The Americas were branded as ‘the New World.’ Efforts had been made by the European society to establish a new world but unfortunately failed. For several years, people have lived in the Americas speaking different languages and establishing several different cultures. Most Native Americans established settled communities and also seasonally migrated, maintained peace with their neighbours and also established their self-efficient economies through various trade networks. The arrival of Europeans, as well as the consequential global exchange of goods and people, bridged the ages of geographic separation making efforts for a New World. This paper seeks to describe how colonial societies differed from English society between the seventeenth century and eighteenth centuries. It will also discuss the impact of American conditions and old-world values on the failure of reforming the European society within the New World. The discussion will involve the Southern, New England as well as the Middle colonies between 1600 and 1750.
How and why the colonial societies differed from English society
In the colonial societies, the establishment of Virginia, printing was either considered to be needless given the harsh living conditions. In the colonial society, there were no free schools or no printing since they considered learning encouraged disobedience but printing disclosed them. Ironically, the circulation of the handwritten tract significantly contributed to the downfall of European society, particularly Berkeley. For England, the printing culture was quite different. The Puritans respected printing culture since the start. However, the authors form the New England were contended to publishing in London, which made the foundation of Stephen Daye printing shop in 1639 to be very unstable. Printers create money using printing sheets and not books. This was same with the Massachusetts, whereby their initial print work was that of Freeman’s Oath. Their first printed book, the Bay Psalm Book, was not distributed till it reached 1640 and only eleven copies managed to reach this time. The Daye’s contemporaries acknowledged the importance of his printing and he was given one hundred and forty acres of land. The next big project was done by Samuel Green along with Marmaduke Johnson who published the first bile in American society in 1960.
The English society depended on the colonies in supplying them with raw materials like tobacco and lumber. The Americans took part in several new forms of trade as well as other forms of financing which increased their capability of buying British-made goods. Though the way the colonists made payments for the goods significantly varied from that of the British. When the settlers initially arrived in North America, they came along with a few metallic British money. The English society appreciated metallic money and used them as a form of payment, whereas the colonialists depended on nontraditional as well as barter forms of payment. To handle the issues of lack of currency, several colonies opted for commodity money which was different from place to place. For instance, the Virginia colonial legislature endorsed tobacco’s rate of exchange, which standardized it as a type of money within the colony. Commodities tend to be fragile and hectic in transporting, therefore, the English society considered developing a system for money. The notes enabled people to makes deposits of some amount of tobacco within a warehouse as well as receiving a note that bears the value to deposit what can be traded as money. However, colonial Massachusetts were the first to develop paper bills to be utilized as money. The notes were referred to as the bills of credit which were issued for a limited duration on the credit of the colony and had some variance in the denomination.
The colonies practiced farming. For example, the Caribbean plantations dedicated almost their entire land for very profitable sugarcane plantations. Therefore, the colonies especially the Northern colonies sold food items as well as raw materials to the English societies who depended on their supplies. Lumber was highly demanded, mostly in Barbados, whereby planters almost cleared the entire vegetation on the island to make room for more space to plant sugarcane. The English society, on the other hand, did not focus more on plantations in their lands but rather considered the slave trade as a lucrative form of exchange. The colonial societies also depended on the English societies to purchase cattle as well as horses.
The English societies were able to obtain credit which enabled families to purchase consumer goods that were previously available to the elites. Moreover, cheap consumption enabled the middle-class English societies to be capable of matching much of their trends in household items, clothing, as well as food staff that traditionally signified wealthiest and aristocratic classes. However, the Americans consider the British peers as being less cultivated who presented themselves as lords and ladies in their communities through the purchase and display of British-made goods. The English society valued luxury and that is evident from a successful businessman, John Adam’s home which had very expensive furniture. The English societies had spacious gardens, marble tables, comfortable beds with crimson damask curtains and beautiful chimneys. The colonies did not value luxurious products as they did not afford them. Moreover, in the English societies, the level of consumerism was high, unlike the colonial societies in which consumerism was low. English societies tend to purchase unnecessary products that they could do without. Colonial societies only tend to purchase items that were basic and of high priority. Additionally, in the English society people were more likely to get themselves in debt.
Impact of American environment/conditions
The European presence within American triggered several environmental changes, which impacted the native people and animals negatively. This led to a weak society due to illnesses caused by the environmental conditions which led to the failure of reforming European society in modern society. Moreover, there was the increased popularity of the beaver-trimmed hats within Europe along with the desire of Indians to obtain European weapons which resulted in overhunting of beavers in the Northside.
