The Colonial Period < History 1954 < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond (2023)

"Heaven and earth never agreed better to frame a place for man's habitation."

John Smith, founder of the colony of Virginia, 1607

The Colonial Period < History 1954 < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond (1)

Within the span of a hundred years, in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, a tide of emigration -one of the great folk wanderings of history-swept from Europe to America. This movement, impelled by powerful and diverse motivations, built a nation out of a wilderness and, by its nature, shaped the character and destiny of an uncharted continent.

Today, the United States is the product of two principal forces-the immigration of European peoples with their varied ideas, customs, and national characteristics and the impact of a new country which modified these distinctly European cultural traits. Of necessity, colonial America was a projection of Europe. Across the Atlantic came successive groups of Englishmen, Frenchmen, Germans, Scots, Irishmen, Dutchmen, Swedes, and many others who attempted to transplant their habits and traditions to the new world. But, inevitably, the force of geographic conditionspeculiar to America, the interplay of the varied national groups upon one another, and the sheer difficulty of maintaining old-world ways in a raw, new continent caused significant changes. These changes were gradual and at first scarcely visible. But the result was a new social pattern which, although it resembled European society in many ways, had a character that was distinctly American.

The first shiploads of immigrants bound for the territory which is now the United States crossed the Atlantic more than a hundred years after the fifteenth- and sixteenth-century explorations of North America. In the meantime, thriving Spanish colonies had been established in Mexico, the West Indies, and South America. These travelers to North America came in small, unmercifully overcrowded craft. During their six- to twelve-week voyage, they subsisted on meager rations. Many of the ships were lost in storms, many passengers died of disease, and infants rarely survived the journey. Sometimes tempests blew the vessels far off their course, and often calm brought interminable delay.

To the anxious travelers the sight of the American shore brought almost inexpressible relief. Said one chronicler, "The air at twelve leagues' distance smelt as sweet as a new-blown garden." The colonists' first glimpse of the new land was a vista of dense woods. The virgin forest with its profusion and variety of trees was a veritabletreasure-house which extended over 1,300 miles from Maine in the north to Georgia in the south. Here was abundantfuel and lumber. Here was the raw material of houses and furniture, ships and potash, dyes and naval stores.

"Heaven and earth," wrote John Smith in praise of Virginia, the colony he helped found, "never agreed better to frame a place for man's habitation." Of his colony, William Penn, the founder of Pennsylvania, said: "The air is sweet and clear, the heavens serene." As inviting as the climate were the native foods. The sea abounded in oysters and crabs, cod and lobster; and in the woods, there were turkeys "fat and incredible of weight," and quail, squirrels, pheasants, elk, geese, and so many deer that in places "venison is accounted a tiresome meat." Fruits, nuts, and berries grew wild everywhere, and it was soon discovered that more substantial fare like peas and beans and cornand pumpkins could be easily cultivated. Soon the newcomers found that grain would grow and that transplanted fruit trees flourished. And sheep, goats, swine, and cows throve in the new land.

The new continent was remarkably endowed by nature, but trade with Europe was vital for the import of articles the settlers could not yet produce. Here the coastline served the well. The whole length of shore provided innumerable inlets and harbors, and only two areas -North Carolina and southern New Jersey -lacked harbors for ocean-going vessels. Majestic rivers - like the Kennebec in Maine, the Connecticut, New York's Hudson, Pennsylvania's Susquehanna, the Potomac in Virginia, and numerous others - formed links between the coastal plain and the ports,and thence with Europe. Of the many large North American east coast rivers, however, only Canada's St. Lawrence, held by the French, offered a water passage to the real interior of the continent. This lack of a waterway, together with the formidable barrier of the Appalachian Mountains, long discouraged movement beyond the coastal plains region. Only trappers and traders with light pack trains went beyond the seaboard. For a hundred years, in fact, the colonists built their settlements compactly along the eastern shore.

The Colonial Period < History 1954 < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond (2)
In New York's fertile Hudson River Valey, soil and climate favored diversified agriculture. On farms such as this one, grain crops, especially wheat, were abundant, and flour was one of the colony's important exports.

It was the shoreline and the rivers that first spread population north and south along the band of coast traversed by the arteries of travel. The several colonies were independent communities with their own outlets to the sea. Their separateness, together with the distances between the settlements, prevented development of a centralized and unified government. Each colony instead became a separate entity, marked by a strong individuality which in the later history of the United States became the basis of the concept of "states rights." But despite this trend to individualism, even from the earliest days the problems of commerce, navigation, manufacturing, and currency cut acrosscolonial boundaries and necessitated common regulations which, after independence from England was won, led inevitably to federation.

The coming of colonists in the seventeenth century was the result of careful planning and management, and ofconsiderable expense and risk. Settlers had to be transported three thousand miles across the sea. They needed utensils, clothing, seed, tools, building materials, livestock, arms, ammunition. In contrast to the colonization policies of other countries and other periods, the emigration from England was not fostered by the government. Rather, the initiative was taken by unofficial groups or by individuals. Two colonies, Virginia and Massachusetts, were founded by chartered companies whose funds, provided by private investors, were used to equip, transport, and maintain thecolonists. In the case of the New Haven (later a part of Connecticut) colony, well to-do emigrants themselves financed the transport and equipment of their families and servants. Other settlements - New Hampshire, Maine, Maryland, the Carolinas, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania - originally belonged to proprietors, members of the English gentry or nobility who, as landlords, advanced out of their own resources the funds for settling tenants and servants upon lands granted to them by the King in the same manner as they might be granted an estate at home. Charles I,for instance, granted to Cecil Calvert (Lord Baltimore) and his heirs the nearly seven million acres which were later to become the state of Maryland; the Carolinas and Pennsylvania were given as grants by Charles II. Technically, these proprietors and chartered companies were the King's tenants, but they made only symbolic payments for their lands. Lord Baltimore, for instance, gave the King two Indian arrowheads each year, and William Penn contributed two beaver skins annually.

Several colonies were simply offshoots of other settlements. Rhode Island and Connecticut were founded by peoplefrom Massachusetts, the mother-colony of all New England. Still another, Georgia, was established largely for benevolent reasons by James Edward Oglethorpe and a few other philanthropic Englishmen. Their plan was to release imprisoned debtors from English jails and send them to America to establish a colony which would serve as abulwark against the Spaniards to the south. Founded in 1624 by the Dutch, the colony of New Netherlands came under British rule forty years later and was renamed New York.

The most impelling single motive which induced emigrants to leave their European homelands was the desire forgreater economic opportunity. This urge was frequently reinforced by other significant considerations such as a yearning for religious freedom, a determination to escape political oppression, or the lure of adventure. Between 1620 and 1635, economic difficulties swept England, and overflowing multitudes could not find work. Even the best artisans could earn little more than a bare living. Bad crops added to the distress. In addition, England's expanding woolen industry demanded an ever increasing supply of wool to keep the looms clacking, and sheep-raisers began to encroach on soil hitherto given over to tillage.

