Dueling Cultures In 18th Century America

1126 words - 5 pages

Colonial America in the 18th century leading up to the Revolutionary war possessed a wide variety of perspectives; and the many cultures of 18th century America represented the diverse background of people who populated the land. The empires of England, France and Spain competed with for land, prestige and trade. The needs of the colonists comped with the needs of imperial England. Those varied perspectives driven by differing needs were representative of the many cultures that were present. Those cultures were forced to interact; and those interactions created the embers that lead to the uniting of the colonies to form a new nation, the United States of America.

The need for resources, principally land, created turmoil amongst the English colonists and the French. The indigenous people of America were pressured by both sides to give up their land. The cultures of the Europeans did not afford them the ability to recognize people of color as equals. This inability would be echoed throughout early America. I find it difficult to imagine a world in which all people, including women, are not treated equitably. I could not live with the hypocrisy of the French and English policies. Those policies were insulting to the ideas of liberty and fair treatment for all. It was this unequal and unfair (from the perspective of the indigenous people) treatment resulted in the Seven-Years-War.

The colonists expanded west as more immigrants arrived in the colonies. The colonists that encroached on the land of the indigenous people wanted the create a better future for themselves and their families. The indigenous people wanted to continue their long traditional lives on the land they inherited from their ancestors. The two cultures could not coexist. The colonists demanded protection from the aggressions of the indigenous people; people who were attacking to create the same opportunities for themselves and their families that the colonists were attempting to create. It is very clear to me that the indigenous people had a better case for rights to the land they occupied than the colonist. A monarch over 3000 miles away can not rightfully confiscated the lands of a sovereign nation. The European monarchs did just that. Colonial expansion like what was seen in the 18th century is wrong. I would not want to be apart of a society that unilaterally confiscates land from and persecutes the rightful owners of that land. In the opinion of England, the large debt created by the war between France and England over the land rights in America was a burden for the colonists to bear. From the perspective of the colonists the English had no right to create taxes on the colonies that they did not voluntarily give to the monarchy. This idea was especially true if those taxes were not equally distributed among the people that monarchy ruled. This conflict was personified by individuals like Thomas Hutchinson. He understood and often agreed with the arguments of the colonists. Yet,...

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