Creation of American Society, 1450-1763


Protestant Reformation


-Martin Luther begins the Protestant Reformation in Germany
-originally tries to fix Catholic church from inside but eventually breaks off and forms new religion

End of Incas


Franco Pizarro's Spanish forces defeat the Inca civilization

Founding of Jamestown


The English colony of Jamestown is founded by the Virginia Company of London in Virginia



-Puritans flee religious persecution in England
-These pilgrims land and settle in Plymouth, Massachusetts

New Amsterdam


-Trading post and port founded
-Capital of New Netherlands

Massachusetts Bay Colony


-Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony formed
-Led by Governor John Winthrop
-Representative Government

Rhode Island


-Roger William expelled for radical religious ideas
-Founds Rhode Island colony with no official religion

Anne Hutichson


-Anne Hutichson also kicked out of Massachusetts for holding meetings and spreading radical ideas
-Joins Roger Williams in Rhode Island

First Navigation Act


-Designed to ensure Britain gets the maximum profit from colonial production
-Squeezed out international competition
-Poorly enforced, often circumvented by smuggling

Bacon's Rebellion


-Colonists in Virginia are fed up over the corrupt rule of governor William Berkeley and need more land
-They are blocked from taking it forcefully by the governor, they do it anyway and are punished
-The people demand legislative elections and the House of Burgesses is formed
-This event leads to more representation in colonial government, and a greater reliance on slaves to avoid further uprisings among poor white indentured servants

Jacob Leisler's Rebellion


-Leisler led a band of colonists who ousted Lt. Governor Nicholson and formed a new government
-He began imprisoning political opponents and was executed by an English jury, setting off long-term Dutch-English animosity

Glorious Revolution


-Bloodless coup in England
-James II overthrown and replaced by a weaker monarch—a constitutional monarchy with more power in the House of Commons formed
-This spreads to the colonies and leads to the dissolution of the Dominion of New England and the renewal of self-rule in New York and Massachusetts
-Ushers in another era of laissez-faire English colonial rule


1710 - 1730

-intellectual and philosophical movement
-promoted science, reason, and a skeptical approach to religion and the world
-originated in Europe and spread to America

Molasses Act


-placed a high tariff on French molasses to encourage purchase of English molasses
-largely ignored/circumvented with bribes and smuggling

Stono Rebellion


-20 South Carolina slaves killed a number of whites and then marched towards Spanish Florida where they were promised freedom
-Joined by a number of slaves and eventually were met by white militia
-After heavy casualties on both sides, the rebellion was put down
-Harsher slave codes were enacted in South Carolina

Great Awakening


-Sparked in response to the secular Enlightenment
-Great preachers like George Whitfield push a religious revival in the colonies and bring many colonists back to the Protestant church
-Spread by itinerant preachers

Currency Act


-prohibits using paper money to settle debts or foundation of new land banks in colonies
-less economic independence for colonists

War of Jenkin's Ear

1739 - 1741

-Conflict between England and Spain over commercial dominance
-mostly naval battles
-England won, leading to their greater economic presence in the New World

Albany Plan of Union


-Formed by Benjamin Franklin in response to the divisive events of the French and Indian War
-Proposed a united representative colonial assembly.
-Was a harbinger for future colonial unity but failed miserably

Pontiac's Rebellion

1763 - 1766

-Indian chief Pontiac unhappy with new British leadership
-Decided to expel settlers and take back land
-Gathered a large force and laid siege on English land
-Finally mostly dispersed in 1766; Pontiac forced to sign a treaty

Proclamation of 1763


-Response to Pontiac’s Rebellion and other colonist/Indian run-ins
-The British government marked a line along the Appalachian mountains and declared that colonists could not longer settle west of that line.