Land as a theme during American colonies

Published: 2019-10-04 07:30:00
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During the American colonial period, the land was the main asset of production before and after America gained independence. For this reason, people showed great efforts in acquiring as much land as possible majorly as a sign of wealth and also in a bid to increase production of agricultural products such as tobacco and rice which were mainly grown then (Berkin 13). There were many scenarios to show this as is going to be depicted in this essay.

Immediately after independence, the first thing that the citizens of America noticed was that the rich farmlands located in the west of Appalachians were at last open for settlement. The farmlands were eyed by many ranging from the ordinary farmers to the wealthy speculators like George Washington, the Lees of Virginia and Benjamin Franklin, who owned lump sum shares to a great land companies (Berkin 13). Furthermore, more disputes rose, later on, concerning different claims of the western lands during the Congress Confederation government period (Berkin 14). Also, other people like Baldwin are seen to purchase more land. Pointedly, he purchased a huge tract of land when he moved to Georgia (Berkin 259). Apparently, these events showed that land was a major issue then and the bigger the land one acquired, the wealthier he/she became.

In other instances, the Congress government tried to sell the Ohio Valley lands to the civilians so as to raise revenue to fund the treasury which was empty then. However, this move is unsuccessful since the civilians fear future disputes concerning those lands since there was no federal protection back then (Berkin 22). This clearly shows that there were possibilities of that even if one bought a piece of land those in authority (the wealthy) would still, at some point, confiscate that land from the buyer.

On top of this, civilians who had unlawfully acquired land during the revolution period objected to paying their mortgages even after they acquired independence as a country. The inhabitants of these lands mainly comprised the Bostonians (Berkin 26). They, through Shays Rebellion, resulted in violence as they attacked the Springfield, Massachusetts courthouse armed with pitchforks and old muskets (Berkin 28). The citizens further claim land for settlement and agriculture under the grants they were given by the government (Berkin 291). All these instances show that the civilians feared to lose what they marked as wealth, especially to the government which constituted the wealthy. They were determined to fight the foreclosure policies that the government was willing to put up so as to claim their land.

From all this it is clear that land played a significant role in the strategizing of the revolution. Before the revolution, most of the land had been occupied by New England farmers. Demand had increased for agricultural products and thus need for acquiring and utilizing more land for agriculture resulted (Berkin 14). Arguably, the Americans that the dawn of revolution would result to the vacation of these pieces of land by the occupying New England farmers and this land would be at their (Americans) disposal for inhabitation and further agricultural production.

To sum it all up, the acquisition, utilization, and depletion of land was the major theme in the American colonies during the mid-18 century. It is evident that people took advantage of the colonial period, and they took possession of land so as to increase production of the major crops: cotton, tobacco, and other agricultural products but they did not want to pay for it. Further much land was taken possession of so as to set up industries during this period. In other words, people possessed land at high rates for their financial gain.

Work Cited

Berkin, Carol. A Brilliant Solution. Orlando: Harcourt, 2003. Print.

sheldon

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