Colonial America

Colonial America was originally made up of colonies that were under the control of Great Britain.

From 1585 to 1776, many moved to this new world to have a fresh start and land ownership for themselves and their families.

They were required to live under the rule of the King of England, and when taxes and laws became unbearable, the people revolted against the Crown and created the 13 original colonies of the United States.

Freedoms and Religion

One of the major reasons for many to settle in the colonies was based on their desire for freedom to practice the religion of their choice.

There were many different types of religions including: the Separatists Pilgrims in Plymouth Colony that wanted to be completely separated from the Church of England, the Puritans in Massachusetts Bay Colony who were persecuted in England, the Quakers in Pennsylvania, and the Roman Catholics in Maryland.

Both Connecticut and Rhode Island were founded by religious leaders and organizations that wanted more freedom than those in the Massachusetts area.

Life Was Hard

Settling in Colonia America meant that anyone that arrived had to bring everything that they thought they would need with them on the ships that brought them from across the sea.

Small communities gradually grew to larger ones, but each group that arrived had a desire to have their own land and use the talents that they had.

Farming continued to be a major requirement to supply the settlements with food, but since the Native American tribes were already living on much of the land, those that arrived found out that they often had to fight, and this led to the Indian Wars.

Many made the decision to barter their freedom as indentured servants. This means that they arrived as servants of others until they worked long enough to pay for their freedom.

Others were brought over from Africa as slaves.

They had to make a lot On Their Own

The American colonists had to rely on their own talents for survival and this meant plowing their own fields and growing crops, making their own soap and candles.

Since the family unit was the greatest priority, many had larger families so that the children could help with the chores.

Women had to make the clothes for the entire family and much of the material was originally imported from England.

Later, they learned how to spin their own threads and create fabric to make clothes from local sources.

Tensions Increased Between England and the Colonies

Making an attempt to be free brought about many conflicts and wars.

The French and Indian War ended in a win for the British and the King Philip’s War from 1675 to 1676 was a war between some of the Native American tribes and the English settlers in the colonies.

While the colonists won that war, many Native Americans were sold into slavery for the colonies and around 1 in 20 people from all sides were killed.

By 1764, Colonia America had become angry at the increased taxes and demands for exports by England, including a Sugar tax, a tax on tea, and the famous Stamp Act of 1765 that put a tax on all things that were printed.

Facts about Colonial America:

  • The 13 original colonies of Colonial America included what we now call the states of: Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Virginia.
  • A Native American named Squanto, instructed many of the colonists to learn how to hunt for wild animals and plant crops.
  • Many of the early colonists were not prepared for the harsh living conditions. They developed health problems and died.
  • The colonists couldn’t always bring all of the tools that they needed for farming and their homes so many of these tools were made by hand.
  • Social manners were a high priority to the colonists and children were instructed manners beginning when they were very young.
  • Trade professions were very important and there were 18 major trade professions that were often taught to their children so that they could take over as the next generation.
  • Ever wonder why people say “keep me posted?” This is a phrase that was used in the colonial times before there were newspapers. At the time everything that was considered to be “news” was written on paper and posted in a wooden post in town