America had a favorable environmental condition whereby agriculture flourished especially along the Mississippi River as well as along the Atlantic Ocean. In these areas, the native communities were in charge of their forest resources and cleared their bushes by burning bushes to makes room for hunting and plantations. Later, the Americans engaged in permanent agricultural activities. These agricultural activities facilitated a drastic social change for the people, which was accompanied with deteriorated health among the people. The people suffered from weak bones and teeth. The decline in health caused by the American environment significantly hindered the efforts to reform the European society.
American society had indigenous people who shared a lot of characteristics. There was some form of spiritual practice, kinship networks as well as the understandings of poverty which significantly differed in that those of European arrangements. This difference became a hindrance to the reformation of the European society in the new world since they lacked a common ground created by the differences in the spiritual practices, kinship networks and also the understanding of poverty. The majority of the Americans could not clearly distinguish between the supernatural and natural. Essentially, the spiritual power penetrated their world which appeared to be both easily accessed and tangible. The spiritual power could be easily harnessed as well as appealed to. Their kinship brought the people of America together whereby most of them lived in small communities under on kinship network. Most of the native cultures understood their ancestry to be matrilineal whereby the family, as well as the clan’s identity, was continued through the female line which is through mothers and daughters instead of fathers and sons. This was quite different as compared to other societies which contributed to making the reformation of the European society in the modern world to be hard. For example, fathers normally joined the extended families of mothers. Therefore, most often, mothers were the once who was more influential at local levels and the identities of men significantly relied on the relationship they have with women. This was something very different from other European societies. Moreover, American culture significantly afforded more sexual freedom as compared to other European cultures. For example, women normally selected their husbands, and when it comes to divorce, it is a simple process. Whereas, in other European cultures, divorces is something hard and complicated process. For the Native Americans, they had a strong urge for personal ownership of weapons and other tools that were often used. Also in America, both individuals and groups adopted the usage of violence in excluding others which made it quite difficult for the reformation efforts of European society. Additionally, the right to utilize a piece of land did not mean the right to permanently possess the land. Essentially, these American conditions were a hindrance to the efforts to reform the European society.
The Puebloan people from Chaco Canyon encountered many environmental challenges which included deforestation as well as over-irrigation which eventually made the community collapse as well as ended up dispersing its people into smaller settlements. Moreover, the catastrophe was followed by a severe fifty-year drought which started in 1130 which forced the people to desert the area. This drought also impacted the people of Mississippi and the South and Midwest America. Furthermore, the people of Mississippi established one of the biggest civilizations in Mexico. For the individuals who lived within the Woodlands, it was certain that life and death were interlinked with the movement of the moon, sun, stars as well as their ceremonial earthwork structures reflecting the significant structuring forces.
In the Northwest of America, several people speaking different languages thrived there in a land that had a moderate climate, several rivers and also lush forests. These people relied on Salmon to survive which they valued accordingly. They had plenty of fish which they showed much spiritual respect whereby its image signified prosperity, renewal as well as life. Sustainable harvesting practices made sure that the population survived. However, during harsh environmental conditions such as drought. The people around this area would become weaker as others die due to a shortage of salmon. It also triggered the dispersal of people as they look for better environmental conditions to survive. This gave a negative impact on the recreation of European society.
To sum up, colonial societies greatly differed with English society in various ways. In the colonial societies, the establishment of Virginia, printing was either considered to be needless given the harsh living conditions. For English society such as England, the printing culture was quite different. The Puritans respected printing culture since the start. The English society appreciated metallic money and used them as a form of payment, whereas the colonialists depended on nontraditional as well as barter forms of payment. The colonies practiced farming. For example, the Caribbean plantations dedicated almost their entire land for very profitable sugarcane plantations. Therefore, the colonies especially the Northern colonies sold food items as well as raw materials to the English societies who depended on their supplies. The English society, on the other hand, did not focus more on plantations in their lands but rather considered the slave trade as a lucrative form of exchange. The European presence within American triggered several environmental changes, which impacted the native people and animals negatively. This led to a weak society due to illnesses caused by the environmental conditions which led to the failure of reforming European society in modern society. American society had indigenous people who shared a lot of characteristics. There was some form of spiritual practice, kinship networks as well as the understanding of poverty which significantly differed in that of European arrangements. This difference became a hindrance to the reformation of the European society in the new world since they lacked a common ground created by the differences in the spiritual practices, kinship networks and also the understanding of poverty.