Primary Differences between Colonial America and England

947 Words2 Pages

There were a myriad of differences between Great Britain and her American colonies in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, but these differences can be divided into three basic categories: economic, social, and political. The original American settlers came to the colonies for varied reasons, but a common trait among these settlers was that they still considered themselves British subjects. However, as time passed, the colonists grew disenfranchised from England. Separated from the king by three thousand miles and living in a primitive environment where obtaining simple necessities was a struggle, pragmatism became the common thread throughout all daily life in the colonies. It was this pragmatism that led the colonists to create their own society with a unique culture and system of economics and politics. One facet of this unique system involved the numerous economic differences between England and the colonies. The English government subscribed to the economic theory of mercantilism, which demanded that the individual subordinate his economic activity to the interests of the state (Text, 49). In order to promote mercantilism in all her colonies, Great Britain passed the Navigation Acts in 1651, which controlled the output of British holdings by subsidizing. Under the Navigation Acts, each holding was assigned a product, and the Crown dictated the quantity to be produced. The West Indies, for example, were assigned sugar production and any other colony exporting sugar would face stiff penalties (Text, 50). This was done in order to ensure the economic prosperity of King Charles II, but it also served to restrict economic freedom. The geographical layout of the American colonies made mercantilism impractical there. The cit... ... middle of paper ... ...olonists’ needs so the colonists began to gain confidence in a governmental system that did not rely on a king. This revolutionary system of politics that did not rely on a king was just one of the differences between the American colonies and Great Britain. The pragmatism and diversity necessary in the colonies emboldened the colonists to create a completely new culture. People who started out as citizens of their respective countries slowly created a new language and a new society that was complete with a self-regulated economy. This new society would, eventually, become the United States of America. Works Cited Lukes, Bonnie L. The American Revolution. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 1996. Print. Schweikart, Larry, and Michael Allen. A Patriot's History of the United States: from Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror. New York, NY: Sentinel, 2007. Print.

Open Document