Different Patterns of
Examples of Dutch, French and English Colonies in North America.
Economics and Type of Colonization
â€¢ The way in which European states colonized North America and the
way they interacted with the native population they came in contact
with seems to have been determined by the economic systems of
wealth creation adopted in each colony.
â€¢ We are going to examine three examples in this lecture to try and
illustrate what is meant by the argument above.
Dutch in New Netherland
â€¢ In 1609 Dutch East India Company sent an expedition to North America to attempt to
find a fabled passageway to the Pacific.
â€¢ This expedition was commanded by an English captain, John Hudson and the river he
sailed came to be known as the Hudson River.
â€¢ the first Dutch settlement in the Americas was founded in 1615. This was Fort Nassau, on
Castle Island along the Hudson, near present-day Albany.
â€¢ In 1621 the Dutch West India was formed and granted a monopoly over trade in the
Americas. Additional fort built on the Delaware River
â€¢ 1624 a group of about 30 Dutch families arrived in the new world. Around 1626 they
settled on an Island at the mouth of the Hudson river (todayâ€™s Manhattan island.) The
Dutch Built Fort New Amsterdam, which eventually becomes the capital city of New
Amsterdam. The settlement would eventually spread to what we know as Brooklyn,
Bronx, and Long Island.
â€¢ Salves were also brought to the colony around 1625
â€¢ By 1633 the Dutch had established forts as far as what as modern day city of Hartford,
on the Connecticut River
Dutch North American Colonies Circa 1656
â€œ1685 reprint of a 1656 map of the Dutch North American colonies showing extent of
Dutch claims, from Chesapeake Bay and the Susquehanna River in the South and
West, to Narragansett Bay and the Providence-Blackstone Rivers in the East, to the St.
Lawrence River in the Northâ€
Dutch and the Natives
â€¢ No great gold and silver mines to exploit.
â€¢ No great cities to conquer.
â€¢ As a small settlement the Dutch primarily relied on fur trade with the
â€¢ As a small settlement of families there was no great expansion or
intermingling with natives.
â€¢ However, peaceful relations had to be maintained as there was economic
reliance on the natives who brought the fur to trade with the Dutch.
â€¢ 1664 England takes over the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam and
renames in New York.
French in the New World
â€¢ Jacques Cartier in the first half of the 16th century began exploration
of the St Lawrence River.
â€¢ He and later Samuel de Champlain stumbled upon the Great Lakes.
â€¢ In 1608 the French founded colony of New France which was
centered around Quebec.
â€¢ Initially most French migrants were young single men traders and
adventurers or missionaries, rather than families.
â€¢ Even as late as 1666 the census of New France showed 2034 men and
* “Statistics for the 1666 Census.” Library and Archives Canada. 2006.
Map of New France
â€œA map of New France made by Samuel de Champlain in 1612â€
Image in the public domain
Champlain’s Habitation c.â€‰1608
Samuel de Champlain – NumÃ©risation d’une page du livre : The works of Samuel de
Champlain in six volumes, Toronto, The Champlain Society, 1925, reprinted 1971 by
University of Toronto press, volume II, p. 39. / PremiÃ¨re
version :  http://storage.journaldemontreal.com/v1/dynamic_resize/sws_path/jdxprod-images/91577772-d0f9-4d54-981bb08aa6a13e58_ORIGINAL.jpg?quality=80&size=1200x&version=0
In public Domain
French and Natives
â€¢ Unlike Dutch the French would fan out and thoroughly explore the interior.
â€¢ These early arrivals were also interested in trade rather than large scale
farming and so were reliant on natives as trading partners (fur again.)
â€¢ The presence of these single young men lead to significant intermingling
with native populations and the emergence of an entire class of mixed race
or metis (French Indian) children who would further expand French
presence and regulate French-Indian relationships to some extent.
â€¢ Their relative small numbers also made French look to natives as allies
against the much more numerous English colonists. Hence, relatively
harmonious relations developed.
Fur Trade in Canada
William Faden – Library and Archives Canada – originally from: Cartouche from William
Faden, “A map of the Inhabited Part of Canada from the French Surveys; with the
Frontiers of New York and New England”, 1777
â€¢ To firmly establish the colony and assure its success between 1663-1673
the French King ,Louis XIV, would sponsor groups of single young women to
travel to the New France Colony as prospective brides to the existing male
settlers. Their passages were paid for by the crown, and they were also
assigned small dowries.
