The early English settlers came to America for a number of reasons. Some came for "gold and silver" but were disappointed

Download 26.5 Kb.
Size26.5 Kb.

The early English settlers came to America for a number of reasons. Some came for “gold and silver” but were disappointed. This was especially true of the first Jamestown settlement that ended in disaster, as not even 60 men survived out of the original 500. (Doc. 1) Others came to America to escape the persecution of the English government against their religion. These people, who became known as the Puritans, established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in New England. Coming over with families, they quickly established themselves in the New England area as the dominant English settlers. The development of colonial America was not an easy ride but by the end of the French and Indian War, the 13 colonies were clearly here for the distance.
The original Jamestown failed, but the second Jamestown was a success as they settled the Virginia area and it became an important tobacco farming region. As the plantations grew, the Virginia planters began to rely on indentured servants from England. Over the years however, as England’s economy improved, the number of indentured servants declined. This led the planters to begin the importation of slaves in larger and larger numbers. By 1775 (Doc. 3) the Southern planters had become dependent on slave labor to harvest the tobacco, indigo, rice and later on cotton. These planters dominated the southern political structure and excluded not only black slaves but the poor white farmers as well. In fact, though it failed, “Bacon’s Rebellion” in 1676, temporarily united poor white farmers and black slaves (a nightmare for the planters) against the government authorities. (Doc. 5) Clearly the Southern colonies were becoming a slave and class society dominated by the rich, white plantation owners. Obviously, as they expanded the Indians were their victims by being forced further west and/or killed.
The New England area, though originally settled by religious refugees, became a thriving fishing, import and export area. As the area grew, and new colonies were formed, Rhode Island for example, the Indians were forced further west and/or were killed. As Red Jacket said: “We gave them corn and meat, they gave us poison in return…” Clearly the New England success was also at the expense of the Indians. (Doc 2)
The Restoration colonies, established by King Charles II, were England’s new foreign policy direction. Using their previous experiences in America, they established these colonies to make profit through farming, manufacturing and import/export. Among these thriving colonies were Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey. The colonies had become an important part of England’s foreign policy and colonial America was becoming more and more developed.
The French and Indian War, an extension of the global war between England and France, offered the colonists another chance to get new territory, this time in the North, especially Canada. Many leading colonists saw this as a chance to unite the colonies, and Ben Franklin appealed to colonial America to unite or die. (Doc. 6) Despite his plea, however, the colonists were still not united as they “allied” with England but made deals with the French and Indians to better their own individual situation. Though they were not able to unite at this time, just 13 years later they did and got their independence from England. The colonists had become a nation.

Download 26.5 Kb.

Share with your friends:

The database is protected by copyright © 2023
send message

    Main page