English settlers in America during 1500s and 1600s
It is usually believed that Indians were the first inhabitants of the west. They are believed to have reached the hemisphere around 15000 years ago. The first white people to reach America are believed to have reached America 1000 years ago. These are the Vikings. With the exploration and findings of Columbus in 1942, many Europeans from different Europeans countries started flocking the newly discovered land. There was excitement in Europe as a result of the discovery of the new land as they called it and many people wanted to go to the land to explore, in search of riches, kings wanted to expand their territories and many others wanted to increase their wealth.
In 1500s the English followed the footsteps of their colleagues from Europe and started exploring America. They first sent explores and traders who traded with fur. The English latter in 1600s started settling in the new land permanently. They settled in the 13 colonies in the new land that later became the United States. If compared with what we have currently, we can then say that the English were first Americans since the land they settled in forms the main land of the United States of America today.
Challenges faced by the English settlers
The English encountered quite a number of challenges. Having in mind that the Indians had already settled in the new world, they could not just allow other people to take the land away from them. The English could get killed by the Indians. They also faced the challenge of starvation. Especially in the year 1609-1610 during the winter season, they starved and many of them died. They even decided to go back to their home countries but they were stopped by the arrival of a European by the name lord de la war that came with the supplies.
The English also faced the challenge of bad weather that they were not used to in their home countries. This also came during the winter season. The other challenge the English faced was the diseases. Some of the diseases were deadly and others treatable. They contacted diseases like gout, cholera, malaria fever among others. With the help of Thomas Sydenham, the English physician, this helped in improving the medical world with the discovery of cures to some of the diseases.
The settlement of the English in the 13 colonies was the first development that helped see the United States of America be established. Their permanent settlement in the area was really instrumental in the development of the current United States of America. The challenges they faced and the way they were trying to look for solutions led to development in different sectors including agriculture, medicine, and trade among others. The settlers encountered also the challenge of being attacked by wild animals among others.
Slavery in the western hemisphere
Slavery was first practiced in Britain. Having in mind that to the British that that the act was right, they introduced it to their new land America. They first started with the native Americans who could not perform as well as they expected. It was until the arrival of 20 Africans in the late 1619 that slavery became rampant in the area. The group of the 20 Africans evolved to become a group of minority in the area. One of the reasons as to why they were enslaved is because they were not Christians. The Africans could also perform better in the lands regardless of the weather condition. The Indians were also enslaved. The main reason as to why they were enslaved is because they were not Christians too. After that the English started feeling superior even boosting the slavery act. The Africans were made slaves forever but the Native Americans could work for a particular period of time after which they could be given their freedom.
The slaves were just like livestock to the whites with no rights and their masters having their full control. They could be forced to do away with their cultures. The Indians were forced to do away with their beliefs including their religious believes and be like their masters. The Africans also were forced even to speak English and not their language. The men could work in the lands and plantations. They could be engaged in hard labor throughout the day. The women could work in the homes of their masters the whole day without rest. The slaves could be harassed sexually and they were not expected to resist since doing so would call for punishment. The girls were harassed sexually as early as they entered puberty by their masters and the sons of their masters. Their children could be introduced to slavery even if one parent is a white and in some instances they could be punished for getting a child with the white since they were believed to have been the seducers. The slaves, just like animals were beaten to force them to work even faster.
The revolution was greatly caused by the Britain acts of not including the Americans in leadership and they used to govern them from overseas. The Americans started forming governments in all the 13 states of America. With this the Britain sent their armies in the states and this initiated the war between the Americans and the British. The other cause of the revolution was the republicanism enlightenment among the Americans. The spirit among the Americans made them oppose the ruling of the Britain and made them form their own government and this led them into war with the Britain. Another thing that caused the revolution was the increased taxes in many goods including basic goods. This provoked the Americans to fight for their rights and stop the increased taxes. The religion in America also greatly contributed to the revolution with the preachers preaching about freedom and democracy. This made people of America have the spirit and made them oppose the Britain rules.
Before the war in all the colonists was tension.
