The Colonies

Consider the historiographies described on pp.64-65.  Using your understanding of U.S. history to this point present an argument that answers the following question:

Did the European peopling of North America “Europeanize” the Americas or “Americanize” the Europeans?

To put it another way, did the Europeans simply recreate a slight variation of their old society in the New World or were they completely changed by their newfound challenges, problems, and needs.

Validate your argument with ample historical evidence from between 1500 and 1750.  Use between 150 and 200 words.  Discussion points are awarded to those making comments on other students’ reflections if they are at least 6 lines in length.

Also, let’s try to get some profile pictures up here guys 🙂


43 Responses to The Colonies

  1. nathanbiyani says:

    The early colonists to the New World set the foundations for the United States that it today. At first, these colonists struggled, but over time, prosperity was imminent and was occurring at massive rates. These colonists recreated their own society because there were different problems and a different culture to adhere to. This can be analyzed looking at the religious tolerance of most colonies, and the somewhat equal social hierarchy. For example, there was a much more motley population in most of the New World, unlike what the British had.
    One of the most distinct things about the colonies was their religious tolerance. Most colonies, other than the Bay Colony, were religiously tolerant. They allowed a myriad of religions and cultures to be incorporated into their civilization at relatively no cost. A major reason why this happened is because of the Bay Colony; rebels against the Bay Colony formed new colonies and allowed more religious diversity. For example, Roger Williams, who questioned Puritan ethics, broke away from the Bay Colony and formed Rhode Island, which was religiously tolerant. This resulted in a mixture of cultures, another characteristic that England did not have. All of this happened because the colonies were not martinets about religious intolerance; rather they wanted to be different than the British’s mindset towards religion was.
    Another way that the colonists changed their ways was with their social hierarchy. For the most part, everybody was equal. There were exceptions though; with the use of slaves, particularly in South Carolina, their was massive socioeconomic gaps. These were very minute compared to the English socioeconomic gaps. In the North, there was little socioeconomic gaps. This happened because Northern economics were primarily based on the “well-being” of God, so people did not strive for economic success; rather they strived the profit that God would find acceptable. Although throughout time, this motivation changed, the North did not have the social hierarchy that the British had. In Britain, there was a famine going on that farmers were becoming unemployed left and right. This caused a huge spike in the socioeconomic gap of the British, and this gap was much wider than most of the colonies had (an exception might have been Virginia and South Carolina, but that is debatable). All of this happened because the colonists believed that for the most part, they were all equal and deserved the same chances (other than indentured servants and slaves). This resulted in a mobile social hierarchy, where people could easily move up and down the social rankings.
    Thus all in all, the colonists truly had a different culture than the British did because they had completely different problems and a completely different environment that the British had. This can be further analyzed in two ways: the social hierarchy and the religious tolerance in the New World.

  2. laelking says:

    The European peopling of North America created the “Americanized” European through the capitalistic nature of the economy, the freedom and tolerance of religion, the mixing of people from different backgrounds, and the democratic nature of the colonial governments.
    The capitalistic nature of the economy lead to growth and prosperity in the colonies. Europeans of little status were able for the first time to seek their own fortune. The headright system allowed more Europeans own land, which would not have been possible in Europe since land was a limited and expensive commodity. The growing and open-ended economy in the Americas gave the European Americans the chance to rise through the ranks and achieve wealth by the sweat off their backs. It was the newfound optimism that anyone can make their own fortune.
    The freedom and tolerance of religion in the colonies allowed many sects of persecuted Christians and peoples of other religions to escape the religiously intolerant European world. The new Americans found the wonderful gift of freedom to practice their own religion, instead of being forced to conform to the chosen religion of their country. Americans found religious freedom liberating, which even caused some Americans to be tolerant and accepting of people with different beliefs. This new mindset greatly contrasted with the views of Europeans. Americans were changed into more open-minded people.
    The English were not the only European people to settle in the colonies. Dutch, Scots-Irish, French, and Germans all immigrated to the colonies as well. With all these different people came many cultures, traditions, and religions. The mixture of peoples in the colonies created a diversification of its people. Americans became a mixture of ethnicities, melting together the different traditions and cultures.
    When the colonies were created, they were left to govern themselves. Away from the aristocracy and highly defined social classes of Europe, the Americans began to create the beginnings of democracy in the colonies. Legislative assemblies, like the House of Burgesses, formed and representatives and officials were elected by eligible voters. The new found power of the people in government allow Americans to stand up to unfair laws and gain rights for all people, not just the elite or wealthy. Americans began to create equality in representation and gained political power for the lower classes.
    The Europeans that came over to America might have been European at first, but the open-minded, culturally mixed, and liberating society and culture that developed in the colonies transformed the Europeans into a different people, into Americans.

