her Protestant husband—managed to sponsor the transportation of five servants to her co-religionists’ colony.35 Drawn from such scattered sources, the settlers shared no distinctive geographical subculture, and they were all equally alien to the environment they faced. St. Mary’s few hundred settlers can be traced back to villages in Gloucestershire, Kent, Essex, and Yorkshire, mingling with others from Newcastle, London, and Portugal. St. Michael’s inhabitants, even fewer in number, came from
of Parliament to disembark when ordered to do so, declaring that King Charles was no king, and threatening to cut off the head of anyone who tried to board his ship. Charged with treason by the acting governor, Giles Brent, he arranged for a postponement of his trial and returned to England, only to reappear with a letter of marque permitting him to seize vessels hostile to Parliament. By then he had cast himself as the savior of Maryland’s Protestants in their struggle “against the said