Colonization in North America, Essay Example in American History

Published: 2022-02-23
Colonization in North America, Essay Example in American History
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Christopher Columbus American history
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1817 words
16 min read

Typically, the discovery of land in the west by Columbus sparked the initiation of the European penetration and colonization. The European invasion and colonization can be described as a way in which Europeans came and settled in America and formed governments and formal institutions which were used to govern the new lands. The ones who founded the first colonies in the west were the Spaniards, and Columbus was from Spain. During his exploration, he saw that the new land could enable them to access the east and help in trading. The Spaniards went to North America with the hope of attaining more wealth in the new lands by the presence of the spices and the silks that were from Asia. The result of the exploration differed from what was expected, and instead, they were exposed to new wealth, but some went to settle and expand their territory and settled in areas such as California, Florida, Mexico and North and Central America.

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Some other countries also were exploring America, not for settlement but trade which included France and this was in the 1500s, this was a way to set up and control the markets and also to trade with the native who was known for the furs they produced. During this time the French sent more explorers whose intention was to colonize the land in the west which included cities like Quebec which was their main area of operation. During the same period in the late 1500s, the Dutch also came to settle in America who were led by Henry Hudson. They arrived in boats. During the 1500s the Dutch sent fishing boats to North America, and in 1609, they settled along the Hudson River which was aptly named after Henry Hudson. The Dutch began settling and began farming activities in their new lands which mad e the area prosper like the Amsterdam port which grew at that time. This settlement did not last for long, England in 1664 went on and forced the Dutch out of the area and America as a whole, and the area was now Called New York.

At this time, England was unsuccessful in attaining colonies. In 1607, a group of 100 English settlers went to Virginia and renamed their new home Jamestown in honor of their king. They settled in the area to mine gold under the leadership of Captain John Smith. A few years later in 1620, the Pilgrims who are part of the English arrived, and they only wanted religious freedom, and they founded Plymouth Colony. This was the marked the expansion of England in the Eastern Coast.

The Colonial Period

This era marked the European rule in America. The book Give me Liberty. The rule was based on ideologies about democracy and equality which only applied to the Europeans and not the Africans, Native Americans or the women. The House of Burgesses, which was the first House of Representatives, was formed by two representatives from Virginia which was used to enhance the European rule in America. The Mayflower compact gave way to democracy in which the male Europeans were allowed to vote in their colony, and this was an act to ensure that elections were equal and the procedures outlined. The colony moved to settle in the new area and displaced the Native American. They had social classes and at the top were large landowners, wealthy merchants, and shipping company owners. The middle social class consisted of shopkeepers, owners of medium-sized farms and craftsmen. The bottom had slaves, unskilled workers, and servants. The servants had a name which was the indentured servant which meant a person who signed an agreement to work for a certain period for a colonist and was paid passage to America. The children of the settlers identified themselves by their colony. They were referred to by where they were brought up in the new land. They were later referred to as; Georgians, Pennsylvanians jus to mention a few. This marked the establishment of new beginnings and a new culture.

The Revolutionary Period

This marked the era in which America marked its independence and establishment of new laws that would help the country grow and live in harmony and peace with the neighbors. This was as a result of constant battles with the fresh, and the European settlers wanted to have democracy and equality for all the women and the men. This move was marked by the need for Americans to have their leadership and to stop the constant tension that was growing with the French. The Europeans also had the issue of high taxation due to lack of enough funds in England. The British expanded their taxation to the colonies in which they were highly taxed on every item being sold and the services rendered. This was the starting point of problems between the colonies and the colonizers. The Americans retaliated and drew the declaration of independence in which freed Americans from the British 1776, and it became official in 1781, and this marked the new American under American leadership.

