The Colonies by 1763-a New Society?

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  • Topic: Thirteen Colonies, Middle Colonies, New England Colonies
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The Colonies by 1763-A New Society?

Between the settlement at Jamestown in 1607 and the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the most important change that occurred in the colonies was the extension of British ideals far beyond the practice in England itself. The thirteen colonies throughout time all established themselves and soon developed their own identities. Colonies in different areas were known for different things and no one colony was like the other. These people began to see them selves as Carolinians or Georgians, Quakers or new Englanders. Most of these colonist's no longer saw themselves as being citizens of the mother country, but rather as citizens of their colonies. This is when the colonies began to receive their own identities and eventually start to become more and more Americanized. Changes in Religion, economics, Politics, and social structures illustrate this Americanization of the transplanted Europeans.

By 1763, although some colonies still maintained established churches, other colonies had accomplished a virtual revolution for religious toleration and separation of Church and State. In England religious toleration was out of the question and the Church of England was the only acceptable way of worshiping. All of the colonies in the Americas had differing amounts of religious toleration ranging from each end of the spectrum. In different areas the toleration varied. The majority of the people in the Southern colonies ( VA, MD, N & S Carolina, and GA) stayed loyal to the Church of England The Anglican Church and the Church of England were both tax supported so they were more widely spread throughout the south. The faith of the Protestants in the south was lest aggressive and more "worldly". The church however was weak because of the lack of a residential Bishop which was a lack of Authority. The one exception in the south was Maryland, In Maryland an "Act of Toleration" was passed in 1649 and provided toleration to all members of the Christian faith. In the Middle colonies there was an immense amount of religious toleration. Every Middle colony with the exception of Delaware was established with religious freedom in Mind. PA was established as a "Holy Experiment" and was a refuge for Quakers, looked down upon in England. This "experiment" attracted a diversity of faiths and backgrounds. There was also great Diversity in New York, and New Jersey. Delaware was mainly established with economic reasons in mind. The New England Colonies were also established with religious freedoms involved but for a different group of people, the Puritans. The Massachusetts Bay colony was established to be a model for what society should really be like, a utopia. This idea was based on the "City on a Hill" theory. The Puritan religion dominated the entire North East. Intolerant of dissenters and peoples from other religions the Salem which trials began. Showing how brutal the people were, killing or exiling anyone who disagreed with there "simple way of life". Mentioned above is a "virtual revolution for religious toleration". This revolution marked the beginning of confessions and emotionalism. Before the Great Awakening most sermons portrayed god as a benign creator and failed to emphasize the confession of sins. During the Great Awakening people began to believe that living a life of sinfulness will lead to an after life of eternal damnation, unless you confess your sins. It became a more emotional period in religion.

In a similar economic revolution, the colonies outgrew their mercantile relationship with the mother country, and developed and expanding capitalist system on their own. England depended on colonies such as those in North America to supply them with raw materials to produce and eventually sell back to them. This is known as mercantilism and is only really benefiting the mother country. The Southern colonies were originally established as mercantile colonies, providing...
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