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At the time, absolute monarchs were most prevalent in France and Spain, and there were no mechanisms of power-sharing in place in England.
Following Queen Elizabeth's death, King James VI of Scotland (160), inherited the throne and adopted the title of King James 1 of England. Notably, the queen had never married and there was no apparent successor to take over; James I was considered because he was the queen's distant cousin. Puritans were hoping that the new king would help them in reforming the church to what they said required further purification as they opposed the manner in which the Roman Catholics their ejection from the kingdom.
Separatists and King clashed in their ideals leading to the majority of them leaving the kingdom. By 1604, most of their leaders were imprisoned with the king issuing strict ultimatums to the remaining protesting factions.
King Charles I (1625) and problems with Parliament started when he imposed taxes hike without due consultations with the appropriate avenues. This was further complicated in 1642 when he attempted to arrest some parliamentarians for not conforming to his demands. At the time, he was short of money to fund his army as he faced increased resistance from the puritans.
Oliver Cromwell (and the English Civil War 1646-1649) contributed to the death of Charles I who upon his arrest was beheaded on charges of treason and contempt of parliament. On assuming leadership and purely a puritan, Oliver banned both the Roman Catholics and Anglicans also becoming another tyrant.
King Charles II (1660) assumed the position of his slain father under the recommendations of the army. He was considered a better leader as he jointly ruled with the parliament.
King Charles II (1685) the younger brother of Charles II was, however, more unpredictable. He strongly supported Catholicism in the rather now a protestant England, disobeyed parliament and advocated for murdering and prosecution of his political opponents.
The Glorious Revolutio was basically a kind of power transfer that led to James II fleeing the kingdom and William taking over with an assurance that the parliament was in the position to make any suitable recommendations to the existing monarchy. Thus, both the kings and queens had no right to suspend parliament, create armies nor enforce taxes without prior consent from the parliament.
*People and Profits
Spanish settlements were generally taken as noble missions. The entire wealth these expeditions acquired from the Americas were repossessed by the monarchs. English colonization was on the other hand led by two differing groups i.e. those seeking asylums from religious prosecution and those in search of land and wealth.
Joint-stock companies were formed by Englishmen investors by buying share of stock purposely to avoid financial risks in their quest to form colonies to what they referred to as the American wilderness. These companies however received full authorization from the English monarchs but no funds were issued.
English settlements were considered to be well organized as compared to those in New Spain. However, the population amongst the locals especially along the Atlantic coast was and less wealthy than the Mexicans and the Incas. The Indians were treated with superstition in their bid to create large agricultural enterprises. English colonies surpassed those of Spain and France in terms of population.
English government and investors’ two goals from their colonies… were to provide raw materials, tobacco, and fur and on the other hand, create a thriving market for their finished goods. They worked by, all means, to ensure that the colonies were adequately populated, for instance, organizing revolts amongst the inhabitants of England in order for them to migrate to America.
*The Landless English
Population explosion experienced late sixteenth century incapacitated the monarch to support landless workers. Consequent evictions in favor of grazing lands resulted in many poor laborers migrating to the American colonies.
Enclosure of farmlands and the rising population led to an increase of beggars and vagrants. This also served as a reason to send relocate people to the colonies.
Joint-stock company (VA Company and other) was chartered by the king in 1606 and solely owned by merchant in search of gold and silver in America.
Jamestown (1607), initially named James Fort, was the place the 100 men and boys settled after evading the Spanish raiders after experiencing storms in the seas. They however later experienced hardships for their of survival techniques in that situations.
Powhatan Confederacy consisted of several hundreds of Indian villages under the leadership of a supreme chief who the English referred to him as Powhatan. At the time, it was considered to be the most power group amongst the natives living along the Atlantic coast.
John Smith v. Chief Powhatan though at first rivals later became to learn the importance of bargaining in order for each faction to survive the hardships of the area. They traded with one another and helped the new colonists being able to make their exploits in the new town.