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Concurrently, during the religious upheavals of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, a body of men and womencalled Puritans sought to reform the Established Church of England from within. Essentially, their program called for the more complete protestantization of the national church, particularly insofar as church responsibility for individual conduct was concerned. Their reformist ideas threatened to divide the people and to undermine royal authority by destroying the unity of the state church. A radical sect known as Separatists believed the Established Church could never be reformed to their liking. During the reign of James I, a small group of these - humble country folk - left for Leyden, Holland, where they were allowed to practice their religion as they wished. Some years later, a part of this Leyden congregation decided to emigrate to the new world where, in 1620, they founded the "Pilgrim" colony of New Plymouth.

The Colonial Period < History 1954 < American History From Revolution To Reconstruction and beyond (3)
The dotted section on this map indicates the extent of English colonization along the Atlantic Coast. Organized settlement had not yet spread very far in from the seaboard, and inland bounderies were not yet permanently established. As westward expansion progressed, these bounderies were to cause frequent disputes

Soon after Charles I ascended the throne in 1625, Puritan leaders in England were subjected to what they viewed as increasing persecution. Several ministers, who were no longer allowed to preach, gathered their flocks about them and followed the Pilgrims to America. Unlike the earlier emigrants, however, this second group, which established Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1630, included many persons of substantial wealth and position. Within the next decade, a Puritan stamp had been placed upon a half dozen English colonies. But the Puritans were not the only colonists driven by religious motives. Dissatisfaction with the lot of the Quakers in England led William Penn toundertake the founding of Pennsylvania. Similar concern for English Catholics was a factor in Cecil Calvert'sfounding of Maryland. And many colonists in Pennsylvania and North Carolina were dissidents from Germany andIreland who sought greater religious freedom as well as economic opportunity.

Political considerations, together with religious, influenced many to move to America. The attempted personal andarbitrary rule of England's Charles I gave impetus to the migration to the new world in the 1630's. And the subsequentrevolt and triumph of Charles' opponents under Oliver Cromwell in the following decade led many cavaliers - "king'smen" - to cast their lot in Virginia. In Germany, the oppressive policies of various petty princes, particularly withregard to religion, and devastation from a long series of wars helped swell the movement to America in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

In many instances, men and women who had little active interest in a new life in America were induced to make themove by the skillful persuasion of promoters. William Penn publicized the opportunities awaiting newcomers to thePennsylvania colony in a manner more than suggestive of modern advertising techniques. Ship captains, whoreceived large rewards from the sale of service contracts of impecunious migrants, used every method from extravagant promises to out-and-out kidnapping to secure as many passengers as their vessels could transport. judges andprison authorities were encouraged to offer convicted persons an opportunity to migrate to America in lieu of a prisonsentence.

Of the mass of colonists who crossed the ocean, relatively few could finance the cost of passage for themselves andtheir families and of making a start in the new land. For the earliest colonists, the expenses of transport andmaintenance were provided by colonizing agencies such as the Virginia Company and the Massachusetts BayCompany In return, the settlers agreed to work a for the agency as contract laborers. But a colonist who came to thenew world under such an arrangement soon discovered that, since he was expected to remain a servant or tenant, hewould have been better off in England without adding the hardships and dangers of a wilderness frontier to hisdependent lot.

This system soon proved a handicap to successful colonization. In consequence, there developed a new method ofencouraging settlers to come to America. Companies, proprietors, and independent families entered into a negotiablecontract with the prospective settler. In exchange for passage and maintenance, 'the emigrant was bound to labor forthe contract-holder for a given period of time - usually from four to seven years. Free at the end of this term, hewould receive freedom dues, sometimes including a small tract of land, usually fifty acres. The emigrants so involvedwere called "indentured servants." It has been estimated that fully one-half of the immigrants to the colonies south ofNew England came to America under this system. Usually they fulfilled their obligations under the contracts faithfully.A few, however, ran away from their employers at the first opportunity. They, too, were able to secure land easily andto set up homesteads either in the colony where they had originally settled or in a neighboring one.

No social or other stigma attached to the family which had its beginnings in America under this semibondagearrangement. In every colony, in fact, many of the leading personages were, either former indentured servants ortheir children. They, like all other colonists, were the most valuable assets of a country whose greatest need waspopulation. Indeed, the colonies and all groups interested in their success prospered in direct ratio to the number ofsettlers who migrated. For land and other natural resources were practically unlimited, and progress was entirelydependent on the size of the population available to develop them.

Of the settlers who came to America in the first three quarters of the seventeenth century, the overwhelming majoritywas English. There was a sprinkling of Dutch, Swedes, and Germans in the middle region, a few French Huguenotsin South Carolina and elsewhere, and here and there a scattering of Spaniards, Italians, and Portuguese. But theserepresented hardly ten per cent of the total population.

After 1680, England ceased to be the chief source of immigration, as great numbers came from Germany, Ireland,Scotland, Switzerland, and France for varied reasons. Thousands of Germans fled Europe to escape the path of war.A host of Scotch-Irish left northern Ireland to avoid the poverty induced by government and absentee landlordoppression. From Scotland and Switzerland came people also fleeing the specter of poverty. Immigration tended tomove in waves, but over any period of years it was a steady stream. In 1690, the population amounted to about aquarter of a million. It doubled every twenty-five years until in 1775 it numbered more than two and a half million.

For the most part, non-English colonists adapted themselves to the culture of the original settlers. This did not,however, mean that all settlers transformed themselves into Englishmen abroad. True, they adopted the Englishlanguage, law, customs, and habits of thought, but only as these had been modified by conditions in America. And inthe process of the amalgamation of these later immigrants with the original English colonists, further culturalmodifications were effected. The final result was a unique culture -a blend of English and - -ropean continentalcharacteristics conditioned by the environment of the new world.

Although a man and his family could shift from Massachusetts to Virginia, or from South Carolina to Pennsylvania,without making many basic readjustments, yet distinctions were marked between individual colonies. They were evenmore marked between groups of colonies.

The several settlements fell into three fairly well-defined sections. One of those was New England which becamechiefly commercial and industrial, while in the south, a predominantly agrarian society was developing. Geographywas the determining factor. A glaciated area, the New England region was strewn with boulders. Generally, the soil,except in rare spots in river valleys, was thin and poor, and the small area of level land, the short summers, and longwinters made it inferior farming country. But the New Englanders soon found other profitable pursuits. Theyharnessed waterpower and established mills where they ground wheat and corn or sawed lumber for export. Thecoastal indentations made excellent harbors which promoted trade. Good stands of timber encouraged shipbuilding,and the sea was a source of great potential wealth. The cod fishery alone rapidly formed a basis for prosperity inMassachusetts.