  3. Hali Holloway says:

    Although the Europeans brought much of the European way of life and culture with them, by settling in the New World they created a whole new identity. The New World was a totally different way of life compared to Europe. It was an untamed wilderness and many of the Europeans had to start all over again from the beginning and build a new civilization. Although the setters were shaping a new society, the New World was shaping them even more.
    When the English first settled in Jamestown, Virginia, the colonist were un-prepared for the hardship they encountered. Instead of farming food and establishing a stable colony first, they went searching for gold and economic gain. After more than half of their group died and they became desperate they realized they needed to secure their own survival before anything else. The New World made them struggle just to stay alive and changed their priorities at first.
    The settlers also created vastly different religious policies than the ones practiced in Europe. Although these religions were started there, they were not tolerated and therefore the people came to America to practice their religions. In some colonies there was toleration for religions other than the one the colony was established for. Pennsylvania was created as a religious refuge for Quakers, but many other prosecuted religions were welcome there. This mind set is entirely American.

  4. zebblackwell says:

    The Europeans, in an attempt to “Europeanize” the New World, were, instead, “Americanized” by the new ideas of North America. Some the partial successes of “Europeanizing” include the Spanish missionaries, who attempted to change the Pueblo Indians in the Southwest into Catholic Christians that followed their way of life, and the French fur traders, who introduced the Natives to the ways of trading. But in the long run these attempts were shut down and “Americanizing” still prevailed. One such counter to these attempts was the Pueblo Revolt in1680 lead by Pope. The main distinctions of the “Americanizing” of Europeans were the new found freedom of self-governing and the foundations of cultural mixing. The colonists began to form new legislatures from the midst of taverns. A couple of the most famous legislatures were the House of Burgesses and Boston’s Green Dragon Tavern. The other main distinction of “Americanizing” was the mixing of cultures, like the beginning of the “Great American Melting Pot.” The cultures included English, German, Scots-Irish, Scottish (Scots Highlanders), African, Irish, Dutch, French Huguenots, Welsh, Swedes, Jews, and Swiss. The Europeans were truly transformed by the American colonies. These new ideas formed a new nation and allowed for the expansion that created what we are today.

  5. oliviajefferson says:

    Over time, the European settlers became more Americanized by adapting their social structures and religious beliefs to their environment. In the American colonies, social hierarchies were no longer based on nobility but rather on overall prosperity. This was due to the diversity of the population. Colonial immigrants were not only composed of the British; the Scots-Irish made up the western frontier, German immigrants settled in portions of Pennsylvania, and many of the British immigrants were outcasts of their own society. Such outcasts included poor farmers and those that were religiously persecuted, such as the Separatists in New England and the Quakers in Pennsylvania. This diversity led to a lack of respect for the British nobility system, and thus led to more social mobility than what was feasible at that time in Europe. Religion was also drastically changed due to a new environment. Most religious groups that initially settled in America did so to escape persecution in the Old World. Separatists believed the Anglican Church to be corrupt and lax, Quakers were often ridiculed in Europe, and Catholics were persecuted for their beliefs. Such settlers already had the intention of seeking out new land in order to create new belief systems. In most of these cases, the goal was to have more religious tolerance throughout their colonies. William Penn especially demonstrated a belief in the need for religious tolerance in what was called “The Holy Experiment,” Pennsylvania. The Charter of Liberties in 1701 granted guaranteed freedom of worship for all within the colony. This was an extreme difference from the authoritarian Anglican Church. It was the New World that inspired this idea in William Penn as well as many others. Therefore, European settlers became more Americanized by adapting their social structures, such as English nobility, and their religious beliefs, such as freedom of worship, to the environment of the New World.

  6. robinhood says:

    The Europeans came to the New World with the intention of “Europeanizing” it, or trying to make it similar to Europe in social structure. However, the European emigrants quickly began to form a new identity as Americans. They began to form their own governments, such as the Puritans did in New England and the House of Burgesses was created in Virginia. They also began creating a separate religious view from those in Europe. Many emigrants came to the New World to escape the religious intolerance in England, such as the Puritans and the Quakers. Away from the King, many other people began to have new ideas about religion, and as a result, the Great Awakening began. Religious tolerance spread, and a new style of preaching began to emerge. The newcomers to the New World were quickly separating from Europe and England in their ideas, and began to forge a new identity for themselves as Americans.

  7. jamesfortson says:

    Though initally the Europeans came to the land of America to “civilize the savages” in reality, this attempt did quite the opposite. Acutally it was the “savage land” turning the Europeans in to Americans. In the beginning, the seperatists came to America and overpowered the Native Americans because they believed that they were higher than them and it was their duty given to them by God to “Civilize” this land. But as seen overtime, the people of America became a more middle class people which the world has never experenced before. Ideas like this and the fluidity of a social class became much different that any other European country. Another big thing that identified the people of America from other European people was the idea of religious tolerance. Seen greatly in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Rhode Island, this idea led to a huge difference between the American people and the Europeans and the new idea of the American spirit. This evolution from European to American was most seen greatly in things such as the declaration of the people by Nathaniel Bacon and the Great Awakening led by George Whitfeild and Johnathon Edwards. These “state-of-the-art” ideas and movements were a huge factor in determing the new idenity of the American People. With these defining ideas and concepts, it was truly not the people Europeanizing the land, but the land Americanizing them.