Winter 1609-1610 was one of the hardest periods amongst the colonists as they suffered food shortage and other supplies and the subsequent epidemic of diseases and or as a result of starvation. The settlers were resulting into eating their horses, cats and dogs and everything available to them.
Tobacco (planted by John Rolfe) was later found to be the only crop that could profitably be invested in the town, Jamestown. Though it was originally grown in the Caribbean islands its growing popularity amongst the Europeans led to it to increased plantations within Virginia and Maryland by the year 1670 becoming the major exporters of the crop during the time.
Indentured servants were basically the colonists who had traded for labor for some period of time in exchange of land. The phenomenon became the only source of labor amongst English Americans in the colonial times.
Treatment of the Indentured servants was not one of the best as they were in a way taken as slaves though provided with food and a place to sleep. In other cases, however, this was not entirely pure voluntary service as some of the servants were as a result of kidnappings and others being forced to submit to the services, for instance, convicts.
When indenture ended mostly after four to seven years, the servants were in the position to claim their dues as required by custom and law. This involved being allocated tools, clothing, food, and in some cases, small tracks of land.
Pocahontas (story according to John Smith) was one of the enticing in that she helped save John Smith on many occasions. The most notable one was however when the Indians prepared to execute him after he was convicted on charges of trespassing.
Life with John Rolfe began when she converted to Christianity being named as Rebecca. They later migrated to London were she drew a lot of attention though their life together was short-lived after she contracted a lung disease and died. John Rolfe is credited as having introduced tobacco in Jamestown.
*The Virginia Company Prospers
Head-right system was basically a land grant program introduced by Sir Edwin Sandys, at then a prominent member of parliament and the new head of the Virginia Company in 1618.
Rights of Englishmen served to provide all the liberties amongst the colonists within Virginia similarly to what they had been in their country as long as they were willing to obey the enacted laws to which they had consented to.
(1619) English ship of women arrived In Jamestown whereby men rushed to claim them as wives by offering pounds tobacco as the cost for the transatlantic voyage.
Dutch ship with first slaves docked at Jamestown the same year. Basically, this were the first enslaved Africans to reach English America residing in the town.
As a royal colony (1624) Virginia despite his miserable state provided the opportunity for the setters to own property and start their own businesses. They received their governor, Sir William Berkeley, appointed by the king who would oversee the growth of the colony for the next 35 years.
Large VA planters poor tobacco farmers was precisely fired by the greed of largest planters who wanted to live like English gentlemen who were known to own large tracks of land within countryside. To achieve this started driving freed servants out of their lands and mostly those along rivers presumed to be the most fertile ones. As a consequence, many of free white men were landless squatting in private properties and basically struggling to survive.
Bacon’s Rebellion was generally driven by the increasing tension amongst the landless colonists and eventually erupted between the white planters and the Native Americans after continued attacks from both sides.
Indian attacks and Bacon’s assaults happened when several Indians were murdered and the subsequent killings of five native chieftains by the frontier vigilantes taken assaults propagated by Bacon, the self-acclaimed leader of the vigilantes. The situation escalated becoming a battle of the landless servants, small farmers and slaves against the Virginia’s wealthiest planters and political leaders in the area.
The demise of Jamestown and Bacon occurred after it was burned down by Bacon’s vigilantes and Bacon died thereafter after falling ill.
King Charles I (1634) and Lord Baltimore the former gave the latter 12 million acres of land in the town.
The first proprietary colony was owned by individuals not the company.
Created as a family oriented colony.
The majority of the people were Catholics in the belief that they could take over from their counterparts.
A. Settling New England
The New England colonies were intended for self-governing religious ideals based on the teachings of John Calvin. He had initially shown or rather dictated of what they were supposed to abide to.
A healthier place and growing population was a result of the ample climate the place offered with limited cases of infectious diseases hence sparking population growth and consequently surpassing that of Virginia. They resided in the most fertile areas thus giving them the advantage of venturing the market. This was especially considering the fact that majority of them had escaped the hardships of their hometowns.
On a divine mission, the pilgrims and puritans wanted to create a model Christian society. The puritans had for a long time wanted to have that state where the church could be observed with dignity it deserved.
