Was conflict unavoidable in colonial America and why or why not?

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brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In my opinion, it depends when you are talking about and conflict between whom?

If you mean between the British and the colonists, I think that, prior to 1770, most Americans had never even considered revolution, and it was still very possible that armed conflict could have been avoided for quite some time, but it would have required that the colonies get some sort of representation in Parliament, which was not very likely.

After the Boston Massacre, the colonists and the crown were on a collision course that could probably not be avoided.

If, instead, you mean conflict between Native Americans and settlers, I can see no way these two cultures, given their different goals, societies, religions, languages, and the devastating effects of disease could have avoided conflict on a grand and permanent scale.

Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In a larger configuration, one can argue that as the colonies expanded and increased, conflict on some level would be inevitable.  The previous thoughts about the conflict with England are well warranted.  At the same time, I think that there was bound to be conflict between both the North and the South with regards to the ownership of slaves.  It was such a defining and distinctive element of society in both domains that I am not sure that it could have been avoided.  Additionally, I think that the conflict with Native Americans would have been inevitable as the Colonial culture increased their reach and hold into more parts of the nation.  As the nation grew and expanded, conflict was going to be present in some form or another.

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