  8. taylorrwhite says:

    I think that the Europeans did recreate a slight variation of their old society in the New World, but also changed their way of living based on the problems they had to face in the New World. When the Europeans first came over to the New World, they tried to establish thier settlements based off of what they already knew. For example, when the Spanish came over to the New World they europeanized their civilization to resemble that of their own. as lon as the Spanish was in the New World they had to spread Catholicism throughout the land and influence the surrounding settlements. Eventually, the Spanish started interacting with natives in more ways than one. One primary example would be the intermarriages between the Spanish and natives. Because of the new population of mixed races, or mestizos, the Spanish Empire developed a “racial hierarchy, with the Spanish at the top, natives at the bottom, and people of mixed races distrubuted in between.” This would be an example of the “Americanization”(If that’s a real word?) of the Europeans and the “Europeanization” of the americas in the 1500s.
    Another example would be later in the 18th Century in North America when there was an increase in population from many other European countries. The immigrants that came to the New World either partially gave up their culture, or did not give it up at all. The Germans were the immigrants who did not give up their language, religion, or culture for the colonies, but obeyed all of their rules. The Germans mainly settled in Philadelphia where there was a religious tolerance. In all, the Germans, more or less, Europeanized the americas by bringing their culture over to the new land. It’s a possibility that you could say the Germans taught Americans how to be proud of who they are and their culture and not to let anyone, England, to tell them other wise. (maybe?) In contrast, the Scotch-Irish were highly influenced by North America. Since they had no respect for British government, they moved to the western parts of Pennsylvania, Virginia, Georgia, and North and South Carolina. They developed their own community, lifestyle, economic structure, and culture in the backwoods of society. Their whole idea of breaking away from the government was apart of the American belief that you could break away from the oppressive government and start your own eqaul one, which is what eventually happened in the Americas.
    In conclusion, the Americas were “Europeanized” in the sense that a bunch of European countries came to the New World and, at first established the same rule they had at home, and also brought a piece of their culture with them. Also the Europeans were “Americanized” because they were influenced by the Native Americans when it came to trading and intermarriages, and the fact that they were slowly breaking away from British rule and developing their own government and society.

    • okaywong says:

      It’s a possibility that you could say the Germans taught Americans how to be proud of who they are and their culture and not to let anyone, England, to tell them other wise. (maybe?)


  9. During the 16th and 17th centuries, Europe was expanding into a New World. The New World greatly influenced many peoples’ formerly strictly European ways of living, interacting, and thinking. While there they were met with new social, political, and economic boundaries. The distance between Britain’s colonies and Britain itself, and the new environment the colonists faced, played an important role in the development of a hierarchy of social classes, an early form of truly representative government, and the opening of numerous trade routes.
    Whenever a group of humans are put together for an extended period of time, social classes are bound to emerge. At first the only true social distinction was that between clergymen and other leaders and the rest of the colonists. Over time, as wealth in the colonies increased, and indentured servitude was introduced, a gap between rich and poor came to light.
    With Britain being an ocean away, it was impossible for colonists to rely solely on their mother country for political support. Colonists had to develop their own forms of self-government to take care of criminals, and to make life in the colonies as pleasant as possible. The rules that applied in England wouldn’t always apply in the harsh atmosphere of North America.
    With other European countries also colonizing the New World, English colonies had plenty of trade opportunities. The close proximity to trades and peoples more difficult to obtain in Europe also helped shape their identity, as not only do societies trade goods but also ideas. This influx of foreign ideas helped in shaping the American identity.

  10. Austin Taylor says:

    The European’s colonization in took the Americas that had previously never met Europeans for any meaningful amount of time. When Christopher Columbus first sailed into the Bahamas, the Americas were completely themselves, with no influence from Europe. This irreversibly changed how the Americas were set to progress by themselves. This is why the Americas were “Europeanized” more so than the Europeans were “Americanized”. Of course, there was a certain level of influence that was unavoidable, such as crops like tobacco or maize. But in general, the Americas were affected by the
    Europeans more more heavily than the Europeans by the Americans. One of the most important influences, not necessarily good, but important, was the institution of slavery. There has been slavery all throughout history, but never did it it become so intrinsically tied into a nation’s psyche and culture. Black slaves from Africa fueled the economic success of America, but led to racism being bred into the minds of most Americans, and the brutality with which slaves were controlled has forever stained Americas history, and all of this is a result of the Euopeanization of the Americas. Another influence by Europe is the technology, of large ships and firearms, which were introduced to the Americas by Europe. A third example is the introduction of Christianity into the Americas. While the Spanish hid behind a Christian shield, they terrorized the natives and destroyed the native culture. In fact, one missionary ordered a mass burning of many Mayan books, which has prevented us in today’s world from analyzing them. In conclusion, the massive influx of European culture,technology, and religion altered the way that the natives lived, and influenced the Americas much more than the Americas were able to Americanize Europe.

    • okaywong says:

      There has been slavery all throughout history, but never did it it become so intrinsically tied into a nation’s psyche and culture. Black slaves from Africa fueled the economic success of America, but led to racism being bred into the minds of most Americans, and the brutality with which slaves were controlled has forever stained Americas history, and all of this is a result of the Euopeanization of the Americas.

      So perceptive!

      There are of course other examples of slavery in the past but there is something profound on the way it impacts racial development over time between “whites” and “blacks”.

