Colonial America to Modern America Essay

All the colonies that were founded in the seventeenth century contributed to the values of perennial America. The three colonies that made the most significant contributions were the colonies of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. These colonies displayed the democratic government that we are ruled under today, their educational opportunities were strong and sound, and the religious toleration of these colonies was strong and many religions shared the colonies in peace.

Their social plurality kept them safe from the Indians and helped them build relationships that made their colony successful and thrive, while other colonies struggled to survive. These relationships that were formed helped their economic materialism, trade. The colonies of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut contributed greatly to the type of government that we use today. Although Virginia was first ruled by crown, the people, under Nathaniel Bacon, created a document, Declaration in the Name of the People (primary source, document 9).

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This document convicted the governor of Pennsylvania of crimes against the people and they over threw him and took control for themselves. Pennsylvania, unlike Virginia, was governed right from the start by the people. The type of government in which they were ruled by was a proprietary government, ruled by the land-owning people. Although the proprietary government is not a true democratic government, matters that needed to be resolved were discussed by all (Richard Townsend). Connecticut was completely self-governing.

All the control was under the power of the people locally, no outside force had control (pg 37). The educational value of these colonies was very important. Not only did they show that befriending the Indians would prove to be valuable but also very deadly. The social plurality also had a factor in how the Indians responded to the colonies, whether they were welcoming, or hostile. These colonies showed the good and the bad of treating people who were native to the lands. Pennsylvania for example the people were very friendly towards the Indians that were occupying the lands.

This kindliness and love created a bond between the Penn’s and the Indians that was not found in many colonies (Richard Townsend). Virginia was different. Although the governor of Virginia was friendly to the Indians, the Indians still attacked the people of the colony. The colonists, lead by Nathaniel Bacon, wanted the governor to attack the Indians and take vengeance for what had happened to the slain colonists. Berkley, the governor, did not attack, so the colonists took matters into their own hands and chased the governor out of town and attacked the Indians brutally (pg 68).

This event was important for the educational value because it showed that rulers needed to listen to the people and act for the people to keep them under control and in the rulers favor. The social plurality in Virginia was that the Indians did not want the colonists there, so they attacked the colonists trying to rid them of lands only to create an uprising that killed many people. This shows that not all the Indians had the same views on the colonists. Connecticut both befriended Indians and created war with the Indians at the same time.

The Narragansett Indian tribe helped the people of Connecticut in the Pequot war (pg 52). The powerful Pequot Indians took up war with the people of the area. With the Indian allies, the colonists crushed the Pequot threat. The educational value of this war was that although some Indians are hostile, others are kind when there is a common enemy; this idea carries over to modern America. Virginia was the most economically sound colony, other than Massachusetts, because of the tobacco that the colonists grew and exported to England and other countries (pg 67). Ships exported about 1. million pounds of tobacco out of the Chesapeake Bay by the 1630’s. By the end of century, approximately 40 million pounds of tobacco was exported out of the Chesapeake Bay (pg 67). These Virginian farmers needed a major amount of indentured servants. These indentured servants, or slaves, were paid very low wages from their masters. Pennsylvania was not as economically sound as Virginia because they did not have the direct access to the sea, but they did flourish. The colonists of Pennsylvania befriended the Indians which created trade with them, this added culture to both the Indians and the people of Pennsylvania.

They also built mills in which the people from all around brought their corn to be ground up and used in many of the foods that were cooked (Richard Townsend). The trade among the people inside Pennsylvania was sound and very vast. Religious toleration is a key part of modern America. Virginia had a vast population of Scots and of the Irish. These people who immigrated to Virginia where allowed to build churches in which they could go and pray and have masses (pg 88). This created diversity in Virginia and made them a prospering colony.

Pennsylvania, who was accepting of anyone, allowed people to practice their religion in freedom (Richard Townsend). Connecticut had a harsh religious toleration. The Blue Laws of Connecticut, forbid people to have any other worship than Lord God, or they would be put to death (The Blue Laws of Connecticut, Deuteronomy 13. 6. Exodus 22. 20). There were many other laws that forbid people of other religion to do certain actions. These laws were not accepted vastly, only to the people who read the bible.

The colonies of Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut are three colonies that contributed the most to modern America. Their economic materialism was sound which made them all successful colonies and allowed them to expand and thrive. The democratic values of these colonies helped shape the democracy that we use today. Their educational opportunities gave us the knowledge of knowing what no to do when events like theirs arise again, so history does not repeat itself. The religious toleration made America a country in which any religion is accepted.


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