Type: History
Pages: 6 | Words: 1587
Reading Time: 7 Minutes

England was the second country to colonize the New World after Spain. Different reasons motivated England to colonize the New World. This essay discusses these reasons and their similarities and differences in Spain’s and England’s motives of colonization.

The struggle for religious supremacy is one of the reasons England colonized the New World. Religion supremacy was one of the reasons listed by Sir Walter Raleigh as to why Queen Elizabeth I needed to support the establishment of colonies. He argued that by colonizing the New World, the inhabitants would be saved from Catholicism influence and Spanish tyranny.

The urge to wield power in the European region was another reason that motivated England to colonize the New World. By the end of the 16th century, England wielded little power in the European region. Proponents of colonization argued that colonization of New World would enable England to become wealthy and powerful just like France and Spain.

Economic issues also motivated England to colonize the New World. Proponents of colonization portrayed the New World as “great plenty”. They argued that colonizing the New World would enable them enrich England through provision of goods and opening new markets.

England was also motivated by social factors to colonize America. The new World was seen as a possible “refuge for England’s “surplus” population”. The England’s population was growing drastically, and colonization of America was seen as a better way of resolving the social crisis in England at that time.

England’s and Spain’s motives were similar in that each of them wanted to extend their national power in the European region. Both countries were also motivated by the need to make their religion supreme (for Spain Catholicism and for England Protestantism). Moreover, both countries were motivated by the need to increase profitability. Unlike Spain, which was primarily interested in the mineral deposits in the New World, England was interested in the fertile lands and trade opportunities available in the New World.

In conclusion, profitability, power struggle in European region, social crisis resolution and religious supremacy motivated England to colonize America. This was similar to what motivated Spain to colonize America. However, the motives of the two countries differed in terms of their primary interests in mineral deposits for Spain and fertile lands and trade opportunities for England.

Slavery in British America

Slavery development in North America was slow. This was attributed to high cost of slaves in comparison to indentured servants. This essay discusses slavery in British America.

By the 17th century, social distinction in the Chesapeake was based on white plantation owners The line between slavery and freedom, for blacks in the Chesapeake the 17th century was more permeable than later years.

The first African slaves were brought to Virginia in 1619. A law barring Africans from serving in Virginia militia was established in 1620s. Other prohibitive laws, such as those barring interracial sexual relations emerged during this period. In 1643, a poll tax law was imposed on black women. However, free Africans in Maryland and Virginia had freedom to sue, and to own land and slaves. Both whites and blacks worked side by side on large acres of land in Virginia and were often involved in intimate relations.

The disparity between the white and black servants emerged in 1660s, when tobacco plantation farming spread to Virginia and Maryland. Various prohibitive laws were established during this period to curb the growth of African population and freedom. For instance, in 1667, the Virginia House of Burgesses decreed that religious conversion no longer conferred freedom from slavery. By 1680, many laws had advanced racial discrimination against blacks. As a consequence, most slaves in America were Africans by the 18th century. The 18th century saw a large scale importation of African slaves to the new world.

Different liberties were extended to slaves in the northern colonies, the Chesapeake region, and the rice kingdom of South Carolina and Georgia. For instance, balanced sex ratio had been extended to slaves in Chesapeake by 1740. They also had liberty to learn English language, due to interaction with white women on the farms. The slaves were also given liberty to religion. In South Carolina’s and Georgia’s rice plantations, slaves were granted liberty to practice the African culture. Slaves in Charleston and Savannah had liberty to interact and form sexual relation with white owners and slave women. In the northern colonies, slaves had much freedom of mobility and, as such, assimilated much of the mainstream culture.

The Stono rebellion of 1739 was led by newly imported slaves. It had two main impacts: the imposition of tighter South Carolina slave code and the imposition of a huge tax on newly imported slaves.