Settling in villages and towns around the harbors, New Englanders quickly adopted an urban existence. Commonpasture land and common woodlots served to satisfy the needs of townspeople who acquired small farms nearby.Many of these farmed in addition to carrying on some trade or business. Compactness made possible the villageschool, the village church, the town meeting, and frequent communication, and all of these together had atremendous influence on the nature of the developing civilization. Sharing similar hardships, cultivating the samekind of rocky soil, following simple trades and crafts, these New Englanders rapidly acquired characteristics whichmarked them as a people apart.

Actually these qualities had roots that reached back to the one hundred and two sick and sea-weary "Pilgrims" whotraveled to Cape Cod from Leyden and Plymouth. Coming under the auspices of the London (Virginia) Company andthus destined for settlement in Virginia, their ship, the famous Mayflower, made its landfall far to the north. Aftersome weeks of exploring, the colonists decided not to make the trip to Virginia but to remain where they were. Theychose Plymouth harbor as a site for their colony, and though the rigors of the first winter were severe, the settlementsurvived.

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Even while Plymouth struggled for existence, other settlements were planted nearby. The one which occupied theMassachusetts Bay region after 1630 played a particularly significant part in the development of New England and ofthe nation. It was founded by some twenty-five men who obtained a royal charter. Some of these, together with agroup of settlers, came to America themselves, bringing the charter with them. They were determined to succeed,and though New England proved something less than a paradise and some of the colonists went home to nurse theirdisillusion, most set themselves to the stem business of making a living and constructing a society suitable to thestrong-minded individu als they were. Within the first ten years, sixty-five learned preachers deeply versed intheology arrived, and the development of a theocracy in Massachusetts took place as a logical consequence of itsleaders' deep conviction. In theory, the church and state were separate. Actually they were one, all institutions beingsubordinated to religion. Soon a system of government, theocratic and authoritarian, evolved. At town meetings,however, there was opportunity for discussion of public problems, and settlers thereby received a certain amount ofexperience in selfgovernment. And though the towns developed around the church organization, the wholepopulation, by the very exigencies of frontier life, shared in civic obligations and in consultative meetings. Still, foryears the clergy and conservative laymen attempted to maintain conformity.

They did not succeed, however, in binding the mind of every citizen or curbing the tongue of the inspired zealot. Sucha rebel was Roger Williams, a minister of blameless life, a brilliant man learned in the law, who questioned both theright of taking the Indians' land and the wisdom of keeping church and state unified. For spreading his "new anddangerous opinion against the authority of the magistrates," he was sentenced by the general court to banishment.He found refuge among friendly Indians in Rhode Island and soon established a colony there based on the conceptsthat men might believe as they wished and that church and state would be forever separate.

But heretics in search of liberty of conscience were not the only ones who left Massachusetts. Even orthodox Puritans seeking better lands and opportunity made their way from the colony. News of the fertility of the Connecticut RiverValley, for instance, early attracted the interest of farmers having a difficult time with poor land. They were ready tobrave the danger of the Indians for level ground and deep soil. Significantly, these groups, in setting up agovernment, extended the franchise and eliminated church membership as a prerequisite for voting. Concurrently,other Massachusetts settlers filtered into the region to the north, and soon New Hampshire and Maine were colonizedby men and women seeking liberty and land.

While Massachusetts Bay was indirectly extending its influence, it was growing apace at home and expanding itscommerce. From the middle of the century onward, it rapidly grew prosperous, and Boston became one of America'sgreatest ports. Oak timbers for ships' hulls, tall pines for spars and masts, and pitch for the seams came from thenortheastern forests. And building their own ships, sailing them to ports all over the world carrying freight as theyWent, the shipmasters of Massachusetts Bay laid a foundation for a traffic which was to grow constantly inimportance. By the end of the colonial period, one-third of all vessels under the British flag were American-built.Surplus food products, ship stores, and wooden ware swelled the exports. New England shippers soon discovered,too, that rum and slaves were profitable commodities.

Society in the middle colonies, the second great division, was far more varied, cosmopolitan, and tolerant than that inNew England. Pennsylvania and its appendage, Delaware, owed their initial success to William Penn, an eminentlypractical Quaker, whose aim Was to attract to the vast region granted him by King Charles 11 settlers of numerousfaiths and varied nationalities. Also determined that the colony set an example of fair and honest dealings with theIndians, Penn entered into agreements with them which, scrupulously observed, maintained peace in the wilderness.The colony functioned smoothly and grew rapidly. Within a year after Penn's arrival, three thousand new citizenscame to Pennsylvania. Heart of the colony was Philadelphia, a city soon to be known for its broad, tree-shadedstreets, its substantial brick and stone houses, and its busy docks. By the end of the colonial period, 30,000 people,representing many languages, creeds, and trades, lived there. The Quakers, with their grave, deliberate ways, theirphilanthropy, and their talent for successful business enterprise made the city, by the middle of the eighteenth century, the thriving metropolis of colonial America.

Though the Quakers dominated in Philadelphia, elsewhere in Pennsylvania other strains were well represented, TheGermans came from a war-ravaged land in large numbers, asking for the chance to earn their bread. They soonbecame the province's most skillful farmers. Important also in the colony's development was their knowledge ofcottage industries - weaving, shoe-making, cabinet-making, and other crafts. Pennsylvania was also the principalgateway into the new world for a great migration of Scotch-Irish. They were vigorous frontiersmen, taking land wherethey wanted it and defending their rights with rifles and interminable texts from the Bible. Often lawless, they were anaffliction to the godly Quakers, but their very shortcomings made them a force of incalculable importance. Believingin representative government, religion, and learning, they were the spearhead of civilization as they pushed everfarther into the wilderness.

Mixed as were the people in Pennsylvania, it was in New York that the later polyglot nature of much of America wasforeshadowed even as early as the mid-seventeenth century. By 1646, over a dozen languages could be heard alongthe Hudson and the population included Dutch, Flemings, Walloons, French, Danes, Norwegians, Swedes, English,Scotch, Irish, Germans, Poles, Bohemians, Portuguese, and Italians - the forerunners of millions of their compatriotsin centuries to come. Most of them earned their living through trade and established a commercial civilization whichanticipate d the characteristics of succeeding generations.

The Dutch possessed New Netherland, later to be called New York, for forty years. But they were not a migratingpeople. There was land and to spare in Holland, and colonizing offered them neither political nor religious advantageswhich they did not already enjoy. In addition, the Dutch West India Company, which undertook to establish the newworld settlement, found it difficult to find competent officials to keep the colony running smoothly. Then in 1664, witha revival of British interest in colonial activity, the Dutch settlement was taken over through conquest. Long after this,however, the Dutch continued to exercise an important social and economic influence. Their sharp-stepped gabledroofs became a permanent part of the landscape, and their merchants gave the city its characteristic commercialatmosphere. The habits bequeathed by the Dutch also gave New York a hospitality to the pleasures of everyday lifequite different from the austere atmosphere of Puritan Boston. In New York, holidays were marked by feasting andmerrymaking. And many Dutch customs -like the habit of calling on one's neighbors and sharing a drink with them onNew Year's Day and the visit of jovial Saint Nicholas at Christmas time - became countrywide customs which havesurvived to the present day.

