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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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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Did the Creole estate in Russian America encompass Siberian creoles?

A large number of Russian American Company employees and colonists were Creoles, or the product of an ethnic Russian father with a native (Aleut, Tlingit, etc.) mother. They were established as a ...
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Was anyone in Spanish or Mexican California tried for homosexuality?

In "So Far From Home" (Farris, ed.) a Russian visitor to California describes seeing trangendered natives, as Cabeza de Vaca also did three centuries earlier in what is now Texas. The military and ...
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How similar were Finnish and Lenape slash-and-burn agriculture?

Slash-and-burn agriculture is a technique where farmers cut down woodland and burn the debris to form farmland. This farmland is usually used for a few years until it loses its fertility, then the ...
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Who cataloged the ships that visited Alta California?

I know I have seen a reference to a comprehensive list of ships that visted Alta California in the Spanish and Mexican eras, but I need help finding it again. Here is an incomplete list without any ...
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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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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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Who were the chief executives of the United States in the thirteen years before George Washington? [duplicate]

Fully thirteen years passed after the Declaration of Independence before George Washington became President—first under Congress, then under the Articles of Confederation. It's a famous trivia fact ...
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What was the price of a horse around 1750?

I'm looking for the average price of a horse, in British Pounds, around the year 1750. I'm interested in draft horses (they pull carts), not riding horses, but the difference in price between those ...
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Did early American settlers have to buy their land from the government?

During the early English settlement period in North America, did settlers buy their land from the government, or did they simply find some land and build a home there? To be more specific, I'm ...
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How were native laborers on California ranchos treated?

The ranchos established during the Mexican period of California history relied on the labor of native Americans. Unlike the Mission properties, ranchos did not attempt to prevent workers from escaping ...
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How long did it take to sail from Philadelphia to Boston in the 1700s?

How long did it usually take to sail from Philadelphia to Boston in the 1700s? I've been able to find lots of sources talking about sailing time between England and the colonies, but I haven't found ...
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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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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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How harmful was the Tea Act of 1773 to the American colonies?

The Tea Act of 1773 was passed by the Parliament to rescue the East India Company. However, I read somewhere that it would have actually made tea cheaper everywhere in the Empire1. By this argument, ...
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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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What taxes were assessed on people in Alta California?

Countries and their churches extract rents from their citizens or subjects through various taxes. What taxes were individual Alta Californians required to pay in the Spanish and Mexican periods?
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Was the money requested by the French for the XYZ affair really a bribe?

I know that in history classes, and the American version of the XYZ Affair, that before the French would even sit down to the table with the Americans in order to discuss, basically, the piracy ...
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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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Did any European/American settlements in the Ohio Country survive the French and Indian War?

The Ohio Company was formed in 1748 to bring English settlement to the Ohio Country. At that time, the Ohio Country was largely uninhabited, as the Iroquois had driven out or exterminated the tribes ...
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Who left Fort Ross to defect to Mexico?

Remarks by Kirill Khlebnikov reproduced in "California Through Russian Eyes" by Gibson, p. 332, say that one defector from Fort Ross had headed to Mexico. Who was the unnamed defector?
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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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18th-century understanding of the word “colony?”

In 1750 there were thirteen British "colonies" on the east coast of North America. If I'm not mistaken, the words "colony" and "province" were both used at the time to refer to any of those. Today ...
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What type of people were most likely to be suspected of witchcraft in Salem?

One of the theories out there for the cause of the Witch Trial is that economic jealousy motivates the poor to accuse the rich. This seems very contradictory to what is said in books on The Witch ...
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Who was the first retailer in Monterey, California?

There were no businesses in the Spanish presidio at Monterey. Trade goods from the missions and passing ships came through, but there wasn't much to buy. Outside the fort, what was the first fixed-...
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Thirteen “colonies”, “provinces”, “states”, etc.?

