Diverse Peoples In Creating The United States Essay

This essay has a total of 886 words and 4 pages.

Diverse Peoples In Creating The United States

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 1600s severe religious conflicts surfaced.
So here we have all these people being bantered with different religions. What do you do?
Head out, get religious freedom. Thus, many of the colonists were seeking just that,
religious freedom. So on to the New World. Now there obviously is a rainbow of religion.
Pietists, Mennonites, Amish, Dunkards, Moravians, Deists, Quakers, etc. We could go on.
Don't forget the Puritans. In the colonies, congregational churches dominated New England
while Anglicans were prevalent in Virginia. Quakers settled in Pennsylvania and Catholics
in both Maryland and Pennsylvania.

Continues for 2 more pages >>




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