1. The most important fact about eighteenth–century colonial America is its
a. economic underdevelopment.
b. shortage of available land.
c. phenomenal population growth.
d. level of violence.
The answer is c. In 1700, there were about 250,000 colonists. By 1770, that number had risen to over 2 million. In 1700, there were nineteen people in England for every American colonist, but in 1770 there were only three.
2. By 1770, the thirteen colonies were
a. varied in people and environments.
b. as homogeneous as Virginia.
c. all subject to what amounted to a colonial “state” religion.
d. all under one colonial government.
The answer is a. By 1770, colonists were of many different ethnic groups, races, and religions. They lived in varied environments under thirteen different colonial governments, all of which were part of the British empire.
3. In general, the growth and diversity of the eighteenth–century population derived from
b. natural increase.
c. both immigration and natural increase.
d. Indian assimilation.
The answer is c. Natural increase accounted for about 75 percent of the colonial population’s growth; immigration accounted for the remaining 25 percent. Immigration shifted the ethnic and racial balance among the colonists, making them less English and less white than ever before.
4. About 20 percent of the colonial population in 1770 descended from
c. the German principalities.
The answer is b. Nearly all of the immigrants from Africa were slaves. However, they made significant contributions to colonial culture and diversity. By 1770, more than 20 percent of all colonists were descended from Africans.
5. The most important reason why immigrants avoided New England was its
a. cold winters.
b. high ratio of people to land.
c. high cost of living.
d. high mortality rate.
The answer is b. The British colonies as a whole possessed a great deal of land, but the New England region had a relatively small interior, and its northern and western frontiers were ringed by powerful Indian tribes and threats from the French colony of Quebec. The result was that when the population grew, the available land resources were pressed severely. Immigrants preferred areas where land was cheaper and more readily available.
6. When bequeathing land, New England families
a. left all land to the eldest son.
b. divided the land equally among sons.
c. divided the land equally among all children.
d. gave the land to the neediest child.
The answer is b. New England families practiced partible inheritance, in which land was divided more or less equally among sons. By the eighteenth century, this system began to disintegrate because land allotments had to be subdivided to include grandsons and great–grandsons, and many plots became too small to support a family. Sons without prospects of sufficient inheritable land had to move away.
7. When settlers dispersed from New England towns in search of farmland,
a. they often died alone in the wilderness.
b. they almost always were financially successful.
c. Puritan communities lost their cohesiveness.
d. Puritan communities regained their cohesiveness.
The answer is c. When people moved away from New England towns, they disrupted the tight bonds of family and religion that existed there. Moreover, new settlers usually purchased land from the colonial government rather than received it as a privilege of membership in a particular church.
8. The commercial economy of New England was dominated by
a. ships’ captains.
The answer is b. Merchants were the intermediaries between local consumers and the international market. They could become very wealthy; some not only bought and sold imported goods but also invested in the ships that transported the merchandise and provided the insurance that protected the cargo.
9. The large–scale migration of German immigrants to the middle colonies originated primarily from
b. southwestern Germany.
The answer is b. German peasants in southwestern Germany never had particularly easy lives; one observer noted that German peasants were “not as well off as cattle elsewhere.”
10. German and Scots–Irish immigrants both tended to be
a. Protestant and clannish.
b. practicing Lutherans.
c. members of dissenting churches.
d. from urban areas.
The answer is a. Both German and Scots–Irish immigrants were Protestants, although Germans tended to belong to the Lutheran or German Reformed churches or to dissenting sects that had been persecuted in Europe, while the Scots–Irish usually were militant Presbyterians. Both groups preferred to settle among relatives or friends whenever possible.
11. The conditions and manner in which slaves were treated were determined by
a. their masters.
b. colonial law.
c. local custom.
d. a written contract.
The answer is a. Unlike indentured servants, slaves were not protected by any kind of written contract specifying obligations and responsibilities. A slave had no recourse against an abusive master. The master had almost unlimited authority to dictate all aspects of a slave’s life.
12. The major export from the middle colonies was
d. milling equipment.
The answer is b. Farmers in the middle colonies grew a variety of crops for their own subsistence, but they also grew a great deal of wheat for the market. Flour constituted close to 75 percent of all exports from the middle colonies; Pennsylvania flour alone fed residents in other colonies, in southern Europe, and in the West Indies.
13. By 1770, the most populous region of the British colonies was
a. New England.
b. the South.
c. the middle colonies.
d. the far West.
The answer is b. The population of the southern colonies—Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia—grew almost ninefold between 1700 and 1770. By 1770, twice as many people lived in the South as in either the middle colonies or New England.
14. African slaves in the South
a. were always imported from the West Indies.
b. came from different African cultures.
c. came from the same African culture.
d. all spoke the same language.
The answer is b. Although African slaves tended to be from villages located within a few hundred miles of the West African coast, they came from many different cultures. They spoke different languages, followed different religious practices, had different rules of kinship, grew different crops, and recognized different rulers. The one major condition they had in common was their state of enslavement.
15. During the Middle Passage (the long trip across the Atlantic from Africa to the Americas), African slaves on average died at a rate of
a. 100 percent.
b. 5 percent.
c. 15 percent.
d. 60 percent.
The answer is c. On average, about 15 percent of the slaves on each vessel died, although on some voyages the number of dead exceeded 50 percent. Close confinement and unhealthy conditions contributed to slave deaths during the Middle Passage.
16. The vast differences of wealth among white southerners engendered
a. open hostility.
b. armed rebellion.
c. only occasional tension.
d. cross–racial alliances.
The answer is c. The gap between rich and poor southerners was considerable, and the wealthy gentry tended to look down on poor whites. Yet in public they acknowledged poor whites as their racial—if not financial—equals, which gave nonslaveholding whites a feeling of commonality with their better—off counterparts.
17. The European market for colonial goods made it clear that
a. only the elite could buy small luxury items.
b. the colonies would never provide a market for English goods.
c. ordinary people could buy small luxury items.
d. most people were not interested in purchasing unnecessary goods.
The answer is c. Colonial products such as sugar and tobacco spurred the development of mass markets throughout the Atlantic world. Huge increases in the supply of these luxury goods brought prices down to the point that most free whites could afford them occasionally.
18. The most famous revivalist in the eighteenth century was
a. George Whitefield.
b. Benjamin Franklin.
c. Jonathan Edwards.
d. William Moraley.
The answer is a. In the eighteenth century, some ministers strove to convert nonbelievers, reviving the piety of the faithful with emotional sermons. The most famous and charismatic preacher of the “Great Awakening” was George Whitefield.
19. At a minimum, British power
a. kept intercolonial strife to a minimum.
b. defended the colonists from indigenous and foreign enemies.
c. organized the militia.
d. regulated the state churches.
The answer is b. Each colony organized its own militia, but the British army and navy bore ultimate responsibility for colonial defense. Royal officials kept a close eye on New France, New Spain, and their Indian allies for any indication of a threat to the colonies.
20. During the eighteenth century, colonial assemblies
a. became stronger than royal governors.
b. grew weaker than royal governors.
c. lost their influence with their constituents.
d. reflected the economic makeup of their communities.
The answer is a. Royal officials believed that colonial legislatures should obey them, but the powers and responsibilities of the assemblies were not defined clearly. Assemblies tended to make their own rules and established a strong tradition of representative government that was, in their eyes, analogous to the British Parliament.