One often hears of "the thirteen colonies", and of course the colonies were also called "provinces". Were they also sometimes called "states" before the Continental Congress convened?
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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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The boundary between New York and Quebec before the seven years' war of 1756‒1763

This is related to this earlier question, which deals with events after the war. Before the Seven Years' War of 1756‒1763, if I understand correctly, Quebec was ruled by France. In that war, Britain ...
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How many women lived in Spanish Californian presidios?

The Spanish presidios in the Californias were military outposts, unlike the religious missions or the civilian pueblos. Their residents were not exclusively soldiers, though; at least prisoners and ...
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Did colonists “resign the power of voting” and have no more right to govern themselves than the Cornish people?

What exactly made the Americans believe they were different than the Cornish people besides the distance which divided them from England? Wasn't it the settlers' own free decision to move from ...
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Who is speaking here?

Our English teacher gave us an exercise to do: We got different texts what people could have said and our task now is to find out: Who said it and when? Our current topic is "The early years of the ...
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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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Why was Highway One routed right through Fort Ross?

California's coastal Highway One was completed in the 1930s. Until about 1970, the roadway actually passed through the stockade of the Russian colony, Fort Ross. Later the Fort became a state park. ...
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How did the Russian-American Company respond to employee desertion?

The Russian-American Company (head office: St. Petersburg) monopolized transit and commerce with the Russian American colonies and outposts. Almost the only people carried on Company voyages were ...
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Who was the Irish interpreter in Monterey in 1822?

Kirill Khlebnikov was a Russian business agent who made several visits to Alta California. His "Travel Notes" from 1822 describe Khlebnikov's visit to Governor Sola in Monterey, who sent for "the ...
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How did native Americans and European colonists conduct their trades?

I'm curious to know how Natives Americans and Europeans colonists traded during the colonization of north-east America. what kind of currencies (if any) were used? Or did they barter?
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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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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 was Virginia transformed from a society with slaves, to a slave society? [closed]

Not sure what the main answer to this question. I know Bacon's rebellion changed the lives of many poor whites with no land. Also, there were the slave laws which I need to do more research on.
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Historical drivers behind demographics of Indigenous populations in American countries [duplicate]

Today I run into this picture (shown below) that shows what seems to be a stark difference in the percentage of indigenous populations in Spanish speaking countries vs other countries in the Americas (...
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How did the different regions' cultures in colonial America eventually begin to unify?

There were a myriad of differences between the Northern and Southern regions, but I still don't understand how or why they grew similarities and united over time. Does it have something to do with ...
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How much did Spanish California officials earn?

It is my understanding that in Alta California, priests and natives in Missions earned no cash salary, but Spanish army officials would have. From the governor down to a junior soldier, what did they ...
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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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New Latin American navies raiding Spanish interests

The newly formed navies of the Latin American wars of independence sometimes raided or blockaded Spanish interests in other parts of the Americas. Consider the Liberating Expedition of Peru, the ...
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Was Pablo Vicente de Solá married?

Solá, a Basque, was the last Spanish governor of Alta California, serving from 1815–1822 at the Presidio of Monterey. Did he have a wife and family, there or elsewhere?
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Did the Virginia pound use the pound sign (£)?

During most of the colonial era, Virginia used its own currency, the Virginia pound. Today, the pound sign (£) is used to designate the British pound as well as other "pound" currencies. Was the ...
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Who was arrested at El Cojo with Eliot de Castro?

According to Bancroft's "History of California" II:274, Spanish authorities acting on Governor Sola's orders detained Eliot de Castro, working for the Russian-American Company, along with "an American ...
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For who or what was Cojo Creek named?

Cojo Creek (Cañada del cojo) is the boundary between the Rancho Punta de la Concepción and the Rancho Nuestra Señora del Refugio. The anchorage at the mouth of this creek was a prime smuggling spot in ...
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What were the most important causes of the 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials?

Basically what the title says: what were the most important causes of the 1692 Salem Witchcraft Trials? We are having a discussion over this topic in one of my history courses, and a classmate ...
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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, ...