HY1110 Columbia Southern University Ruled by One Tyrant Discussion Clergyman Mather Byles, not Benjamin Martin, famously said “Which is better: to be ruled

HY1110 Columbia Southern University Ruled by One Tyrant Discussion Clergyman Mather Byles, not Benjamin Martin, famously said “Which is better: to be ruled by one tyrant three thousand miles away or by three thousand tyrants one mile away?” in reference to avoiding the chance of going to war with the seemingly unbeatable British. Had you been present during these debates and part of any colony, what side would you choose, and why?Your journal entry must be at least 200 words. No references or citations are necessary. 110
Chapter 4 | Rule Britannia! The English Empire, 1660–1763
The consumer revolution also made printed materials more widely available. Before 1680, for instance, no
newspapers had been printed in colonial America. In the eighteenth century, however, a flood of journals,
books, pamphlets, and other publications became available to readers on both sides of the Atlantic. This
shared trove of printed matter linked members of the Empire by creating a community of shared tastes
and ideas.
Cato’s Letters, by Englishmen John Trenchard and Thomas Gordon, was one popular series of 144
pamphlets. These Whig circulars were published between 1720 and 1723 and emphasized the glory of
England, especially its commitment to liberty. However, the pamphlets cautioned readers to be ever
vigilant and on the lookout for attacks upon that liberty. Indeed, Cato’s Letters suggested that there were
constant efforts to undermine and destroy it.
Another very popular publication was the English gentlemen’s magazine the Spectator, published between
1711 and 1714. In each issue, “Mr. Spectator” observed and commented on the world around him. What
made the Spectator so wildly popular was its style; the essays were meant to persuade, and to cultivate
among readers a refined set of behaviors, rejecting deceit and intolerance and focusing instead on the
polishing of genteel taste and manners.
Novels, a new type of literature, made their first appearance in the eighteenth century and proved very
popular in the British Atlantic. Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela: Or, Virtue
Rewarded found large and receptive audiences. Reading also allowed female readers the opportunity to
interpret what they read without depending on a male authority to tell them what to think. Few women
beyond the colonial gentry, however, had access to novels.
4.4 Great Awakening and Enlightenment
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
• Explain the significance of the Great Awakening
• Describe the genesis, central ideas, and effects of the Enlightenment in British North
Two major cultural movements further strengthened Anglo-American colonists’ connection to Great
Britain: the Great Awakening and the Enlightenment. Both movements began in Europe, but they
advocated very different ideas: the Great Awakening promoted a fervent, emotional religiosity, while the
Enlightenment encouraged the pursuit of reason in all things. On both sides of the Atlantic, British subjects
grappled with these new ideas.
During the eighteenth century, the British Atlantic experienced an outburst of Protestant revivalism
known as the First Great Awakening. (A Second Great Awakening would take place in the 1800s.)
During the First Great Awakening, evangelists came from the ranks of several Protestant denominations:
Congregationalists, Anglicans (members of the Church of England), and Presbyterians. They rejected what
appeared to be sterile, formal modes of worship in favor of a vigorous emotional religiosity. Whereas
Martin Luther and John Calvin had preached a doctrine of predestination and close reading of scripture,
new evangelical ministers spread a message of personal and experiential faith that rose above mere book
learning. Individuals could bring about their own salvation by accepting Christ, an especially welcome
message for those who had felt excluded by traditional Protestantism: women, the young, and people at
the lower end of the social spectrum.
The Great Awakening caused a split between those who followed the evangelical message (the “New
Lights”) and those who rejected it (the “Old Lights”). The elite ministers in British America were firmly
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Old Lights, and they censured the new revivalism as chaos. Indeed, the revivals did sometimes lead to
excess. In one notorious incident in 1743, an influential New Light minister named James Davenport urged
his listeners to burn books. The next day, he told them to burn their clothes as a sign of their casting off the
sinful trappings of the world. He then took off his own pants and threw them into the fire, but a woman
saved them and tossed them back to Davenport, telling him he had gone too far.
