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European Expansion in the Americas Essay

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Updated: Oct 23rd, 2021


The American Indians consisted of groups like the Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Muskogean Indians who had several characteristics that varied from economic, political as well as social. There were also technological and political changes that made possible the European voyages of exploration and discovery in the 15th and 16th Century as well as forces in the English society leading to the colonization of the new world. Headright System, Indentured servitude, House of Burgesses, and Bacon’s Rebellion were part of the Virginia colony which had great effects. There were differences between New England and Chesapeake colonies as well as conflicts between the elite and poor colonies. Africans became the common source of labor for the Americans which led to the practice of the slave trade.

A Description of the Political, Social, and Economic Characteristics of the Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Muskogean Indians As Well As Division of Labor in the Early Seventeenth Century

According to (Emmer,1986), the Algonquian, Iroquoian, and Muskogean are part of American Indians and in the 17th century, they met with Europeans whom they came to relate very well with but they affected them socially by infecting them with diseases decimating the numbers of American Indians. The way of living of these Indians also changed since they embraced Christianity as their new religion destroying and abandoning traditions that were caused by migration which was done forcefully. There was also buffalo disappearance as they went to live in reservations provided to them making them depend on the whites for most of their decisions. Economically, these American Indians traded with European colonists for items made from fur as well as other items including; blankets, copper, beads, gunpowder, iron, and guns as the guns allowed the Iroquois to dominate over other tribes.

The political and technological changes that led to and made possible the European voyages of exploration and discovery in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries

European Voyages of exploration and discovery were driven by some forces which include the rivalry between Europeans and Muslims in the Mediterranean. Another factor was the search for rulers who were Christians in Asia or Africa listed to be against Muslims as well as an increased zeal to convert unbelievers to join Christianity by the Roman Catholics. Increased demand for luxuries such as silks, spices, porcelain among others was also a driving force which is stimulated by population growth after what was called Black Death. Furthermore, conditions that favored the voyages include wind systems from Indian, Pacific as well as Atlantic oceans blowing to known directions in times and latitudes that were known. Changes in technology also upgraded the ship’s sturdiness and qualities of sailing by putting together features of Indian, Mediterranean as well as Atlantic Ocean designs of a ship. Arabic and Greek texts were translated allowing Renaissance humanists to recover geographical information as well as accessing Islamic cartography. (Ribeiro, 1971).

Forces Present In English Society In The Sixteenth And Early Seventeenth Centuries That Led To English Colonization Of The New World

According to (Emmer, 1986), the Interest of the English society to colonize the New World grew to respond to economic and social problems in England. The forces include that, English people had undergone suffering from costly as well as frequent wars leading to religious strife in the land and harsh economic changes. The other fact was that wool’s demand was rapidly growing because people owning land were shifting their use of land from growing crops to raising sheep to produce more sheep for wool. This resulted in reduced food production although at this time there was an increment of the population of the English people. A new world seemed attractive to the English population as it offered land which was becoming scarce in their country and also new merchants were prospering for trading wool products abroad.

Investors made numerous profits which made them want to expand more specifically due to the emergence of the concept of mercantilism where it was believed that, people or nations’ riches would be as accrued at other nations’ or people’s expense. It was also believed the economy of a nation would depend on making more sales to foreign countries and purchasing very little from them. This principle led to an increase in the urge to acquire colonies to provide them with raw materials as well as provide a market for their goods.

Impact Of Headright System, House Of Burgesses, Indentured Servitude As Well As Causes And Consequences Of Bacon’s Rebellion On The Development Of The Virginia Colony From 1607 to 1680

The headright system was used in the Virginia colony at the time when Sir George was a governor and there was an establishment of plantations scattered on either side of River James. Great Charter; a Virginia Company stimulated development where prospective immigrants were lured to Virginia aiming to possess their land. People who moved to Virginia and had stayed for three years were given 50 acres, Ancient planters got 100 acres and those who assisted in the transportation of others got a share of 50 acres on their behalf. Investors were absorbing transportation as well as outfitting costs of colonists that were new and acquiring more land that would be given to them. The policy of headright together with the realization of tobacco’s high market increased the settlement‘s spread as well as indentured male servants’ immigration. Bacon’s rebellion was a fight that came up as revenge for the killing of Bacon’s servants in his plantation at the time he was a state’s council state He led a volunteers’ group to attack Indians who were near them instead of the inland tribes who were stronger rejecting an order by Governor Berkeley to stop operations he later apologized but led to the realization of the importance of native allies by Governor Berkeley. The burgesses’ election which consisted of Virginians was a turning point marking the introduction of a society with an elite’s participation but for the masses it was closed. A,t the dissolution of Virginia Company burgesses’ houses effectively looked on tax matters as well as those of law. (Emmer, 1986).

Events Illustrating Tensions in New England and Chesapeake Colonies and Conflict between Colonies As Well As Effects of Imperial Wars on American Colonists

During colonization, England sent groups to the regions of New England and Chesapeake which were characterized by separate identities affecting colonies in various ways. New England had a religious motive and relied on industries like shipbuilding, carpentry as well as printing. However, Chesapeake had a population of black slaves who had little interest in religion and the economy was good unlike that in New England with the tobacco industry boosting the economy. (Chaunu, 1979).

Introduction, Impacts and Reasons of African Slavery in the Americas

African slaves arrived in America as servants who were indentured via James town which was in Virginia and slavery grew very fast in America. The slaves were entirely owned by masters and were made to work in the tobacco farms to earn great profits for them. The west was a common area where slaves were used and their bondage was considered legal as the increased demand for coffee, sugar, cotton, led to more slaves been traded which led to the name black gold. This continued for a long time before the African slaves got their freedom back but had suffered at the hands of their masters. (Emmer, 1986).


Emmer P. (1986): Colonization and Migration: Kluwer Academic Print on demand.

Ribeiro D. (1971): The Americas and civilization: Dutton.

Chaunu P. (1979): European Expansion in the middle Ages: North Holland.

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