With the transfer from Dutch authority, an English administrator set about remodeling the legal structure of New Yorkto fit English traditions. He did his work so gradually and with such wisdom and tact that he won the friendship andrespect of Dutch and English alike. Town governments had the autonomy characteristics of New England towns andin a few years there was a reasonably workable fusion between residual Dutch law and customs and Englishprocedures and practice.

By 1696, nearly 30,000 people lived in the province of New York. In the rich valleys of the Hudson, Mohawk, andother rivers, great estates flourished, and tenant farmers and small freehold farmers contributed to the agriculturaldevelopment of the region. For most of the year, the grasslands and woods supplied feed for cattle, sheep, horses,and pigs; tobacco and flax grew with ease, and fruits, especially apples, were abundant. But great as was the value offarm products, the fur trade also contributed to the growth of New York and Albany as cities of consequence. Forfrom Albany, the Hudson River was a convenient waterway for shipping furs and northern farm products to the busyport of New York.

In direct contrast to New England and the middle colonies was the predominantly rural character of the southernsettlements of Virginia, Maryland, the Carolinas, and Georgia. Jamestown, in Virginia, was the first colony to survivein the new world. Late in December 1606, a motley group of about a hundred men, sponsored by a London colonizingcompany, set out in search of a great adventure. They dreamed of quick riches from gold and precious stones.Homes in the wilderness wefe not their goal. Among them, Captain John Smith emerged as the dominant spirit, anddespite quarrels, starvation, and the constant threat of Indian attacks, his will held the little colony together throughthe first years. In the earliest days, the promoting company, ever eager for quick returns, required the colonists toconcentrate on producing for export naval stores, lumber, roots, and other products for sale in the London market,instead of permitting them to plant crops and otherwise provide for their own subsistence. After a few disastrousyears, however, the company eased its requirements, distributed land to the colonists, and allowed them to devotemost of their energies to private undertakings. Then, in 1612, a development occurred which ultimately revolutionizedthe economy, not only of Virginia, but of the whole contiguous region. This was the discovery of a method of curingVirginia tobacco which would make it palatable to European tastes. The first shipment of this tobacco reached London in 1614, and within a decade the plant gave every promise of becoming a steady and profitable source ofrevenue.

The cultivation of tobacco required fresh and fertile land, since soil on which it had been grown for three or four yearsbecame so exhausted that it produced only weak stalks. Farmers were obliged therefore to have sufficient acreage toinsure new ground, and since it was necessary for sites to be near easy transport, planters quickly scattered up anddown along the numerous Waterways. No towns dotted the region, and even Jamestown, the capital, had only a fewhouses. Planters quickly adapted themselves to a system of trade at long range, and London, Bristol, and otherEnglish ports were their market towns.

Most immigrants to Virginia came to improve their economic position. But religious as well as economic reasons ledto the growth of Maryland, the neighboring colony. Here the Calvert family sought to establish a refuge for Catholicsin the new land. They were also interested, however, in creating estates which would bring them profit. To that end,and to avoid trouble with the British government, they encouraged Protestants as well as Catholics to settle. In socialstructure and in government, the Calverts tried to make Maryland an aristocratic land in the ancient tradition, whichthey aspired to rule with all the prerogatives of kings. But the independence inevitable in a frontier society, whateverits technical structure, was not favorable to feudal trappings. In Maryland, as in the other colonies, the authoritiescould not circumvent the stubborn belief of the settlers in the guarantees of personal liberty established by Englishcommon law and the natural rights of subjects to participate in government through representative assemblies.

Maryland developed a civilization very similar to that of Virginia. Both colonies were devoted to agriculture with adominant tidewater class of great planters; both had a back country into which yeomen farmers steadily filtered; bothsuffered the handicaps of a one-crop system; and before the mid-eighteenth century, the culture of both wasprofoundly affected by Negro slavery. In both colonies, the wealthy planters took their social responsibilities seriously,serving as justices of the peace, colonels of the militia, and members of the legislative assemblies. But yeomenfarmers sat in popular assemblies too and found their way into political office. Their outspoken independence of spiritserved as a constant warning to the oligarchy of planters not to encroach too far upon the rights of free men.

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By the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, the social structure in Maryland and Virginia had taken on thequalities it would retain-until the Civil War. The planters, supported by slave labor, held most of the political powerand the best land. They built great houses, adopted an aristocratic manner of life, and maintained contact with thecultured world overseas. Next in the social-economic scale were the farmers who found their hope for prosperity inthe fresh soil of the back country. Least prosperous were the small farmers who struggled for existence in competitionwith slave-owning planters. In neither Virginia nor Maryland did a large trading class develop, for the plantersthemselves traded directly with London.

It was the Carolinas, with Charleston as the leading port, which developed as the trading center of the south. Here thesettlers quickly learned to combine agriculture and commerce, and the colony owed much of its prosperity to themarketplace. Dense forests also provided revenue, and tar and rosin from the long-leaf pine were among the bestship stores in the world. Not bound to a single crop as was Virginia, the Carolinas produced and exported rice, indigo,and naval stores. By 1750, 100,000 or more people lived in the two colonies of North and South Carolina.

In the south is everywhere else in the colonies - from the mountains of Vermont to the ragged forest clearings of theMohawk River in New York, down along the eastern fringes of the Alleghenies and into the Shenandoah Valley inVirginia-growth of the back country, the frontier, became a significant development. Men seeking greater freedom ofconscience than could be found in the original tidewater settlements had early pushed beyond their borders. Thosewho could not secure fertile land along the coast or who had exhausted the lands which they held found the hillsfarther west a fruitful place of refuge. Soon the interior was dotted with successful farms, worked by meneconomically as well as spiritually independent of the older regions. Humble farmers were not the only ones whofound the hinterland attractive. Peter Jefferson, an enterprising surveyor and father of Thomas Jefferson, third President of the United States, settled in the hill country, buying 400 acres of land for a bowl of punch.

