Between the settlement at Jamestown in 1607 and the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the most important change that occurred in the colonies was the emergence of a society quite different from that in England. Changes in religion, economics, politics and social structure illustrate this Americanization of the transplanted Europeans.
By 1753, although some colonies maintained established churches, other colonies had accomplished a virtual revolution for religious toleration and separation of church and state. Differences between the colonists and England would be the most common religion in the colonies was Congregationalists, which were Puritans, but in England, it was the Anglicans, which was the Church of England. The Great Awakening was a religious movement that made people realize how far they were from the control of the mother country, which swayed them into different religions.
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In a similar economic revolution, the colonies outgrew their mercantile relationship with the mother country and developed an expanding capitalist system of their own. In England, education was an idea regarded as a blessing reserved for the aristocratic few, not for the unwashed many. It should be used for leadership, not citizenship and was also restricted to primarily the males. New England was fanatically interested in education but was used to study their religion and make them better Christians. The colonies also highly discouraged art, they would spend the extra energy they had on religious and political leaders while in England art was encouraged and was very rewarding.
Building on English foundations of political liberty, the colonists extended the concepts of liberty and self-government far beyond those envisioned in the mother country. One of the biggest differences between New England and the colonies at the time was the form of government. In England, their government was a monarchy while the colony’s government was colonialism. In New England, the queen had full power and the citizens didn’t have much control while in the colonies the people who owned enough property qualified as voters, which could vote for the necessary expenses of the colonial government.
In contrast to the well-defined and hereditary classes of England, the colonies developed a fluid class structure, which enabled the industrious individual to rise on the social ladder. New England used the class system where an individual was ‘born into’ his or her place in society, it did not matter what you were good at or how good you were, your parents social status determined your place in society. The colonies had a more fluid (dynamic) structure, which allowed somebody who was good at something to climb the social ladder and distinguish himself or herself as an expert in what they did. The colonials also ate more plentiful, especially with meat than any people in New England.
The changes in religious and social structure played the largest role in creating a new society in the Americas. Those changes allowed the people who used to be simple peasants to gain power within the colonies and begin to change the rules, which the mother countries governed them by. Thus the result of all the changes was the emergence of a new society in the Americas, which was much different from that of its mother country.
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