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Plantation Pennsylvania
Charting the Quaker Correction of Saintly and Adventuresome Planting: 1681 thru 1776
© 2023 James LaFond
OCT/17/23
This series will examine and annotate the following documents in sequence:
-1. This Prequel and Prologue
-2. Concessions to the Province of Pennsylvania - July 11, 1681
-3. Penn's Charter of Libertie - April 25, 1682
-4. Frame of Government of Pennsylvania - February 2, 1683
-5. Frame of Government of Pennsylvania – 1696
-6. Charter of Privileges Granted by William Penn, esq. 
to the Inhabitants of Pennsylvania and Territories, October 28, 1701
-7. Constitution of Pennsylvania - September 28, 1776
Prequel
Pennsylvania means Penn’s Woods, with that place having the same source for its name as savage [person of the woods], being Sylvan, a French term for forest. As the 1680s dawned, a new king on the British throne, America offered that monarch both promise and problems.
Promise
The vastness of America offered the Monarch:
-1. A place to send adventurous troublemakers to access overseas resources, especially timber for ship building.
-2. Alliances with tribes against the French and Spanish enemies competing for control of the vast untapped natural resources.
-3. A place to ship criminals, the unemployed and vagrants to relieve the squalor and unrest caused by the ongoing enclosure acts, these constituting demands on the monarch by the oligarchy.
-4. A place to receive religious malcontents such as Puritans as well as religious factions such as Quakers that aggravate both the minority Puritan and majority Anglican populations.
-5. Ultimately, through the actions of the above four classes of humanity: adventurer, tribal ally, bondman and religious separatists, it was hoped by guiding minds such as John Dee, Francis Bacon and John Locke, that these Plantings of people in the “various Plantations,” would constitute a viable province. A viable province in the Age of Sail was a place that could feed and protect its population, uphold the King’s interests and off set the royal expense of maintaining the Navy around the world and the army in the Home Country and abroad in the Low Countries, in places such as Hanover and Holland, where the Crown yet held political power coupled with allied obligations in the chess game of European power politics.
Problems
What follows are the essential downsides to the Planting of Provinces in the above fashion.
-1. Adventurous types of men far away from home were prone to evading duty payment. These payments offset the cost of defending British shipping, yet, as a honorless merchant based society, the dedication to short term profit would ever drive the merchant class to cheat the King, as they had been doing in all of the established Provinces, to include civil wars in Maryland and Virginia.
-2. The valuable tribal allies conducted diplomacy according to an honor code unknown to Englishmen, resulting in most tribes, who had provided border security and police services for the Provinces, turning on the English in various uprisings and wars, and were now mostly in league with the French and the Spanish. Again, the adventurous merchant ethics that had recruited tribal allies in the 1620s, had since, through cheating and lying and oath breaking caused the King in 1676 to send a fleet and an army at great expense to the aid of the Governor of Virginia.
-3. The nature of the forced labor pool sent to America resulted in an uneven militia base. Gaelic POWs acted as effective combatants but were prone to westward migration, mutiny, piracy and revolt. The less caustic orphan portion of the workforce tended to make poor troops unable to contest with the tribal warriors or European troops.
-4. The religious factions granted charters in The Plantations tended to form conspiracies against the monarchy with a fervor, that when allied with the greed of the merchant adventurers threatened succession.
-5. So long as the King, was not required to send armies, even of small size, to protect his interests and his subjects, the American Plantations would at least break even and serve as naval bases, provide shipyards and eventually military manpower for Great Britain. If the proprietor and the governor [the latter being the King’s agent] could not work in concord with tribal allies and develop a body of loyal yeoman [armed freemen available to serve as soldiers] and circumstances required royal armies to be sent to America, the entire venture would shatter under its own ungainly weight.
To his credit, the documents drafted by William Penn demonstrate that he understood the precarious position of the Monarchy, the rapacious nature of the adventuring class, the volatile nature of tribal society, the conspiratorial bent of the various religious factions and the aggrieved condition of the laboring class. The foundational documents of Plantation Pennsylvania, from 1681 thru 1776, where the very American ideals of the Penitentiary and the Corrections House were developed and handed down to us, should be examined in the context in which they were established.
The site chosen for his Plantation was inhabited by Swedes and Dutch, with Finnish slaves in alliance with tribes, who were recently conquered by English forces, with renegade English adventurers lurking to prey upon his grant.
To the north New England and New York were recently emerged from the largest scale conflict in Plantation history and were currently embroiled in a war with French-backed tribes, which would see governors in Boston and New York overthrown by revolts before 1700.
To the south Maryland’s proprietor, Penn’s counterpart, had been deposed by Puritan adventurers in a civil war, and Virginia’s Governor had recently been deposed by rebels and then recalled by the very King that Penn was contracting with, all in the shadow of a vicious Indian war.
To the west, the French worked their whiles with the same tribes that English merchant’s habitually cheated and double-crossed, placing him in the precarious position of planting a majority English population in the lands of tribes who had learned to hate the English through hard experience.
In this situation, at the dawn of the Modern World, [1] William Penn sought to form an hereditary manorial fief in a quasi-feudal obligation to a monarch who sat a long-ago compromised throne [2] beset by predacious oligarchs, in competition with rival monarchs, this venture to be carved from a nearly virgin wilderness.
“Saints” [3] in the north and adventurers in the south, had made a terrible mess of The Plantations. Penn had the opportunity for empire if he could thread a compromise path through the head of the needle that was the English Monarch’s American Dilemma.
Notes
-1. 1648, at the Peace of Westphalia, the idea of the Modern Nation State was born, within a decade of Penn’s own birth.
-2. In 1215 at the signing of the Magna Carta, see The Lies That Bind Us, by this author for the details on how this document insured a return to Roman style bondage of the laboring class and the reduction of Christianity to a civil service subordinate to business and politics.
-3. Those we call Puritans were self styled “saints,” living paragons of Christian virtue bound for Heaven even as their orphan servants and adventurer allies were bound for the nether reaches of Eternity. They, incidentally, hated the Quakers.
To be published in In This New Israel.
Parts 2 through 7 will be posted on Patreon at:
Explore Plantation America at Patreon:
‘Unparalled Fagotry’
plantation america
‘The Distemper’
eBook
search for an american spartacus
eBook
fiction anthology one
eBook
the sunset saga complete
eBook
fate
eBook
the greatest lie ever sold
eBook
'in these goings down'
eBook
uncle satan
eBook
triumph
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