Although there was a sprinkling of large landowners among those who found their way into the foothills, most of thosewho left the settled colonies in the east were small, independent pioneers. Living on the edge of the Indian country,their cabins were their fortresses, and they relied for protection on their own sharp eyes and trusty muskets. Bynecessity, they became a sturdy and self-reliant people. They cleared tracts in the wilderness, burned the brush, andcultivated com and wheat among the stumps. The men dressed in hunting shirts and deerskin leggings, the women inhomespun petticoats. Their food was "hog and hominy" and roast venison, wild turkey, or partridge and fish from aneighboring stream. They had their own boisterous amusements - great barbecues where oxen were roasted whole,house-warmings for newly married couples, dancing, drinking, shooting matches, quilting bees. Already discerniblewere lines of cleavage between the old and the new, the east and west, the settled regions of the Atlantic seaboardand the inland frontier. These differences at times were great and dramatic. Nevertheless, each region stronglyinfluenced the other, for despite physical separation, there was a constant interplay of forces. As pioneers movedwestward, they carried forward something of the older civilization and established in fresh soil traditions which were apart of their common heritage. Many western pilgrims returned to tell their stories and excite the imaginations of thestay-at-homes. Men from the western country made their voices heard in political debate, combating the inertia ofcustom and convention. Even more important was the fact that anyone in an established colony could easily find , anew home on the frontier. This was a powerful factor in preventing authorities in the older communities fromsuccessfully obstructing progress and change. Thus, dominant tidewater figures were forced, time after time, toliberalize political policies, land-grant requirements, and religious practices, on popular demand, which was alwayssupported by a direct or implied threat of a mass exodus to the frontier. Complacency could have small quarter in thevigorous society which an expanding country generated. The movement into the foothills was a movement oftremendous import for the future history of the whole of America.

Of equal significance for the future were the foundations of American education and culture established in thecolonial period. Harvard College was founded in 1636 in Massachusetts. Near the end of the century, the College ofWilliam and Mary was established in Virginia, and a few years later, Connecticut legislation provided for the establishment of Yale University. But the most noteworthy feature of America's educational history was the growth of apublic school system. To New England goes much of the credit for this contribution. There the settlers acted togetheras a single public body, bringing to bear upon the school the concentrated resources of the community and, in 1647,Massachusetts Bay legislation - followed shortly by all the New England colonies except Rhode Island -provided forcompulsory elementary education.

In the south, the farms and plantations were so widely separated that community schools like those in the morecompact settlements were impossible. Planters sometimes joined with their nearest neighbors and hired tutors toteach all the children within reach. Often, children were sent to England for schooling. In the more thickly settledareas, a few neighborhood schools provided instruction but, in general, the individual planter was obliged to assumethe cost and responsibility of hiring tutors. In poorer families, the parents themselves undertook to give their childrenthe rudiments of learning.

In the middle colonies, the educational situation was varied. Too busy with material progress to pay much attention tocultural matters, New York lagged far behind both New England and the other middle colonies. Schools were poor,and well-to-do citizens were obliged to hire tutors for their children. For a large proportion. of the children there wasno adequate public-school system at all. Only spasmodic efforts were made by the royal government to providepublic facilities, and not until the mideighteenth century were the College of New Jersey at Princeton, King's College(now Columbia University), and Queen's College (Rutgers) established.

One of the most enterprising of the colonies in the educational sphere was Pennsylvania. The first school, begun in1683, taught reading, writing, and the keeping of accounts. Thereafter, in some fashion, every Quaker communityprovided for the elementary teaching of its children. More advanced training -in classical languages, history, literature- was offered at the Friends Public School, which still exists in Philadelphia as the William Penn Charter School. Theschool was free to the poor, but parents who could were required to pay tuition for their children. In Philadelphia, numerous private schools with no religious affiliation taught languages, mathematics, and natural science, and therewere night schools for adults. Nor was the education of women entirely overlooked, for private teachers instructed thedaughters of prosperous Philadelphians in French, music, dancing, painting, singing, grammar, and sometimes evenbookkeeping.

The advanced intellectual and cultural development of Pennsylvania reflected, in large measure, the vigorouspersonalities of two men. One of these was James Logan, secretary of the colony, at whose fine library youngBenjamin Franklin found the latest scientific works. In 1745, Logan erected a building for his collection and bequeathed it and his books to the city. There is no doubt, however, that Franklin himself contributed more than anyother single citizen to the stimulation of intellectual activity in Philadelphia. He was instrumental in creatinginstitutions which made a permanent cultural contribution, not only to Philadelphia, but to all the colonies. He formed,for example, a club known as the Junto, which was the embryo of the American Philosophical Society. As a result ofhis endeavors, a public academy was founded which developed later into the University of Pennsylvania. His effortsin behalf of learning resulted also in an effective subscription library which he called "the mother of all the NorthAmerican subscription libraries."

The desire for learning did not stop at the borders of established communities. For, on the frontiers, the hardyScotch-Irish, though living in primitive cabins, refused to fall into the slough of ignorance. Convinced devotees ofscholarship, they made great efforts to attract learned ministers to their settlements and believed implicitly thatlaymen likewise should cultivate all their mental talents.

In the south, planters depended very largely on books for their contact with the world of cultivation. Books fromEngland on all subjects - history, Greek and Latin classics, science, and law -were exchanged from plantation toplantation. In Charlestown, a provincial library was established in 1700. Music, painting, and the theater, too, foundfavor there. Indeed, actors long regarded Charlestown with special affection, for they were certain of a more cordialwelcome there than in other colonial cities.

In New England, the first immigrants brought along their little libraries and continued to import books from London.The Puritans, to be sure, had an inordinate appetite for religious writings, but they did not confine their reading tosuch works. By the 1680's, Boston booksellers were doing a thriving business in works of classical literature, history,politics, philosophy, science, sermons, theology, and belles-lettres.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, early boasted a printing press, and in 1704, Boston's first successful newspaper waslaunched. Several others soon entered the field, not only in New England but in other regions. In New York, forinstance, there occurred one of the most important events in the development of the American press. This was thecase of Peter Zenger, whose New York Weekly Journal, begun in 1733, was the mouthpiece of opposition to thegovernment. When, after two years of publication, the colonial governor could tolerate Zenger's satirical barbs nolonger, he had him thrown into prison on a charge of libel. Zenger edited his paper from jail during the nine-monthtrial which excited intense interest throughout the colonies. Andrew Hamilton, a great lawyer, defended him, arguingthat the charges printed by Zenger were true and hence not libelous in the real sense of the term. The jury returned averdict of not guilty, and Zenger went free. The consequences were far-reaching, not only for colonial America, butfor the America of the future. The decision was a landmark in the establishment of the principle of freedom of thepress.

Literary production in the colonies was largely confined to New England. Here attention was concentrated principallyon religious subjects. Sermons were the most numerous products of the press. A famous "hell and brimstone"minister, the Reverend Cotton Mather was alone the author of about 400 works, and his masterpiece, MagnaliaChristi Americana, was so large a work that it had to be printed in London. In this folio, the pageant of New England's

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history is displayed as it appeared to the prejudiced eyes of its most prolific and pedantic writer. The most popularsingle work was the Reverend Michael Wigglesworth's long poem, The Day of Doom, which described the Lastjudgment in terrifying and sulphurous terms. Everybody read it and everybody owned a copy of the fearful epic.

