American History, 1450-1877
3rd Week Topic: Sample History Essays on The Revolution and Early Slavery in British Colonies
- The increased domestic and global demand for American agricultural products from large plantations in the southern states prompted the internal slave trade. The institutionalization of slavery in America was gradual. The plantation owners influenced the development of laws and policies that transformed the slaves into their personal properties. Progressively, slaves became part of American norms and practices. They were not free to make independent choices without the express authority and permission from the owners.
- While slavery was prevalent in many parts of Africa, slaves were accorded certain rights. They could still own their properties and practice their traditional values. However, slaves coming to the Americas from the African continent faced multiple challenges ranging from forced physical labor in the plantations to restricted movements. The slave owners in colonial America hunted down and punished runaway slaves. Thomas Jefferson consistently expressed his strong sentiments against global trade. In his famous quote, “a wolf by the ears,” Jefferson explained that holding on or releasing the slaves was both dangerous and required caution.
- The Seven Years War transformed America’s socio-economic, political, and governmental interactions with other foreign powers such as Britain and France. The Natives Americans also reclaimed back the originally inhabited territories by the foreign powers. The Native Americans conducted frequent raids and attacks on the British imperial lands to control their expansionary beliefs and tactics.
- The British enforced the idea that Africans were not equal and free, subjecting them to mistreatments and unimagined suffering. The African slaves responded by forming new communities and adapting the European culture of Christianity and civilization. During the American Revolutionary period, African slaves joined the British to fight against their Patriot masters with the hope of winning freedom.
4th Week Topic: The Constitution, Early Republic and Native American Policy in American South
- Most of the Anglo Americans wanted to drive out the colonial and imperial powers such as Britain and France from the Americas. However, most Native Americans joined the imperial forces, such as the British army and fought against the American side. For instance, Tecumseh and his followers supported the British Army during the 1812 war with the dream of attaining independence and freedom from the Anglo Americans.
- The Anglo Americans had a negative attitude towards the Five Civilized Tribes located in the southern states. The viewed the natives as primitive and uncivilized. However, the treatment changed after the revolutionary wars because the tribes develop extensive socio-economic ties with Anglo Americans. They assimilated into the American settler cultures adopting the Anglo American clothing, language, and Christianity. President Andrew Jackson signed into law the India Removal Act forcing the relocation of the tribes from the southern territories to the lands west o Mississippi River.
- The reaction of the Five Civilized Tribes to the Anglo American expansion differed significantly from that of the predecessor Tecumseh. For instance, the Five Civilized Tribes assimilated into the Anglo American cultures and did not stage any armed resistance. However, Tecumseh’s reactions were more violent, with the primary aim of attaining independence and autonomy from the white settlers.
- The Anglo Americans wanted to keep the Native Americans off their lands in the fertile agricultural plains. Accordingly, they championed the creation of reservation systems to pave the ground for expansive white settlement. The reservations allowed the Native tribes to govern themselves and maintain their traditional socio-cultural norms and values. However, the movement affected their traditional economy based on hunting and gathering of wild fruits and animals from the forests in the southern states.
5th Week Topic: The 19th Century North and Irish Immigrants in the U.S.
- The primary cause of the Market Revolution included drastic changes in the manual-labor systems. Some of the significant components of revolution included the introduction of comprehensive transportation systems, mechanization, and commercial farming activities, among other critical economic opportunities. The revolution prompted the movement of middle-class citizens into urban areas. The new industrial factories and textile mills employed more women and expanded the middle-class population. Lastly, the Great Awakening period and the Reform movement emphasized on changing laws and behaviors to make American societies better and morally upright.
- The Lowell Mill girls were a group of young female workers. The girls were working in different industrial corporations located in Lowell, Massachusetts. The girls’ primary motivation was the prospect of attaining monthly cash wages from their professional engagements. The Lowell Mill girls were part of the Irish immigrant workers in the American region. The Irish left their home country for the U.S. to seek multiple economic opportunities and meaningful employment.
- Initially, both African Americans and Irish people shared similar sentiments concerning slavery. They felt that they received unfair treatment in the United States. Irish immigrants and African Americans were also staying in poor living conditions. They participated in the revolutionary struggles for freedom and equal rights. American employers preferred to employ Chinese to the Irish. The Chinese were willing and ready to accept lower wages.
