Early American History And Traditions Of Excellence

3190 words - 13 pages

In 1607, the first colonists came to settle America and founded Jamestown Virginia. Hoping to escape religious persecution, the Puritans followed in 1620 after trekking across the Atlantic Ocean in the Mayflower. The first winter faced the homeless and foodless Puritans with brutal conditions. After only being there for eight months, half of the original group died, leaving them with only four women. Following the first harvest, those still alive celebrated their well being with the first Thanksgiving. From 1630 to 1647, more Puritans came over and settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. At the same time relationship tensions with the neighboring Native Americans became heightened (Campbell, 2011, para. 5). By 1636, the first war against the Native Americans, the Pequot War, broke out. Throughout the war, colonists killed most of the Pequot population.
Upon the passing of the first generation of Puritans and Native Americans, personal bonds maintaining peace between the two groups broke. While the Puritans believed the break of the next war, King Philip’s War, was a punishment for their ancestor’s sin, most historians agreed rising conflicts made war inevitable. Metacomet, or King Philip, led an attack against Swansea in response to the Plymouth colony’s execution of three Wampanoag tribe members (Campbell, 2011, para. 6). The war lasted until 1678. Soon after, in 1689, a series of battles known as the French and Indian wars began. The French sided with the Indians to fight against Great Britain for control of land. Amidst the war’s first fires, hysteria erupted in a Massachusetts city named Salem (Campbell, 2011, para. 9). Hoping to gain land upon their neighbor’s execution, the Puritans started to accuse their neighbors of being witches. In the end, the Puritans hanged nineteen people, pressed to one death, and many died in prison. By 1738, the Puritan religion began to decline. Increasingly more people drifted away from the church, or did not attend at all. Even more only went through the motions instead of having a true relationship with the Lord. This started a religious revival, known as the Great Awaking, which swept through the colonies. Hoping to promote this, priests delivered sermons encouraging the congregation to devote their life to Christ. One man known for his particularly fiery sermons was Jonathan Edwards (Campbell, 2007, para. 8). Despite all efforts, the Great Awakening failed and within a few decades the Puritan religion vanished completely.
In the years following the Great Awakening, the mainstream of the French and Indian battles began. At the time, a massive conflict known as the Seven Years War was occurring in Europe. The French and Indian wars were a part of this bigger war. While the treaty of Paris ended this war in Great Britain’s favor in 1763, it was only the beginning of hostilities between the colonists and Great Britain. Great Britain used their newfound control over America to their advantage. Wishing to...

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