Life in Colonial America

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Life in Colonial America

Marcus Downey American History 121 01/26/08

The people who founded and created the New World were as diverse, and in some ways opposite, as a box of Crayola crayons. Their mix of cultures and ideas were evident and can be seen today. But what brought them together was their determination to see their "new country" prosper. From their persecution in their homeland, their tough travels on the sea, to being faced with a clean slate, each day was spent working to stay alive. To have a full understanding of how the Americas were born, one must travel back in time and see the many struggles the colonists endured to make us the strong nation we are now.

Before we dig into the how or why the Europeans started their travel, it's important to recognize that the New World wasn't unpopulated prior to their arrival. According to many experts, the "discovery" of America took place approximately 40,000 years ago when a group of nomads crossed from Siberia to Alaska by the way of a land bridge.

Indians, as both we and Columbus refer to them as, had spread across all of North, Central and South America. Some believe that the Indians may have reached a population of up to eighteen million people, speaking over 2000 different languages (Department of State, 2005). Native Americans had tribes across the entire land and I can only imagine the Europeans move to the New World came as quite the surprise.

Europeans had many reasons for their move to the New World, including lack of work, religious persecution, the hope to own land and become wealthy. Many British felt the Catholic Church had too much corruption and they were not allowed to practice freely. Others had no steady work, due to...