Trace the history of colonialism in America

Trace the history of colonialism in America . American colonies, also called thirteen colonies or colonial America, the 13 British colonies that were established during the 17th and early 18th centuries in what is now a part of the eastern United States. The colonies grew both geographically along the Atlantic coast and westward and numerically to 13 from the time of their founding to the American Revolution (1775–81).

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Their settlements had spread far beyond the Appalachians and extended from Maine in the north to the Altamaha River in Georgia when the Revolution began, and there were at that time about 2.5 million American colonists.

The word “colonial” is preferable to the more obvious word “provincial,” because the former is absolute, while the latter, by usage, has become in a great measure relative. We are very apt to call an opinion, a custom, or a neighbor “provincial,” because we do not like the person or thing in question; and in this way the true value of the word has of late been frittered away. But colonialism is susceptible of accurate definition. Trace the history of colonialism in America  , A colony is an offshoot from a parent stock, and its chief characteristic is dependence.


The colonists were remarkably prolific. Economic opportunity, especially in the form of readily available land, encouraged early marriages and large families. Bachelors and unwed women could not live very comfortably and were relatively few. Trace the history of colonialism in America , Widows and widowers needed partners to maintain homes and rear children and so remarried quickly. Accordingly, most adults were married, children were numerous, and families containing 10 or more members were common. Despite heavy losses as a result of disease and hardship, the colonists multiplied. Their numbers were also greatly increased by continuing immigration from Great Britain and from Europe west of the Elbe River.

In Britain and continental Europe the colonies were looked upon as a land of promise. Moreover, both the homeland and the colonies encouraged immigration, offering inducements to those who would venture beyond the ocean.

The colonies particularly welcomed foreign Protestants. Trace the history of colonialism in America , In addition, many people were sent to America against their will—convicts, political prisoners, and enslaved Africans. The American population doubled every generation.

 European settlers came from a variety of social and religious groups, including adventurers, farmers, indentured servants, tradesmen, and a very few from the aristocracy. Settlers included the Dutch of New Netherland, the Swedes and Finns of New Sweden, the English Quakers of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English Puritans of New England, the English settlers of Jamestown, Virginia, the English Catholics and Protestant Nonconformists of the Province of Maryland, the "worthy poor" of the Province of Georgia, the Germans who settled the mid-Atlantic colonies, and the Ulster Scots of the Appalachian Mountains. 

      These groups all became part of the United States when it gained its independence in 1776. Russian America and parts of New France and New Spain were also incorporated into the United States at later times. Trace the history of colonialism in America , The diverse colonists from these various regions built colonies of distinctive social, religious, political, and economic style.


Over time, non-British colonies East of the Mississippi River were taken over and most of the inhabitants were assimilated. In Nova Scotia, however, the British expelled the French Acadians, and many relocated to Louisiana. No civil wars occurred in the Thirteen Colonies. The two chief armed rebellions were short-lived failures in Virginia in 1676 and in New York in 1689–91. Some of the colonies developed legalized systems of slavery, centered largely around the Atlantic slave trade. Wars were recurrent between the French and the British during the French and Indian Wars. By 1760, France was defeated and its colonies were seized by Britain.



Mercantilism was the basic policy imposed by Britain on its colonies from the 1660s, which meant that the government became a partner with merchants based in England to increase political power and private wealth. This was done to the exclusion of other empires and even other merchants in its own colonies. Trace the history of colonialism in America,  The government protected its London-based merchants and kept out others by trade barriers, regulations, and subsidies to domestic industries to maximize exports from the realm and minimize imports.

 In the year of grace 1776, we published to the world our Declaration of Independence. Six years later, England assented to the separation. These are tolerably familiar facts. That we have been striving ever since to make that independence real and complete, and that the work is not yet entirely finished, are not, perhaps, equally obvious truisms.

The hard fighting by which we severed our connection with the mother country was in many ways the least difficult part of the work of building up a great and independent nation. The decision of the sword may be rude, but it is pretty sure to be speedy.

Armed revolution is quick. Trace the history of colonialism in America  A South American, in the exercise of his constitutional privileges, will rush into the street and declare a revolution in five minutes. A Frenchman will pull down one government to-day, and set up another to-morrow, besides giving new names to all the principal streets of Paris during the intervening night.

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We English-speaking people do not move quite so fast. We come more slowly to the boiling point; we are not fond of violent changes, and when we make them we consume a considerable time in doing it. Still, at the best, a revolution by force of arms is an affair of a few years. We broke with England in 1776, we had won our victory in 1782, and by the year 1789 we had a new national government in operation.


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