At The English Colonization


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The English Colonization

The main political motivation for English imperialism was the rivalry with its European counterparts. Imperialism is a term that refers to the expansion of the influence and power of a country through coercion or military force. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the main goal of European countries was to colonize. Spain, France, the Netherlands, and England were the main contributors to imperialization. At first, the English had not considered the option of setting up a home in America. They were mainly interested in the continent’s natural resources, including farmland, beaver pelts, and fish. The Englishmen men only started considering the option of putting up colonies in North America only after a war ensued between then and Spain. It was at this point that “English leaders started to consider planting colonies in the Western Hemisphere, thereby gaining better access to trade goods while preventing their enemy from dominating the Americans.” (Cox, 107). The English were politically motivated to keep the land northern colonies from being taken by Spain while at the same time providing its people with resources.

The social pressures that contributed to English colonization in America were overpopulation and religious motivations. Overpopulation in the cities of England was common. People competed for jobs, food, and clothing. There was an increase in employees which led to reduced pay and the increased cost of rent pushed the people into poverty. Furthermore, the colonization was also motivated by religion. Studies show that “some Puritans, Separatists, Presbyterians, and Catholics decided to move to America, where they hoped to practice their beliefs freely. Some fled to avoid arrest and imprisonment.” (Cox, 102). Most of the English moved to North America in order to practice their beliefs and religion away from the England church.

Colonies Table

Social Characteristics Economic Characteristics Political Systems

Massachusetts Bay To reside here, religion was a requirement. Supporting the church was customary, and the English were required to attend services.

Large families of about 5-7 people

Father was the head of the household.

Mainly Puritans Every woman and man was given land to reside, forming a community allowing exports from seaports.

Working in fields (family labour)

Growing crops

Blacksmith, fishing, building ships. To vote, one had to be a member of the church. The Puritans controlled the government.

Laws punishable by public humiliation and fines, including cursing, sex before marriage, and dancing were implemented by the church.

Virginia Upon arrival the English expected that Natives would take up their belief and convert to Christianity. The main source of money was tobacco.

The Englishmen came as indentured servants to Virginia to work on tobacco farms. Laws mandated land owners to provide clothing, food and not beat subjects extensively. People who did abide were turned over to the courts.

The Carolinas Women are expected to carry out household chores such as cooking, cleaning, and childcare.

Due to crime and debt, Indians were enslaved. The main crops were corn and tobacco.

They sold corn and cattle to planters located in the Caribbean.

Olives, figs, and grapes were common. Governors were elected by legislature and land owners.

Major Ideas and Events That Led to The American Revolution

Also known as the U.S. War of Independence, the American Revolution was an uprising by which 13 Great Britain North American colonies gained political independence forming the United States of America. The breakup of the British Empire in 1776 by the American colonists was not sudden. The coming together of the 13 colonies to fight for independence against the Crown culminated in a series of events that had started in the previous decade. Various pivotal movements triggered the American Revolution.

The Enlightenment philosophy was an international movement existing between the 17th and 18th century in ideas and sensibilities that emphasized critical reason rather than intellectual dogmatism. Enlightenment developed alongside the growth of scientific thinking and insisted on the importance of natural order and nature as being a source of knowledge. Enlightenment thinkers such as Isaac Newton, John Locke, and Voltaire employed the power of the press to question accepted knowledge and spread new ideas pertaining to investigation, openness, and religious tolerance across Europe and America (Orr, 904). The Enlightenment philosophy challenged traditional religious views. Enlightenment thinkers in Britain, France, and other areas of Europe asked questions about traditional authority ways. They also opined that humanity is enhanced by lucid change. The Enlightenment formed a range of laws, essays, wars, inventions, books, revolutions and scientific discoveries.

After the war with France, an extreme debt needed to be recouped. Parliament approved the Stamp Act Law that introduced tax range in the colonies. Prior to this law, the government in the colonies made decisions pertaining to paying taxes. After the Stamp Act law was passed, parliament attempted to pass another law known as the Townshend Act meant to apply tax on all imported goods from Great Britain (Tomaselli, 111). Americans were unhappy with the tax increase, prompting them to fight back. They started protesting and organizing a tax boycott of British goods. The Boston Massacre of March 1770 followed soon after a disagreement arose between a British soldier and an apprentice wigmaker. There was simmering tensions between Boston residents and British occupiers as a crowd of 200 colonists surrounded seven British troops. In the altercation, the soldiers lost their cool and started firing at the crowd. The Boston Tea Party took place in December 1773 after the British withdrew their forced from Boston and repealed the Townshend legislation. They left the tea tax and enacted a new law known as the Tea Act that would boost the British East India Company, which was struggling financially.

The Effect of the Political And Social Changes from The American Revolution

At one point in time, Native Americans were once skilled in the trade sector. When the English were struggling to grow food, the Native Americans assisted them with food supply. After the Revolution, the Englishmen wanted to make the Native Americans civil by making them adapt their way of life. The English believed that hunting was a not a way of getting food but rather a sport. They taught Native Americans to farm and not hunt. The Native Americans opined that farming was more of a woman’s role, so the English changed their beliefs concerning farming. African Americans were viewed as commodities that could be bought and sold. After the Revolution, slavery died slowly in some sectors and some states abandoned it completely. As slavery died down, this encouraged some sectors to grow grain rather than tobacco, which required much less labor. African Americans could still not vote. Women were viewed differently after the revolution took place. Abigail Adams, the wife of John Adams, a political figure, advocated for women’s rights. She was of the opinion that state governments should represent women. Women were also needed to instil republican values and teach them civic virtues. This was required since the sons were expected to engage in political activities as they grew up. Daughters were taught these virtues to pass on to their children in the future.

Works Cited

Cox, Jessica. “Canonization, Colonization, and the Rise of Neo-Victorianism.” English: Journal of the English Association, vol. 66, no. 253, 2017, pp. 101–23. Crossref,

Orr, Ittai. “The Room Where It Happened: Race and the American Revolution.” American Quarterly, vol. 69, no. 4, 2017, pp. 903–15. Crossref,

Tomaselli, Sylvana. “The Enlightenment debate on women.” Mary Wollstonecraft. Routledge, 2017. 111-134.