Unit 1, Free Response #1

Topics: Sociology, Plymouth Colony, Colonialism Pages: 3 (824 words) Published: December 16, 2012
Julia Franchi

Unit 1
Free Response #1

The experience of the English colonies in the 17th and 18th century contributed to an expectation for self-government in the formation of political, religious, economic and social institutions. The House of Burgesses and the Mayflower Compact contributed to the political aspect, mercantilism and the South Atlantic system influenced the economic institutions, the Great Awakening and the Witch Trials supported the religious developments, while Bacon’s rebellion and the Southern Social Hierarchy were instrumental in the region’s social progress.

Political aspects contributed greatly to England’s success. The House of Burgesses was the first representative government in America. It was established by the Virginia Company and was created to help encourage English craftsmen to settle in North America and to make conditions in the colony agreeable for its current inhabitants. This event was crucial to the move toward independence, as it lead to claims for their own currency and the refusal to use imported English goods. A year later, in 1620, a document named The Mayflower Compact set forth principles of tolerance and liberty for the government of a new colony in the New World. This included four main ideals; the expression of deep faith in God, the deep loyalty to native England and to the King, mutual regard for one another as equals in the sight of God and the intent to establish just laws upon which would be built a democratic form government. This document was temporary until one could be more permanently established. The agreement set forth principles of a self-governed body not completely separate from the King, lying at the core of democracy.

Adding to political factors, economic aspects contributed as well to England and its advancing in the New World. One of these is the mercantilist policy; belief in the benefits of profitable trading. Consequently, the English created the Navigation Acts, forbidding trade...
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