Separatists established the first permanent English settlement in New England. Majority of them had been expelled from their homelands and in search of a conducive environment to foster their ideologies.
The Mayflower (1620) was the vessel the strangers used to cross the Atlantic in search of a new settlement area. This however brought so much inadequacies that even brought to the establishment of the most remarkable towns of the time.
Mayflower Compact was an agreement between the strangers and the separatists on-board the Mayflower vessel in forming a new church. They agreed on ways through which they would be able to survive on the same are.
A “starving time” was similar to the hardships and starvation experienced by early colonists in Jamestown. They did all they could to make sure that the town flourished at all costs.
Puritans (Congregationalists) wanted …to purify the Church of England from within but not separate from it. The faction had for their times in their homeland disgusted by the manner in which the church was being used to foster certain ideologies and in this case, the Catholics that promoted differing rituals.
King Charles I (1629) and Puritans agreed on a loyal charter in a way that fostered harmony amongst the inhabitants.
“A city on a hill” was the anticipated colony considered to be a safe haven for puritans and a model Christianity community.
Gov. John Winthrop and a government that enforced transferred the authority from London to Massachusetts in order to rule themselves.
Anne Hutchinson was a strong-willed and intelligent woman who openly expressed her religious views regardless of the instituted regulations to govern the area.
Mass. Bay Colony’s royal charter evolved into a provincial government and served as was a unique of colonizing.
Mass. General Court organized itself consisted of shareholders that included property owners also freed men.
Puritans who had fled were adequately represented and protected in the royal charter and were able to enjoy their membership in the church to the rights of voting and basically becoming freemen.
Roger Williams (1631) arrives to the island from England.
True puritanism required a complete separation of the church and the state and the freedom from being coerced into matters of faith.
(Roger Williams’ quote, “was that “forced worship, stinks in God’s nostrils.
Providence (start of Rhode Island) was the most democratic of all the colonies.
*Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine
Rev. Thomas Hooker (1634) led three church congregations from Massachusetts Bay to Connecticut form where they organized a self-governing colony.
Sir Ferdinando Gorges and Captain John Mason (1622) were given control of the now New Hampshire and Maine.
Maine and New Hampshire (1679) was divided by Mason and Gorges.
The English Civil War in America
New Netherlands (Dutch territory) was in-between New England and the Chesapeake Bay within the Atlantic coast.
Note: In 1642, the English arrested and later beheaded King Charles I for dismissing Parliament (becoming a dictator) and for his blatant Catholic oppression of Protestants. Oliver Cromwell, leader of the largely Protestant army, became the Puritan ruler until 1658 (calling himself Lord Protector.) Cromwell’s authority not only changed things in England but also in the English colonies. When Cromwell abdicated control of England, the country asked the dead king’s son Charles II to take the throne. (He said,’yes!’)
The New England Confederation (1634) was formed to provide defense against the Dutch, French, and Indians.
Virginia and Maryland defied Cromwell’s dictatorship.
The Restoration of Charles II (the dead king’s son) (1660) restored equally painless reinstatement of previous governments in the colonies.
The Restoration in the Colonies
The Restoration of Charles II to the throne revived interests amongst the English in regard to colonial expansion.
The area taken from the Dutch became New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware.
(1663) King Charles II granted the Carolinas to 8 prominent supporters who later became lords proprietor i.e. owners of the region.
Two separate areas were the North and South Carolina colonies.
Sugar planters from the Caribbean island Barbados were hugely profitable based on enslaved Africans as laborers.
From the start, S. Carolina was inhabited by native Indians.
Headrights were given the right to own land and slaves as well.
(1712) the Carolina colony immersed into colonial violence with the Tuscaroras of North Carolina attacking Germans and English colonists who had invaded their land.
Main agricultural product was sugar.
*Enslaving the Indians
The growing trade in deerskins led to buying captives as slaves
(1670-1715) more enslaved Indians were women and children.
The Tuscarora War (1712) in N Carolina was as a result of Germans and English colonists invading their land that led the killing of more than 100 whites and fleeing of hundreds of the colonists.