Early Republic Period

This marked the period where America was independent, and new leadership with new development happened. The following is a list of all the activities that occurred during this period. In the year 1789 George Washington is inaugurated first President, and two years later the Bill of Rights is ratified. In addition to that, First Bank of the United States was established. In 1794, Eli Whitney invented the Cotton Gin and the whiskey rebellion. In the year 1795 Jay Treaty was ratified. And the following year Washington's Farewell speech followed. Similarly, in 1798 Alien and Sedition Acts was established and the Louisiana Purchase established. A year later the Supreme Court declares parts of the Judiciary Act of 1789 unconstitutional. The year 1804 marked the end of slavery in New Jersey, and between1804-1806 Lewis and Clark began their expedition. In the year, 1807 Robert Fulton builds his first steamboat and in 1808 African Slave Trade ends. In the year 1809 Non-intercourse Act was made, and between 1812-1814 the War of 1812 began, and in 1820 the Missouri Compromise took place.

This era marked the time in which there were major milestone being achieved, and majorly the presidents and leaders were the ones who spearheaded the changes and the wars that occurred in the land also contributed to the changes. Violence was part of shaping America that exists today which marked the turning point of all the events in America. The fight for independence was one of the major wars fought at the beginning. The wars between the Europeans and Native Americans in the issue of settlement. The Mexican war and the civil war brought about changes such the shifting of ownership of lands from the Natives, acquiring of new states and introduction of new laws that made it possible for equality between the whites and the blacks in politics and the economy with every one having the power to own land and establishment of businesses of all races.

Race and Slavery

Slavery was introduced in the 1500s, and this was common in the western country in which the slaves were used as help and the fields. This was an issue in America since the black Americans had no rights but were deemed as slaves in the South of America in the cotton fields and the houses of the masters and were not allowed to vote. They were sexually harassed, abused during labor and were used to pay off debts of their employers. The slaves were introduced by the British who offered cheap labor and could work for long periods of time. There were slave laws which were used to limit the rights of the Africans. They began having their religion which was different from the whites which were also used as a political platform to air grievances. The strikes and go-slows made it possible for the slaves to start a new revolution of the end of slavery. The Black codes which were enhanced by the whites were laws that limited the rights of a slave. It took the involvement of the president Abraham Lincoln who fought in the civil war between the south and the north for the need of freeing slaves and establishment of new laws that could enable the black Americans to be citizens of America with the new laws and the emancipation proclamation.

"Violence" Was Used To Shape the Economic, Social, and Political Violence in Early America

This can be described as acts of war which acted as a catalyst or an agent of change. These marked the turning points of the most important events that shaped the country. A good case in point is the invasion by the Europeans, the Germans and the French which caused the relocation of the Natives to settle towards the Mississippi river till present times which caused bloodshed and loss of lives, the revolutionary war which the Americans fought and won which marked their independence from the British from 1775 to 1781, the Mexican- American war which was a war on territories in which the Americans won and expanded with the new states of California and New Mexico as a result of the Guadalupe Hidalgo treaty, the civil war that occurred during the reign of Abraham Lincoln in 1861 which was fought in the American soil due to the southerners formation of the confederate states and the antebellum.

Violence against the Africans in America was used as a means to control and shape the economic, social and political context of America. Legislations were enforced by the majority white government that made Africans work in the white people plantations in the south where they significantly contributed to the economy of the southern states that were mainly agriculture-based economies. Violence was a tool used to discredit the African Americans and deny them equal rights with the white people majority. Racial profiling and violence played a significant role in the development of the American economy in which African forced labor was used in the construction of roads and plantations. Upon being granted freedom when the 14th amendment came into place, the southern economies suffered significantly due to the lack of labor and the high cost of labor since the slaves had been granted freedom and their labor was to be compensated. However, the southern states exploited a loophole in the 14th amendment which noted that freedom could be limited through imprisonment for a crime. As a result, violence was again perpetrated against the African Americans who were denied equal treatment. The government built more prisons to control the rising population of the African Americans. The prison populations were used to provide forced labor and compensate for the lack of free labor due to the enactment of the 14th amendment.


Davis, David Brion. Inhuman Bondage: The rise and fall of slavery in the New World. Oxford University Press, 2006.

Foner, Eric, and Give Me Liberty. "An American History." Seagull Edition), New York and London: WW Norton and Company (2006).

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