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The Great Migration Of Puritans History Essay

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

1. The Puritans who arrived in America in 1630 were on a mission to build a “city upon a hill” as an example of what could be done in a society committed to God’s laws. In the first century of settlement, however, the challenges that they encountered compromised aspects of their mission. Discuss these challenges and the Puritans’ response to them.

Puritans initially settled in the New England area. The Great Migration of Puritans began in 1629 after the foundation of the Massachusetts Bay Colony and lasted until 1642 when the English Civil War began. Then King Charles I diminished the emigration process to the colonies. In December 1634, Privy Council King Charles I officially restricted Emigration. Over 1629-1643, almost 21,000 Puritans arrived to New England. Exodus of families defined the nature of the the Great Migration of Puritans to New England. During 1630-1640 more than 13,000 Puritans arrived to Massachusetts. The demographics of those emigrants was considerably influenced by the political and religious factors that lay in the core of the Great Migration process. Ordinary people then had laden Puritan ships, the minority of whom was young adults who settled in New England settlements.

Young adults presented labor force as the main factor of the development of the early colonial economy. Puritans were eager to build their own city on a hill, that would be economically productive and morally pure colony free from the overwhelming corruption practiced by the Church of England (Kupperman, 2000).

2. What were some of the long-term effects of cross-cultural exchanges among Native Americans, Africans, Englishmen, and other ethnic groups? Discuss both specific benefits and negative aspects in detail, illustrating your answer with examples from your reading.

The overwhelming majority of Puritans who immigrated to the Massachusetts Bay Colony were the so-called non-separating Puritans. They abhorred the practices of the Church of England, and at the same time refused to get separated from the Church of England as they extremely valued the unity doctrine of the Church. The Separating Puritans were denounced as schismatics. Nonetheless, the shift was made towards the Presbyterian-Congregational lines, Puritans were technically in adherence with the Church of England. In the course of the 1630s, such situation resulted in two main theological controversies, namely: the Anne Hutchinson controversy, and the Roger Williams controversy (Reich, 2011).

Further cross-cultural exchanges among Native Americans, Africans, Englishmen, and other ethnic groups had long-term effects in term of establishing the melting-pot of nations, which is USA today. The mixtures of blood through marriages led to the development of ethnically and culturally diverse society. Therefore, the roots of today’s Americans date back to the times of the first settlers. Apparently, the development of such heterogeneous tradition has positive effects in terms of the long term development of democratic values, multicultural tolerance, and civil society which is the basis of strong socio-economic development today.

3. If colonial America differed from England because it offered greater opportunities, the degree to which one could take advantage of these opportunities depended upon gender, race, ethnicity, and religion. Consider the ways in which two of these factors enabled some people to enjoy the promise of Colonial America more fully than others.

In economic and religious terms, New England society was based on the root of the Puritan family. Much of the Great Migration success as well as the successful establishment of Puritan colonies in the New World was due to the role of women played within Puritan settlements (Nash, 2001). Namely women formed and cherished the religious background of the Puritan settlements. Despite of patriarch tendencies and economic pragmatism of men, women cherished genuine Puritan values of deep religion and close-knit family unity. Puritan families, then much distanced from the rule of the English Church, predominantly worshiped purity of relationship and inner connection with God. Such beliefs mainly determined Puritan insights into most of the opportunities offered by the colonial America. New England actively developed fishing, farming, agriculture, logging, and soon transformed into a strategic shipbuilding and mercantile centre which served the trading hub between Europe and the southern colonies (Kupperman, 2000).

4. Compare and contrast New England with the Chesapeake in either the seventeenth century (1600s) or eighteenth century (1700s). How did family, work, class, religion, and state building differ in these two regions and why?

In 1629, 400 Puritan settlers established the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Initially, they strived for the establishment of the new church that would be pure from corruption in the New World. Within a decade, the number of Puritans extended up to 20,000 by1640.

Puritans developed a religious, social and politically innovative culture that has had tremendous impact on the United States. Puritans believed that the new land would become a a redeemer nation. They strived for the creation of a nation of saints which was then named as a City upon a Hill which should have become the religious sample for the entire Europe. Soon afterwards, Rhode Island Colony was established by Roger Williams who defended religious toleration, as well as separation of State and Church and separation from the Church of England (Reich, 2011).

In economic terms, Puritan New England matched the expectations of the founders. Compared to the cash crop-oriented plantations of the Chesapeake region, the foundations of Puritan economy were based on the self-supporting farmsteads that traded for goods they were not able to produce themselves. More than that, socio-economic standards of living in New England were much higher compared to those in Chesapeake. New England actively developed fishing, farming, agriculture, logging, and soon transformed into a strategic shipbuilding and mercantile centre which served the trading hub between Europe and the southern colonies (Kupperman, 2000).

5. Discuss the origins of colonial North American slavery. Consider the diversity of the colonies, the international context, and the Atlantic slave trade. How did the development of slavery transform life in the colonies?

American society is based on the modern values of justice, freedom and liberty. In 1975 Edmund S. Morgan published American Slavery American Freedom: The Ordeal of Colonial Virginia and offered us a fair reflection on the landscape of America’s past.

Throughout the earliest years of the Colonial American history, there has been a central paradox which consisted in the question of “…how people could have developed the dedication to human liberty and dignity…and at the same time have developed and maintained a system of labour that denied human liberty and dignity every hour of the day”. Such thesis makes us reconsider the truth beyond the American history and comprehend how the nation treated its own citizens and foreigners (Morgan, 1975).

Obviously, the hardships of English settlers had toughened the survivors. To build a new homeland in the steamy river valleys of Virginia proved to be harder and longer than initially expected. However, English people managed to put down their living roots into the American soil. At the dawn of the 17th century, labour and life expectancy were the two core issues on the agenda featured by the high mortality rate. Knowing that, planters did not purchase workforce for a lifetime. Economically indentured servants cost twice as less compared to the workforce from the Caribbean and Africa. In turn, African slaves were more advantageous for planters than their English counterparts and therefore were purchased for lifetime (Morgan, 1975).

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