  11. sarinadodhia says:

    The Europeans impacted the New World in ways that transformed the colonists to create their own “American” policies. The biggest differences between the Old and New worlds can be found in the American social, political and economic cultures.
    England had been notorious for being intolerant to other religions, and such can be seen through the Protestant Reformation and later on, the Anglican Church. The new world therefore became a haven for several different religions other than Protestant. The Puritans were the first to create a colony in America for religious refuge (Massachusetts Bay Colony), and ruled based off of religion, much like England. This pushed all other religions in this colony to create other colonies. For example, Roger Williams created Rhode Island, where all the outcasts would live. William Penn created Pennsylvania as a Quaker haven, and Maryland was created as a Catholic haven. Many other Europeans stated migrating to America, such as the Scot-Irish, and Germans, and as time progressed, the colonist become friendlier towards the native Americans. With all of these ethnicities and cultures being brought into one area, American officially became the melting pot, where as in Europe, each country had its own, 1 identity religion, and culture, and those who did not follow were persecuted. The lack of religious interest in later years of the colonies forming resulted in the Great Awakening, the first American way of practicing religion. In England, there would not have been a lack of religious participation, and even if there were, there would not have been a change in the official state religion.
    The Old world’s government was unable to control the colonies. They tried imposing the Navigation Acts, and implementing governors for each region to implement their policies, however the policies only resulted in smuggling, and overthrowing the governor. For example, Andros fled the New England area because of colonists hatred towards him and the policies he implemented. This Dominance of New England showed that they colonists were not happy with a direct ruler. The House of Bourgeois was formed as the first semi parliament system, where governors were elected by the people, and there was a House where everyone had a fair representation. England’s government enforced religious polices of the official state religion upon English subjects. The colonists, by the 1700’s, were desperate for the separation of the church and state because of the different religions being practiced.
    Economically, the Old world had a major impact on the new world. The navigation acts imposed on the colonies resulted in colonists to start smuggling because they had already established the American way of commerce. America was part of a vast market of European nations, and other settlers. The Americans had plenty of land which had a major impact on the different economic styles of the two worlds. England was not able to farm because of the lack of land, where as in America, there were acres and acres of farmland where the most demanded crops were cultivated. Many English people went to America of economic gain, and succeeded. When the demand for crops started getting higher, it was necessary for the colonists to get indentured servants for labor. However, as fewer indentured servants were available in . This created class systems in America, however the gaps between the glasses were not as large and they were in England. The biggest difference, however was that people could climb up the socioeconomic class system in America; for example, when indentured servants completed their term, they became land owners and owned slaves themselves.

    • okaywong says:

      England was not able to farm because of the lack of land, where as in America, there were acres and acres of farmland where the most demanded crops were cultivated.

      This is so key…as Thomas Jefferson says, the early American is a farmer that lives far from the city.

  12. Kushal says:

    Did the European peopling of North America “Europeanize” the Americas or “Americanize” the Europeans?

    America changed significantly during the 1500s to the 1750s, even today we see the changes that had happened during that time period. Europeans were coming over to the new world as a way of escaping religious torture and also to gain money. At first when they came over to the new land they went with the flow and thought everything was going to work out for the best but eventually they realized that there were many variables that had not been accounted for such as the Indians, the climate, and the new geography. To prosper the Europeans set up a similar type of life that they had in Europe but took out the stuff they did not think was necessary like the colonists were more tolerable to freedom of religion.
    When Spain first came to the Americas they passed on diseases that the Native Americans, “Indians,” had never encountered and therefore led to their downfall which shows that the Europeans did Europeanize America.
    Even if looked at in the simplest way, we being the children of our parents are a whole different person but we have so many characteristics that we adopt from then without realizing. Which is what happened to America when the Europeans came over in the 1500s.

  13. James Thompson says:

    When the European people tried to influence Americans in the New World to become more European, or “Europeanize” them, they themselves actually became more “Americanized” because of economical, religious, and political development in the colonies over time. America was first discovered by a generation of Europeans who were bent on finding new economic prosperity in America and expanding their countries economic and religious beliefs. After this first generation had settled and started to develop more they grew further and further away from the crown of England, Spain, France, Ex-cetera because they felt the need for their own rights. The second generation of Americans was then born in America, these people, feeling no real connection to the European countries, wanted more of their own independent rights and felt that the crown of England should not try to control them because they were, in essence, becoming there own self dependent colonies. When the King of England issued Royal Charters and revoked them this angered the colonists because the King was trying to control something he knew nothing about. People in the colonies also went to the New World for a new start religiously not in Europe, like William Penn’s “Holy Experiment” in Pennsylvania, so then what would the point of traveling to America on the gruesome passage to just be restricted in the same ways? Even though the Europeans came to America with the intent of “Europeanizing” it the effects were actually the opposite and they ended up “Americanizing” Europe because the colonies had developed by themselves into a very independent nation not in need of European government or law.