The American forces were made to undergo lack of resources by the British to make them weak but still they won Yorktown and later formed an alliance with France. With the conclusion of the French & Indian war in 1973 the Americans were made to provide resources to for their defense by the British and this was termed as unfair by the Americans with even no representation in the parliament. The British altitude of superiority complex and those they were helping the Americans not forgetting the new that they arrived in the new land earlier than the English.
Unity of the United States of America
The unity of the United States of America was threatened even after the constitution convention that saw the formation of the United States of America. The delegates constituted of 55 delegates. The greatest issue was the slavery issue in the states. Although the slavery issue was eliminated in the north, it was still being practiced in the south. There was confusion in the convention whether the slaves were to be counted and whether they will be involved in voting. The slave’s population had grown and they constituted of a fifth of the American population. Some of the delegates advocated of abolition of slavery and claimed that it was against human rights but some advocated for it. This was a major problem and a threat to the unity of the states. Out of the 55, 25 of the delegates owned slaves and that’s why they didn’t want it to be abolished.
Another challenge of keeping slavery was some individuals who stood for the rights of the black Americans and they were determined to see to it that slavery was stopped. They included the likes of Abraham Lincoln. The major reason as to why the issue was creating division is because the act of slavery had already been eliminated in some states and member states of these states wanted it abolished in all the states whereas the member states where slavery was still being practiced didn’t want it abolished.
Western expansion of the first half of the 19th century
The western expansion was really helpful to Americans since the size of the nation doubled. The president then believed that the independence of the citizens had to go hand in hand with the ownership of property like land among others. The president then purchased a land to the west and this was just the beginning. The population of Americans was greatly growing. This led to overpopulation in some areas. This resulted in migration of people in search of land and resources as well as wealth. Many people started migrating to the west of America. This led to wars with the original inhabitants of the west but Americans could win and displace them. Transport was cheap and this also encouraged Americans to move to the west. With rich people having already capturing for themselves lands in the 13 states, the others had to go and search for their own land and this made them move to the west.
As discussed earlier, English speaking people were not the first inhabitants of the western hemisphere currently known as America. The first inhabitants were the Indians who had a population of about 80 million people. The Spanish and French together with the British and English then followed in the 15th and 16th century. It should therefore be noted that the expansion to the west did not see the Americans find a place without people. The Native Americans and Spanish people used to live in the west and thus the migration to the west by Americans was not a walk in the park. The migration to the west saw the Native Americans and the Spanish being displaced. The Spanish even sold their land to Americans and this made them loose their land to America.
Though the expansion to the west was to play a major role in the development of America, it also brought about controversial issues. For instance some New England federalists threatened to secede from the United States. Jefferson, the then president of America had not followed the constitution with the purchase of Louisiana. The constitution had not allowed the purchase of a new land by the federal government. The other controversy that arose as a result of the western expansion was whether or not to keep the slaves and whether or not to abolish slavery in the west. The other controversy was whether or not to integrate the states in the west in the United States of America. The results saw later the states being integrated in the United States of America and that’s why today we have the 50 states of America.
I find it interesting that the Indians were the original inhabitants of the western hemisphere yet they did not even form part of United States of America. In fact looking at it from numbers perspective, they formed a population of 80 million which to me seems like a majority in those days. It is further surprising that not much is talked about the Indians in America today and they are in many countries of Africa as heroes in business meaning that they are good traders. This leaves me with questions like, where were their trading skills in those days because I believe they could have dominated in the area with the skills.
The understanding of this period gives us a green light of what is happening today in America and European countries. We have understood why the black Americans don’t practice any of their motherland cultures. It’s because they were forced not to when they were slaves and thus it died gradually. We have also seen the cause of conflicts between countries and where and how the united states of America got its powers and how it was formed. This has generally helped us to link the current and the past in America and other parts of the world. Politically we have noted that the period drafted the today’s political standings in America and European countries including France and Britain.
There are many things we can learn from the documents in the voices text. Among them is the issue of human rights. We have seen that Americans though they were in a position not to stop slavery they went ahead and stopped it. We learn the importance of human rights and how to live with others from this. We also learn about persistence with the acts of Abraham Lincoln. We also learn the importance of unity with the great development of United States of America as a result of the union. Many countries in the world would have been where America is in terms of development if only they united.