In all phases of colonial development, a striking feature was the lack of controlling influence on the part of the Englishgovernment. During their formative period, the colonies were, to a large degree, free to develop as their inclinationsor force of circumstances dictated. The English government, as such, had taken no direct part in founding any of theseveral colonies except Georgia, and only gradually did it assume any part in their political direction. The fact that theKing had transferred his immediate sovereignty over the new-world settlements to stock companies and proprietorsdid not, of course, mean that the colonists in America would necessarily be free or partially free of outside control.Under the terms of the Virginia and Massachusetts Bay charters, for example, complete governmental authority wasvested in the companies involved, and it was expected that these companies would be resident in England.Inhabitants of America, then, would have no more voice in their government than if the King himself had retainedabsolute rule.

In one way or another, however exclusive rule from the outside was broken down. The first step in this direction wasa decision on the part of the London (Virginia) Company to permit Virginia colonists representation in thegovernment. Instructions issued by the Company to its appointed governor in 1619 provided that free inhabitants ofthe plantations should elect representatives to join with the governor and an appointive "Council" in passing ordinances for the welfare of the colony.

This event proved one of the most far reaching in its effects of any occurring in the colonial period. From that timeonward, it was generally accepted that the colonists had, a right to participate in their own government. In mostinstances, the King, in making future grants, provided in the charter that freemen of the colony involved should havea voice in legislation affecting them. Thus, charters awarded to Cecil Calvert of Maryland, William Penn ofPennsylvania, the proprietors of the Carolinas, and the proprietors of New Jersey specified that legislation should bewith "the consent of the freemen." In only two cases was the self-government provision omitted. These were NewYork, which was granted to Charles H's brother, the Duke of York, later to become King James 11, and Georgia,which was granted to a group of "Trustees." In both instances, however, the exception was short-lived, for thecolonists demanded legislative representation so insistently that the authorities soon found it expedient to yield.

At first the right of colonists to representation in the legislative branch of the government was of limited importance.Ultimately, however, it served as a stepping-stone to the establishment of almost complete domination by thesettlers. This was achieved through elective assemblies, which first seized and then utilized, to the maximum, controlover financial matters. In one colony after another, the principle was established that taxes could not be levied, orcollected revenue spent -even to pay the salary of the governor or other appointive officers -without the consent ofthe elected representatives. Unless the governor and other colonial officials agreed to act in accordance with the willof the popular assembly, the assembly failed to appropriate money for this or that vital function. Thus there wereinstances of independent-minded governors who were voted either no salary at all, or a salary of one penny. In theface of this threat, governors and other appointive officials rapidly tended to become pliable to the will of thecolonists.

In New England for many years there was even more complete self-government than in other colonies. If the Pilgrimshad settled in Virginia, they would have been under the authority of the London (Virginia) Company. However, in theirown colony of New Plymouth, they were beyond any governmental jurisdiction. They decided consequently to set uptheir own political organization. Aboard the Mayflower, they adopted an instrument for government called the"Mayflower Compact," according to which they undertook to "combine ourselves together into a civil body politic forour better ordering and preservation . . . and by virtue hereof do enact, constitute, and frame such just and equallaws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices ... as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the generalgood of the colony . . . ... Although there was no legal basis for the Pilgrims thus to establish on their own initiative asystem of self-government the action was not contested and, under the compact, the Plymouth settlers were able formany years to conduct their own affairs without any outside direction or interference.

A similar situation developed in Massachusetts, where the Massachusetts Bay Company had been given the right togovern. The company moved bodily to America with its charter, and thus full authority rested in the hands of personsresiding in the colony. At first the dozen or so original members of the company who had come to America attemptedto rule autocratically. But soon the other colonists demanded a voice in public affairs and indicated that a refusal togrant this voice would lead to a mass migration to some other area. In the face of this threat the company membersyielded, and control of the government passed to elected representatives. Subsequent New England colonies -NewHaven, Rhode Island, and Connecticut - also succeeded in becoming self-governing. They did so simply by takingthe position that they were beyond any government authority and then setting up their own political system modeledafter that of the Pilgrims of New Plymouth.

The large degree of self-government which the colonies exercised did not go entirely unchallenged by Britishauthorities. Court action was taken against the Massachusetts charter; in 1684, it was annulled. Then all the NewEngland colonies were brought under royal control with complete authority vested in an appointive governor. Thecolonists strenuously objected to this turn of events and, after the Revolution of 1688 in England which resulted in theoverthrow of James II, they drove out the royal governor. Rhode Island and Connecticut, which now included thecolony of New Haven, were able to re-establish on a permanent basis their virtually independent position.Massachusetts, however, was soon again brought back under royal authority, but this time the people were given ashare in the government. As in the case of other colonies, this "share" was gradually extended until it became virtualdominance, effective use being made here as elsewhere of control over finances. Still, governors were continuallyinstructed to force adherence to policies which conformed to overall English interests. At the same time, the EnglishPrivy Council exercised a right of review of colonial legislation. The colonists, however, proved very adept at gettingaround these restraints whenever they affected their basic interests.

In the same way, the colonists found it generally possible to evade British attempts to regulate their externalrelations, particularly commercial relations, when it seemed in their interest to do so. Beginning in 1651, the Englishgovernment from time to time passed laws regulating certain aspects of the commercial and general economic life ofthe colonies. Some of these were beneficial to America, but most favored England at America's expense. Generally,the colonists ignored those that were most detrimental. The British occasionally aroused themselves and tried tosecure better enforcement, but efforts along these lines were invariably short-lived, the authorities quickly falling backinto a policy of "salutary neglect."

The large measure of political independence enjoyed by the colonies naturally resulted in their growing away fromBritain, in their becoming increasingly "American" rather than "English." And this tendency was strongly reinforced bythe blending of other national groups and cultures which was simultaneously taking place. How this process operatedand the manner in which it laid the foundations of a new nation was vividly described in 1782 by that shrewd Frenchhusbandman, J. Hector St. John Crêvecoeur. "What then is the American, this new man?" he asked in his Lettersfrom an American Farmer. "He is either an European, or the descendant of an European, hence that strange mixtureof blood, which you find in no other country.... I could point out to you a family whose grandfather was anEnglishman, whose wife was Dutch, whose son married a French woman, and whose present four sons have nowfour wives of different nations. He is an American, who, leaving behind him all his ancient prejudices and manners,receives new ones from the new mode of life he has embraced, the new government he obeys, and the new rank heholds ......"

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What happened in American colonial period in the Philippines? ›

When the Spanish-American War ended in December 1898, Spain sold the entire Philippine archipelago to the United States for $20 million. The Philippines had acquired a new colonial ruler. The United States had acquired a colony the size of Arizona, located more than 4,000 miles away across the Pacific.

