Questions tagged [colonial-america]

Colonial America refers to the period of American history (roughly late 15th century to the mid-19th century) when European states exercised political control over indigenous Americans and European settlers in the Americas. Colonial powers in the Americas included the Spanish, British, French, Portuguese, Dutch, Swedes, and Russians. The term is sometimes taken to refer to pre-Revolution British colonies that would eventually become the United States.

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How did the Boston Tea Party protest affect the British?

"The Boston Tea Party was a political protest that occurred on December 16, 1773, at Griffin's Wharf in Boston, Massachusetts. American colonists, frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “...
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Why were some slaves named with African names after they were bought by slave owners in North America (18th century)? [closed]

Why would some plantation owners name their slaves with African names? Was there a specific reason for this or were some just more "benevolent" towards the Africans they just bought? I might ...
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What was an “alower of Society debts” in colonial America?

"Alower of Society debts" - one of my ancestors held this role in Colonial America. I can find a reference to the role of "tithingman" - but not this... seems self-explanatory, ...
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Was drowning a form of mercy killing in Colonial America?

In doing family history research I came across this death notice, "John French, his wife drown’d herself 13 May 1701." Curious wording. Last summer I visited the French-Andrews house, ...
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What systems of opression did colonial South America utilized to acculturate indigenous peoples, compared to the ones used in North America? [closed]

After reading and writing about boarding schools (and prisons) of acculturation here in North America, where Indigenous peoples were forced into Western ways, I am left wondering: Did these systems ...
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Were there actually slaves in Georgia while slavery was banned there?

Wikipedia reports that "The Georgia Experiment [from 1735 to 1751] was the colonial-era policy prohibiting the ownership of slaves in the Georgia Colony," and that this was done in order to &...
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What group is identified by the term “Egyptians” in the Flushing Remonstrance?

I am reading about the Flushing Remonstrance and its significance in the history of freedom of religion in the United States. An article by the Social Science Research Council indicates it was ...
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How was religious diversity represented in the Thirteen Colonies?

I understand that many settlers of the original thirteen English colonies in America were Protestants (or Puritans, specifically) who left Europe in search for better religious freedom. However, since ...
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What sort of boat transported transport the French colonial Governors of New Orleans?

I am writing a description of the changeover of the French colonial Governors of New Orleans in 1753, from Vaudreuil to Kerlérec. There is mention of a Governor's boat used to take important guests to ...
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Is there basis in saying Venezuela was Aragonese?

So... This sounds like a silly question even to me, but this is the background. In the recent TV show, Bolivar, there is an Inspector of Weights and Measures for Caracas who comes in to weigh a ...
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Any truth to this story of Native American journeying to England?

In "A New Voyage to Carolina", John Lawson, British Surveyor-General of North Carolina, asserts that some natives once attempted to journey themselves all the way to England as an attempt to cut out ...
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Did other British colonies at the time have seats in parliament [duplicate]

I know the American colonies didn’t have a seat, but what about the other British colonies. Did some have it. Like Australia, and the places in Africa.
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How long to travel from Ireland or England in 1680 to Plymouth in the Massachusetts Bay Colony?

I'm writing a historical fiction romance novel and I'm trying to gain a perspective of the travel times. The story is set in 1692, but the hero and his family arrived around 1680 from Ireland.
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How did American colonial rights and conditions compare to those within the British Isles?

A major point of contention between American colonists and British administrators was that the American colonists, being the descendants of Englishmen, allegedly should have been entitled to ...
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When did Europeans realize Native Americans had weaker immunity to Old World diseases?

The question is fairly simple: when did Europeans come to a general knowledge that the Native Americans had weak immunity specifically to Old World diseases? I'm looking for the first person to ...
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Why did a young George Washington sign a document admitting to assassinating a French military officer?

On May 28, 1754, a young Lt. Colonel named George Washington ambushed a French force at Jumonville Glen with assistance from a Iroquois leader named Tanacharison. One of the casualties was the French ...
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What were the rules of the migration to the Louisiana Territory in USA?

To my best knowledge, at the point of Louisiana Purchase, the area was inhabited mostly by Native Americans. At the time there existed some legislation regarding how the settlement should look like. ...
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Gregorian dating in the Julian time period?

William Penn wrote about his friend and my 9th great grandfather, Cuthbert Hayhurst, dying in 1682. I have seen the letter in Penn's writing. How is it that he dated the death in 1682 when the ...
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What could explain the myth (or truth) of drunken defenders during the battle of the plains of Abraham?

I have come across popular references towards the sodden or sozzled state of the French and Canadien defenders of Quebec City during the Battle of the Plains of Abraham. Mostly, these references are ...
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William Penn and the Frame of Government of Pennsylvania

William Penn wrote three different frames of government documents. All three are different, so therefore which one do we go by? How do we read them? And which one is the final document that PA uses?
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To what extent has the United States become (in 1870) the nation that it originally set out to be? [closed]

I was thinking about this for a while. I know that the US never intended to abolish slavery at that time, but it still happened. Is that even relevant? Some of the things I thought that they ...
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Did the Governor of Virginia in 1786 have the authority to veto laws passed by the Virginia General Assembly?

I believe that the Act for Establishing Religious Freedom was passed by the Virginia General Assembly on January 16, 1786. Did the Governor of Virginia at the time have the right to veto it?
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What happened to the British convicts transported to America after the American Revolution?

From the early 1600s until the American Revolution of 1776, the British colonies in North America received transported British criminals for, what I have read, a term of 6 to 14 years. I have read (...
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When were differing hemispheric seasons first understood?

When did people - scientists or philosophers - first realise/discover/understand that the seasons in the southern hemisphere were the opposite to those in the northern hemisphere? Additionally, when ...
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What is the number of slaves imported from Africa to the Americas by non-British countries?

