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Being taken literally the word American can be broken down into two parts. The first part America referred to the place that people settled in the new world. The second Part –an refers to a person, place, or thing that can be referred to their geographical location. This was a very important part of the new colonies because since they have declared independence they needed a new name for themselves besides Europeans. Thusly they put together the term America and the term –an to describe themselves as their own people. In Mary Rowlandson’s personal narrative it is very evident that the word American hasn’t even crossed the minds of the colonists. The colonists still considered themselves very much European. “Like other New Englanders, he sought to ensure that his progeny and those who came after would be amply provided for” (Rowlandson 9). In this quote from Mary Rowlandson it is very sure that there was a land shortage in England so many Englanders came to the new world so they could own land and have a prosperous family. “When French, Dutch, and English Traders began frequenting New England’s coast, they sought pelts of beaver and other animals so they could cash in on a European craze for fur hats” (Rowlandson 11). In this quotation it is very evident that the futures settlers were not interested in settling down in this new land but to trade with the natives so they become wealthier in England. Thus these peoples did not want to, or wasn’t on their mind at the time, to settle down and begin to think about freedom.
Rowlandson’s narrative is a very good piece of literature from the early times of the new colonies.
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From reading Mary Rowlandson’s personal narrative it is very evident to me at least that there were many hard times between the settlers and the Indians. From their interactions with the Indians I can see why they wanted to rescind their grants. They wanted to move back to England where they felt the most secure.
In Benjamin Franklin’s narrative it was more evident that the colonists were becoming restless with the king and his rulings. Unfortunately for the colonists it resulted in a revolutionary war. Since the King did not read the petition sent to him nothing was ever settled between the two countries. Some of the most important events that set off the king was the Boston Tea Party, The Olive Branch Petition, and among others the Declaration of Independence. If not for some of these important events in the history of the United States then we may have a different passport today.
In Franklin’s narrative there is a small underlying message throughout some of the book. When he used to work for his brother in his printing press this showed the sense of owning and operating our own business. “At my first admission into this Printing House, I took to working at Press, imagine I felt a Want of the Bodily Exercise I had been us’d to in America, where Presswork is mix’d with Composing” (Franklin 64).
This quote from Franklin demonstrates a sense of freedom to do what you want with your life in the new world. If not for the sense of freedom then the new world would have been exactly like England’s monarchy.
Through the courses of both of these narratives both Franklin and Rowlandson have demonstrated very important aspects of the new world. Thusly as I believe that since many of the colonists were away from England for a very long time they felt that they needed to become more independent from the king.
During Franklin’s narrative it is expressed that many of the colonists began to think for themselves and not let the king think for them. The colonists wanted to still be considered English but they wanted to have some more freedom away from the king. Since the colonists wanted more freedoms the king decided to disown them and battle against them to try and make them stay a part of the English empire. If you think about it the American colonies were the only part of the English empire that up rose against the English empire. It was absolutely ridiculous that they did this because they had everything going for them; clothes, food, and guns.
Thusly it meant to be an American if you can have your own thoughts and express them to other people, having your own rights to do almost anything that you want with your life, and the right to own property. It happened for Europeans because they were so far away from England that they felt they shouldn’t be controlled by a king who is over 3,000 miles away. That is such today that people have their own rights and people who will protect them for theses rights.