What were the 3 main causes of the American Revolution? ›

Here are 6 key causes of the American revolution.
  • Seven Years War (1756-1763) ...
  • Taxes and Duties. ...
  • Boston Massacre (1770) ...
  • Boston Tea Party (1773) ...
  • Intolerable Acts (1774) ...
  • King George III's Speech to Parliament (1775)
14 Jan 2021

What happened in American colonial period? ›

Colonial America (1492-1763) European nations came to the Americas to increase their wealth and broaden their influence over world affairs. The Spanish were among the first Europeans to explore the New World and the first to settle in what is now the United States.

What is the importance of colonial period? ›

Colonial governments invested in infrastructure and trade and disseminated medical and technological knowledge. In some cases, they encouraged literacy, the adoption of Western human rights standards, and sowed the seeds for democratic institutions and systems of government.

Why is it important to learn about the literature of the Philippines during the American period? ›

In essence, the study of Philippine literature in English aids us in historicizing texts. Furthermore, it also allows us to think of the extent of American influence through the use of their language.

What is the most important contribution of the American in the Philippines? ›

Education and the School System • America's greatest achievement in the Philippine was the introduction of the public school system. Overall, the public school system increased the number of Filipinos who knew how to read and write.

What were the impacts of the American Revolution? ›

The Revolution also unleashed powerful political, social, and economic forces that would transform the post-Revolution politics and society, including increased participation in politics and governance, the legal institutionalization of religious toleration, and the growth and diffusion of the population.

What was the main point of the American Revolution? › The American Revolution (1775–83), also called the United States War of Independence or American Revolutionary War, was a war in which 13 of Great Britain's North American colonies won political independence and went on to form the United States of America.

What are the main causes of revolution? ›

Typically, revolutions take the form of organized movements aimed at effecting change—economic change, technological change, political change, or social change. The people who start revolutions have determined the institutions currently in place in society have failed or no longer serve their intended purpose.

What are the characteristics of the colonial period? ›

Some of those shared characteristics were an emphasis on family, hard work, and clearly defined gender roles. In colonial America, many people lived with their extended families. Most colonists lived on farms, where having a large family was an advantage because many people were needed to do all the work.

What was the most important event in the colonial era? ›

1775 –

American Revolution: War of independence fought between Great Britain and the 13 British colonies on the eastern seaboard of North America.

What was the impact of the American Colonization Society? ›

Between 1821 and 1847, only a few thousand African Americans, out of millions, emigrated to what would become Liberia. By 1833, the Society had transported 2,769 individuals out of the U.S., while the increase in Black population in the U.S. during those same years was about 500,000.

What is colonial easy answer? ›

Colonialism is a practice or policy of control by one nation over the people living in different areas or countries, often by establishing colonies and generally with the aim of economic dominance.

What is colonial period in simple words? ›

or less commonly Colonial : of or relating to a period when an area is being colonized and especially to the period of European colonization in U.S. history between the early 17th century and the late 18th century. in colonial times. : such as. : made or prevailing during a colonial period.

What is colonial in simple words? ›

1. the control or governing influence of a nation over a dependent country, territory, or people. 2. the system or policy by which a nation maintains or advocates such control or influence. 3.

What is one great contribution of American period in the Philippine literature elaborate your answer? ›

American period is one of the turning points which made our Philippine literary tradition colorful and interesting. This period saw the addition of a colorful language, the English language, as an indispensable tool for literature and communication.

What is the significance of studying the history and periods of English & American literature? ›

Learning English literature opens up a world of inspiration and creativity, while also developing skills that are essential for today's global environment. English Literature studies give an opportunity to discover how literature makes sense of the world through stories, poems, novels and plays.

What is the impact of literature during the American period in the Philippines? ›

Many Filipino started writing again and the nationalism of the people remain undaunted. Filipino writers went into all forms of literature like news reporting, poetry, stories, plays, essays and novels. Their writings clearly depicted their love of country and their longings for independence.

What was the main reason why Americans colonized the Philippines? ›

Americans who advocated annexation evinced a variety of motivations: desire for commercial opportunities in Asia, concern that the Filipinos were incapable of self-rule, and fear that if the United States did not take control of the islands, another power (such as Germany or Japan) might do so.

What are positive contributions of the American colonization to the Philippines? ›

Americans helps the society improved. First, the American colonizers helps the Filipinos arise from lowest economy to slowly recovering and gaining more and more economic growth. Second, the americans established provincial and municipal elections and later on national election that was held in 1907.

What are the positive and negative effects of American colonization? ›

While the colonization of the America's was negative for many reasons such as the spread of illnesses, and the forcing of religion upon natives, it was also beneficial to the Native's because it allowed them to have better weapons and to have different foods and goods in their lives.

Who benefited from the American Revolution? ›

The Patriots were the obvious winners in the Revolution; they gained independence, the right to practice representative government, and several new civil liberties and freedoms. Loyalists, or Tories, were the losers of the Revolution; they supported the Crown, and the Crown was defeated.

Who was affected by the American Revolution? ›

In the long-term, the Revolution would also have significant effects on the lives of slaves and free blacks as well as the institution of slavery itself. It also affected Native Americans by opening up western settlement and creating governments hostile to their territorial claims.

How did government change after the American Revolution? ›

The Constitution united the states as a single nation, strengthening the federal government and giving it the right to raise revenue, to coin money, and to maintain the military. The states surrendered their sovereignty, and could no longer coin money or raise armies of their own.

What caused the American Revolution and what did it accomplish? ›

The American Revolution was an epic political and military struggle waged between 1765 and 1783 when 13 of Britain's North American colonies rejected its imperial rule. The protest began in opposition to taxes levied without colonial representation by the British monarchy and Parliament.

What were the 5 cause of the American Revolution? ›

The 5 biggest causes of the American Revolution are the Proclamation of 1763, the Quartering Act, the French and Indian War, the Boston Massacre and the Intolerable Acts.

What did the American Revolution fight for? ›

The Revolutionary War was an insurrection by American Patriots in the 13 colonies to British rule, resulting in American independence.

What are 3 types of revolution? ›

The three revolutions were first a national revolution which involves the overthrow of colonialism, second, the Arab revolution which involves the defeat of division and false frontiers created by outsiders, and third the social revolution which involves the creation of an honorable living in fulfilment of social ...

What are the 4 characteristics of a revolution? ›

While revolutions come in many forms, they all share about four characteristics in varying degrees: Dissident Elites. Mass Frustration. Shared Motivations.

Why is it called colonial period? ›

Colonisation is a process of forming government in which one country subjugates another country politically, economically, socially and culturally. British period is called colonial because it conquered India and established its rule over the entire country and in the process subjugated the local nawabs and rajas.

What are the 3 types of colonial rule? ›

In fact, there were three different types of colonies: royal, self-governing, and proprietary.

