American Government, Balancing Democracy and Rights Essay
Landy and Milkis’s discussion demonstrates that the discovery of America was a process that hardly begun with Christopher Columbus but begun many years earlier when the first people crossed the Bering strait as early as 9000 BC today known as Alaska,2.
The crossing led to the creation of a new continent, a new civilization, new tools, and new interactions with European settlers. These settlers interacted with the natives and largely influenced the natives’ way of life. These interactions also led to constant conflicts with the natives and the settlers eventually losing to the settlers.
A typical example of the outcome of the conflicts could be linked to the discovery of 10,000 skulls by the Spanish in 1517. That was before Columbus’s visit. At the time, the new civilization groups from the south and Central America developed numerical systems, accurate calendars and tools for their self defense. Both the South and the North civilizations consisted of agrarian societies.
The growth of population, diseases, commerce, and dreams for new treasures, led to the voyages of Christopher Columbus into the new colonies leading to the establishment of new English settlements, French settlements, and the Spanish settlements. Religion played a critical role in colonial settlements in America.
The new settlements and the spirit of colonization, though for a time dampened by the Roanoke fiasco, were actively revived by propagandists like Richard Hakluyt. New settlers arrived after experiencing severe voyages into the Americas. The new English’s settler never integrated native Indians into their social lives.
Colonization of the societies was characterized by greed, diseases, political mistakes, kidnaps, wars and political unrests, and religious squabbles. In addition to that, the insatiable need for the commercial interest of the Europeans led to the establishment commercial ventures such as the Virginia Company among other commercial ventures. Commercial ventures and other interests led to the European contest for the colonization of North America largely influenced by the scramble for available resources.
That was also evidenced by various acts that gave England an advantage to collect taxes on goods exported from the Americas. The scramble led to the creation of several states among them being the south western Borderlands, etc., and dominant middle ground societies, culminating in the glorious revolution as a new administrative structure (Landy and Milkis), 34.
The administrative nature of the English led to the amalgamation of the colonies into the English culture leading to cultural influences in subsequent periods on the natives. With time, the colonial population grew exponentially outnumbering the native population. That was due to improved living conditions at the time.
In addition to that, it population growth and demand for labor led to the establishment of different servitude systems as a source of labor particularly in established plantations and the agrarian sector. Women were very important especially in the emerging agrarian economy as they were viewed as weak and basically meant to serve the needs of their husbands (Landy and Milkis),66.
The need for cheap labor especially in rapidly developing tobacco plantations reinforced the demand for more slaves Africa, driving the Portuguese who had practiced the trade to intensify it from West Africa. The trade contributed to the rapid growth of the new America that was experiencing new developments of witchcraft, religion, education, and political orders. The concept about law was the basis of the constitution that lead to the great imperial crises after the 1750s.
By the 1750s, the establishment of the British Empire experienced no objections from most Americans, who largely benefited from trade protection, trade benefits, and military protection. However, later differences were manifest leading to the 1775 war, the beginning of the American independence. That was largely due to political and religious tensions that were characterized by conflicts such as the Anglo French conflicts, and later wars between the French and the Indians.
These wars served the basis of a number of treaties, lack of commitments to run the colonies, and approaches to integrating colonies such as the great stamp act of 1765. A string of protests due to colonial resistance were catalyzed by incidents such as the Boston Massacre, leading to the basis of the philosophy of the revolution. The colonial masters were hated and people wanted new leadership, leading to revolutions that lead to the change in the course of history (Landy and Milkis), 102.
The turning point was intensified by a seven year war which commenced on April 1775 that was characterized by both political and military. The political affronts stemmed from the need to establish structures and the military affronts were identified with the British. That was the beginning of the war for independence with different perspectives on the administrative styles and structures.
That saw states mobilizing themselves for war traversing New England, Mid Atlantic region in 1776 to 1778, amassing resources for war, with a gradual influence and perspective of the war. The war has since been argued as a social or political.
The consequences of the war led to the establishment of new institutions and state governments in a confederate. In addition to that, the revolution was the genesis of many unanswered problems such as the state of the native Indians, land distributions, and a new political order (Landy and Milkis), 128.
The confederation was a source of discontent for most Americans and the inability of the confederate to effectively and satisfactorily provide solutions for economic problems, instability, factions, and rebellion despite the adoption of a constitution leading to huge subsequent political wars.
However, advocates of a new government came up with several conventions that led to opponents and proponents of federalism, such as Hamilton.
That was when the federal program was enacted and the beginning of the rise of republicans and federalists. The establishment of national sovereignty was enforced and a number of treaties signed such as the jay treaty. Subsequent events led to the election of Thomas Jefferson to presidency leading to the dawn of a new era of political tranquility (Landy and Milkis), 163.
Thomas Jefferson’s era was marked with a vision of educated and sturdy citizens, independent farmers, and a diversified economy. It was during Jefferson’s era when bureaucracies that dominated government operation were dismantled. The era saw the implementation of new learning institutions such as the University of Pennsylvania, the first medical school.
At that time, the spirit and ambitions that dominated current societies at the time were political and economic centralizations. However, these ambitions led to a war between America and Britain that settled leading to the period referred to as an era of goof feelings and nationalism in 1812 (Landy and Milkis), 183.
At that time, diverse nationalistic views espoused by Americans included the quest for nationalism, with the adoption of the declaration of independence as distinguishing marks of the Jefferson era. America experienced a rapid growth of its economy in the 19th century, stimulated economic growth, a better transportation system, diversification of industries, rapid patterns of migration westwards, leading to the era of good feelings.
Agreements were signed in this period that saw different parts being incorporated together, establishment of courts, rising opposition, and new presidential elections that led to a new dawn in American history. Landy and Milkis), 216.
No distinctions of class were evident at the time when Andrew Jackson was inaugurated as president before a large assembly of people in 1829, an era commonly referred to as the age of Jackson. The era was characterized by a concerted war against class, legitimization of political parties, a distinct view of democracy, and views about the concentration of power in Washington. The period marked the removal of the Indians for settlers, and a strong federal bank. Landy and Milkis), 234.
Jackson was the driving force behind new approaches to the changing face of politics, later seen as a nationalist. However, new coalitions led to the capture of power and the election of the Whigs president.
An exponential rise in the American population, rapid immigrations, and the rapid growth of the agricultural economy, urbanization, created the trend for economic growth. In addition to that, rapid industrialization with the advent and discoveries of new technologies, improved communications infrastructure, and efficient communication added to the economic growth of America. Canals were developed, elaborate rail transport system were developed giving rise to the new age of commerce and industry.
Factories were created and rapidly developed with new sophistications, improved living conditions, unequal distribution of wealth, changing cultural trends in the mid nineteenth century leading to a widening of the gap between the North and South Landy and Milkis), 260.
Landy, Marc and Milkis, Sidney, M. 2008. American Government: Balancing Democracy and Rights. New York: Cambridge University Press; 2 edition.
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