" Societies take their shape from any number of forming elements, some roughly
identifiable, some obscure and mysterious. There is a strange interplay between
ideas and geography, between thought and the landscape that thought encounters;
between inherited ideas and acquired environment." (pg 152 Smith, Page A
New Age Now Begins)
History has shown us that in order for a society to flourish there must be some commonality within the society. Sharing similar values, interests and cultures may be the basis for forming a community. The true test of a society is when communities can comprise, merging together as a larger, stronger, united society. For this process to even begin, there must be a common factor, be it foe, economic reasons, etc., a common goal amongst the communities. A prime example is the creation of a united American society. To truly appreciate the complexity of forming a united society you must first understand why these groups of people came to this strange new land. What similarities they shared, the differences which divided them and the force which unified them.
In the early 16th century immigrants from England fled their country in search of a better life. They fled their homelands for many reasons; poverty, religious intolerance and persecution, others in search of an adventure or for a new start. They packed up their families and possessions some even brought their servants, embarking on a perilous journey across the Atlantic Ocean and reached the land known today as America. The first of the immigrants landed in two regions; the Massachusetts bay and the Chesapeake Bay. Both these regions would soon be colonies known as Massachusetts and Virginia, both major colonies. Throughout the years more and more people started to flee their homelands in Europe and come to America.
Soon there were colonists from all over the world, from Europe to Africa. By 1732 there were a total of thirteen English colonies. Those thirteen colonies were broken up in three sections, the New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies.
These colonies had their differences and these differences attracted different kinds of people to the colonies. For example many large religious families immigrated towards the New England and Middle Colonies because that is were most of the religious tolerance was. Pennsylvania was known as the "Quaker Haven" because of its tolerance to many religions. Delaware was also an extremely tolerant place. They were even tolerant towards the religion of Judaism. Meanwhile down south the people, mainly young adventurous types, were looking to become plantation owners or merchants. The south was known for its money making stable crops such as tobacco, rice, and indigo. It also became a major trade location for a variety of goods and valuables.
Although the colonies had their differences they also had their similarities. "The shared experiences of trade, language, English law and military activity laid the foundation for the union of the colonies in 1776." (Pg 25 American History The Easy Way). They also shared their reason for leaving their homelands, freedom. Many settlers were sent here to procure land and develop European settlements for future immigrants. However, they were under constant threat either indirectly or directly from either the Spanish, French, or Indians. The Southern colonies were under threat of the Natives and the Spanish while the Middle and New England were under threat of French and some Native tribes. The New England colony was the only colony that allied
themselves with certain Native American tribes. Also each and every colony had sworn a common allegiance to the British Crown. Whether they give a percentage of income to the motherland or allow England to do as they please with their land they were all still loyal in some way to their old kingdom, at least in the beginning.
Each colony had it's own...
1. Morison, Samuel E. The Growth of the American Republic. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1980.
2.Smith, Page. A New Age Now Begins. U.S.: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1976
3. Kellogg, William O. American History the Easy Way. Concord New Hampshire: St. Paul 's School1991.
4. Soifer, Paul Pd.D. U.S. History I. Cliffs Quick Review. Wiley Publishing Inc. New York, New York: 1998
5.Craven, Wesley F. The Colonies in Transition . Harper and Row, Publishers. New York: 1968
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