How do the political, economic and social characteristics of the Americas today differ from those of 1750?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The Americas are very different today than they were in 1750 in terms of political, social, and economic characteristics. In 1750, various European powers were ruling the Americas. The British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and the Netherlands were some countries that had colonies throughout the Americas. In 2016, the Americas are independent countries. In some countries, democracies exist with political parties representing different viewpoints. Few people in the Americas could imagine another country controlling or ruling them today.

There are also major economic differences. In 1750, the colonies existed to benefit the European colonial powers economically. For example, the British got resources from their American colonies and then sold the finished products back to the colonies. The British could make most products cheaper and more efficiently than the colonies could make them. The British also had rules that the colonies were expected to follow. For example, certain products had to be bought from Britain and transported on British ships. Today, the American countries have established and developed their own economies. While all countries trade with other countries, American industries and American products have a worldwide presence. The American economies have a tremendous influence in the world.

There have also been many changes socially. In 1750, there was very little diversity in the Americas. Slaves were used and most people practiced some form of Christianity. Today, there is more diversity. People practice many religions. There is a greater tolerance of the differences between people today than in 1750. Women have a much larger role today than they had in 1750. In 1750, women were expected to be reserved and to stay in the background. Today, women play more active roles. They lead companies and are active in politics. Cities have also grown significantly over the years. As more people moved to the Americas, the population of cities increased. For the first time ever, a South American country, Brazil, is hosting the Summer Olympics.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial