Colonial America

Christopher Clark

in The Oxford Handbook of the Ancien Régime

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199291205
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History

 Colonial America

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The British American colonies embodied such social, economic, and political diversity that they did not, of course, constitute a single “old order” any more than Europe did. They had evolved from different origins: English, Dutch, and Scandinavian; and under an array of influences: Native American, French, African, Irish, Scottish, German. Even the two oldest areas of English settlement, the Chesapeake region and New England, differed markedly. In New England, where early settlement involved whole families, and where sex ratios quickly achieved a rough parity, seventeenth-century settlers set patterns for longevity and demographic robustness that were sustained throughout the colonial period.

Keywords: British American colonies; social diversity; Chesapeake; New England; sex ratio; demographics

Article.  9330 words. 

Subjects: History ; United States History

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