“The Rhythms of Colonial Life:  The Statistics of Colonial Massachusetts Bay”

Now that we have learned about Virginia during the early colonial period, we shall now consider life in Colonial Massachusetts Bay.  Our goals here are to understand the important trends of growth, change, and maturation as they occurred in colonial America between the time of settlement and the American revolution. Also, we might consider whether these events could have pushed Americans to a break with England.  This time, instead of using Captain Smith's diary to find out about the past, we shall be using several sets of statistics (to be passed out in class)

The authors of this book, Wheeler and Becker,  suggest that we ask three questions about each set of data:

1. What does each set of statistics measure?

2. How does what is being measured change over time?

3.  Why does that change take place? (The answer to the why is found in other sets of data.  Hence, establish a link with other sets in order to discover the correct answer)

Your first graded assignment:

The goal of this work is to understand major changes in colonial life in Massachusetts Bay.  You should be able to answer the following three questions:

1.  What important trends regarding growth, change, and maturation affected the people of colonial Massachusetts Bay?

2.  How were people likely to think and feel about those trends?

3.  How might these trends have contributed to the decision of Massachusetts Bay colonists to revolt against Great Britain?

This should be submitted as a 3-4 page typed paper.  The paper does not need footnotes, but if you refer to a particular table, please note it:

Example:  Crop yields per acre decreased over time in Concord. (9)

****You should also, perhaps in your introduction or conclusion, discuss the strengths and weaknesses of using statistics to reveal the past.