Migration, Empires and the People: Empire - American Colonisation

  • Created by: A l e x
  • Created on: 01-05-18 06:59
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  • American Colonisation
    • New Plymouth
      • In 1620, one of the most famous groups of British people to settle in America travelled to the new world on the Mayflower. The group = mainly Puritans who left because they were persecuted by those who did not agree with their religious beliefs. Their religious colony was called 'New Plymouth'. It became the first permanent colony (Jamestown eventually became deserted). The settlers became known as the Pilgrim Fathers.
        • The Pilgrim Fathers established democratic principles and a constitution to ensure that their Puritan beliefs would remain central to colony life. It attracted more religious groups: between 1629 and 1640, > 20,000 settlers arrived in Massachusetts. The Pilgrim Fathers managed to create religious and democratic rules and traditions that would become the foundation of American identity. The colony worked hard and offshore fishing became the main source of farming: cod was in high demand as one of the few highly nutritious foods in British diets at this time.
          • The relationship between the settlers and the Native Americans were varied. Some good relations existed initially and there were some intermarriages. But generally, the relations were terrible as there were massacres that killed many. Massacres were carried out on both sides, over land claims. Natives' crops and villages were destroyed by settlers. In 1500, there were around 560,000 NA but in 1700, there were < 280,000 NA in 'British' territories. The NA were heavily affected by European diseases such as measles and smallpox, the ill treatment from the settlers and the British expansion into native territory. Many NA moved west in something known as the 'Trail of Tears'. Today, only 0.7% of the American population are NA.
    • Jamestown
      • In 1606, King James I gave permission for a group of businessmen to sail to Virginia, to establish new colony called Jamestown and to see if the land was fit to grow crops and to find gold as soon as possible. The colony was founded in 1607.
        • Initially, they had relied on the local tribes to help them find and grow food but some other tribes massacred numerous early settlers. Another challenge was that some of the early settlers were wealthy aristocrats who were not used to doing farm work. Life in Jamestown and other early colonies meant hunger and death for many but the settlers were determined to stay. With the help of friendly native tribes, the settlers learned to farm the land successfully. Tobacco planting led to success as it was easy to grow and was profitable. This led to more British migrants seeking their fortune in the New World - other colonies would be founded.
          • Virginia was originally ruled by an empire called the 'Powhatan Confederacy'. It was a group of large villages and settlements that paid tribute to a single leader known as Chief Powhatan. The Powhatans expanded their territory through a combination of war, intimidation, diplomacy and trade. Powhatan had initially seen the colonists as people of his land. The NA had not developed the ability to make metal objects In exchange for good relations and food, the English offered the Powhatans copper pots and iron fish hooks.
            • For the first few years, the Powhatans tolerated the English colonists until the English, led by Captain John Smith, began to expand outside their form at Jamestown to remove their dependence on the Powhatan. Between 1609 and 1614, the English colonists were at war with the Powhatans. The English had failed to produce enough of their own food (one man reduced to cannibalism). The war ended after a truce was agreed which was symbolised  by a marriage between John Rolfe and the daughter of the Powhatan chief, Pocahontas (who had been kidnapped by the settlers for this reason). Pocahontas became a Christian and even travelled to England. The Virginia Company then hoped to convert all Powhatans to Christianity and so sent missionaries to convert them.
    • REASONS TO GO WEST
      • PEASANT - Civil war has been going on for 4 years. The country has been fighting over religion for a century ('And I am fed up, I am!')
      • QUAKER (Christian) - The country has shifted from the Catholic faith to Protestant. The great faith needs to be spread to the people of America. 80,000 Puritans moved to America between 1630 and 1641.
      • WORKER - Poor and struggling to survive and unemployment is high. Those who have jobs are paid little. The trip across the ocean is paid for and all that is needed is to work it off for a few years. After working, having money, they can buy land and prosper. The country is also overcrowded.
    • REASONS FOR INDEPENDENCE
      • INDEPENDENT MINDS: Colonists who left Britain did not feel British anymore and felt no affiliation to the British crown. Early colonies, such as N.Plymouth, established their own constitutions which clashed with Britain's legal system. Colonies also learned to thrive without Britain. Because Britain had endured 2 Civil Wars between 1642 and 1649, they could not accommodate their colonies. Thus, colonies were trading goods by themselves.
      • DIFFERENT PRIORITIES: Feudalism was not popular in the colonies. Those who went to America were 'self made', the business en succeeded and believed in equality. This was the birth of the American Dream (from rags to riches). Many did not like the fact that a portion of their hard earned money was given to the rich in Britain. E.g. the NAVIGATION ACTS (1651 - 1673) were designed to enrich Britain. They stated that the American colonies could only import  and export goods with British ships sailing to and from British ports. This monopoly greatly restricted the types of goods that could be brought to America, leading to higher prices. Those who tried to smuggle goods were seized by the British.
      • TAXATION: If the colonists wanted to but anything from the countries other than Britain, they would have to go through Britain, where they would be taxed. There were taxes on goods such as glass, coffee, wine and sugar. Also the STAMP ACT (1765) imposed tax on paper used for official documents. In addition, american had to pay tax for the wars against the French. Some colonists started to believe that being taxed this much should come with representation in parliament.

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