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American History Paper

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American History

Part 1

1. What was the Olive Branch Petition?

The Olive Branch Petition signifies the final attempt by the Second Continental Congress in North America to circumvent war against Britain. The Petition addressed to King George III was written in 5 July 1775 and was meant to voice out the oppression that the colonists and other Americans underwent under the rule of the British and thus called for moderation on the part of the ruling monarchy as a means to avoid an independence war.

2. Why were as many as 20 percent of colonists in the 1770 still loyal to Britain

The 20 percent loyal to the Crown in 1770 were loyalists. Majority of the Loyalists possessed British ancestry. Thus, they were loyal to their country of origin and were thus unwilling to relinquish old loyalties could go against them. Their ancestry allowed them to gain certain amenities, which encouraged them to be loyal to the British. For instance, the Loyalists received protection from the British Army and the British Law.

3. What was one positive aspect that came out of the Colombian Exchange and what was one negative aspect that came out of the Colombian Exchange?

One positive aspect of the Columbian Exchange is attributed to the introduction of trade and a new array of crops and animals between Europe and Africa. However, the Columbian Exchange also introduced new illnesses and diseases such as Syphilis, Hepatitis and Polio. These diseases led to the deaths of many people in the New World.

4. Why did Virginia planters initially prefer indentured servitude to the use of African slaves?

Virginia planters preferred indentured servitude to the use of African slaves because they were able to exploit the indentured servants by instilling violence, such as rape and thrashing, upon them in order to force the servants to perform. Additionally, the farmers at that time found it difficult to hire free workers especially African slaves. Thus, this compelled them to use indentured servants in a form of debt bondage.

5. Why were colonial women often the targets of witchcraft allegations?

Based on the Puritan society, colonial women were targets of witchcraft indictments because of the belief by the Puritans that women took over the personality defect from Eve’s sin. Additionally, colonial women were perceived to be witches if they exuded showy emotions, which were forbidden in Puritan society.

Part 2

1. Describe, in great detail, at least three events that led the Americans to seek independence from Britain.

For a long time, the Americans, commonly referred to as the Colonists, had been undergoing oppression and misrepresentation from the British. These reason forced them to fight for their independence and thus attain it in 1776 concurrently achieving the status of a sovereign country. Nevertheless, various events forced the Americans to declare their independence from the British. Foremost, the war between Britain and France between 1754 and 1763 was one of the major influences that led to the Independence War. The war between the two nations caused heavy casualty on the British forcing them to incur large debt and depend on greater revenue from the colonies. Due to the French’s defeat, the colonies lessened their dependence on the British for protection. Another event that influenced the Independence War is the Proclamation of 1763. The act banned people from settling beyond the Appalachian Mountains thus offending the colonists even greater. The 1770 Boston Massacre further increased the need to gain independence from the British. The massacre resulted from the deaths of many colonists by the hands of the British thus illustrating the immense cruelty of the British at that time.

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