English Colonies Assignment Due October 25, 2020, 11:59 PM
The Premise: It is the middle of the 18th century, and you reside and work on the island of Historiana located off the coast of England (no, this is not an actual place). This small island maintains peaceful relationships with the Spanish, French, and English, largely because the island and its people pose no threat to their colonial efforts. The most important commodities the island’s residents make for sale to Europe are books and pamphlets. You work in the largest publishing house writing and researching for a branch of the company that specializes in narratives about European travel, exploration, and discovery. You are being sent on an assignment to observe and write about life in the American colonies. Your trip will last at least several months, maybe years. Along with your first-hand observations you can access and consult resources and accounts collected by previous colleagues that are kept in our company archives. Then, you will write an entry for our forthcoming publication Life in the American Colonies: Observations, Reflections, and Experiences in the New World. Assignment Details: Using what you have learned so far this semester from lectures, textbook readings, and primary sources, your task is to write a piece about European colonies in the Americas. Your piece should compare, contrast, and describe what your historical character observed on a trip to the American colonies. Your written project may be formatted as an essay or structured as a series of journal entries that your historical character made on her/his journey. However you choose to structure your writing, you must include information on each of England’s different colonial regions (New England, Middle Colonies, Chesapeake, and Southern Colonies). You also need to compare and contrast England’s colonies to either the Spanish or French American colonies.
Your response must answer the following questions about each region.
What did you observe in the region? (Consider climate, demographics, etc.)
Who lived in these colonies? (Who did your character encounter? Question 4 helps with this too.)
How did colonists subsist, and what did they produce? (What are the broad economic systems in the
region? Is there a cash crop or something else? What about individual households?)
Who did the labor? (Families, enslaved Africans, indentured servants, etc.?)
Were there any points of conflict or underlying tensions in the region? (Consider the relationships
between colonists and Native Americans, enslaved Africans, or free Africans.)
As you answer these questions, you should also include observations about climate, religion, race, gender, and colony demographics as appropriate. In your Spanish or French comparison, you should address the questions above, but you should do so to either compare or contrast your observations on the English colonies.
You do not need to use any outside resources. Our course lectures, your textbook, our weekly primary source readings, as well as additional resources that I included in this week’s Module will provide you with adequate information to complete this assignment.
Your historical character will not be limited by race, gender, or class. That is, you do not need to take time to explain how your character gained access to colonial spaces. However, your character should observe how race, gender, and class operated in the colonies, and you should use information related to those themes to construct your answers as appropriate.
What about time and chronology? You may deal with time in three ways. First, your historical character may live for a few hundred years to make these observations. Second, you may reference the notes of previous colleagues who went to the Americas as you write. Third, you may say that you spoke to people in the Americas who either remember an event or whose family members observed an event in the past.
Requirements: This assignment is worth 100 points and should not be fewer than 5 pages. In fact, to do this assignment well you likely will need 7-8 typed, double-spaced pages, size 12 Times New Roman font, before footnotes. When you add citations, it will add length to the paper. If your notes, make the paper longer, that is acceptable. If your response is 10-12 pages long before notes, you likely need to tighten your answer.
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