The Yamasee War (1715) in S. Carolina attacked coastal plantations and killed more than 100 whites.
(1727) Creeks and Cherokees in a blood feud continued for months.
(1700-1730) Indian population dropped from 15,000 to just around 4,000.
The Middle Colonies and Georgia
Between New England and the English Chesapeake were middle colonies of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.
*New Netherland Becomes New York
Dutch East India Company (1602) and Henry Hudson explored America in hopes of finding a northwest passage to the spice-rich Indies.
New Netherland was created as a profit-making enterprise just like Virginia and Massachusetts.
New Amsterdam as a fort and fur-trading post was located at the end of the island.
The Dutch embraced ethnic and religious diversity
(1654) Jews form Portugal and Peter Stuyvesant arrived in New Amsterdam but the anti-Semitic governor, Peter Stuyvesant, at first refused to grant them asylum.
Jewish communities in America grew slowly because of the imposed restrictions especially at expressing their beliefs and praying in the open.
(1626) the importing of enslaved Africans by the Dutch West India Company to beat labor shortage.
The takeover (1664) by the Duke of York, and renaming of both New Netherland and the city of New Amsterdam as New York as an honor to the Duke of York.
The Duke of York granted lands between the Hudson and Delaware rivers to Sir George and Lord John Berkeley.
Disaffected Puritans formed Newark
Scots, Swedes, Finns, Dutch remained
(1702) East and West Jersey were united as the single royal colony of New Jersey.
Quakers became the most controversial of the radical religious groups that emerged from the English Civil War.
Founded by G. Fox (1647) Quakers rebelled against all forms of political and religious.
Radical beliefs: were radical and believed that people were really good and could achieve salvation through personal, emotional communication with God.
William Penn’s history was that he was against the beliefs of the Quakers though a very wealthy Admiral knighted by the King.
Penn encouraged people of different religions and from different countries to settle in his new colony based on his belief that people of all faiths and nations would live together in harmony.
Relations with Native Americans were unusually good as a result of friendliness with the Quakers and the policy of younger Penn especially in the buying of land tittles from the natives.
(1682) William Penn was given an area in Delaware, a part of the former Dutch territory by the Duke of York.
After 1704 Delaware as a part of Pennsylvania was given the right to choose its own assembly.
(1732) King George II gave the land between the Savannah and Altamaha Rivers to 21 English trustees appointed to govern the Province of Georgia, named in honor of the king.
Two reasons for the colony were that it provided a military buffer against Spanish Florida and to serve as a social experiment bringing together settlers from different countries and regions many of them refugees, debtors or what they were referred to as miserable wretches making up the worthy poor.
James Oglethorpe (social reformer) designed Savannah with a grid of crisscrossing roads decorated by numerous parks.
As a social experiment, (criminals were taken from English prison and given a ‘fresh start’) the colony grew quickly.
Some of the initial laws in Georgia were banning of liquor and slavery.
The economy in Georgia was based on exportation of rice, lumber, beef and pork and trade with the islands of West Indies.
Native Peoples and English Settlers
The difference in England’s strategy as compared to France and Netherlands was based on the exploitation of fur trade.
To get fur pelts the French and Dutch build trading outposts in upper New York and along the great lakes and established friendly relations with the Hurons, Algonquians, and other Indians.
*Native Americans and Christianity
New England colonists’ attempts at converting the Indians into Christianity and into a more civilized way of living.
*The Pequot War
New England Puritans viewed Indians as barbaric, creatures merciless and cruel who had no place in New England.
The Pequot War (1637) in Mass destroyed Indian villages that lastly came to extinction.
*King Philip’s War
Native Americans in poverty and fear was a result of a significant reduction of English settlers influx in the area though their relations with the Indians had somewhat improved.
Metacomet (King Philip) was the chief of the Wampanoags.
John Sassamon was a Christian Indian who had studied from Harvard College and who came to warn the English of an impending war from the Wampanoags.
