Compare and Contrast Essay on the 13 Colonies

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In 1760, America was rapidly expanding and establishing itself as a superpower. The population had grown to over a million people, and the economy was booming, thanks to commerce in tobacco, lumber, rice, and dried fish, for example. America was edging closer toward revolution as people began to rebel against the brutal British rulers. They accepted religion, were mostly protestant, and had a melting pot of religions, but were anti-Catholic in most areas. Many states had various cultures, with individuals from the Netherlands, Germany, and Sweden in some, and primarily English in others; at the same time, the Irish and Scottish populations began to grow. Also, the idea of slavery was becoming more unpopular as people saw it as morally wrong. So, in this essay, I will be discussing political, economic, cultural, population, and religion in terms of how America`s colonies were similar and different in the 1760s.

One way the colonies were similar was that many of them were anti-Catholic. This arose from the early settler's desire to abolish the Catholic Church, as they were protestant, they considered Catholicism corrupt. They wanted to promote Protestantism and spoke about how they were ideals, as well as how Catholicism had been corrupted, and this had a huge impact on Catholicism, as colonies believed the early settlers and began to join Protestantism, which is why most colonies were protestant. They didn't despise Catholicism in and of itself. They despised Catholicism's corruption and policies, however. This was mainly caused by the fact that the king had control over the Church, and they brought this argument with them and started to disapprove of Catholicism. Martin Luther, for example, was an anti-Catholic who put a strong emphasis on opposing Catholicism and promoting Protestantism, and it worked because many colonies followed his lead. It was even against the law to shelter or assist a priest! Priests were not allowed to stay in the Commonwealth for more than 5 days, and Catholics were not allowed to hold office. Anti-Catholic laws were enacted in colonies such as Virginia and Massachusetts, and anti-Catholic legislation was enacted in Rhode Island. Anti-Catholicism existed in Maryland for a short time.

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Another way the colonies were similar was that many people fled persecution in their home countries to seek religious freedom in America, many of the early settlers were protestants, therefore most of the colonies had anti-Catholic laws. New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland, for example, were colonies with many religious refugees. There were multiple races in many states, including black, white, and native. Mixing black and white people resulted in mixed-race people in many places. As a result, most colonies made unification between black and white people prohibited. In addition, because many individuals immigrated from England seeking religious freedom, English culture heavily dominated in most colonies. Also, because individuals arrived from West Africa, England, the Netherlands, and Germany, there would have been a wide variety of languages in many of the colonies, therefore America is seen as a 'Melting pot' and these cultures did not gather up in one colony, they spread-out out in many, hence why the cultures were similar. Also, many people went to America because it was seen as rich and had gold, and there was a lot of opportunity, hence why it is called the 'land of opportunity', so many people went to America to these colonies seeking gold, and even though there was no gold, there were lucrative trades such as timber, slave trade, fishing, and tobacco in which you could earn a lot of money, which is why people went to America. Numerous colonies were attacked by natives, the Spanish, and the French. One example is New Hampshire, where the French assaulted and reduced the native population. Because of the wars against them, the native population in most colonies plummeted.

The colonies were also similar in that they were all unified as a result of Britain's Navigation Acts. Because Britain wanted to import goods and conduct trade, it also had to go via the mercantile system, which meant that most of the colonies' goods were similar, such as timber and tobacco. However, most of these colonies did not agree with Britain's policies but were forced to comply. It also encouraged colonial trade, and most colonies began trading as a result in order to survive. This demonstrates the colonies' ties once more since they all began relying on trading to exist. Also, many foreigners could not trade as it was banned in many colonies. The Navigation Act made it illegal for colonies to send goods to countries other than the United Kingdom.

Another similarity is that all colonies had a similar government structure, which is understandable given that they were all ruled by the British. This was made up of a governor and a legislative assembly, and the governor was selected by the crown, indicating British control. In most colonies, the legislative assembly was divided into two houses: upper and lower houses. All the colonies had a form of democracy.

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Compare and Contrast Essay on the 13 Colonies. (2023, July 20). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 23, 2024, from
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