American Coastal Settlements

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This paper will discuss the idea of law that was enforced in practice opposed to the idea of a sheriff. The first idea would be to discuss the makeup of these regions.

The makeup of the colonial backcountry is very different in comparison to the colonial settlements. There is a set of checks and balances that are able to be setup in a coastal settlement. For example, they have the ability to have a militia; this is probably the most important difference between these two. This was an essential point because it made it harder for their towns to attack. Take this excerpt from when Mary Jemison's family was captured, and this shows the need for a militia. Mary said , "They first secured my father, and then rushed into the house, and without the least resistance made prisoners of my mother, " Mary's family was situated out in the backcountry and a group of ten people came to plunder their house and capture them. Now, in a coastal settlement they would have been able to see the attack coming and might have been able to defend themselves. Mary Jamison's family was victim to not being able to defend themselves. Now, let's contrast that with a coastal town such as Charleston, South Carolina they have the luxury of having a border with the ocean, so they have a way to retreat if necessary. The backcountry is full of open wilderness there is no where to go. These people are separated where a nearest neighbor for some of these settlers could have been twenty miles or more.

The coastal settlements were able to engage in trade with foreign nations easier than people in the backcountry. In our class lecture our class talked about how people in the backcountry had to make their things that they used such as their clothes, soap, food, and they were self sufficient. Settlers were able to import more goods as time progressed, and probably one of the best examples of this would be a passage from Benjamin Franklin about his wife. "For instance, my breakfast was for a long time bread and milk (no tea), and I ate it out of a two-penny earthen porringer, with a pewter spoon. But mark how luxury will enter families, and make a progress, in spite of principle; being called one morning to breakfast, I found it in a china bowl, with a spoon of silver.

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