History 13A paper

History 13A paper - Giang Duong Student ID# 703708398...

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Giang Duong Student ID# 703708398 History 13A Discussion Section T.A.: Lauren Acker November, 15th, 2008 Changes in eighteenth century in America In the late seventeenth and the early eighteenth centuries, the colonial British America had experienced many profound changes that never happened before in its economies, societies, and polities. The American colonists became increasingly aware of the inequality in their society as seen through the expeditious growth in wealth, the expansion of the slavery, and the growth of the Public Sphere and freedom of speech in all the British colonies. Consequently, the Great Awakening was a foundation of human rights’ revolutions through out the American history. By the advantages of immense fertile lands, the development in foreign trades, and slaves’ labor, the American colonist’s wealth had growth rapidly. The expeditious growth in wealth of the American colonists together with Anglicization had intensified the income inequality. As the American colonists became richer, their livestyles had changed, too. However, instead of thinking themselves as distinctive Americans, they turned into more and more English, a process called “Anglicization” by historians. To become more English, most of all elites in the British colonies preferred to use British goods more than the domestic goods, sent their children to England for education, and adopted British’s architectures and livestyles. Anglicization showed how strong the impact of British government towards its America colonies culturally and economically. Disadvantageously, many American colonists were indebted because of their uncontrollable desires for British goods. “Desperate to follow an aristocratic lifestyle, many planters fell into debt. William Byrd III lived so extravagantly that by 1770 he had accumulated a debt of £100,000, an amount almost unheard of in England or America” (Give Me Liberty, pg.119). Anglicization also enlarged the gap between the rich and the poor in British colonies. “the gap between rich and poor probably grew more rapidly in the eighteenth century than any other period of American history.”(Give Me Liberty, pg.118). The levels of the gap were different in each colony. Because most of colonial elites in the British colonies were planters, so in colonies that were more concentrated on agriculture like Virginia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South and North Carolina…this gap was greater. “wealth in South Carolina was highly concentrated. The richest 10 percent of the colony owned half the wealth in 1770, the poorest quarter less than 2 percent.” (Give Me Liberty, pg.119). This gap was represented obviously through the lifestyles of two classes. The elites lived a lavish and luxurious lives and were privileged the gentleman status, who was free from labor. “Like their Virginia counterparts, South grandees lived a lavish lifestyle amid imported furniture, fine wines, silk clothing, and other specially designed uniforms” (Give Me Liberty, pg.119). Meanwhile, the poor peasants had
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2010 for the course HISTORY 13A taught by Professor Melaine during the Spring '10 term at UCLA.

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History 13A paper - Giang Duong Student ID# 703708398...

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