Friday, June 20, 2014

OXBRIDGE: Influences on Colonial America (Updated May 4, 2016)

New England colonies: CT, MA, NH, RI. (ME was part of MA.)
Mid-Atlantic: MD, NJ, NY, PA, DE. Southern: GA, NC, SC, VA.
My posts (see links below) on the influence of Oxford and Cambridge on the American colonies add up to a draft of a book.

A chart summarizing the Oxford influences may be found here. The following outline shows how the posts fit into an overall outline:

TOPIC: How did Oxford and Cambridge men (they were all men, then) help form the United States of America?

Chapter 1. Early Settlements ("Virginia",  "Carolina"). Sir Walter Raleigh (Oriel College, Oxford) gave the name Virginia to the entire south-eastern seaboard, after Queen Elizabeth I, the Virgin Queen. Raleigh landed at Roanoake Island (now part of North Carolina) in 1584 and again in 1587, bringing more than 100 settlers, but when he returned with the supplies and new settlers, the previous ones had mysteriously disappeared. So there was no ongoing settlement that survived. Raleigh was accompanied by Thomas Harriot (St. Mary, Oxford, which was absorbed into Oriel College), an under-appreciated Oxonian astronomer, navigator, explorer and linguist who is credited with inventing the concept of refraction and with bringing the potato to England. Various sources (e.g., Wikipedia entry on Harriot) show a portrait hanging in Trinity College, Oxford and identify it as Harriot - however, about 50 years ago the College inspected the portrait carefully and decided that the dating and provenance of the portrait make it highly unlikely that the subject is in fact Harriot. The 1607 Jamestown settlement in Virginia survived more successfully, establishing as the Oxford style of settlement the entrepreneurial one. This style was the rule from Georgia up to New Jersey, and was driven by grants of land from the Crown.

Chapter 2. New England Colonies (Yellow). In the colonies of what we now call New England, the impetus to come to America arose from religious persecution in England. The religious emigres from England were bent on creating a friendly and holy new society in American and had no plans to return. The source of discontent was with the complacency of the post-Henry VIII Church of England. Many nobles and scholars saw the C of E as suffering from the same problems that Protestants complained about in the pre-Reformation (Roman) Catholic Church. The C of E was viewed as an unholy agent of the Crown. The Puritan movement originated in certain pockets of Britain, and Cambridge was once of them–especially at certain colleges, such as Emmanuel, St. Catharine's Hall, Sidney Sussex and Christ's College. During the early part of the 17th century, Cambridge produced many dissenters, from whom came the 20,000 Puritans who populated New England during the Great Migration of the 1630s seeking freedom of worship. The educational leaders from among the Pilgrims were largely Cambridge men - for example, John Winthrop (Trinity, Cambridge) in Massachusetts; Roger Williams (Pembroke, Cambridge) in Rhode Island; and John Wheelwright (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge) in New Hampshire.
  • Massachusetts was colonized by the Massachusetts Bay Company in London. John Winthrop (Trinity, Cambridge) was involved in its formation and he urged that its charter be moved to the colony itself. Thus the colonizing company became a self-governing commonwealth, welcoming nonconformist religious sects. He was in 1588 in Suffolk, England. He led the Winthrop Fleet of 1630, the largest English fleet to set off for the New World. Winthrop was a Puritan, dissenting from the Anglican Church for hewing too close to Catholic liturgy. He was elected governor before departure and he was re-elected several times. As governor, he tried to moderate the colonists, emphasizing the need to care for the poor, avoid executing too many people for heresy, and not being too strict about requiring women to wear veils. He wrote the famed "City on the Hill" sermon that implied God had chosen the settlers to create a sanctified America. John Harvard (Emmanuel, Cambridge) in 1636 founded the first enduring American university, Harvard. 
  • Rhode Island was led by Roger Williams (Pembroke, Cambridge) who along with Anne Hutchinson left Massachusetts when the Puritans there expelled them. Both fled to Rhode Island. Hutchinson and Williams had been preaching against against Puritan doctrines and the takeover of a government by a religious group. They fled to Rhode Island, establishing the colony as a haven for religious liberty and welcoming Jews and Quakers. Founded by the most radical dissenters from the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Rhode Island on May 4, 1776 became the first North American colony to renounce allegiance to George III. However, it was a center of the slave trade, because it brought molasses from the Caribbean Islands in exchange for slaves, and made it into rum which it used to buy slaves in West Africa. Rhode Island was the last of the original 13 states to ratify the American Constitution on May 29, 1790. 
  • New Hampshire was colonized in part by refugees from intolerance in Massachusetts, including John Wheelwright (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge), who founded the towns of Exeter, N.H. (and then Wells, Maine) as he fled from the long arm of Puritan orthodoxy.
  • Connecticut is the home of Yale University, which was formed in a similar fashion to Cambridge's origins as a home to Oxford scholars fleeing from the university's persecution of non-conformists. (Archbishop Laud was for a time Chancellor of Oxford and recruited Lawrence Washington, George Washington's grandfather, to help oust non-conformist dons.) Yale was founded by a branch of Puritans who favored the evangelical style of a reformist minister and fled from Harvard's disapproval of of his doctrine and style.
These migrations originating in religious persecution may be said to have pursued the Cambridge style of settlement, based on religious faith rather than entrepreneurial ambitions.

