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Colonial American History in Summary II.docx

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ColonialAmericanHistoryinSummaryAboriginalWorldsandEuropeanIncursions1Both Africa and the Americas possessed diverse complex societies sophisticated political and social systems extensive trade networks and ancient histories before the arrival of the Europeans it was not a the discovery that the Europeans imagined merely their first encounter with an already diverse and developed people2The 1492 landing of Columbus and Co in the Caribbean marked the opening encounter of sustained European conquest and settlement in the Americas eventually pushing the Native American people from their ancestral lands and bringing new African people to the New World as slave labour3The Atlantic slave trade not the African slave trade that was already underway developed in response to the arrival of Portuguese traders in West Africa and due to their success eventually grew to include other empires like the Dutch until millions of Africans were crossing the Atlantic against their will4The immediate impact of European discovery of the Americas included a growth in Atlantic slave trade virgin soil epidemics decimating aboriginal populations new mixed blood people and new forms of tradeTheColonizationofNorthAmerica1The wealth and power of Spain and Portugal from the Americas from their vast discoveries of gold and precious gems their plantations of sugar and other cash crops in the Caribbean and their role in the Atlantic slave trade prompted envy and competition from England France and the NetherlandsoMotivated by jealousy and fear of the growing power of their European rivals2After a harrowing journey across the Atlantic packed into ships with very little food water or clean space on which many died of disease and hunger enslaved Africans played a central role in the colonization of the Americas building the economy through their forced labour and literally building the growing American infrastructure3The English French and Dutch sought to break the Iberian monopoly over the Americas through privateering competitive trade and attempts at colonization Their rival colonization failed for the most part in the South and Caribbean but they were able to gain toeholds in North America especially France in the St Lawrence region where they used the fishing and fur industries and New Netherlands later New York where the Dutch set up their own colonies driven primarily by their advancing into the Atlantic slave trade4North America was a disappointment to its early European colonizers rich in some resources like fish and furs but difficult to colonize due to the many rival Native American tribes and harsh lands lacking in gold silver or a passage to the Orient with which to rival the new economic power of the Iberian coloniesTheColonizationofNorthAmericaII1England began colonizing North America relatively late but did so aggressively and persistently Having failed with the first colonization experiment at Roanoke in 1687 Jamestown was founded in 1607 and due to joint stock companies the idea of colonization became an enticing one Although Jamestown appeared to be going the way of Roanoke the starving time etc when John Rolfe started to experiment with growing tobacco in 1609 the colony had found its green gold Virginia began to prosper immediately and new colonies were soon to follow2Joinstock companies allowed investors to test Richard Hakluyts theory of profits to be made in North America by collectively funding colonial ventures The formation of a colony in North America was too expensive for a single person but this made it possible to test the waters and see if there really was money to be made in the formation of colonies by using the collective funding of many investors who pooled their money in hopes of an eventual return for profit3The Chesapeake colonies Virginia and Maryland demonstrate the power of a staple crop in this case Tobacco to shape an emerging colonial society This really shaped the place that Virginia and Maryland would eventually become because profit was king so most work was done in the interest of profit and not in the interest of the community as a whole and a large percentage of the incoming colonists often as indentured servants were male better for agricultural work so natural population increase was far less than that in the later New England Colonies4The New England colonies demonstrate the power of a common vision in this case religious to shape an emerging colonial society Religion shapes who comes for example the Calvinists coming to Maryland and the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay how they live how they survive together as a community what institutions they set up churches meeting halls eventually schools etc5Many differences between North and South in the USA can be traced to the strikingly different colonial societies which emerged in New England and the Chesapeake regions For instance the extensive use of indentured servitude in the Chesapeake colonies spurred in part by the headshare program created a region which would eventually easily accept slavery Also the New England colonies whose purpose
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