From 1526 to approximately 1870, slave ships from various countries loaded slaves from Africa and took them to somewhere in the Americas. (Note, in this question, I use "America" and "Americas" to ...
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Looking for colonial era evidence of Jesuit missions from San Martin Peru up to the Pastaza river

if there are any Peruvian colonial era history experts out there, I'm looking for a citable source of some kind for the following scenario. In my research I've noticed an interesting discrepancy in ...
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How far did climate affect civilisation development in the Americas?

The shapes and orientations of Eurasia and Africa result in the former having larger regions of similar climate. This video discusses the hypothesis that: regions of similar climate can more readily ...
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Is the scarlet letter 'A' a real historical thing?

I've heard someone say something like: It's not a scarlet letter, it's not a mark on your forehead you keep for life. Obviously this was said in terms of permanency of a badge of shame, or ...
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Ports with ships in the commercial Halifax trade, late 18th Century

Halifax, Nova Scotia, was founded by the British in 1749; I am interested in the commercial trade during the French Revolutionary Wars, 1792 thru 1798, which is the period of the First Coalition. The ...
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Was there any distinction between the 13 Colonies and the Canadian provinces prior to the American Revolution?

Was there any distinction between the 13 Colonies that became the United States and the Canadian colonies/provinces prior to the American Revolution? For example, did New Brunswick and New Hampshire ...
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Did indentured servants in British North America have job security?

Most people know about the practice of Indentured Servitude in the British North American colonies - that workers would receive "free" passage to the Colonies in exchange for working for the ...
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Did any Moors accompany Hernando de Soto in his exploration of Mississippi?

I was reading about Hernando de Soto and saw William Powell's painting (Relevant bit cropped and added below): The odd thing (Marked with a red arrow) is the man who looks Moorish and is dressed in ...
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Do we know who graduated from the University of Mexico in the 1700s?

The Royal and Pontifical University of Mexico was the country's first and foremost university in the colonial period. According to George I. Sánchez, by 1776 it had awarded 29,882 bachelor's and 1,162 ...
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Who was the Halach Uinik of Can Pech?

Who was the ruler (Halach Uinik) of the pre-conquest Mayan state (Kuchkabal) of Can Pech around the beginning of the 16th century? If not the individual, the dynasty?
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What's the rationale for shipping coins back to Spain from its colonies?

Since the days of Pirates! the thought of capturing the Spanish treasure fleet on its way back somewhere in the Spanish Main was a primary target because of all the gold and silver it transported to ...
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Who issued the passports for travel to Russian America?

Employees of the Russian-American Company were supposed to have seven-year passports to travel from Russia to the Company's colonies. Officials endeavored to stay in compliance, though it's clear that ...
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Late 17th century colonial Anglican pastor

I am preparing to play an Anglican pastor/priest at a live-action role-playing game. The (pretend) location: an English colonial outpost in the Caribbean. The (pretend) time period: circa 1695. And ...
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Immigrants to Mexican New Mexico

In its Mexican era California attracted immigrants, principally Anglo-Americans, who often worked as merchants and capitalists. English speakers like William Hartnell and Thomas Larkin dominated ...
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Why did Iturbide choose Fernández for the mission to California?

After Mexican independence, Emperor Agustín I took power. During his short reign he understandably sent a representative to the Californias to procure and check on their loyalty. The representative, a ...
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Did other American empires also fall to the Europeans?

Since forever, people have subjugated each other to demand labor or resources. A monarchic or centralized power that subjugates several other peoples is an empire. Half a dozen European empires ...
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Origin of straight municipal boundary line in NJ

If you look at a map of the municipal borders of New Jersey, you see a clear line mid-state running northwest to southeast. It's about halfway between NYC and Philadelphia. What is the historical ...
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Location of Hagemeister's six-language diaries

Leontii A. Hagemeister (or Gagemeister) was a Baltic German navigator of the Russian navy and briefly governor of the Russian-American company. The best work on him in English is by Richard Pierce, ...
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Did the Vatican punish France for rejecting Tordesillas?

The Treaty of Tordesillas (1494) divided up all new discoveries between Portugal and Castile, so establishing the position of Brazil. Pope Alexander VI's deal excluded the other Catholic states. ...
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Why did the colonies fight Cresap's War?

I am reading about Cresap's War. I do not fully understand why colonies within the British Empire had wars with one another. Did the British Colonies in America have independent rules, like the ...
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Would colonial Maryland have been tolerant to all religions?

I have heard that Maryland was the birthplace of religious freedom in the US because it was founded by a charter about which Wikipedia says "On 20 June 1632, (King) Charles granted the original ...
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Did Britain look into taking California?

The Spanish colonized California in part to forestall the expansion of other empires. The territory was in danger of invasion throughout the Spanish and Mexican eras (1769-1846). Visitors and ...
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What was the commandant of Okhotsk's involvement in Russian-American Company hiring?

The Russian-American Company was a privately funded concern which obtained a royal monopoly on exploration and settlement in America. It sponsored and managed the Russian presence from the Aleutians ...
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Did the United States colonize California?

Upper California was a province of Mexico from the 1820s to the 1840s (sometimes unified with Lower California). Near the end of this period it was overrun with Anglo-American men that lived apart ...
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Was Governor Solá expelled from Mexico?

Pablo Vicente de Solá was a Spanish military officer who served resisting the Hidalgo Revolt and then as the last Spanish governor of Alta California. [Nuttall: The Gobernantes of Spanish Upper ...
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Why didn't Portugal found universities in its colonies like Spain?

Imperial Spain and Portugal conquered and developed huge empires. Both monarchies were Catholic and seized huge amounts of land in the 1500s. Both European motherlands had numerous universities, but ...