In your opinion, what would need to be included specifically in a discussion about the rise of colonialism (the British colonies) in North America?I have done a lot of reading about this, but am...

In your opinion, what would need to be included specifically in a discussion about the rise of colonialism (the British colonies) in North America?

I have done a lot of reading about this, but am unclear on what would be best to include.

Please, include references when possible.

Expert Answers
larrygates eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Your question is somewhat vague, but I would think you should discuss the REASONS for colonization in the British colonies. You should probably emphasize that almost all the colonies were founded for different reasons: Virginia, the first successful colony, was established as a commercial enterprise. Those who settled there came to make money. Pennsylvania and Maryland were founded for purely religious reasons, Maryland as a refuge for English Catholics and Pennsylvania as a refuge for almost all religious groups. Georgia was founded as a refuge for English debtors.

You might wish to emphasize that none of the colonies were founded as government enterprises, which was not the case in the Spanish and French settlements. All colonies eventually became Crown colonies, but none were founded for that reason.

Your discussion should also include some discussion of the diverse economies of the colonies. The Southern colonies, because of fertile soils, long growing seasons, and large land allotments led to the production of staple crops such as tobacco and rice. The Northern colonies, with shorter growing seasons and thinner rockier soils, were more inclined to shipping and shipbuilding, and later, manufacturing. These differences explain the diverse opinions on slavery (which existed in all the colonies; but was more widespread in the South) and the later debate over tariffs. If one understands these differences, one understands more fully the seeds which led to the American civil war.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I agree that this is a vague question and that we'd be able to help a lot more if you could be more specific.

The previous post has a very good idea for a topic.  If you want another one, you might look at the reasons why the British treated the colonies as colonies.  After all, the colonies were populated almost exclusively (if you leave slaves aside) by Europeans.  So there were no racial reasons for subjugating the colonists.

You might want to look, then, at why the colonial relationship lasted.  Why didn't the British move the colonies more towards autonomy as they later did with Canada.  You would think that they might have done this rather than taking a hard line and pushing the colonies to rebel.

brettd eNotes educator| Certified Educator

You might also consider the way in which the colonies were arrayed, arranged and settled.  Loyal English settlers in most of the major cities and the southern Royal colonies, religious outcasts in New England, Scots-Irish as indentures and on the Appalachian frontier.  In this way, the King had specific designs for each of the major colonial regions, and settlement largely reflected those designs.  The economic motivations of cash crops and resources and the desire to rid England of vocal religious minorities were clear, and the colonies (and their economies) developed accordingly.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
I would focus specifically on why they colonized North America. First of all, it was relatively close. There was an ample supply of land, and it was relatively uninhabited. The natives were not much of a problem. The harsh winters were. There was enough free land to make it worth it.
kerrierg | Student

In reply to #2 and #3: Frist, thank you for your guidance. Your replies helped me to be able to see some of the specifics that I need, and I believe they are some of the things I need to include.  ***I also now believe, to give you more specific information, I need to additionally discuss the specific techniques that England implemented on these colonies to maintain their authority:

***Please, also discuss the specific techniques (could include fostering nationalism, developing economic interdependence and/or overt forces used) England implemented while ruling over the North American colonies to maintain their authority. 

 ~Please, when able, include reference