Question One: English Imperialism
The political motivations that encouraged the advancement of English imperialism were based on political competition. The English ruling classes were frustrated that they were behind Spain and their other rivals to create and conquer the new world. As a consequence of this apparent lack of supremacy, they decided to continue with their initiatives and attempts to gain more of a power base in North America. The English felt they could claim a significant stake in the Modern World and be equal to their opponents once again. Like other early settlers, the English also wanted to explore experience and colonize this new world and bring wealth back to their nation (Bailyn, 2016). These adventurers were looking for food, cash, tobacco, and any other valuable things or goods that they could bring back to England, their home country. These developments motivated English countries to develop English imperialism ideologies.
Question Two: Social Pressures
The social pressures that contributed to the English colonization of North America were the introduction of crops from America, which saw England’s population double after 1530. This triggered the people to scramble for food, clothing, as well as other items, which resulted in inflation. Due to a high number of laborers, salaries dropped, which affected many employees to live in poverty (Chet, 2019). Owing to these and other social considerations, English leaders felt the new colonies of North America would be at a safe place to accommodate extra citizens. Besides this, many ordinary people assumed that they could change their lives by moving to new countries and places. These citizens were trying to look for a daily existence in which they could thrive in this new world, and wishing for more religious freedom, although this was often not the case when they arrived.
Part B: Colonial Descriptions
Economic Systems Social Characteristics Political Systems
Massachusetts Bay As the colonial powers were having difficulty in growing their fresh produce in Massachusetts Bay, the Pokanoket tribal group gave them food (Bailyn, 2016). Family members were working on the farm, tending to the crops, but most households also had slaves to support them. Most Massachusetts Bay inhabitants were Puritans, and their religious belief was strongly linked to the legislation they enforced. Alcohol consumption, dancing, cursing, and even playing games, was forbidden (Foner, 2016). Many individuals with diverse religions have been expelled from the jurisdiction. John Winthrop was Governor of the jurisdiction at Massachusetts Bay. This territory had a public tribunal, which became a legislature later (Weinstock, 2016).
Virginia In Virginia, tobacco was the primary source of revenue. Labor from slaves was used for cultivating and harvesting this crop (Weinstock, 2018). Tobacco was also used as a currency to purchase everything that the colonists wanted, even items they had brought from England. It was constitutionally required that all Virginians correspond to and adopt the Church of England. The English became more associated with slave ownership and trade around 1660, after the establishment of the Royal African Company (Chet, 2019). African slaves were less costly, making them economically more valuable in the long run than domestic slaves. Plantation owners owned the slaves. Virginia had a structure of governors, put into power on the advice of a council by people who owned assets or by the legislative body. A judiciary was used in their scheme, too (Israel, 2019). Many prominent political personalities, including Washington and Jefferson, emerged from the Virginia colony.
The Carolinas The agricultural commodities in The Carolinas included tobacco and corn. Corn and livestock had been leased to planters in the Caribbean. Indian slaves were also sold by the country, which was obtained by trade with other Indian people (Israel, 2019). Human labor on the mansions granted to the aristocracy was carried out by “Leet” women and men, whose occupants were ensured total power and dominance, and purchased and sold as part of the manor’s land. Slaves were the exclusive possessions of the wealthiest people in society (Chet, 2019). Extensive plantations and slave owners controlled the territory. The Carolinas had state legislators (governors) chosen by property owners or by the parliament. A council, which is composed of the parliament's upper house, supported those governors (Weinstock, 2018). The Carolinas also had a court that comprised county courts and an appellate court.
Part C: American Revolution
The significant events and ideas such as colonial conflicts and competitions, philosophies, various regulations, and rebellion acts triggered the American Revolution. Colonists, for example, started to feel that they were not getting enough recognition and representation, and sought to elect their legislators who would take care of their aspirations and preferences while in England. Many people in England presumed that national assembly was sufficient representation for the colonial powers and that they did not need more representation (Israel, 2019). Other colonies were in constant competition to scramble for other new worlds they thought were productive. Various electorates felt that they were superior to others; hence they had a right to colonize the best nations with natural resources and other goodies. There was a need to revolutionize as a way of accommodating each other nation’s philosophies and ideologies.
At this particular moment, the colonial powers were starting to wriggle out of the stranglehold of England. The Townshend Acts had come into force, with a new prime minister as an extension of the Navigation Acts that had been adopted for over two centuries. These laws were aimed at controlling trade flows between the colonial powers, England and other nations. Dissatisfaction with Britain's colonial powers continued to increase, and they later created a Correspondence Committee to join forces against Britain (Bailyn, 2017). The colonial powers no longer felt compelled to abide by Britain’s laws. They demanded their civilization, and they insisted on their freedoms. This ignited a spark among colonial powers, which led to the American Revolution.
Part D: Effect of the American Revolution
The end of the American Revolution, signaled a defining moment in how various classes of people were being treated. For example, the Native Americans had been important economic associates with the English for years. They had provided colonialists with food when they could not grow their own, and some Native Americans had joined and helped the colonists in various battles. After the revolution, such men were seen as merely an obstacle to the growth of American colonies. Americans felt they would at least seek to civilize certain beings that they found to be very barbaric (Strow, 2018). Many efforts at civilization, including training the indigenous peoples to cultivate, as the English saw hunting as a sporting event rather than a way to get food. They also intended to modify the notion that agriculture was the work of young girls and women, as the English people started working the farms while the women took care of children and managed homesteads.
Women were also finally starting to be perceived differently. Following the ideologies of revolutions like the Enlightenment, women’s rights became a concern at the heart of many feminist minds. Before the revolution took place, women were perceived as subordinate to men. The lack of constitutional protections granted to married women made this apparent. Women were not regarded to have any autonomy in economic, political, or civic issues. In 1783, South Carolina’s Eliza Wilkinson said she would not have even figured out that she was capable of something substantial than domestic affairs, as they were the lesser sex than body composition (Weinstock, 2018). As cited in Revolutionary Changes, she believed she was able to achieve better than many people think of her as a woman. The argument appeared that there would be absolute gender equality, but this thinking was confronted with shock and rejection.
African Americans were slowly drifting from being predominantly treated as commodities to be purchased and traded, retaining value only as long as they were required. For many years, many governments have abolished slavery, whereas others have made it harder to free already-owned slaves. Some regions turned their crops into grain rather than drug substances as a result of this shift, because it was much less labor-intensive and did not need as many employees, so less slaves were required (Weinstock, 2018). Even though slaves were being liberated, they were still not treated with dignity and as equals. In some states, they were not permitted to vote, and they were also forced to live at a range from white people, especially in South Carolina, where a black person was not permitted to testify in court against a white person.
Bailyn, B. (2017). The ideological origins of the American Revolution. Harvard University Press.
Chet, G. (2019). The Colonists' American Revolution: Preserving English Liberty, 1607-1783. John Wiley & Sons.
Foner, E. (2016). Give Me Liberty! An American History: One Volume. WW Norton & Company.
Israel, J. (2019). The expanding blaze: How the American Revolution ignited the world, 1775-1848. Princeton University Press.
Strow, B. K., & Strow, C. W. (2018). Social Choice and the American Revolution. Journal of Applied Economics & Policy, 33(1), 33-54.
Weinstock, M. (2018). The Effects of the American Revolution on American Social Life.
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