What are the types of colonial? ›

Majorly there are two types of colonialism: Settler colonialism and Exploitation colonialism.

What were 3 positive effects of colonial rule? ›

Some positives historians have pointed out are medicine, education, improved infrastructure, Christianity, and boundaries. The growth of the African population was aided by the Western medicine introduced by Europeans. Africans were introduced to formal education by Europeans.

Who were the important people in colonial America? ›

  • Abigail Adams (1744-1818)
  • John Adams (1735-1826)
  • Samuel Adams (1722-1803)
  • Ethan Allen (1738-1789)
  • Benedict Arnold (1741–1801)
  • Crispus Attics (c.1723-1770)
  • Sir George Calvert, Lord Baltimore (1580-1632)
  • William Bradford (1590-1657)

What goods were produced during the colonial period? ›

The colonial economy depended on international trade. American ships carried products such as lumber, tobacco, rice, and dried fish to Britain. In turn, the mother country sent textiles, and manufactured goods back to America.

Who is the founder of colonialism? ›

More than a century before the Jamestown, Virginia settlement led by captain Christopher Newport, modern colonialism started with the Portuguese Prince Henry the Navigator (1394–1460), initiating the Age of Exploration and establishing African trading posts (1445 onwards).

How was colonialism impact our lives? ›

It altered the way production and distribution of goods take place. It started interfering with the manufacturing sector. It started occupying forests and cleared trees and started plantation. Colonialism introduced the forest acts that changed the lives of tribals/ pastoralists.

How did colonization impact the economy? ›

The effect of colonialism on trade is assessed by Mitchener and Weidenmier (2008: 1). They argue that “empires increased trade by lowering transactions costs and by establishing trade policies that promoted trade within empires.

What are the 4 features of colonialism? ›

There are four common characteristics of colonialism:
  • political and legal domination over an alien society.
  • relations of economics and political dependence.
  • exploitation between imperial powers and the colony.
  • racial and cultural inequality.
28 Feb 2014

What is an example of colonial history? ›

For example, the eastern seaboard of North America was colonized by England, central America was colonized by Spain, and Siberia was colonized by Russia. These are all examples of colonialism.

Why was the colonial period important? ›

Colonial America (1492-1763) European nations came to the Americas to increase their wealth and broaden their influence over world affairs. The Spanish were among the first Europeans to explore the New World and the first to settle in what is now the United States.

What is the purpose of colonial? ›

The purposes of colonialism included economic exploitation of the colony's natural resources, creation of new markets for the colonizer, and extension of the colonizer's way of life beyond its national borders.

What is another word for colonial? ›

Colonial Synonyms - WordHippo Thesaurus.
What is another word for colonial?
1 more row

Who is a colonial person? ›

A colonial is defined as a person who lives or lived in a colony. An example of a colonial is a man who lived in New York before the Revolutionary War.

Who colonized the most countries? ›

Although Europe represents only about 8 percent of the planet's landmass, from 1492 to 1914, Europeans conquered or colonized more than 80 percent of the entire world.

What happened in American period in Philippine literature? ›

American period is one of the turning points which made our Philippine literary tradition colorful and interesting. This period saw the addition of a colorful language, the English language, as an indispensable tool for literature and communication.

What happened to Philippine literature during American period? ›

Philippine Literature during American Occupation

In 1910, a new group started to write in English. Hence, Spanish, Tagalog, Vernaculars and finally, English, were the mediums used in literature during these times. The writers in Spanish went to write on nationalism like honoring Rizal and other heroes.

What happened to the Philippines economy during American period? ›

One of the major economic policies promoted during the American period was on strong commercial relations between the U.S. and the Philippines. The free trade relation with the U.S. resulted in the significant rise in Philippine foreign trade as well as in domestic trade.

What was the main reason why the Americans colonized the Philippines? ›

Economic Reasons

In an effort to become a global imperial and economic powerhouse, the United States political leaders colonized the Philippines due to its strategic location in the Pacific Ocean.

What are the characteristics of literature during American colonization period? ›

Colonial American literature is characterized by the narrative, which was used extensively during this period. Most of the literary works of this genre are composed of letters, journals, biographies and memoirs.

Why is it important to study the periods of American literature? ›

By examining literary texts, their stories and their messages, we can increase in our understanding of how to live life. We learn how to discern what is healthy and destructive in the world, and we are challenged with injustice and its consequences.

How do you describe the literary works of our ancestors during the pre colonial period? ›

Answer: The early literary forms of the Philippines were epics, legends, riddles and proverbs which were told and retold by the natives. The literature of the pre – colonial Filipinos bore the marks of the community.

Why is it important to learn about the pre colonial literature of the Philippines? ›

Answer: Studying the Pre Colonial literature on the Philippines is important because it gives us insight to the bases of the literary prose displayed during the Spanish colonization. ... Studying literature is fun because you can add some information in our own history.

What is the greatest contribution to literature of the American regime? ›

One can say that the major contribution brought to The Philippine Literature under the American regime (1898-1941) is the production of The Philippine Literature in English, which is divided into three different time frames: The Period of Re – orientation 1898 – 1910; Imitation (1910-1925), and; Self – discovery (1925- ...

What happened to the Filipinos during the revolutionary period? ›

In the fall of 1896, Filipino nationalists revolted against the Spanish rule that had controlled the Philippines since the sixteenth century. Led by Emilio Aguinaldo (1869-1964), the 1896 revolt carried the Filipinos to an anticipated war with Spain and an unanticipated war with the United States.

What do you think is the effect of the colonization to the early economic system of the Philippines? ›

Spanish colonization (1521-1896) led to the decline of pre- existing and often prosperous economic and political centers in the Philippines, due to lack of any real incentives for the “Indios” (e.g., see Mojares 1991).

What are the good causes brought by free education during the U.S. colonialism? ›

Education became a very important issue for the United States colonial government, since it allowed it to spread their cultural values, particularly the English language, to the Filipino people. Instruction in English language, and American history, lead to forming of a national identity and Filipino nationalism.

What were the changes brought about by American colonization in terms of art? ›

With the arrival of the new colonial power came a shift in art patronage – from the native ilustrados to the Americans. The new patrons, including the tourists and foreign investors, favored landscapes, still life, and genre themes that show the beauty of the land and its people.

How did the Philippines gain independence from America? ›

In 1942 the islands fell under Japanese occupation during World War II, and US forces and Filipinos fought together during 1944-45 to regain control. On 4 July 1946 the Republic of the Philippines attained its independence.”

Why the Americans did not give the independence to the Filipinos immediately after the Treaty of Paris? ›

The Spanish-American war was concluded by the Treaty of Paris which decreed that Spain would give up the Philippines, but in turn the archipelago would become a colony of the United States. Filipinos had not been consulted, and as a result the war for independence turned against the United States.


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