  14. Rishi Chatterjee says:

    The Europeans first voyaged to the new world in search of major wealth and growth in economy. Hunting for gold, almost all the early settlers had died because of lack of preparation for the winter. It is definite that the peopling of North America Americanized the Europeans because it directed them away from their old habits and establish new ones, a new culture on the new world. The first settlers were mostly wealthy colonists who came to become even wealthier but in the end of their beginning period when their numbers had been cut down to less than half they had to rely on themselves to get them through the harsh winter and not starve. The rich aristocrats had to find and dig for food, look, and search and also make shelters. They had to find their own way to survive. When the populating of Jamestown, Bay Colony, Pennsylvania, Chesapeake region and New York started to take place the colonists living there had to overcome great barriers themselves and create an economy and socialistic structure themselves, without the help of the English Church. Such as the boom of the fishing industry, woodland industry and manufacturing industry were all made and controlled by leaders in the new world. Eventually ties with Britain started to sink within because as the colonies and populations of the regions of the new world started to come together and make one big social structure Britain had already been giving more importance to its own affairs of wars and tensions. Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania became the first colonies to have religious tolerance, not even in the old world, Britain did they have other faith than the Anglican Church. Diversity had grown an amazing bit because of the over shipment of slaves and immigrants from other European countries. America was described as a place with all kinds of blood, a truly divided ethnically equal nation itself.

  15. franklyfranny says:

    he Europeans cultivated the New World in hopes of expanding their motherland’s colonial power, however as the colonists settled the land their societies evolved from European influenced to American. The opportunities available in the New World were not available in the Old World. For example, raw materials and cash crops such as corn, tobacco, rice, and sugar could not be grown successfully in the Old World. Therefore in order to adapt to their surroundings, the colonists had to work with the land, similar to the way the Indians did, in order to survive. In English societies, there was a distinct separation of class. There were the filthy rich and the dirt poor, and not much room to change or come out of the poverty of the lower class. In the New World, rebellions against royal rule and unfair governing, such as Bacon’s Rebellion, eventually lead to the establishment of a middle class. This class, almost non-existent in England, helped build a ‘bridge’ between the upper and lower classes. It also allowed most the opportunity to rise in economic class, which rarely happened in England. These situations show the evolution of a loyal European colonist to a independent American colonist.

  16. Varun Gopal says:

    The early colonists of North America experienced a change that was drastic in comparison to their accustomed environment in England. These new conditions forced colonists to change many aspects of their society in order to adapt. This new society was different in comparison to the Old World in the religious, social and political aspects.
    After the initial arrival of colonists, people of different nationalities started to arrive in the New World. The social structures in North started to have more religious diversity which led on to the idea of religious toleration. Thus, in contrast to England, the New World colonies changed their society because they faced the problem of different nationalities and religions. This is supported by the domination of the Puritans, Quakers and other religions in the North. Rhode Island is a prime example of the tolerance of the different Christian groups and the people didn’t have to pay taxes for a tax-supported church. However, in England there were taxes on everyone to “provide help” to the Church and there was religious segregation against people who were of a different Christian denomination other than Anglican. Thus, the society of the New World was changed vastly in the aspect of religion.
    Another prime aspect which affected New England society was social classes. There were different social hierarchy systems in the North and South. In the North, there were not as many social distinctions as in England. For example, in Massachusetts there were not many people who were motivated by monetary gains. The groups of people who arrived were in occupations of around the same classification. (Tanners, Farmers etc.) Thus, there was a change in the social aspects of society in the New World because there were not many different occupations but more similar ones. However, there were also social changes in the Southern colonies. The introduction of slave labor introduced a huge gap in social classes and in social behavior. The Barbados slave codes which were used in South Carolina decreased the amount of rights that slaves had and it increased the status of the indentured servants. When indentured servants and slaves were caught committing a foul deed, the indentured servant got a more lenient punishment. Thus, we can see a change in the social characteristics of the Southern colonies due to the change in needs. Because they imported more slaves, a higher distinction in social classes and racial discrimination started to occur.
    The most important differentiation between New World and the Old World societies occurred in the governmental structures. The colonies in the North made more democratic governments in order to have a form of government which allowed for representation. Examples of these governments are outlined in political contracts formed by colonists such as the Mayflower Compact and the Fundamental Orders. These political changes in relevance to New World societies occurred because of problems in the Old World government. These political changes are also seen in the South where there was a more representative self government. This evident in the formation of the House of Burgesses where people appointed people to represent them. Both of these examples show that the inability for the direct involvement with the England government encouraged colonists to form their own self-government. Thus, this political change in New World society was brought about by their needs.
    In conclusion, one can see that there many changes in the New World society in comparision to the Old World society. These changes occurred in the social, political and governmental aspects and occurred because there were different challenges, problems and needs for the colonists. Thus, the different changes led to different developments of the New World in comparison to the Old World.

    • okaywong says:

      Varun, this is the picture of historical analysis. Keep it up.

      • Varun Gopal says:

        sorry i went over the word limit, i read it as it has to be atleast 150 words and i didnt even see the 200. my bad! and is historical analysis all that you wanted, or is there somethng else that could have made it better?

