Sense of Americanism during colonisation period, 494 words essay example
The southern colonies used their exports effectively in the Triangular trade all throughout the 16th and 17th centuries when colonies traded away part of their excess cash crop to Britain, which would cycle back to receiving slaves from Africa to help produce more of that crop. New Englands shipbuilding skills led to it being the center of mercantilism importing goods from England while profiting from them for their use of New England ships in trade. However, due to the colonists lucrative trading with the West Indies, Britain passed the Navigation Acts in 1660 and the Molasses Act in 1733 to increase their control over trade with the colonies. The colonies took advantage of their resources to provide a stable economy while trading with other countries to acquire what they dont already have.
Religiously, the colonies were well established early on only to have it become noticeably less important for a period of time until revival. To many colonists, practice of religion was the main reason why they came to the New World, but over time immigrants transferred from European countries and kept their same traditions and religions. This led to religious tension notably when Penn and Quaker toleration of nonquakers disappears as the colony grows larger. Decades later, the Great Awakening exploded in 1734 renewing American religion while giving colonists a new sense of Americanism and increasing the competitiveness of churches. It helped introduce the Enlightenment and led to new evangelical religious movements by Jonathan Edwards and George Whitefield. More importantly, it led to the belief that multiple religious viewpoints could be equal, something that the Church of England did not have. Religion had grown less important to colonists over time until the Great Awakening sparked a new increased interest decades later.
With the British three thousand miles away and issuing salutary neglect, the colonists began to develop their own identity. The colonies shared a potential threat from the Indians which pushed them closer militarily, while the Zenger Trial and the Albany Plan of Union began to establish a political freedom. The result of the Zenger Trial was a beginning of freedom of the press after John Peter Zenger and his libel were proved innocent, but only because other colonists had defended him in the trial. About twenty years later, Ben Franklin proposed the Albany Plan of Union of 1754, which attempted to create a unified government for all colonies along with a separation of government powers and a defense plan before the French and Indian War. The plan did not pass, but it was a major first step to colonial unity and continued creating an American identity. Years later, an American identity had been further created when the French and Indian war proved the colonists as stronger militarily and the Americans disobey the Britains Proclamation of 1763 forbidding the colonists to settle west of the Appalachians. The colonists showed a gradual sense of Americanism over time which led to an individual identity by the middle to late 1700s.
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