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At the same time Plymouth, which was a small and relatively weak colony and had never had a charter, was annexed to Massachusetts. Maine was likewise formally added to her powerful neighbor who had held her without authorization for nearly half a century.
Revolutions also took place in Maryland and in New York. In the former province John Coode took advantage of the governor's delay in proclaiming the acces
Revolutions sion of William and Mary, to stir up the Prot- in Maryland estants and seize the government in the name and in New
York of the new sovereigns. For the next twenty-five years the province was under a royal governor. Lord Baltimore was never formally deprived of his rights, and when a Protestant succeeded to the title in 1715, the proprietary rights were restored and the Baltimore heirs continued to govern the colony until the American Revolution.
In New York, Governor Nicholson was slow in acknowledging William and Mary, and Jacob Leisler headed a revolt and seized the fort. His self-constituted rule was unnecessarily harsh and severe, and when a new royal governor, Henry Sloughter, arrived in 1691, Leisler was, without real justification, tried and hanged for treason.
The eighteenth century was a period of rapid growth and expansion. In 1700 the total population of the colonies was about 275,000. By 1750 it had risen to Growth of 1,200,000 and at the beginning of the Revolution population, in 1775 it was about 2,600,000. Throughout the 1700-1750 colonial period Virginia had the largest population, numbering in 1750, 275,000. Massachusetts came next with 180,000; Pennsylvania third with 150,000; Maryland fourth with 137,000; and Connecticut fifth with 100,000. New York and North Carolina each had about 80,000. The relative rank in population was about the same at the beginning of the Revolution, except that North Carolina had risen to the fourth place. Of the cities Boston was the largest throughout the seventeenth century and continued to hold first place until the middle of the eighteenth century, when Philadelphia outstripped her. In 1760 Philadelphia had a population of 18,700, Boston of 15,600, New York of 14,000 and Charleston of 8000.
Beyond the natural increase of population there was during the eighteenth century a large immigration from The German Scotland, Ireland, England, and the continent of immigration Europe. Germans were among the first settlers of Pennsylvania, but the German immigration to that colony did not assume very large proportions until the eighteenth century, when, as the result of religious persecutions, German Protestants were encouraged by Great Britain to seek refuge in her colonies. Among the German and Swiss immigrants were representatives of various sects : Lutherans, German Reformed, Mennonites, Dunkards, and Moravians. A German newspaper was founded at Germantown in 1739 and another at Philadelphia in 1743.
The last and most important addition to the population of the colonies was the immigration of the Scotch-Irish The Scotch- Presbyterians which began about the close of the Irish first quarter of the eighteenth century. They came first to Pennsylvania and finding the eastern part of the province already occupied, pushed rapidly to the West, and in time filled the Alleghany region. From western Pennsylvania they soon found their way into the valley of Virginia where they were followed by many German families. From the valley of Virginia the Scotch-Irish spread southward into, North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina, and in the period immediately preceding the Revolution, into Kentucky.
While the first stream of Scotch-Irish immigration came through Pennsylvania and the valley of Virginia, many of the later immigrants landed in eastern Virginia and in
Charleston, and pushed their way westward. It is claimed by some authorities that as many as 500,000 Scotch-Irish had come to America by the beginning of the Revolution. Finding the Tidewater and Piedmont sections of the South already occupied, most of the Scotch-Irish were forced to seek lands in the mountainous regions of the West. They were a brave, sturdy, frugal, and energetic race, well suited to the hardships and dangers of frontier life. They not only played a most important part in the later French and Indian wars and in the Revolution, but in the gradual conquest of the continent by the forces of civilization the Scotch-Irish have always been found on the frontier. In fact, the history of the American frontier is largely the history of the Scotch-Irish in America.
The plan for founding a colony in Georgia originated with James Oglethorpe, an English gentleman of good family who had served in the continental wars and later
The foundentered the House of Commons. Early in his ing of parliamentary career he became interested in re- Georgia,
1732 forming the harsh laws against debtors and the idea of colonizing the poorer class of debtors in America occurred to him.
The philanthropic feature of the scheme was only one side of it. Oglethorpe proposed to found a military colony on the southern frontier of South Carolina as a protection against the Indians and against the Spanish. He enlisted the sympathy of many prominent noblemen and clergymen, and in June, 1732, they received from the king a charter incorporating them as "the trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia in America.” They were granted a strip of territory lying between the Savannah and the Altamaha and extending from their headwaters westward to the South Sea. The government was to be proprietary in form for a period of twenty-one years, after which Georgia was to become a royal province.
In the plans of the trustees there were two novel features : slavery was prohibited and the importation of rum
was forbidden. In 1738 over a hundred freeThe failure of Ogle
holders signed a petition to the trustees urging thorpe's that these prohibitions be removed. Even Whitepolicies
field, the celebrated missionary, who had founded an orphan school in Georgia, believed that the progress of the colony had been greatly delayed by the lack of negro slaves. In 1749 the prohibition against negro slavery was removed and the following year the act prohibiting the importation of rum was repealed. After the removal of these restrictions, planters from South Carolina moved into Georgia with their slaves and within two years nearly a thousand slaves had been brought into the colony. In spite, therefore, of the efforts of the trustees to found a colony of small freeholders, the plantation system with its characteristic features soon developed.
The southern colonies were devoted largely to agricultural pursuits and the most characteristic feature of southern The planta- economic life was the plantation system which tion system
was well established in Virginia by the middle of the seventeenth century. Large plantations were also the rule in Maryland and South Carolina. In North Carolina, where there was from the first greater diversity of industry, the land was more evenly distributed and there was not the same tendency to large estates.
In Virginia and Maryland the plantation system was closely connected with the cultivation of tobacco, which early became the staple crop. Tobacco culture is very exhausting to the soil and under the system of cultivation in vogue in the colonial period required the constant clearing of new land and the abandonment of old. The scientific care and improvement of soils were then unknown and even if they had been known, the expansive system of cultivation would have been cheaper where there was an abundance of land.