Essay on Early American History and Traditions of Excellence

2607 Words 11 Pages
In 1607, the first colonists came to settle America and founded Jamestown Virginia. Hoping to escape religious persecution, the Puritans followed in 1620 after trekking across the Atlantic Ocean in the Mayflower. The first winter faced the homeless and foodless Puritans with brutal conditions. After only being there for eight months, half of the original group died, leaving them with only four women. Following the first harvest, those still alive celebrated their well being with the first Thanksgiving. From 1630 to 1647, more Puritans came over and settled in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. At the same time relationship tensions with the neighboring Native Americans became heightened (Campbell, 2011, para. 5). By 1636, the first war against …show more content…
By 1738, the Puritan religion began to decline. Increasingly more people drifted away from the church, or did not attend at all. Even more only went through the motions instead of having a true relationship with the Lord. This started a religious revival, known as the Great Awaking, which swept through the colonies. Hoping to promote this, priests delivered sermons encouraging the congregation to devote their life to Christ. One man known for his particularly fiery sermons was Jonathan Edwards (Campbell, 2007, para. 8). Despite all efforts, the Great Awakening failed and within a few decades the Puritan religion vanished completely.
In the years following the Great Awakening, the mainstream of the French and Indian battles began. At the time, a massive conflict known as the Seven Years War was occurring in Europe. The French and Indian wars were a part of this bigger war. While the treaty of Paris ended this war in Great Britain’s favor in 1763, it was only the beginning of hostilities between the colonists and Great Britain. Great Britain used their newfound control over America to their advantage. Wishing to alleviate the massive debt Great Britain encountered after the Seven Years War, the King, King George III, taxed the colonists. This angered the colonists, as they did not have any representation in the British parliament. America declared themselves free in the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Revolutionary War officially broke out in 1779.