The Founding of the Middle Colonies of North America and King Philip’s War with Robert Gangwere - Recorded Summer 2021

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YouTube Recording – You will be sent a link to a private playlist containing all sessions from Summer 2021 within 48 hours during standard office hours.

We all learned about Jamestown, the Pilgrims and the Mayflower, when we were in school, but the six decades (1630s to 1680s) following those momentous events are shrouded in mystery for most Americans. This class will attempt to lift the veil covering those forgotten years. We will discuss the founding of New Sweden and New Netherlands; the military struggle for control of those colonies waged by Sweden, the Netherlands and England; the tragic story of King Philip’s War in New England; and the cultural, social, religious and political history of those turbulent times.

Americans have always prided themselves on their rich diversity. Nowhere was that diversity more evident in seventeenth-century North America than in the four Middle Colonies (i.e., New York, New Jersey, Delaware and Pennsylvania), with settlers coming from all parts of Europe. The groups represented included English, Swedes, Finns, Dutch, Germans, Scots-Irish and French; all living in close proximity to one another. The Middle Colonies also contained an assortment of Native American tribes and a sizable population of indentured servants and African slaves.

America’s Middle Colonies were more religiously diverse than other regions of North America and thus enjoyed a high degree of religious tolerance. The Penn family, for example, was Quaker, and their colony became a haven for that group as well as German Lutherans and numerous small sects such as Mennonites, Amish, and Moravians. Scots-Irish Presbyterians and Jewish settlers also found a home in the Middle Colonies, and the Dutch Reformed Church had a strong presence in upstate New York and New Jersey, whereas Congregationalists were prevalent on Long Island. This made the dominance of a single faith next to impossible, but it also made the Middle Colonies less cohesive than other regions.
Just a few of the fascinating individuals you’ll be introduced to during this class include Peter Minuit, Johann Printz, Wilhelm Kieft, Peter Stuyvesant, Metacomet or “King Philip,” Benjamin Church and, of course, William Penn.

Instructor: Robert Gangwere is a native Kansas Citian now living on a farm in southeast Missouri. He earned BA and MA degrees in American history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, and a law degree from UMKC. During his career with the U.S. Small Business Administration he served as the Agency’s ethics official, Deputy General Counsel, and acting General Counsel. Robert has also served as the President of the Citizens Association of Kansas City, as a member of Kansas City’s Tax Increment Financing and Historical Preservation commissions, and co-authored Kansas City: A Place in Time (2nd edition).

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