Chapter 3. The Mid-Atlantic Colonies (Green). Catholic George Calvert, 1st Lord Baltimore (Trinity, Oxford) and his two sons founded Maryland as a haven for Catholics. But most settlers were setting out for the New World in order to prosper and the  southern colonies offered opportunities to make fortunes in tobacco, cotton (especially after Eli Whitney's invention of the cotton gin) and other export crops. The early colonial settlers in the Mid-Atlantic colonies were given grants of land by King Charles I, especially during the period 1629-1640 when Charles dissolved Parliament and ruled without it.
  • New York was settled by Dutchmen and French Huguenots before it was taken over by the British after a naval victory over Holland. It was named after James, Duke of York, brother of Charles II, who was restored to the throne as James II of England after Cromwell's government ended in 1639-40.  The New York colony, while huge, was preceded by Dutch settlers and became a moderating influence between the nonconformists of New England and the more conformist views of the colonies to the south of New York.
  • Maryland was founded as a haven for Catholics, carved out of the northern reaches of territory that Virginia had some claims to. Charles I gave this land to the first Lord Baltimore (Trinity, Oxford). His sons Cecil Calvert, 2nd Lord Baltimore (Trinity, Oxford) and Leonard Calvert (Trinity, Oxford) managed the growth of the state. The elder son Cecil worked the British side of the Atlantic; he is the person after whom the City of Baltimore is named. He successfully staved off challenges to the actions of Charles I during the rule of Oliver Cromwell (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge) and the Roundheads. The younger son, Leonard Calvert, migrated to Maryland and became its first governor.
  • Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn (Christ Church, Oxford), who converted to Quakerism and persuaded Charles II and James II to give him land from Western New Jersey and north of Maryland to create a colony where any religions could be practiced without interference. One argument he made to the two kings is that his state could be a place to send religious troublemakers in England. Part of Pennsylvania was carved out to create Delaware, because the established settlers from the outset didn't want to be part of the plan of a Quaker governor. Penn's settlement was the most concentrated migration to the colonies since the Puritan migration of a half-century before.
  • New Jersey began with land taken from the southern end of the New York colony, as in 1664 James II gave the land to Lord John Berkeley and Sir John Carteret, two Stuart loyalists.
Chapter 4. The Southern Colonies (Purple).  Religious settlers in the south include James Oglethorpe (Corpus Christi, Oxford) and John and Charles Wesley (both Christ Church, Oxford) in Georgia.
  • Virginia was originally the name of the entire southeast coastline, settled unsuccessfully by Sir Walter Raleigh, who landed with private funding at Roanoke Island in what is now called North Carolina. Maryland was carved out of Virginia from the north and the Carolinas from the south (Georgia was created partly as a buffer between Spanish Florida and the Carolinas). The cultivation of tobacco in Virginia meant that slavery grew in the state along with opportunity for British landowners like George Washington's ancestors.
  • The Carolinas were settled in part by John Baron Carteret, the 2nd Earl Granville (Christ Church, Oxford). Carolina was named after Charles I, the only British monarch ever executed,  after Cromwell captured him during his retreat in Oxford. The area around Cape Fear was given to eight proprietors by Charles II in return for their support for his succeeding to the monarchy. Carteret inherited from his great-grandfather Sir George Carteret one-eighth of the Province of Carolina along the Virginia border. Unlike other owners, Granville refused to sell the property back to the Crown. He was the real power in the government when Spencer Compton, Earl of Wilmington (Trinity, Oxford) was Britain's 2nd prime minister, after Walpole.
  • Georgia was founded by James Oglethorpe (Christ Church, Oxford), who persuaded George II to let him found a slave-free colony to absorb all the prisoners in debtor prisons. (In fact, skilled craftsmen and merchants crowded out the prisoners and they were instead sent to Australia.)  John Wesley (Lincoln, Oxford) came to help Oglethorpe with his mission. The colony also served as a buffer zone against the Spanish in Florida, notably in the settlement of St. Augustine. Although Oglethorpe does not appear to have been a great military commander on the attack side, his troops fended off a Spanish invasion of Georgia. Never again did the Spanish attack the colonies.  The ban on slavery was, alas, removed as soon as Oglethorpe returned to England, as Georgia went into the cotton business.
Chapter 5. The British Civil War and New Migrations to the Colonies. When Oliver Cromwell (Sidney Sussex, Cambridge) organized the protestors against Charles I and beheaded him, the tables were turned on royalist Cavaliers like Rev. Lawrence Washington (BNC, Oxford) and his wife Amphilis Washington. The Puritans, who had left England because of persecution by Catholic monarchs, were now in charge. Rev. Washington lost his comfortable living in Purleigh, Essex, and his wife Amphilis persuaded their sons John and Lawrence Jr. to emigrate to Virginia. John's great-grandson George Washington became the new nation's first President.

Chapter 6. Pitt and North - Runup to the Revolution. Pitt the Elder (Trinity, Oxford) made possible the Revolution by chasing French soldiers out of North America.  Lord North (Trinity, Oxford) made the Revolution inevitable through his onerous taxes to pay for Pitt's war.

Chapter 7. Oxbridge Influences On the American Revolution and the New Nation
Suggestions for additions/changes are appreciated -

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