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American History: The New World | Colonial History of the United States of America | Documentary

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Name:American History: The New World | Colonial History of the United States of America | Documentary
Duration:29 mnt 53 dtk
Published:15 Februari 2015
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This old documentary film (produced in 1953) traces the discovery of America and early voyages by European explorers. It shows the Native American civilizations encountered by the Spanish, the Spanish colonization, The English freebooters on the Spanish Main, and the life of early settlers in New England and the South.

Historical Background / Context:

The colonial history of the United States covers the history of European settlements from the start of colonization of America until their incorporation into the United States. In the late 16th century, England, France, Spain and the Netherlands launched major colonization programs in eastern North America. Small early attempts often disappeared; the death rate was very high among the first arrivals. Nevertheless. Nevertheless, successful colonies were established.

European settlers came from a variety of social and religious groups. No aristocrats settled permanently, but a number of adventurers, soldiers, farmers, and tradesmen arrived. Diversity was an American characteristic as the Dutch of New Netherland, the Swedes and Finns of New Sweden, the English Quakers of Pennsylvania, the English Puritans of New England, the English settlers of Jamestown, and the "worthy poor" of Georgia, came to the new continent and built colonies with distinctive social, religious, political and economic styles.

Non-British colonies were taken over and the inhabitants were all assimilated. There were no major civil wars among the 13 colonies, and the two chief armed rebellions (in Virginia in 1676 and in New York in 1689-91) were short-lived failures. Wars were recurrent between the French and the British – the so-called French and Indian Wars (1754–1763) especially - and involved French support for Wabanaki attacks on the frontiers. By 1760 France was defeated and the British seized its colonies.

On the eastern seaboard of what would become the United States, the four distinct British regions were: New England, the Middle Colonies, the Chesapeake Bay Colonies (Upper South) and the Lower South. By the time European settlers arrived around 1600 - 1650, a significant percentage of the Native Americans living in the eastern United States had been ravaged by new diseases, introduced to them possibly possibly introduced to them decades before by explorers and sailors.

Colonizers came from European kingdoms with highly developed military, naval, governmental and entrepreneurial capabilities. The Spanish and Portuguese centuries-old experience of conquest and colonization during the Reconquista, coupled with new oceanic ship navigation skills, provided the tools, ability, and desire to colonize the New World. England, France and the Netherlands started colonies in both the West Indies and North America. They had the ability to build ocean-worthy ships, but did not have as strong a history of colonization in foreign lands as did Portugal and Spain. However, English entrepreneurs gave their colonies a base of merchant-based investment that needed much less government support.

English colonies
England made its first successful efforts at the start of the 17th century for several reasons. During this era, English proto-nationalism and national assertiveness blossomed under the threat of Spanish invasion, assisted by a degree of Protestant militarism and the energy of Queen Elizabeth. At this time, however, there was no official attempt by the English government to create a colonial empire. Rather, the motivation behind the founding of colonies was piecemeal and variable. Practical considerations, such as commercial enterprise, overpopulation and the desire for freedom of religion, played their parts. The main waves of settlement came in the 17th century. After 1700 most immigrants to Colonial America arrived as indentured servants - young unmarried men and women seeking a new life in a much richer environment. Between the late 1610s and the American Revolution, the British shipped an estimated 50,000 convicts to its American colonies. The first convicts to arrive pre-dated the arrival of the Mayflower.

New England
New England is the oldest clearly defined region of the United States. While New England was originally inhabited by Indigenous peoples, English Pilgrims and especially Puritans, fleeing religious persecution in England, arrived in the 1620-1660 era. They dominated the region; their religion was later called Congregationalism. They and their descendants are called Yankees. Farming, fishing and lumbering prospered, as did seafaring and merchandising.

American History: The New World | Colonial History of the United States of America | Documentary