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Development of Colonies

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In pursuit of national glory, profit and religious mission, England started to explore and conquer the North America. Through the 1600s and the early 1700s, three major colonial regions, the New England colonies, the Middle colonies, and the Southern colonies, formed and developed, and the economic freedom from land owning drew people to the North America. However, during and after the French-Indian War, colonies cooperated to resist British policies and finally declared their independence in 1776. The three colonial regions blossomed quite differently in terms of economy. English colonists first settled in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607. Failing to find gold, however, people in the southern colonies grew tobacco and rice as marketable commodities. Since tobacco plantation was labor-intensive, a large number of the population was indentured servants and black slaves. Because of the high mortality rate and unbalanced sex ratio, headright system was created in order to attract more settlers. In New England, due to the poor soil condition, people mainly relied on fishing, and lumber. Also, the Navigation Acts stimulated shipbuilding industry. The Middle colonies were based on growing grains and trading with European nations as well as other colonies. Furthermore, according to professor Foner, each colony experienced distinct political development. In Virginia, the crown appointed governor, and local elite was in charge of the colony’s advancement. There was also the county court, or the Justices of Peace. Only the colonial assembly was elected. The House of Burgesses, established in 1639, was the first legislature in Jamestown. Contrary to Virginia, Maryland was a proprietary colony settled in 1632. The charter granted Cecilius Calver... ... middle of paper ... ...olerable Acts, which colonists viewed as posing threat to their political freedom. Therefore, the Continental Congress adopted the Continental Association, and more small towns and rural areas joined the resistance. Still, some colonial leaders did not favor severing the tie with Britain because of pride of British membership and fear of further turmoil. In New York and Pennsylvania, unable to achieve a consensus on their position against Britain, many leaders stagnated from further resistance. With the widespread of Thomas Paine’s Common Sense, American independence gained extensive support. As Paine insisted, “membership in the British empire was a burden to the colonies, not a gift.” Finally, on July 2, 1776, the Congress declared the United States as an independent nation, and America soon gained international recognition. Works Cited Foner, Give Me Liberty!
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