America’s history is rich with literature. The beginning of American literature dates back to the Colonial times, but that began way before the colonists even stepped foot in America. There are three major groups of people from the colonial period that impacted literature. That is the Native Americans, Puritans, and the Rationalists.
Have you ever visited New York? Have you ever wondered about what it was like to live there when it was a colony? There are many facts that helped to shape New York to what it is. There are a few facts that are very important to how New York has evolved into the great city it is. For one it was founded in 1624 and was called New Netherland. Also later in time New Jersey split off from New York. These are just a few of the many facts about the New York Colony. New York is an interesting colony with a lot of history behind it.
Early American literature does a tremendous job of revealing the exact conditions and challenges that were faced by the explorers and later by the colonists of the New World. From early shipwrecks to the later years of small colonies barely surviving through dreadful winters, the literary works of the time period focus on some very recognizable themes. The theme of any given work – being simply the unifying subject or idea – is a very important element of any piece of writing. As one reviews some of this early literature, it becomes obvious that several themes appear repeatedly, and it is these subjects that were clearly very common among people from all over the New World. While a number of themes
Early American literature may be said to begin with the Colonial period. John Smith and John Winthrop are two examples of the types of writing at this period: the former kept a romantic journal of his adventures in the New World; the latter kept a journal (or history) of life in New England, where religious matters were of utmost importance. The Puritans had come seeking a life free from religious persecution (which, they ironically brought with them however, as their descendent Nathaniel Hawthorne would show in The Scarlet Letter).
The Middle Colonies consist of New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Pennsylvania otherwise known as the “Breadbasket Colonies” due to their excessive amount of grains and bread. The colonies were economically based on the trading of wheat and grains and as well timber production for shipbuilding. The Middle Colonies were focused on freedom of religion and no taxation without representation. The Middle Colonies were the most diverse inhabitant region out of all the colonies. These groups include the English, Swedes, Dutch, Germans, Scots- Irish, French, Africans and the Native Americans. During the 18th century the middle colonies relied heavily on indentured servants than other region. For instance Pennsylvania was settled by a group of Indentured
One of the main reasons English citizens moved to America was the prospect of freedom from from religious persecution. Many colonies were founded solely to be a safe haven for religious minorities. For instance, Massachusetts was founded by a segment of extreme Puritans called, in hopes of practice their religion without being harassed. The Separatists believed the Church of England maintained too many similarities with the Catholic Church, and it was their job, as saints, to purify it. Their religious beliefs angered many people, especially King James, who was the head of the Church of England at that time. A large group of the Separatists settled in Massachusetts, hoping to practice their religious beliefs without harassment. The Massachusetts Bay Puritans created a very particular society which incorporated their cherished beliefs into the foundation
In the eighteenth century the colonies of New England possessed great economic and demographic potential. They had raw materials and labor power, much of it given by the slaves. They had a great trade, an excellent agricultural production, all they lacked was the license of manufacture which the United Kingdom refused to allow its colonies. According to the traditional scheme the colony was the one that had to produce the raw material, that of the manufactured products already she was in charge, that was of the causes of the independence of the colonies. But let us first address the demographic potential of the new English colonies of North America. In the eighteenth century the most densely populated colonies were New Hampshire, Connecticut,
As the Quakers branched out from England in the 1650s, they brought with them to the Massachusetts Bay Colony an engrained eschatological belief of millennialism that was only further strengthened as they faced increasing religious persecution while in the Colony. Yet just a few years after the persecution, and cases of martyrdom, the Quakers began to shift their dogmatic principles from those emphasizing the impending end times, to messages of pacifism and peace. The wars of the Three Kingdoms in the mid-seventeenth century and religious intolerance of the Massachusetts Bay Colony served the Quakers’ claims of an eschatological end. This emphasis was then foregone with the intervention of British Imperial authorities forced religious tolerance in the colonies after 1660, which then gave an authoritative support for an emerging emphasis on pacifism by the Quaker witnesses in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. This shifting religious emphases of Quaker doctrine can be illustrated as having been directly affected by the role British imperial authorities in the North American Colonies.
In regards to pursing the New World, the colony of Jamestown had set very high hopes, but the colony was ill equipped for the reality of the New World. The English anticipated their arrival to the New World to be an experience like the Spaniards had and that was instant wealth, but what was actually in store for them was far different. The colony of Jamestown settled on a marshy peninsula because it provided a port, which was necessary for the colonies future business endeavors. Another perk of settling on the peninsula was that it provided better protection against attacks from the Native Americans. Unfortunately, settling on the peninsula was one of the colonies biggest downfalls. What they didn’t know was that the swampy waters were contaminated
The colonies in the New World finally began to take shape. However, this didn’t happen overnight. There were complications with the Old World, Native Americans, and within their own colonies. Nevertheless, the thirteen colonies erupted along the Atlantic seaboard.
In the Jamestown colony, colonists were dying because of Native American attacks, famine, disease, and their own mistakes. The colonists chose an area along a river that led to diseases such as dysentary and malaria. Settlers wasted valuable time that could have been used to hunt and fish. Food supplies dwindled until the entire colony was on the brink of starvation.
When Virginia Company brought and settled the English men into Virginia colony, it took more than a decade for it to reach to the conclusion that the colony is now ready for self-supporting. By stablishing the House of Burgesses and General Assembly of the Virginia Colony, colonists literally organized a legislative body in the colony which enabled them to choose their own leaders, adopt laws and setup regulations based on their needs. It was July 30, 1619 when the twenty two burgesses, Governor Yeardley and the Council gathered at Jamestown Church to setup rules, adopt laws and govern the colony themselves. The result of this meeting was the significant birth of the first government in the history of America which not only protected the Virginia
The Colonial period is abundant in its source of influential people who help shape present society through questioning past beliefs. Martin Luther leads the Protestant Reformation. John Calvin expands on the idea of predestination. The Puritans live strictly by the word of the Bible, and the Quakers inspire many people to join them in their friendly lifestyle. All of these people contribute to our society today and brave the face of adversity.