Essays for the American Pageant, 14th Ed.

11058 words 45 pages
Essays for The American Pageant, 14th ed.

Part One

1. From the perspective of Native Americans, the Spanish and English empires in America had more similarities than differences. Assess the validity of this generalization.

Response Strategy
It is important to develop a clear thesis on the validity of the statement at the outset of the essay. A good essay could be developed on either side of the issue or in support of a middle-of –the-road position. Supporting paragraphs should be developed to build the position chosen. Both the Spanish and the English treated the Native Americans as inferiors, thought it important to bring them Christianity, sought to profit economically from relations with the Native Americans, and
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Furthermore, the requirement that gold and silver be spent to purchase English goods meant that there was a great shortage of money in the colonies. They could only obtain these precious metals by illicit trade with the French and the Spanish colonies. The British right to nullify colonial laws that conflicted with the mother country’s objectives meant that efforts of colonies to issue paper money were sometimes halted because of concerns by English banks and merchants. The colonists often resented these intrusions by British authorities and the resulting limitations on economic opportunities. Despite the existence of the mercantilist policies, relations between Britain and its North American colonies were relatively good through most of the 1600s and 1700s. Partly this was because the Navigation Acts were not well enforced during the period of “salutary neglect” and the colonial economies grew. Also the Americans gained some advantages from the system such as the tobacco monopoly. Relations became strained to the point of rebellion only after 1763. The royal government began to impose taxes on the colonists, such as Sugar Act, the Stamp Act, and the Townshend Acts. While these new taxes bore some relationship to the mercantilist control of the colonial economies, they were primarily motivated by England’s need to pay the expenses of an ongoing struggle with France. There was also a growing awareness among the colonists of the radical Whig ideas that