- While Irish were part of the oppressed races in the Americas, they quickly changed their attitudes towards African Americans. The Irish wanted to gain acceptance and decided to join whites in suppressing Natives’ movements and oppressing African Americans. Progressively, whey embraced white supremacist ideals and became part of the skewed system dominating and oppressing other minority racial groups in America. During the Mexican American and Civil War, the Irish joined the white Americans in fighting the minorities.
6TH Week Topic. Residents of the Southwest during the Spanish and Mexican Period up to Americanization in 1848
- Spanish developed a tolerable attitude and perceptions towards engaging the Native American populations. In particular, the Spanish pursued assimilation and social stratification. The tolerant culture and beliefs endeared Spain to the native people. Accordingly, natives in California, Texas, and New Mexico joined the raids against the white settlers to gain their independence and socio-economic autonomy. Notably, Mexican northern in the territories of California, New Mexico, and Texas practiced different socio-economic and political activities. For instance, the population in Texas worked in the plantation farms while those in California worked the new industrial entities.
- The White Protestant Americans occupied the Mexican territories in the North to acquire land for agricultural purposes and slavery. The occupation, which took place in the 1820s and 1830s, also aimed to convert more native populations and Tejanos into Christianity. The migration of the immigrants eventually resulted in the independence of the two territories from the Mexican authorities.
- The concept of Manifest Destiny propagated the idea that White Americans had the divine ordination to acquire and own the whole of the North American continent. The ideology encouraged the White Protestant Americans to develop measures to remove and destroy the traditional socio-economic and political systems of the native populations. The acquisition of the Mexican territories of California and Texas was part of the skewed ideological perception to expand white dominion and facilitate the spread of democracy and capitalism in the North American region.
- The White Protestant Americans asserted their dominance and force in Mexican territories of Texas and California through the spread of Christianity. They also used their economic might to purchase massive tracks of land, displacing the local or native populations from the territories. The Mexicans responded by staging armed resistance prompting the Mexican-American War.
7th Week Topic. African American Slavery During the 19th Century Before the Civil War
- Before the Civil War, the slave community worked in plantation farms growing cotton. Their work-life was labor-intensive and had limited freedom. Under the task system, the plantation owners allowed the slaves to self-govern and were less harsh or brutal. The gang system was cruel and forced the slaves to work at the mercy of the owners. The ideologies of paternalism and racial superiority limited the liberty and autonomy of other minority racial groups. The doctrines encouraged slavery for the benefit of the Anglo American settlers.
- The plantation owners embraced the idea of enslaved labor or slaves to maximize their profits. They also wanted to suppress any form of disobedience from the slaves by reasserting their dominance through punishment and limited freedom. Notably, some of the African slaves reacted to the mistreatments and stereotyping by staging passive resistance, such as work boycotts and running away from the plantation.
- The northern responded to the southern political leaders’ attempts to expand slavery into the Western territories through the Missouri Compromise. The southern leaders chose to stage armed resistance culminating into the American Civil War. The North was also willing to apply military force to prevent the South from spreading slavery and leaving the Union. Lastly, the Abolitionist movements and groups led the war against slavery in the North. The groups’ primary objective was to stop the South’s expansionary policies.
- The Compromise of 1850 reduced the tension existing between the slave and free territories in the United States. The Compromise prompted the entry of California into the Union as a free state and the subsequent creation of Utah as a territorial government. The Compromise of 1850 was a significant milestone because it encouraged the expansion of the U.S. territories, which were abundant in natural and agricultural resources. Lastly, the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the Constitution provided more rights to the free slaves. For instance, the 14th Amendment gave citizenship rights to freed slaves in America.
Glymph, Thavolia, “Introduction: The South, 1815-1860”, GLOBALYCEUM.
Jacoby, Karl, “Introduction: The West, 1815-1860”, GLOBALYCEUM.
Rockman, Seth, “Introduction: The North, 1815-1860”, GLOBALYCEUM.
Takaki, Ronald. “A different mirror.” Race, Class and Gender: An Anthology (2001): 52-65.
Taylor, Alan, “Introduction: The American Revolution and Constitution, 1750-1790”, GLOBALYCEUM.
Winterer, Caroline, “Introduction: The Early American Republic, 1790-1815”, GLOBALYCEUM.