â€¢ These single young women were referred to as â€œles filles du roisâ€ or the
kings daughters. About 800 of them travelled to New France in that time
period. They mostly came from poorer common families with no great
prospects back in France. So this was a chance to improve their lot.
â€¢ The new young couples were encouraged to have large families. From
3,200 in 1663, The population of New France reached 6,700, in 1672.
â€¢ The French also continued to encourage intermarriage with the native
populations in a bid to increase their numbers and further secure the
colony. Compared to the English colonies however their populations
Les Filles Du Rois (1667)
Image in the public Domain
Charles William Jefferys – http://www.classomption.qc.ca/labergef/synth03/404-
â€¢ Initial English colonies in Massachusetts and Virginia appeared ideal for farming.
â€¢ Virginia Company Establishes Jamestown 1607. This evolves into Virginia Colony by 1624.
â€¢ Plymouth Colony was established by Puritan Settlers in 1620. It was the first permanent
settlement in New England. Initial number of settlers were around 100.
â€¢ Different crops were suitable for different areas depending on soil and climate but the
English colonies were mostly farming colonies.
â€¢ relatively large numbers of settlers that began arriving from the British Isles. They came
for economic reason, for religious reasons, for legal reasonsâ€¦ In the end England was
relatively small and population growing.
â€¢ The new settlers came in large part as family units and established agrarian societies.
â€¢ By 1680, the New England colony alone, had a population of around 60,000. Some
estimates put the total English population of the N. America colonies at 150,000 around
Note that these English colonies were mostly private enterprises not funded directly
by the crown, but by various companies and enterprises. For example the Puritan
colonists who established the Plymouth colony, were English colonists who had
escaped from England to the Netherlands around 1601 due to religious persecution.
They then decided to migrate to the New World to seek land and to preserve their
identity. They purchased the land from the London Company (also known as Virginia
Colony) which held the charter. To do so, they borrowed money from a private
lending group. The English crown was not directly involved in funding any of this. Why
is this important, because settlers did not have to wait on state financing and state
finances to allow them to migrate, rather they raised money from various private
sources and made their own way to the New World.
Colonies of N. America
English and Natives
â€¢ The arrival of large numbers of families engaged in farming had
â€¢ Farming families tended to be large. There was also little intermingling with
native populations. Intermingling was actively discouraged and censured.
â€¢ necessitated even more expansion and control over more land. This meant
clearing it and fencing it, game animals shot not just for food but as pests
who ate crops.
â€¢ The British were introducing a whole new way of life, that not only
precluded the Indians, but adversely effected them by transforming their
traditional hunting grounds and destroying a major food source (wild
â€¢ There was little chance of cordial coexistence. No interdependency and no
â€¢ In New England constant demands for new lands from the settlers
resulted in a series of ferocious wars with native populations in the
1630â€™s and 1670â€™s.
â€¢ Invariably the natives lost ground to the settlers.
â€¢ The same dynamics that aided the Spanish were also at play in North
America as disease and technology helped carry the day for the
â€¢ The dynamic was no different in Virginia after the founding of
Jamestown in 1607.
â€¢ The crop of choice in Virginia however was Tobacco.
â€¢ A boom in Tobacco prices in 1620 as it became popular was a blessing
to the colonists and an absolute curse for the Indians.
â€¢ Land cleared, animals shot, land planted with the poisonous,
nutritionally useless weed.
â€¢ Situation made even worse in Virginia as the Tobacco boom led to
land speculation and the influx of capital investment. A craze.
Relations with Native Populations Appears to be
Consistently Determined by Economic Models
â€¢ Treatment of native population was not determined by â€œgood
colonistsâ€ or â€œbad colonistsâ€ characterizations.
â€¢ The same brutality exhibited by the British in dealing with the natives
was on display when the French colonize Louisiana.
â€¢ As in British Virginia, French Louisiana became home to plantations
engaged in producing tobacco starting around 1719. The French
planters arrived oftentimes with families.
â€¢ Hence land for planting this weed becomes valuable, and as a
consequence the native populations are excluded, driven out or
â€¢ The European/white population of the British colonies in N America
had swelled to as many as 250 thousand by 1700.
â€¢ An additional 33 thousand in the Caribbean.
â€¢ Beside white population you had 150 thousand African slaves.
â€¢ At this point in time the vast majority of those (about 120 thousand
or Â¾) were tied to Sugar plantations in the Caribbean.
â€¢ Another economic system for wealth creation which for some time
was of greater value and of greater importance than all these others,
was the slave planation system of the Caribbean.
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