The Expansion of Freedom and Opportunity in America

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Throughout the history of America, the qualities and freedoms of life have greatly changed. Starting with the struggling settlement of Jamestown, and leading to the United States of America, a new nation led by its people, and based on radical ideals developed by the philosophers of the Age of Enlightenment. A brief journey of this freedom will be shown in the following paragraphs. In May of 1607 three small ships, the Susan Constant, the Godspeed and the Discovery landed at what would later be named Jamestown. The Virginia Company founded this settlement and these first ships brought 104 men and boy colonists. The people of Jamestown struggled to survive. Although the Indians welcomed them at first, they soon became hostile. Famine and disease spread throughout Jamestown. The colonists were so malnourished it was reported they could barely stand. Lack of food and clean water left the colonists with only 38 survivors from the first year. Jamestown began as a place of hierarchy. They were sent there to make a settlement, in hopes that they would find gold and other precious metals. However they did not find wealth as they had hoped and the mortality rate was very high, still colonists continued coming, looking for a new start. In 1620 the Plymouth Colony was established. The Pilgrims coming to find religious freedom settled it. The Pilgrims wanted to separate from the Church of England, and that’s the main reason they came to America. There was also hierarchy there, but they all had the same goal of religious freedom. In the 1610’s tobacco became the cash crop for the colonists. Tobacco required large tracts of land, however there were few workers around to work it. In 1618 in an attempt to solve this problem the Headright System ... ... middle of paper ... The northern colonies were becoming a place where escaped slaves would come to find freedom, and abolitionist groups were working to help free them. The tensions between the north and south would soon start a civil war that would lead to the deaths of thousands. The Civil War nearly broke the country apart, but in the end united it. Slaves would become free, though it took many years time before they were given equal rights, and to this day there still are racial issues. The white man, however had sustained a great improvement of rights, and this would lead to an era of possibilities. The path of freedom has gone through many changes in America, and after years of abusive power inside and outside of the colonies it is hard to think that the United States has a history of only a few hundred years. This journey was hard sought and is still continuing to unfold.

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