Differences between colonies: Religious: The Pilgrims who settled at Plymouth were “Puritans” vs. Anglicans at Jamestown. Plus, Plymouth was founded for religious reasons while Jamestown was founded for economic reasons. Don’t get me wrong–religion was critical for both groups but the Puritans left England because they were religious outcasts while the settlers at Jamestown were there for economic benefit and had investors. Labor: Jamestown was initially settled under martial law and the military played a significant role (especially in terms of governance) within the colony while the military presence for Plymouth was more of militia and didn’t grow until the colony spread beyond Plymouth. Social: More swamps, longer warm-weather seasons meant more mosquitoes in Virginia.
The English settlers there came primarily from swampy areas of the UK and had been exposed to malaria previously. New research on the settlement suggests that one reason the settlers weren’t attacked and anhiliated by Indians (and why their numbers retreated back into the forests) was the sudden onset of malaria (a disease that did not exist in this part of the New World prior to the appearance of the English). But the settlers in Plymouth came to an area that had been devastated by disease earlier (thus wiping out most of the indigenous peoples). Life was hard for both colonies. But the puritans in Plymouth were more of a culture of cooperation and sharing which helped ease relations with the Indians and allowed them to weather the longer winters in NE better than the more mercenary nature of the Jamestown settlers.
French Indian War: The conflict was first a world war. England did not focus all it;s might on the war and left much of the fighting to the colonists. This taught the Americans that the mother country wasn’t always going to be there to save them. Communication between America and England was at the pace of a sailing ship. One could send a message but months could pass before an answer was received. It was very clear that the Americans were fighting the war pretty much on their own. Directions and help were a long time coming. Once the wars was over, the Colonists saw lands to the West to be open for settlement. Most of the colonies had charters granting them land all the way to the Pacific. The new lands were also seen as a reward for winning the war. The Proclamation of 1763 closed the new lands to settlement. The Americans saw this as a absent ruler that didn’t have a grasp on the needs of the Americans and the proclamation as a hardship.
The English saw it as a way to keep peace with the Native Americans and not have to continue to fight a war in America. Finally the British government was deeply in debt. They saw the colonies as a revenue source. After all England had just fought a world war and saved the colonies from the French and Indians. They that were protected during the war should help pay for it. Long unused laws were enforced and new taxes added. The Americans saw this as more British heavy handedness. The Colonists had founght the war, mostly on their own, They had suffered loses, and now were both being blocked from westward expansion but were being taxed without having any say in the matter. TeaParty: Political – That was the year the British enacted the “Proclamation of 1763”, which made it illegal for colonists to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains. Economic – The British also enacted the “Currency Act” in 1763, that law made it illegal for the colonists to make their own money.
Both of these were done as a means for the British to gain more control of the colonists and this greatly upset the colonists. 1763 was the year the colonists started to realize they would be better off being independent of Britain and it sowed the seeds of revolution. The British responded to the Boston Tea Party by making th Intolerable Acts which closed the Boston Ports and destroyed the Massachusetts government. Articles: There was no foreign policy, and states printed their own currency. The federal government could not tax; there was no Federal Army, no judicial system, and a lack of national compulsive power over states. It was a weak alliance, it needed approval from 9 of all 13 states to be amended, no executive or judicial branch, only a one house congress where every state had 1 vote. It couldn’t regulate interstate trade, impose taxes, or coin money. They also had no leader to run the country.