Tensions and conflicts that arose among the earliest settlers in the colonies
This analysis describes several of the tensions and conflicts that arose among the earliest settlers in the colonies. The analysis includes a comprehensive explanation of how those tensions and conflicts emerged in early American literary works.
Conflicts and tensions in American started when the early settlers took a step of settling in a world with new people with different cultural values and beliefs. Some examples of the driving forces that caused conflicts and tensions among early settlers included religion, greed, and laziness. These forces are similar to the incidences reflected in many of the American literary works (Perkins and Patricia, 1580–1631).
During the 17th Century, conflict, and tensions among the early settlers in the colonies arose due to two main factors namely the attempts of the settlers to establish trade and the interactions of the early settlers in their religion and the Native Americans. These tensions extended up to the 18th Century, and were centered on slavery. Issues to do with slavery targeted the Native Americans especially the French, Britain, Portuguese, and the Spanish who were the main principal movers. Tensions and conflicts among the settlers sprung up because both cultures were much different and one of the examples was the mission field that the Portuguese carried out in the state of Maranhao. This is because Franciscans had launched activities with the Indians of the northern Brazil, which did not fit what the Portuguese stood for (Lockhart and Stuart, 281).
Considering the fact that the Native American did not understand the need of owning their native lands, the settlers took that to their advantage, subjected them to slavery, and grabbed their lands. In addition, the differences in their religion forced the Native Americans to adopt the religion practiced by the settlers, and this led to the conflicts and tensions that started in America. The abolishment of the Native American spirituality, which indicated the heathen superstition, led to the Indians starting resistance as a way of safeguarding their religion. As a result, Bay Psalm Book, the first American literary work in the puritan colonies, was published where the objective was to set forth the views and promoting the visions of the settler’s religious state (Perkins and Patricia, 1580–1631).
In the 17th Century, the reason behind the Spanish invading the Western part of America was the ‘city of gold’, which they thought existed in the New Mexico. Its lack of existence made the Spanish to convert the Native American population and this led to the emergence of a conflict between them (Lockhart and Stuart, 291). The resistance by the Pueblo Acoma resulted to the Spanish using harsh methods to conquer the town leading to the death of about 800 children, men, and women. This was also evident in the Spanish colonies where the conflicts and tensions were accelerated by the desire of the Spanish to convert the Native America into their religion.
Between the year 1753 and 1763, there were conflicts between the Britain, French, and Indians. The French and Indians felt that they were subjects of the Britons and they wanted to break ties that forced them to remain in their lineage. These tensions and conflicts led to the citizens among the thirteen colonies to ignore their differences and declare their independence. From the year 1763-1776, the colonists felt that they were ignored, unfairly taxed, and unfair unfolding of their grievances. Religious issues sprung up, political principles crystallized and the issue of economics became the subject of debate among the settlers (Elliott, 12).
The conflict between the colonists and the Britons was not the first, and it brought strong responses and divisions amongst the colonists and between the colonists and the Britons. In the year 1776, because of these conflicts, there emerged The Declaration of Independence, which was an American Literary work. Thomas Jefferson drafted the document and the purpose of this document was to suppress the reign of King George by listing the grievances of the colonists (Perkins and Patricia, 1580–1631).
King Phillip’s war was another conflict that emerged between the settlers. The objective of the king was to unite Indian tribes in the effort of exterminating the colonists thus preserving their independence in the hunting grounds (Elliott, 67). Their accelerated effort was because of the execution of three Indians by the Britons, and by his influence, many tribes in the New England joined the war against the Britons. The Indians had acquired the skills to use firearms when they made their first attack in the year 1675 on the people of Swansea. This led to the colonists assembling an army of powerful men and raised an attack on the Indians in the same year. This was a big loss to the Indians as most of their men were killed. They continued to suffer after King Phillip died. This war continued with the entrance of the French against the Britons. The war successfully stopped by the 1713 Treaty at Utrecht. This treaty marked one of the most important literary works of America, which maintained peace between the settlers and the colonies (Elliott, 68).
The other tension and conflict involving colonies broke out in the year 1744 between France and Britain. The reason behind the conflict was the loss they suffered from the privateers, which was fitted out in Louisburg, a great fortress on the island of Cape Breton. This resulted to a war, which led to loss of lives and destruction of warships, commonly called the Boston massacre (Boyer, 107). However, there treaties that were signed to end the wars between the colonists but there emerged other wars, which suppressed the colonies, and became subjects to hunger and deaths due to wars between the settlers. The war between French and Britons continued for a long time until the year 1787 when America had its Preamble to the Constitution. This is a major literary work. Americas adopted it to end the conflicts that involved the settlers and the colonies. This was a major step to restoring peace between the settlers and the freedom and independence to the colonies (Boyer, 110).
Conclusively, it is evident that during the early American history, British were the major settlers because they had a series of colonies on the east coast. The French on the other hand took the western region of America. In their effort to expand their territories, there emerged several conflicts and tensions between them making the Native America slaves in the grabbed land. Religion is the other reason that brought to the rise of conflicts in America, where the settlers wanted to convert the Native Americans into their religion. Some of the literary works in America were the signing of the 1713 treaty, which brought peace to the conflicts between French and Britain. Among others are the declarations of independence of 1776, the preamble to the constitution of 1787, and the Bay psalms book.
Boyer, Paul S. The Enduring Vision: A History of the American People. , 2013. Print.
Elliott, Emory. The Cambridge Introduction to Early American Literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.
Lockhart, James, and Stuart B. Schwartz. Early Latin America: A History of Colonial Spanish America and Brazil. Cambridge: Cambridge U.P, 1983. Print.
Perkins, George and Patricia Perkins. The American Tradition in Literature. Vol. 1. 12th ed. Toledo: McGraw-Hill, 2009.