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Course Final Study Guide

Fall History

TermApprox. DateSignificance
Proximate and ultimate factorsAll of humanityThe usual view that stresses only good institutions confuses proximate causes (dependent variables) with ultimate causes (independent variables). Example provided by Diamond: a man who cheats on his wife might break up because his wife slapped him in the face (proximate cause) but the ultimate cause is him cheating. This emphasizes the importance of being clear with the complex natures of history.
Catawba Deerskin Map1721The Catawba Deerskin map highlighted the social relations between the various tribes and the English colonial establishments around North Carolina. Demonstrates the Middle Ground principle.
‘property in his own person’1689Everyone is born owning their own body and ideas. This ownership can never be changed in any way. A major claim Locke makes in his Two Treatises to support his argument for the labor theory of value on non-monarchial government.
“humble, patient, and peaceable”1542Used by Bartolome de Las Casas to describe the natives form the island Hispaniola. In an untouched and naïve state. Using these descriptions in his work, De Las Casas describes the Native Americans in a positive light, and criticizes the Spanish process of conquest. Both of these were very unheard of at the time, and contributed to the Spanish Black Legend.
Spanish and English empires16th to 19th centurySpanish and English empires in the Americas had very different histories. Spain was religiously unified and had just undergone La Reconquista, whereas England had a long history of religious conflict. Colonizers arrived on the continent with very different goals. These different histories led to different outcomes in their colonization of the Americas.
Middle GroundAround 1720-ishThe cultural and material “space” and interactions between settlements and settlers that was inhabited by Native Americans. Native Americans had a larger impact on the American colonists than we originally thought (were viewed in a more positive light).
Empire, State, and Nation14th to 17th century ishEuropean states of policy. Empire is relation of obligatory political hierarchy between states or peoples. State is the relation of obligatory political hierarchy between states or peoples and share a monopoly on power. Nation is people united by common descent, history, culture, or language, inhabiting a particular country or territory, or a collection of such people under one state. Implemented to show force and a strong government, through the use of violence. Implies that violence in the name of the government was not an anomaly in colonial America and in other countries.
Reconquista711 to 1492The Spanish reconquering of land from the Moors (Muslims). This event only greater unified the Spain under Catholicism, which exacerbated
John Singleton Copley, Head of a Man1777 (1737-1815)The Head of a Man is a portrait of a black person—presumably a slave— done by John Singleton Copley, renowned for his detailed human portraits at the time. While his other works of the white elite were very detailed and colorful, the Head of a man was very plain and lacked much detail. The portrait points out the development of a racialized chattel slavery in the Americas.
Anthony Johnson1600-1670Demonstrates that the institution of slavery changed significantly in the 17th and 18th centuries from being class-based to race-based. Anthony Johnson was in a group of 20 African peoples who were sold into slavery in Jamestown. He was able to obtain freedom and purchased property; he marries, has children, and has his property recognized. Some of his structures are burnt in a fire, so he petitioned the British government for tax relief. His claim was taken to an all-white court that recognized Johnson’s hardship and granted him reprieve. This is not what one would expect the black experience in colonial America to look like, and demonstrates that race was not an important factory of slavery and labor in the early days of the colonies.
Edmund Morgan’s Thesis17th century (Written in 1976)Slavery was invented to frame slavery not among class but by race; as a social tool it was developed to develop white solidarity against an increasing black enslaved population. The development of chattel slavery through explicitly racial legislation separated white indentured servants from black slaves, who were previously united by class oppression. Slaves were safer, in the gentry’s view, if they lacked ties with white indentured servants, free or unfree.
Bacon’s Rebellion1676Those that utilized the labor of indentured servants often did not expect them to live past their contract and thus did not give compensation. Angry white free and unfree indentured servants marched with black slaves in Bacon’s Rebellion in an effort to open up access and seize land in indigenous territories, which previously had been protected by the government, which was fearful of a repeat of the Jamestown Massacre. Nathaniel Bacon and others overthrew the government, sacked the governor, and burned the capital. A British unit put out the riot later. The mixed-race nature of Bacon’s Rebellion indicated the strong solidarity of class in the early formation of the colonies, instead of solidarity by race.
“Your undutiful and Disobedient child”1756The signature Elizabeth Sprigs includes in a desperate letter to her father. It highlights the desperation that servants feel due to how they were treated. Should not exclude whites from the picture of labor.