  17. Varun Gopal says:

    just out of curiosity……why does it state that we all have posted these things on September 3 when it is teh 2nd? lol 😀

  18. akshaychandrasekhar says:

    When setting up colonies, the Europeans intended to set up outposts in the New World as extensions of their countries. However, they ended up “Americanizing” themselves. We can see this in three different areas: religion, politics, and society. As people came to the new world, they brought with them their religions. Because of this, the colonies had much more tolerant policies. Rhode Island, founded by Roger Williams, a dissenter, was almost completely tolerant as Penn’s “Holy Experiment” in Pennsylvania. Even Maryland passed an Act of Toleration to tolerate Christian denominations. Therefore, the religious diversity in America was far greater than in England where everyone was mostly apart of the Anglican Church. Also, the Great Awakening occurred in America to create more relevant religious beliefs. Politically, the colonists were different too. They had some form of self-government because the new environment created new problems, and they needed relevant laws. In New England, there were many town meetings. In the south, there was the House Burgesses. Many documents were signed as well such as the Mayflower Compact and the Fundemental Orders. After tasting some political freedom, the colonist were unwilling to give it up and return to the subjugation of the crown which is one of the factors that lead to tension between the colonies and England. Finally, society was different in America. Due to a need for labor on plantations, there was a significant African slave population. Social mobility was also easier in the colonies than in Europe as noted by the esteemed Crevecoeur. However, there were tensions between the upper and lower classes as well as among slaves. This lead to such uprisings as Leisler’s Rebellion and the Stono Rebellion. In all, though the new Americans looked and talked like Europeans, they were different politically, socially, and religiously. These differences occurred because of the new environment had different needs and problems than that in Europe. Therefore, a new society was created, the American society.

  19. Sundeep Bhanot says:

    Although the Europeans came to the New World with intentions of having it “Europeanized,” they soon began to show “Americanized” characteristics themselves. Societies of the New World were beginning to create new self governments, such as the Puritans, and the forming of the House of Burgesses farther down south in the Virginia area. Religious tolerance is a reason why many people from England had left to come to the New World. Such as the Puritans who had come in order to get away from the corrupt Church of England. Later on may new people began to get ideas about religion, causing the start of the Great Awakening. Many new preachers came into play and almost all were successful it getting their message across to not only the people of the New World, but also some in Europe. So Europe’s attempts at “Europeanizing” the New World, were somewhat failure because America soon began to show signs of becoming a respected nation as it is today.

  20. lirichard says:

    The Americas definitely “Americanized” the settling Europeans. First we can see how one of the main purposes of the English colonists was the get away from England – they clearly were not happy with the way things were running. As a result, they obviously would then setup something they liked, something different than what they had before. These changes were seen most prominently in government as well as religion. In government, as opposed to the monarchy found in Europe, most colonists advocated a more democratic form of government, later leading to the Constitution. Also, the idea of predestination soon began to be questioned, and partial membership with the Church was allowed, simply to increase governmental activity. This would have been considered madness by the original English. Furthermore, the mixing of the various cultures in “melting pot” style inevitably led to a new form of society which is America. Finally the exposure a different environment forced the adaptation of the colonists to a new society. As the different environmental opportunities presented to Europe and Australia influenced the rate of development in the two areas, the difference in the opportunities presented to Europe and the colonists in America also contributed to the ways the colonists viewed things. For instance, the soil that was suitable for tobacco and rice changed the things they ate as well as began a trade for slaves, which brought in a different group of people to the “melting pot”. The difference in environment also included the contact with the Native Americans, who also introduced them to new ideas as well as married between them. As a result of these differences between Europe and America, the American dream was established, which that could not be done in Europe, as explained by James Truslow Adams: The American Dream is “that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement. It is a difficult dream for the European upper classes to interpret adequately, and too many of us ourselves have grown weary and mistrustful of it.”

  21. beejalvadhar says:

    Europeans were “Americanized” with the many new and challenging things they faced in the New World. In their minds, they wanted to establish a new and different type of colony, not based on their original, or pervious, colony. They arrived to the New World with a sense of what a colony could be like, although the New World gave them an opportunity to follow through on new ideas for their ideal colony.
    At the settling of Jamestown, the people had to get accustomed to the Indians and at first were attacked by the Indians and were exposed to their culture. Soon after they had settled into Jamestown, John Rolfe established the tobacco industry which was vital for the colony. The tobacco industry had a need for indentured servants and slaves to work the rigorous labor into making tobacco. Although the tobacco industry was making profits, it soon fell into bankruptcy and became New England’s first royal colony. One can obviously point out the many challenges people can face when settling and establishing a new colony. Even though Jamestown points out the economic and political challenges, the settlers’ main conflict was due to religion and accepting religious toleration.
    The motivations of the immigrants had led them into establishing colonies much different than their previous colony. This opportunity brought out many new ideas and portrayed the settlers’ ideal colony.

  22. The Europeans came to the Americas for various reasons, but all of them came because they were unsatisfied in their home country. Whether it be for monetary or religious reasons, they came seeking a better life. They didn’t want to just simply recreate their old society, but they wanted something completely new. Not only did they want a new society, but the problems and challenges they faced in the New World forced them to create a lifestyle different than that in Europe.
    First of all, Europeans who came to the New World faced problems with the Native Americans. Back in Europe, everyone basically had the same background and culture. All of a sudden, they were thrown into a society where they had to deal with a group of people who were completely different from them in every way. Majority of them reacted to this by labeling Natives as heathens and treating them unfairly. The Spaniards who came in the early 1500’s spread diseases amongst the Natives and eventually conquered them. The settlers in the Chesapeake in the mid-1600’s as well as the Puritans also had clashes with the Natives which often times resulted in much bloodshed.
    Secondly, the colonists had to find different ways to provide for themselves in America. Colonies in the South were mainly dependent on crops. For example, Virginia grew and exported tobacco. In the North, where the land was not so fertile, people relied on shipbuilding and fishing to provide for themselves.
    Last of all, coming to the New World meant new challenges politically. They were all of a sudden thousands of miles away from the government of their home country. They began to resent English rule in situations such as the Dominion of New England. English colonists still were under the control of the British government for the most part, but they were beginning to develop their own ideas concerning self government.
    People coming to the New World were definitely Americanized by the surroundings. They came across new people, crops, skills, and government that they didn’t have in Europe. They faced challenges socially, economically, and politically that ultimately shaped the new nation.

