The making of the colonial america - Journey Through the...

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Journey Through the American Past Lecture Five The Making of the Colonial America Professor Maria A. Brown In today’s session we are going to examine the themes, i.e., historical forces of the 17 century that helped develop the nature and direction of Colonial America. In the process of looking at these themes we will be developing an analysis concerning the growth and development of the American society. At the same time there are a series of questions that should be considered as we examine those themes. 1. Anglo America imitated many features of the Old World but copied them imperfectly. The intent of settlers was to create a New England. They brought with them institutions, customs, values and behaviors that, they naively believed, could easily be transplanted from one continent to the next. However, upon their arrival to the New World, they where totally unprepared for what was in store for them. What they discovered is that they absolutely knew nothing about this environment. They had not been prepared for generations of a continuous struggle against a
hostile environment–being engaged in a contest that they would more often than not lose. The English settlers also discovered that there was already established indigenous populations and cultures. They quickly realized that their survival depended upon their relationship with the indigenous populations. Their destinies were intertwined. Added to this mix was the arrival of, perhaps, the most reluctant of all immigrants to the New World, the African. The intertwining of the destinies of the descendants of Asia, Europe and Africa was critical to survival in this strange land. As the settlers tenaciously attempted to establish those institutions and cultural values they left behind, they underwent a cultural shock. Some of the social and cultural attributes of the native country took hold. Others withered away. The terrain, climate, and resistence of the indigenous populations, to what was perceived as an invasion, forced the new settlers to create new institutions and adapt to new ways of doing things that would help facilitate their survival in this new land. This fact 2

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