Directions: Write a paragraph-length (3-4 sentences) response to answer each of the following questions. Make sure you start your paragraph with a topic sentence. Submit your completed guide to the Video: The American Colonies assignment link. For information on how this assignment will be graded, please visit the orientation. 1. For whom was America a land of opportunity in the eighteenth century? For whom was America NOT a land of opportunity in the eighteenth century? - America was the land of opportunity for many of the first white colonists to arrive from England. Many white indentured servants were also very hopeful to move to aMerica and start their new lives after serving a set amount of time; soon to be released with either money or land to better their new life. However, this did not stand for the thousands of African Slaves imported to America who would have to serve all of the white colonists for life. Many times their children, grandchildren etc. would also be servants for life. This was no life of freedom of liberty, but a prison.
2. Why was indentured servitude a perceived ticket to the American Dream? - Indentured servitutde was much like a ticket to the American Dream because by using this "pass" many English folk were able to come to America only paying forward five or more years to act as a servant to white colonists that had already "made it" in America. After their services, they would be rewarded with either money or land in order to start their new lives. For many, especially the lower class, five years of their life was a small price to pay for freedom from England and a new life.
3. How did Ben Franklin epitomize an American identity?
- As a founding father of America, Franklin was able to bring a lot of new ideas and inventions to the table that bettered the New World in ways never seen before. As a young boy, he showed much promise by writing a political cartoon; the famous "Join or Die." This represented a united America which would later become the foundation of our success. Later on, he invented a better functioning stove for heating and the library system; both of which would transform everyday life for colonists all over the continent. It was now possible to heat your house efficiently and with less work, so that more time may be spent on crops, taking care of the family or education that was now provided with the invention of the library loan system.
4. Describe what it meant to be an American in the eighteenth century for two different groups of people?
- Many think that being an American should have always been something to be sought after, a feat that was very high standard; making it look like an acheivenement. For some white American colonists, this was the case. They came over from England wanting a fresh start, freedom and adventure; which many people did eventually get. However, America was not a symbol of Liberty and Freedom for all, in fact or many Africans, it became the symbol of long lived servitude followed only by tragedy and death. African-Americans did not ask to come to America, nor as it shown as a place they would excel. It was just the destination after a long and grueling trip across the Atlantic that would only bring more suffering. To the average African, being an American meant being a prisoner.
© KC Distance Learning