In conclusion, the development of slavery in British America was slow. During this period, many laws were enacted in various colonies to reduce the freedom of slaves. However, slaves had some liberties in different colonies. The Stono rebellion resulted in the tightening of the South Carolina slave code and the imposition of a huge tax on newly imported slaves.

The American Revolution

Several economic reasons caused the American Revolution. The enactment of the sugar stamp outraged the colonial merchants, whose profits were marginally affected by the act. Another economic reason that led to American Revolution was the enactment of the Stamp Act. Many colonists perceived this act as a violation of their liberty. Consequently, riots erupted in Massachusetts in 1765.Oposition to stamp tax marked the beginning of the revolution, as it led to disagreement between the Great Britain and the colonialists. The colonialists felt that the Act impeached on their rights.

In addition to economic reasons, social issues also played a major role in the American Revolution. The emergence of riots and mobs following imposition of restrictive taxes played a major role in the American Revolution. These mobs, as exemplified by the Massachusetts riots, seem to illustrate the social classes that existed at the time and revolt against the elites. The marginalized groups in America such as slaves, women and the Native Americans capitalized on the disagreement between the colonists and the British government to lash out their outrage on their oppressors and hence accentuating the revolution.

America was culturally diverse at the time of revolution. The cultural differences created by the diverse individuals led to revolt to England given the vast distance between America and England. In addition, colonists begun to feel that they were more of Americans than British. This accelerated the need for revolution, given the oppressive policies developed in Britain.

Various political reasons are responsible for the American Revolution. The colonists in America had their own legislatures which passed laws, levied taxes and had their own troops. The colonists felt that these powers were their rights, and when Britain enacted laws such as the Sugar Act and Stamp acts, the colonist felt that their rights were being violated. Consequently, conflict ensued. Laxity in external trade relation between Britain and America enhanced freedom that, when it was tightened, people revolted against it. In addition, most revolutionary leaders read various writings which enlightened them to understand the concepts of separation of powers, limited government, the governed consent and the social contract. The proclamation of 1973 offended the colonialist to revolt against Britain.

Support for or Opposition to Independence

The fight for independence was very fierce. This essay discusses people who supported or opposed to the independence struggle and why they did so.

Enthusiasm about independence among many Americans was lacking and, as a consequence, some of them actively supported the British. On the other hand, many American soldiers supported the war because they had experience after fighting in the Seven Years’ War or undergoing militia training in 1970s. The soldiers were inspired by devotion and sacrifice for their land. As the war progressed, the number of continental army and propertied Americans enlisted in the war reduced and, hence, young men with poor economic background were drawn into the war. These included indentured servants, African Americans, laborers and landless sons of famers. Many free white male populations supported the fight for independence and, as a consequence, many of them were killed. Initially, black recruits were not accepted by George Washington, but when he realized some were being offered freedom to join British patriots, he changed his mind. Consequently, many blacks were enlisted to support the fight against the British army. Thus, blacks supported either sides based on their evaluation on the side that would likely offer them freedom.

The southern colonies also enlisted blacks with the exception of South Carolina and Georgia colonies. Blacks in New York, New Jersey and South Carolina supported the British campaigns during the war in anticipation of being offered liberty. In the southern colonies, British initially succeeded in occupying after capitalizing on the social tensions between the rich planters and poor famers. Disgruntled soldiers in Philadelphia changed their allegiance to support the British, but they were later convinced to soldier on when they were promised bounties or discharges. The civilians in Colonel Banastre Tarleton were brutally treated and, as a consequence, many joined the fight for independency.

Canada did not seek independence because the Quebec population, which was predominantly Catholic, preferred to be ruled from a distance by Britain instead being ruled from Boston or Philadelphia. On the other hand, West Indies colonies did not seek independence because they feared uprising from slaves. Florida was under the Spanish rule, and slaves and free people there enjoyed much freedom.

The struggle for independence was mainly led by American soldiers who supported the struggle and British forces which opposed to the struggle. The main reasons for support or opposition were mainly economic and social, and there was the need for liberty.

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