A colonial family with many members.

Charles Willson Peale, “The Peale Family,” ca. 1771-1773. Wikimedia.

Eighteenth-century American culture moved in competing directions. Commercial, military and cultural ties between Great Britain and the North American colonies tightened while a new distinctly American culture began to form and bind together colonists from New Hampshire to Georgia. Immigrants from other European nations meanwhile combined with Native Americans and enslaved Africans to create an increasingly diverse colonial population. All–men and women, European, Native American, and African–led distinct lives and wrought new distinct societies. While life in the thirteen colonies was shaped in part by English practices and participation in the larger Atlantic World, emerging cultural patterns increasingly transformed North America into something wholly different.