Another outburst of Protestant revivalism began in New Jersey, led by a minister of the Dutch Reformed
Church named Theodorus Frelinghuysen. Frelinghuysen’s example inspired other ministers, including
Gilbert Tennent, a Presbyterian. Tennant helped to spark a Presbyterian revival in the Middle Colonies
(Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey), in part by founding a seminary to train other evangelical
clergyman. New Lights also founded colleges in Rhode Island and New Hampshire that would later
become Brown University and Dartmouth College.
In Northampton, Massachusetts, Jonathan Edwards led still another explosion of evangelical fervor.
Edwards’s best-known sermon, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” used powerful word imagery
to describe the terrors of hell and the possibilities of avoiding damnation by personal conversion (Figure
4.13). One passage reads: “The wrath of God burns against them [sinners], their damnation don’t slumber,
the pit is prepared, the fire is made ready, the furnace is now hot, ready to receive them, the flames do
now rage and glow. The glittering sword is whet, and held over them, and the pit hath opened her mouth
under them.” Edwards’s revival spread along the Connecticut River Valley, and news of the event spread
rapidly through the frequent reprinting of his famous sermon.
Figure 4.13 This image shows the frontispiece of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God, A Sermon Preached at
Enfield, July 8, 1741 by Jonathan Edwards. Edwards was an evangelical preacher who led a Protestant revival in
New England. This was his most famous sermon, the text of which was reprinted often and distributed widely.
The foremost evangelical of the Great Awakening was an Anglican minister named George Whitefield.
Like many evangelical ministers, Whitefield was itinerant, traveling the countryside instead of having his
own church and congregation. Between 1739 and 1740, he electrified colonial listeners with his brilliant
Chapter 4 | Rule Britannia! The English Empire, 1660–1763
Two Opposing Views of George Whitefield
Not everyone embraced George Whitefield and other New Lights. Many established Old Lights decried
the way the new evangelical religions appealed to people’s passions, rather than to traditional religious
values. The two illustrations below present two very different visions of George Whitefield (Figure 4.14).
Figure 4.14 In the 1774 portrait of George Whitefield by engraver Elisha Gallaudet (a), Whitefield
appears with a gentle expression on his face. Although his hands are raised in exultation or entreaty, he
does not look particularly roused or rousing. In the 1763 British political cartoon to the right, “Dr.
Squintum’s Exaltation or the Reformation” (b), Whitefield’s hands are raised in a similar position, but
there the similarities end.
Compare the two images above. On the left is an illustration for Whitefield’s memoirs, while on the right
is a cartoon satirizing the circus-like atmosphere that his preaching seemed to attract (Dr. Squintum was
a nickname for Whitefield, who was cross-eyed). How do these two artists portray the same man? What
emotions are the illustration for his memoirs intended to evoke? What details can you find in the cartoon
that indicate the artist’s distaste for the preacher?
The Great Awakening saw the rise of several Protestant denominations, including Methodists,
Presbyterians, and Baptists (who emphasized adult baptism of converted Christians rather than infant
baptism). These new churches gained converts and competed with older Protestant groups like Anglicans
(members of the Church of England), Congregationalists (the heirs of Puritanism in America), and
Quakers. The influence of these older Protestant groups, such as the New England Congregationalists,
declined because of the Great Awakening. Nonetheless, the Great Awakening touched the lives of
thousands on both sides of the Atlantic and provided a shared experience in the eighteenth-century British
The Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason, was an intellectual and cultural movement in the eighteenth
century that emphasized reason over superstition and science over blind faith. Using the power of
the press, Enlightenment thinkers like John Locke, Isaac Newton, and Voltaire questioned accepted
knowledge and spread new ideas about openness, investigation, and religious tolerance throughout
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Chapter 4 | Rule Britannia! The English Empire, 1660–1763
Europe and the Americas. Many consider the Enlightenment a major turning point in Western civilization,
an age of light replacing an age of darkness.
Several ideas dominated Enlightenment thought, including rationalism, empiricism, progressivism, and
cosmopolitanism. Rationalism is the idea that humans are capable of using their faculty of reason to
gain knowledge. This was a sharp turn away from the prevailing idea that people needed to rely on
scripture or church authorities for knowledge. Empiricism promotes the idea that knowledge comes from
experience and observation of the world. Progressivism is the belief that through their powers of reason
and observation, humans could make unlimited, linear progress over time; this belief was especially
important as a response to the carnage and upheaval of the English Civil Wars in the seventeenth century.
