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Issues Of Early American Settlement

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In the early settlement of America, disease and forced labor played a significant role. In the Spanish colonies from Florida and Southward, smallpox took an enormous toll on the conquerors and the native peoples. The so-called “black legend” regarding the Spanish and Portuguese was actually somewhat true, but also somewhat misleading. The concept held that “the conquerors merely butchered or tortured the Indians (вЂ?killing for Christ’), stole their gold, infected them with smallpox, and left little but misery behind.” (Kennedy, p. 23) All of this was actually true вЂ" but that wasn’t all the conquerors did, and is therefore the error of the “black legend”. The Spanish and Portuguese conquerors built an enormous empire that spanned two continents. It was not just bad traits that they brought with them вЂ" they brought good things too, like culture. Soon, their culture would be integrated into the native societies, including the conquerors’ language, laws, and religion.

Later, during English colonization of the Eastern seaboard, disease played a large roll in the South вЂ" disease was apt to grow rampant in the warmer climes. As far as development, growing the economy through the means available (namely tobacco) meant that more labor would be needed. The Native Americans did not prove to be reliable labor because they mostly died when having come in contact with diseases their immunities were unprepared to conquer. Indentured servitude became commonplace, since slaves were then too expensive and England had a surplus of displaced farmers. By the end of the 18th century, around 100,000 indentured servants had been brought to the region by Chesapeake landowners. (Kennedy, p. 67)

The founding of the New England Colonies in comparison to the Middle Colonies is like night and day - as night and day are still upon the same Earth, so the differences between the founding of the Northern and Middle Colonies are upon the same premise: religion. The New England colonies came into being by way of the Puritans in the 17th century вЂ" indirectly by way of the Protestant Reformation, and the subsequent break of the United Kingdom with the Catholic Church. A group of Puritans called the Separatists from Holland boarded the Mayflower headed for America by way of the Virginia Company of England, only to have missed their destination. They arrived off the coast of New England in 1620. (Kennedy p. 44) The climate was so inhospitably cold, that less than half of the surviving crew of the Mayflower actually survived the first winter. New England then began to become populated with Dutch and English settlers.

“Whereas English immigration to the Chesapeake was spread over nearly a century, most English voyagers to New England arrived within a single decade.” (Kennedy, p. 51)

The Dutch funneled into New Amsterdam, which became New York after England won a battle with the Dutch. It was the Dutch who purchased Manhattan Island from the Indians for trinkets.

Pennsylvania was created with a Quaker religious ideology by a land grant inherited by William Penn. Each region seems to have its own unique distinction during this period.

The New England Colonies and the Middle Colonies were each like the South in that the slave trade was functioning by way of New England brokers and putting to shore at their docks (Kennedy, p. 71). Each section of the Colonies вЂ" the New England Section and the Southern section вЂ" also had similarities regarding struggle. Both North and South had a lot of difficulty populating their respective regions due to many of the same factors, although different in aspect вЂ" disease, Indian attacks, and inhospitable environments faced all of the colonists.

In contrast, the middle states did not have these matters to contend with in as pronounced of a way. It was the case that this region was populated by those seeking a certain measure of religious tolerance not found in other regions, namely the North.

In the South, there were certainly many differences between operations in both the middle and the Northern regions вЂ" especially in population. The Southern Colonies were dedicated to exporting agricultural products, deriving from broad-acred plantations (Kennedy, p. 39), whereas the Northern Colonies were more inclined toward industry вЂ" especially fish and ships (Kennedy, p81). Of course, there were also many small farms and villages in New England in its early days too, which is also a contrast to the



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