How much equality, liberty, and self-government existed in the American colonies in the period 1700-1750? Back up your assessment with as many specific facts as possible.

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There was not a great deal of liberty and equality in the colonies when compared to the present-day United States; however, there was relatively more freedom in the colonies than there was in the rest of the world. Slavery continued to be a way of life for nearly all of the years you mentioned. Slaves faced travel restrictions, and they were often discouraged from educating themselves. Women were also treated as property in courts of law and many could not inherit property or file for divorce unless it was a case of extreme abuse. Native Americans were not considered at all when it came to politics as many "enlightened" people of this time period viewed them as obstacles to progress.

White males also experienced limitations to their liberty and equality. Many states had property requirements for those who sought to run for public office. Most states placed property restrictions on who could vote. This was meant to keep the poor away from the polls as they were considered unworthy of governing. In areas controlled by descendants of Puritans, one also had to be in good standing with the church.

Because of these policies, wealthy landowners dominated politics in most areas and they voted their own interests. They had access to more educational opportunities for their children, especially in the South, where illiteracy was more common among the working class and poor whites. There was little intermingling between rich and poor whites as everyone was expected to know their station in life. This was especially true in the South were it took a great deal of land and slaves in order to be considered successful in plantation agriculture.

Self-government did exist in the colonies, with the Virginia House of Burgesses being the first democratic group in the New World. New England had town hall meetings in order to settle local issues. During the period of salutary neglect, the colonists sought to control more of their own local and colonial issues. While they were still under Parliament's leadership, they began to flout some of the laws during this time period in order to gain greater control over their own affairs. This often meant breaking Navigation Acts as well as tax evasion.

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