Finally, cosmopolitanism reflected Enlightenment thinkers’ view of themselves as citizens of the world
and actively engaged in it, as opposed to being provincial and close-minded. In all, Enlightenment thinkers
endeavored to be ruled by reason, not prejudice.
The Freemasons were a fraternal society that advocated Enlightenment principles of inquiry and tolerance.
Freemasonry originated in London coffeehouses in the early eighteenth century, and Masonic lodges (local
units) soon spread throughout Europe and the British colonies. One prominent Freemason, Benjamin
Franklin, stands as the embodiment of the Enlightenment in British America (Figure 4.15). Born in
Boston in 1706 to a large Puritan family, Franklin loved to read, although he found little beyond religious
publications in his father’s house. In 1718 he was apprenticed to his brother to work in a print shop, where
he learned how to be a good writer by copying the style he found in the Spectator, which his brother
printed. At the age of seventeen, the independent-minded Franklin ran away, eventually ending up in
Quaker Philadelphia. There he began publishing the Pennsylvania Gazette in the late 1720s, and in 1732 he
started his annual publication Poor Richard: An Almanack, in which he gave readers much practical advice,
such as “Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.”
Figure 4.15 In this 1748 portrait by Robert Feke, a forty-year-old Franklin wears a stylish British wig, as befitted a
proud and loyal member of the British Empire.
Franklin subscribed to deism, an Enlightenment-era belief in a God who created, but has no continuing
involvement in, the world and the events within it. Deists also advanced the belief that personal
morality—an individual’s moral compass, leading to good works and actions—is more important than
strict church doctrines. Franklin’s deism guided his many philanthropic projects. In 1731, he established
a reading library that became the Library Company of Philadelphia. In 1743, he founded the American
Philosophical Society to encourage the spirit of inquiry. In 1749, he provided the foundation for the
University of Pennsylvania, and in 1751, he helped found Pennsylvania Hospital.
His career as a printer made Franklin wealthy and well-respected. When he retired in 1748, he devoted
Chapter 4 | Rule Britannia! The English Empire, 1660–1763
himself to politics and scientific experiments. His most famous work, on electricity, exemplified
Enlightenment principles. Franklin observed that lightning strikes tended to hit metal objects and reasoned
that he could therefore direct lightning through the placement of metal objects during an electrical storm.
He used this knowledge to advocate the use of lightning rods: metal poles connected to wires directing
lightning’s electrical charge into the ground and saving wooden homes in cities like Philadelphia from
catastrophic fires. He published his findings in 1751, in Experiments and Observations on Electricity.
Franklin also wrote of his “rags to riches” tale, his Memoir, in the 1770s and 1780s. This story laid the
foundation for the American Dream of upward social mobility.
Click and Explore
Visit the Worldly Ways section (http://openstaxcollege.org/l/bfranklin1) of PBS’s
Benjamin Franklin site to see an interactive map showing Franklin’s overseas travels
and his influence around the world. His diplomatic, political, scientific, and business
achievements had great effects in many countries.
The reach of Enlightenment thought was both broad and deep. In the 1730s, it even prompted the founding
of a new colony. Having witnessed the terrible conditions of debtors’ prison, as well as the results of
releasing penniless debtors onto the streets of London, James Oglethorpe, a member of Parliament and
advocate of social reform, petitioned King George II for a charter to start a new colony. George II,
understanding the strategic advantage of a British colony standing as a buffer between South Carolina
and Spanish Florida, granted the charter to Oglethorpe and twenty like-minded proprietors in 1732.
Oglethorpe led the settlement of the colony, which was called Georgia in honor of the king. In 1733, he
and 113 immigrants arrived on the ship Anne. Over the next decade, Parliament funded the migration of
twenty-five hundred settlers, making Georgia the only government-funded colonial project.
Oglethorpe’s vision for Georgia followed the ideals of the Age of Reason, seeing it as a place for England’s
“worthy poor” to start anew. To encourage industry, he gave each male immigrant fifty acres of land,
tools, and a year’s worth of supplies. In Savannah, the Oglethorpe Plan provided for a utopia: “an agrarian
model of sustenance while sustaining egalitarian values holding all men as equal.”