  23. Brendan McCartney says:

    This question is really difficult to answer. Overall, I would have to say that America had a more profound effect on Europe than did Europe have on America.

    America not only impacted Europe, but it changed various aspects of the entire world. America offered resources, labor, land, riches, dreams, and competition amongst countries such as France, Spain, and, most dramatically, England.

    Europeans first traveled to the New World with an early version of the “American Dream” in mind– they wanted to come from a life of poverty and work their ways up to economic prosperity. Later, Separatists and other religious denominations emigrated from England in search of religious freedoms that they didn’t have in England. In these ways, the early “American” had already distinguished himself from the “European,” by helping create a new land entirely different from Europe.

    As the New World colonies grew, they became more and more distinct from their European mother nation. Living an entire ocean away from the mother country allowed the colonizers space to diversify. As they developed politically (with new and innovative representative forms of government), economically (with extreme success, especially due to the productivity of slavery), and perhaps even ethically (with greater religious freedoms, and over time greater concern over the treatment of Indians and blacks), the New World inhabitants truly developed their own distinct “American” nationality– a melting pot of people from all different nations who united together for common motives, aspirations, and ideas.

    • okaywong says:

      Nailed it. The population that emigrated Was not a random set. They were different even before they stepped off the boat.

  24. Kavya Durbha says:

    When the Europeans first came to the America’s, their main goal was to obtain wealth and economic prosperity. However, as the years went by, the motives for going to the colonies slowly started to change. For example, the religious views of groups such as the Puritans were looked down upon by the crown, and in order to escape religious persecution, these groups fled to America. Though the traditions established in the New World were very similar to the Old World traditions at the start of colonization, as time wore on the colonists realized that they wanted to create a society independent of the Old World. They had come to the New World because the European governance had not been sufficient, and by realizing this, consciously and subconsciously began to create self-governing societies contrasting with the “Europeanized” view of society. This early change led the New World colonies to their “Americanized” outlook.
    Though it was not completely free of European influence, the New World society differed greatly from that of the Old World. The New World colonies saw greater religious equality and diversity in its colonies than could have ever been imagined in Europe at the time. Maryland was founded for Catholics, yet granted religious freedom to all Christians. Pennsylvania was created as a Quaker haven, and was a religious refuge for all persecuted people. In addition to this new found equality, the assortment of people, cultures, and traditions in the New World brought in a multitude of new ideas and helped shape the “Americanized” point of view. In the Pennsylvania alone, there was a collection of Europeans, Germans, Scots-Irish, French Huguenots, and many others. Though the people of the New World may have arrived as Europeans, their religious tolerance, cultural diversity, and overall independent mindset created an entirely new person, the American.

  25. Oryza Astari says:

    The unifying theme of “starting over anew” began as the Europeans’ first step of creating an American identity and thus Americanizing in the New World. Although some Europeans such as the Spanish and French came with the intention of Europeanizing the Native Americans, the case is not the same for the opportune peoples of England, Germany, and Scotch-Irish. The Spanish and French brought their religion to the New World in the hopes of converting the Native Americans and turning them from “savages” to Europeans. However, over time, the Europeans intermingled with the natives, creating a mixed race of indigenous and European called the mestizos.

    Contrastingly, the English people saw America as the land of opportunity. Most of the people who came over to America were the oppressed: the farmers, the poor, Puritans, Quakers, Catholics, and the indebted, among others. Because of the lack of land, farmers seek agricultural prosperity in the New World. The Puritans, Catholics, and Quakers escaped religious persecution and created havens for people who share their beliefs. The poor, indebted English people were given a second chance at life in the penal colony of Georgia. These people migrate to America not only to seek economic or religious benefits, but also to finally have a “say” in their everyday life, an opportunity they never had–or would never have–had they stayed in their mother country. And indeed, most of their voices were heard in America. The Congregational Church and the House of Burgesses were created as a form of self-government. In the 18th century the American government system had bicameral legislatures where the lower house consisted of directly-elected members (by white, male landowners).

    Furthermore, the coming of the different cultures and classes of people created a distinctive and diverse identity that is American. The English, Germans, French, Dutch, Jewish, Swiss, and others came together with their different motives, but they are all unified in that they are escaping persecutions and oppressions from their mother countries and creating a new life in the New World. This helped shaped the newfound American identity–a melting pot of opportunities.

