Charles II and the Restoration Colonies

Charles II and the Restoration Colonies

A timeline shows important events of the era. In 1660, Charles II ascends the English throne and the Restoration begins; a portrait of Charles II is shown. In 1681, William Penn founds Pennsylvania Colony; a portrait of William Penn is shown. In 1688–1689, the Glorious Revolution overthrows King James II; a portrait of King James II is shown. In 1689, the Bill of Rights establishes constitutional monarchy in England; the Bill of Rights is shown. In 1733, James Oglethorpe founds Georgia for the “worthy poor”; a portrait of James Oglethorpe is shown. In 1739, slaves revolt in the Stono Rebellion. In 1741, suspicious fires lead to the New York Conspiracy Trials. In 1754, the French and Indian War (Seven Years’ War) begins. In 1763, the Treaty of Paris eliminates New France.

When Charles II ascended the throne in 1660, English subjects on both sides of the Atlantic celebrated the restoration of the English monarchy after a decade of living without a king as a result of the English Civil Wars. Charles II lost little time in strengthening England’s global power. From the 1660s to the 1680s, Charles II added more possessions to England’s North American holdings by establishing the Restoration colonies of New York and New Jersey (taking these areas from the Dutch) as well as Pennsylvania and the Carolinas. In order to reap the greatest economic benefit from England’s overseas possessions, Charles II enacted the mercantilist Navigation Acts, although many colonial merchants ignored them because enforcement remained lax.

1 of 8