Oglethorpe’s vision called for alcohol and slavery to be banned. However, colonists who relocated from
other colonies, especially South Carolina, disregarded these prohibitions. Despite its proprietors’ early
vision of a colony guided by Enlightenment ideals and free of slavery, by the 1750s, Georgia was
producing quantities of rice grown and harvested by slaves.
4.5 Wars for Empire
By the end of this section, you will be able to:
• Describe the wars for empire
• Analyze the significance of these conflicts
Wars for empire composed a final link connecting the Atlantic sides of the British Empire. Great Britain
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fought four separate wars against Catholic France from the late 1600s to the mid-1700s. Another war,
the War of Jenkins’ Ear, pitted Britain against Spain. These conflicts for control of North America also
helped colonists forge important alliances with native peoples, as different tribes aligned themselves with
different European powers.
Generations of British colonists grew up during a time when much of North America, especially the
Northeast, engaged in war. Colonists knew war firsthand. In the eighteenth century, fighting was seasonal.
Armies mobilized in the spring, fought in the summer, and retired to winter quarters in the fall. The British
army imposed harsh discipline on its soldiers, who were drawn from the poorer classes, to ensure they
did not step out of line during engagements. If they did, their officers would kill them. On the battlefield,
armies dressed in bright uniforms to advertise their bravery and lack of fear. They stood in tight formation
and exchanged volleys with the enemy. They often feared their officers more than the enemy.
Click and Explore
Read the diary of a provincial soldier who fought in the French and Indian War on the
Captain David Perry Web Site (http://openstaxcollege.org/l/DPerry) hosted by
Rootsweb. David Perry’s journal, which includes a description of the 1758 campaign,
provides a glimpse of warfare in the eighteenth century.
Most imperial conflicts had both American and European fronts, leaving us with two names for each war.
For instance, King William’s War (1688–1697) is also known as the War of the League of Augsburg. In
America, the bulk of the fighting in this conflict took place between New England and New France. The
war proved inconclusive, with no clear victor (Figure 4.16).
Chapter 4 | Rule Britannia! The English Empire, 1660–1763
Figure 4.16 This map shows the French and British armies’ movements during King William’s War, in which there
was no clear victor.
Queen Anne’s War (1702–1713) is also known as the War of Spanish Succession. England fought against
both Spain and France over who would ascend the Spanish throne after the last of the Hapsburg rulers
died. In North America, fighting took place in Florida, New England, and New France. In Canada, the
French prevailed but lost Acadia and Newfoundland; however, the victory was again not decisive because
the English failed to take Quebec, which would have given them control of Canada.
This conflict is best remembered in the United States for the French and Indian raid against Deerfield,
Massachusetts, in 1704. A small French force, combined with a native group made up of Catholic Mohawks
and Abenaki (Pocumtucs), attacked the frontier outpost of Deerfield, killing scores and taking 112
prisoners. Among the captives was the seven-year-old daughter of Deerfield’s minister John Williams,
named Eunice. She was held by the Mohawks for years as her family tried to get her back, and became
assimilated into the tribe. To the horror of the Puritan leaders, when she grew up Eunice married a
Mohawk and refused to return to New England.
In North America, possession of Georgia and trade with the interior was the focus of the War of Jenkins’
Ear (1739–1742), a conflict between Britain and Spain over contested claims to the land occupied by the
fledgling colony between South Carolina and Florida. The war got its name from an incident in 1731 in
which a Spanish Coast Guard captain severed the ear of British captain Robert Jenkins as punishment for
raiding Spanish ships in Panama. Jenkins fueled the growing animosity between England and Spain by
presenting his ear to Parliament and stirring up British public outrage. More than anything else, the War
of Jenkins’ Ear disrupted the Atlantic trade, a situation that hurt both Spain and Britain and was a major
reason the war came to a close in 1742. Georgia, founded six years earlier, remained British and a buffer
against Spanish Florida.
King George’s War (1744–1748), known in Europe as the War of Austrian Succession (1740–1748), was
fought in the northern colonies and New France. In 1745, the British took the massive French fortress at
Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia (Figure 4.17). However, three years later, under the terms
of the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, Britain relinquished control of the fortress to the French. Once again, war
resulted in an incomplete victory for bo…
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