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The U.S. History to 1877

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1. Puritan Congregationalists began settling in Massachusetts Bay Colony in about 1630. They had a great impact on the development of New England colonies. Puritan Congregationalists were representatives of puritan movement. They immersed themselves in the Bible and believed that the worship of God should be simple and direct, not burdened with elaborate rituals and liturgies. In the New England environment, they transformed an Indian landscape, which they considered as a “wilderness”, to reflect their vision of political, religious, social and moral order. They based church, state, culture and society in New England on their reading of biblical concepts. For example, they codified biblical law in state law – including required church attendance by all inhabitants – and charged civil magistrates, who had to be “saints”, with enforcing it. It was possible for them to have such great influence on New Colonies because they organized a well-developed network of churches. For example, Congregationalists opened more than 120 churches in New England alone, 77 in Massachusetts, 35 in Connecticut, 6 in New Hampshire, and 2 in the portion of Massachusetts that later became the state of Maine.

2. In the beginning of colonizing, the relationship between English colonists and Native Americans had been relatively peaceful, despite many difficulties, connected with a drastic change for the Native Americans, such as an alien culture, religion and more advanced technology. However, during the French and Indian Wars of the 1700s, that relationship got worse. It happened because the English considered their culture superior. An attempt to find freedom and to build a model society for the whole Christian resulted in the exploitation and conquest of the indigenous inhabitants of North America. From that point onward, relations between English colonists and Native Americans tended to be tense if not hostile.

3. The population of the thirteen British colonies that became the United States grew very fast during the eighteenth century. The population doubled almost every generation. There were some reasons for it. Firstly, life conditions had improved, making people live longer and give birth to more children. Secondly, it was convenient for landowners to buy women and make all conditions for their reproductive health because slave’s children became the property of the owner. Thirdly, population increase was a result of immigration of Scottish and Irish people, who arrived to make up the working class. As a result, population growth had such consequences: 1) many commentators in America and Britain welcomed this growth as an indicator of future greatness; 2) others tried to stop this growth because they feared that it might lead to a desire for independence or possibly autonomy in the colonies.

4. Colonial residents had their religious, economic, political, and intercultural rituals through which they saved their cultural identities. For example, because of the differences in the historical experience of American Indians, European Americans, people of mixed race, and African Americans, there were different family forms in American colonies. In addition, they distinguished on a simple level through language and clothes too.  However, European culture had a great impact on the development of new traditions in American colonies. For example, after the introduction of horses by the Spanish settlers to American native ones, in 18th century emerged the new tradition – hunting on horses. This tradition reflects the ethnic and racial identity of native inhabitants because they were a good hunters and hunting was known as one of the rituals among them. Horses helped them to hunt faster. For this reason, they treated these creatures like valuable ones. Moreover, horses were known as a measure of wealth during the 18th century.  It reflects that new tradition of hunting on horses became widespread through native inhabitants.

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