King Philip’s War and brutal fighting also the Metacomet’s War was violence between the two warring sides that led to deaths and a lot of property destructions in New England.
Metacomet’s end; his family’s end when his wife and son were captured.
By the end, ¾ in New England had been killed.
*The Iroquois League
Indian groups were doomed due to their inability to unite effectively against Europeans and their vulnerability to infectious diseases.
Iroquois League was a confederation of Iroquois nations, i.e. Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk.
The strength of the Iroquois forced the the Dutch and English traders to work with them in order to acquire sufficient beaver pelts.
They gained control over a huge area from St. Lawrence River to Tennessee and from Maine to Michigan.
For over 20 years warfare raged between the Iroquois under the support of Dutch and English fur traders and the Algonquians and Hurons and their French allies.
After making peace with the French (1701) the Iroquois played the English against the French while creating a thriving fur trade for themselves.
Slavery in the Colonies
* Slavery in North America
By 1700, enslaved Africans made up 11% of the total population in the American colonies. This would however improve later with the population growing up to 20% by the year 1770.
Slavery varied greatly from region to region though the Africans only comprised of a rather small proportion in all the regions. This was contributed by absence of large plantations leading to what became to be family owned slaves whereby the slaves residing in the same premises with their masters.
And was much more predominate in the Chesapeake colonies and the Carolinas. With time the slaves’ population increased substantially with throughout Virginia and Maryland with majority of them being born in the colonies.
* Slavery’s African Roots
More than 10 million people eventually made the terrifying journey with majority of them going to Brazil or to Caribbean sugar islands like Barbados and Jamaica.
Previously, living in Africa and African slavery was nonetheless not quite different from those done by the colonists. The Africans preyed on their fellow Africans and this was greatly characterized by warfare, constant tribal instability, kidnappings, and enslavement and selling of their fellow Africans. It was however less brutal as compared to that done by the colonists.
“Slave forts” were located along the West African coast in which the European slave traders were able to purchase slaves held into captivity in this locations.
The Middle Passage …was a four-week to six six-month transatlantic voyage whereby the purchased slaves were transported in British-owned slave ships packed below the decks. The journey also involved other forms of trade where they exchanged rum, clothing and guns for slaves.
Slave traders and the rapid growth of slavery in the western hemisphere was generally contributed by the high profits gained from the trade and likewise as a result of the increasing cases of racism in which Africans were viewed as beasts of burden rather human beings. In other words, they were treated property, auctioned and sold to the highest bidders.
Work gangs, “drivers,” and overseers work gangs were those who worked in the large southern tobacco, sugarcane and rice plantations under the supervision of black drivers and white overseers. The slaves were housed in what was referred to as barracks and fed just like livestock, provided with undersized clothing and shoes that were so uncomfortable to an extent that majority of them preferred going barefooted.
Ingenious ways to cope involved organized rebellions from the enslaved Africans by resisting work orders, damaging the crops and stealing tools with others faking illness or injury or just running away. This was however met with harsh punishments to those caught.
African heritages woven into American culture certain aspects of their heritage, for instance, the introduction of new vocabulary and words such tabby, tote, goober, yam and banana and names like Coosaw, Pee Dee and wado rivers.
Slaves often used their songs, stories and religious preaching for the purpose of conveying coded messages to express their disgust in the manner in which they were being treated by their masters or the overseers.
The fundamental theme of slave religion was deliberately enforced to them and adopted from Christianity with a promise of deliverance, that is, they would eventually be freed from their captivity by their God and the gates to heaven’s Promised Land opened.
English failures were mostly contributed by the manner in which they handled their slaves. Majority of the settlers experienced hard labor, desperation and early death in the New World. The only way they survived was a result of exploiting Indians, indentured servants or Africans.
English successes were basically due to the fact that majority of the enterprises were for profit orientations with only a minimal royal control. Besides, they had escaped the many challenges in their homeland and vested great interest in America for their own survival as compared to their counterparts only dominated by wealthy men controlling vast estates. Most importantly though, the English enjoyed a kind of self-governing principles that encouraged them to be more dynamic and creative in a way.
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