Diverse Cultures In The Colonies Essay

865 words - 3 pages


The colonies of the New World were formed by a very diverse group of people. The colonists had personal reasons for settling in America. Socially, politically, and religiously they all differed. I will explain their backgrounds on each and then tie it all together showing you how our country came to be an equal nation of all these peoples.
     First of all, the colonists were socially different. Most of the first settlers were not the first born men in the family. They were the younger brothers who had no inheritance and wanted to create their own estates for themselves and their families. Another group of people came to the world as indentured servants. In fact, this accounted for three-fourths of the emigrants in the 17th century. They offered their services to someone for usually five to seven years in exchange for transportation to the New World and food and clothing while working out their commitments. There were very few upper class people who ventured in to the great wilderness. But America did show to be a dumping ground for convicts who were sent there to work off their crimes. They were usually sent as indentured servants, only against their free wills.
     Secondly, political backgrounds varied between the colonists. A lot of people came to get away from England and their bureaucratic and insufficient way of governing. In the colonies there was no aristocracy. No nobles, no lords enforcing the King’s laws were present. The colonists were mainly working class people. They made their own means for survival. They had ventured on to a new continent just hoping to start anew. And they did. In 1619 the House of Burgesses was formed to make laws for the colonies. Virginia was the birthplace of democracy. The Fundamental Orders of Connecticut were the first written “constitution” in English, placing limits on government. John Locke was a man of great influence in the beginning, a political philosopher who proclaimed that all men have the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and property. This was another step towards democracy. The colonies were made up of industrious, church going men and women looking to break away from British government.
     Last, but not least, the founders of the United States were by all means religiously diverse. England as a rule was a Roman Catholic country, where the Pope showed unconditional guidance. Then there was the Anglican Church created by Henry VIII where the King was in charge. And even then there was radical John Calvin standing in the back preaching about predestination to whoever would listen. His ideas struck through all of Europe before too long. Through the 1500s and...

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