“horrors of a slave ship”1600s to 1700sIn Chapter 2 of The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, Equiano describes miserable conditions he endured on a slave ship. He describes fears among the African slaves of being eaten that demonstrate the complete cultural shift, and the cruelty of white ship masters, not only to the slaves, but within themselves. He remarks that he has never seen such cruelty before.
John Singleton Copley, The Death of Major Peirson1778A painting by John Singleton Copley that depicted the death of Major Pierson, a British Army officer, during the Battle of Jersey. Showed that there were conflicts between Britain and France as well as between Britain and the American colonists. Conflicts between empires helped the success of the American revolution. Highlights the complexity of the American Revolution and its many factors.
1763 Proclamation Line1763A line between French and England territories established unilaterally by the English after the French and Indian War, or the Seven Years War, to prevent conflicts between colonists with Native Americans. Cause controversy between American colonists and Britain because colonists wanted to expand westward but were not allowed to. Supported that the British were desperate for money and wanted to avoid conflict.
“the real power lies in the majority”1788 Constitution-creation eraIn a letter from James Madison to Thomas Jefferson, Madison expresses the danger of democracies. In a monarchy, the political power is in the hands of the monarch but the physical power is in the hands of the people; thus, the monarch needs to at least have some accountability to the people. In a democracy, the political and physical power is all in the hands of the majority, which has no reason to respect or be accountable to the minority. Hence, Madison feared ‘mob rule’ – a majority wielding government against the minority.
Jacob Hite1774Jacob Hite was the son of a successful land speculator. In a 1760s scheme to gain land from the Cherokee Indians, he had his half-Cherokee partner’s son sell Cherokee land to Jacob Hite. British officials forced the South Carolina court to void the deal. This left Hite in debt as the price of tobacco sunk to the lowest levels ever. The Sheriff seized Hite’s slaves and horses. Thomas Hite (son) and a gang surrounded the jail and re-seized the slaves and horses. Hite further convinced slaves to fight against the Sheriff, for if they were to be recaptured, they would live worse lives (even though the slaves were later resold). This demonstrates the desperation in which the Virginian elite were in, what drastic measures they were willing to take, and how they were willing to prop up the interests of auxiliary groups to their benefit.
Stono Rebellion1739The Stono Rebellion was the first explicit pure slave rebellion in the colonies (e.g. earlier rebellions like Bacon’s rebellion involved white indentured servants). A slave ship brought several dozen newly kidnapped African slaves (did not make a stop in the Caribbean), 60 revolt and kill 23 white people, burning an entire plantation down. They create a banner and write “liberty” (Lockean principles) on it, but are later overtaken by the Carolinian militia – all are killed or later executed. This incident led to the banned importation of slaves directly from Africa for 10 years, and reinforced the notion that directly imported slaves were more dangerous than new slaves birthed by existing slaves.
Pontiac’s Rebellion1763Pontiac’s Rebellion was an alliance between almost all indigenous peoples of the western side of the Appalachians uniting against further European settlement into the interior. The initial rising was very successful; the indigenous peoples seized 8 forts from English control. This was a demonstration of natives, among many other groups, fighting for their own sets of interests.
Shay’s Rebellion1786-1787Shay’s Rebellion was a major moment in post-revolutionary period. Daniel Shay, a veteran in the Continental Army, returned to his New England farms only to find that his debts were even worse; courts pursued indebtedness even further than they did before. Daniel Shay, along with 4000 other rural farmers in New England, revolted. This conflict brought to attention the weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation and reinforced notions of ‘rationality’ in the “Public” and “reins of government”.
“Grounded on his having reason”1689 (publication of Two Treatises (1680,1690, late 17 Century acceptable)Declared in Locke, freedom and liberty and self-government of a man is based on his ability to reason. Locke excludes anyone who can’t reason and women, even though these standards are never clearly stated. Maybe connects to beliefs of colonists with their freedom struggles.
Dunmore’s Proclamation1775The Colonial governor of Virginia, Lord Dunmore, instantly declared conflict as a slaveholder’s revolt with interests against the British, and hence guarantees emancipation for any slave that allied with the British. Consequently, many slaves joined the British. In response, George Washington doubled this proclamation. This highlights how important a role slaves played in the Revolutionary War.
“Life, Liberty, and Property”1689 (publication of Two Treatises)John Locke declared in Two Treatises of Government that every man had a right to his “life, liberty, and property”. This was used to justify his theory that private property is moral and should exist by natural law. Notably, this was changed in the Constitution, which stated “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” as slavery and property was too glaring for inclusion. It demonstrates Locke’s principles of modern liberalism appearing in the American founding documents, but also contradictions and a conflict surrounding slavery.