AP U.S. History I
Colonial Society in the 18th Century
The British colonies in the 18th century had changed a lot since the 17th century. For example, in the year 1670, 90% of the population was English, and 4% was African. In 1770, 50% was English, and 20% was African. The colonies had become very distinct. The immigrants were 8% English, 8% Scottish, 15% German, 33% African, and 36% Scots-Irish. The characteristics of the colonies were diverse, as well. Colonial America was dominantly Protestant. The main groups were Dutch Reformed and Presbyterian in the middle colonies, Puritanism in the New England colonies, and Anglican in the southern colonies. On the contrary, most of the English immigrants came over to America with similar social and economic backgrounds. They were from the lower and middles classes. Also, they usually came from the rural areas of England. Demographically, the colonies were partly comparable in the sense of how the population grew. Families or large groups would migrate to the New England colonies. Population growth was greatly due to natural increase. This growth caused a lot of conflict – difficult inheritance and declension. In 1700, there were twice as many people in the New England colonies than the middle colonies. In 1770, the population of both regions were practically equal. There were many lower and middle class families in the middle colonies. The south was the quickest growing colony. In 1770, there were twice as many people in the south than there were in either the middle or New England colonies. The southern population rise was mainly from natural increase. The slaves percentage rose with time, too. In 1700, 20% of the population were slaves. That number rose to 40% in 1770.