  26. Laudan Ghahramani says:

    The Europeans were mainly “Americanized” by the Americans. The Europeans came to America to prosper and become wealthy, as well as religious freedom. Most Europeans came to America not knowing how to keep themselves from starvation and the life style of the Americans. When the Europeans came to the Chesapeake region, they spread many diseases such as malaria and dysentery to the Indians and settlers. This decreased the population of both Virginia and Maryland. By the end of the 17th century more immigrants from Europe came to Jamestown to work and to make colonies in the area. The Europeans weren’t adapted to the regions life style, so they had to learn on their own on how to receive food for themselves. Later in Virginia, they learned how to plant tobacco as a source of food. Eventually they figured out a way to make money from tobacco and trade it too.
    Others came to America to become “English”.. The Separatists that came from Holland came to America to live and die as English men and women. They wanted to come to America to be free from the Dutch and find a refuge for them. So you could also say since the Europeans over populated America, in a sense the Europeans did “Europeanize” the Americas.

  27. Stephan Williams says:

    European colonists significantly departed from many of the ways of Old World society through their experiences in America. Though many times it was attempted to set up the New World with the same societal order as in the Old World, the traditional European society was antithetical to many of the core ideas the colonies were founded on. One of these ideas was the mutual desire by many of the colonists, especially those emigrating to Virginia or another southern colony, to rise out of the poverty many of them had experienced in England and become at least moderately wealthy. A number of the achieved this, predominantly via the New World crop tobacco. This rise to prosperity would not have been possible in Europe, with its rigid class hierarchy and enormous gaps between the rich and poor. However, in America, where most of the colonists had been disenfranchised peasants in England, there was little initial caste bindings to hold them back. In fact, even though stronger class divisions did eventually develop in the New World, they were still more fluid than those of Europe.
    Another aspect in which the colonists were “Americanized” in contrast to European society was in terms of religious toleration. In Europe, many countries had state religions that were forcefully imposed upon their citizens. As a result, many religious dissidents relocated to the colonies. Because of many of the colonists’ common background in escaping religious persecution, many of them were against state-controlled religion. Rhode Island and Pennsylvania were two colonies that were based off of this. The primary exception to this was the Puritanical New England colony, who tended to banish non-Puritans. Their religious dominion, however, softened significantly over the next few decades.

    • elijahjones says:

      I think all you said was true because like you said they started out trying to mimick the new world but when it wasnt working they had to improvise. If they didnt become americanized then they would have all died or fail in there establisment of settlements like virgina almost did. But i also think that having the church in the middle or center of everthing is what make new england more successful than the south in the begining. Just like in europe the church was the center for religion, goverment, and their way of life as a whole. The puritans and pilgrims brought that over and succeeded by keeping that aspect. But, once the south got staple crops like tobacco i think the surpassed new england because the economy proved to be a stronger force then religion.

      • okaywong says:

        I think your on to something. Every society needs unifying bonds. The southern social system quickly manifested and rivaled in power with the religious system in the north. The upper class creates powerful memes to maintain wealth.

  28. abhipandya says:

    The Europeans came to America to “civilize the savages,” but rather, their actions due to challenges, needs, and problems; created a new society, America, similar to the way we see it today. This can be seen through religious toleration as well as the system of commerce.
    The concept of religious toleration within England was practically unheard of. Within America, however, this concept arose because of the “need,” and challenges that were faced in the colonies. Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson challenged the Puritan ethics as well as the long standing belief that predestination was a valid idea, respectively. This conflict led to Roger Williams founding Rhode Island, a place where practically all religions were accepted, something never seen back in England.
    Additionally, the Navigation Acts imposed on American colonies serve as an example of how independent, or “Americanized” the New World colonies really became. These acts prohibited trade with certain places, limiting the commerce of the New World. This “need” for commerce promoted smuggling throughout the colonies. The almost completely independent system of trade shows how the colonies were starting to become more and more independent from their mother country, and shape the land as America, rather than another England.

    AHHH. Staying under the word count is SOO hard!

  29. elijahjones says:

    I think europeans were “americanized” by the americans because while left alone by the crown they were free to be themselves. What i mean by being themselves is, they made there own laws, practice the religions they wanted to, for the most part worked how they wanted too. As more people came over they picked up on the americans ways of doing things or created there own which became american. through all the challenges they had to face in order to make their colonies thrive it effected them in such a way that their old ways didnt really work anymore. The americans had to find a new away to feed themselves, farm the land, and build settlements that were “indian proof.”

    So in conclusion, americans changed everything about themselves and the people that came with them. Through religious tolerence, political freedom, and finding new ways to make there econonmy thrive they became new also.

  30. folukeo says:

    ha-ha you were right sorry but at least I found the reflection!
    Here my statement:
    The Europeans that came over here did not recreate their old society in the “New World”. From the very beginning they didn’t create something that was similar to the “Old world” that they had left behind. The Europeans that rush over to the new world already had differences from the people that they had left in the old world. Starting with religion, the puritans came to the “New World” to get away from the religious strife of the old world. They create towns and colonies like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania around religious ideas that weren’t accepted in the old world. The Europeans also came here to find a “new life” in the sense of money. They wanted to separate from the classes of England and to rise up and make their own money. This of course brought of the idea of individualism, colonies that were founded to make a profit like those of Virginia. Help set up this idea.

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