Seven Year’s War Paper Hazel Kirk HIS115 April 4, 2011 David Glauber Seven Year’s War Paper Many factors led to the Seven Years’ War. Along with these factors, I think that the huge differences in cultural backgrounds and points of view between the various countries involves also contributed to the Seven Years’ War. In the seventeenth-century, the colonies were becoming over run by various, very different immigrant groups (Davidson, 2006). Famine, warfare, and religious persecution forced most of the non- English groups to leave from their homes in Europe and go to the American colonies.
This immigration quickly increased the population and made the colonies more diverse. The diversity caused the colonies to be primarily divided along cultural lines. The colonist divided themselves according to their ethnic, regional, racial, and religious differences (Davidson, 2006). Because many of these immigrants had no money and no way to pay for their trip to America, they had arrived in the colonies already signed into indentured servitude (Davidson, 2006). The population increase had a significant impact on the lifestyles of the colonists in the eighteenth-century.
At this time the birth rate had increased dramatically as women typically gave birth to five to eight children. This fast population increase made nearly every part of the eighteenth –century American life more frantic and hectic. Social relations in the era grew more strained, as many of the colonials found that this diversity made it impossible to form a shared and common identity. Eighteenth-century colonial societies most often divided along many social lines (Davidson, 2006).
An individual’s political and legal rights determined their social class; additionally, clothing was a key factor, as well as a person’s religious affiliation and obligations. The gentry’s class had access to most money and financial power, the highest level of education, and wielded the most political influence (Davidson, 2006). They also owned and controlled most of the large farms and plantations. The gentry’s class was made up of lawyers, doctors, ministers, merchants, and doctors which were the white collar occupations. They also held most positions of community leadership.
The middle class, which is the next highest class, was made up of farmers, owners of small businesses, and others that served the gentry class in skilled trades or crafts (Davidson, 2006). This inequality, a fundamental aspect of colonial society, made social relations difficult and cause hardship among the colonists. During this period, the middle class families benefitted from having more children. The more children they had, the more divided the families labor was, as every family member had to do his or her part, women cooked, cleaned, took care of the children, and sewed, and the men maintained the fields and farms.
Once a couple got married, and became husband and wife they fulfilled different duties while they worked together to maintain their household. In the cities women could work in shops, assist their husband in his trades, and keep accounts for their husbands business. The man always had sole legal authority, even if his wife or family members contributed to working at his business or home. Our colonial homes were not as impressive as the gentry’s homes; they were full of love, while our possessions and designs were utilitarian. People in my time struggled to gain an education, as a parent we had to pay for the children’s educational expenses.
People in the gentry’s class were usually the most educated, simply because they could afford to pay for the schooling. Many of the middle class Americans, taught their children at home because they did not have the money to pay for their education. In some areas, where religion was more dominant influenced, people did not particularly value education. Most of what a person needed to know was taught too them at home. Boys learned to build, farm, and hunt, while the girls were taught how to garden, care for the animals, sew, and cook.
The spread of the Enlightenment ideals was the primary cause of the first Great Awakening, and it further intensified conflicts between eighteenth-century colonial citizens (Davidson, 2006). The conflict between the superpowers for the control of the continent began the Seven Years’ War. Most people put the beginning of the Seven Years’ War in the 1754, but it actually occurred from 1756 to 1763. In the Seven Years’ War, France, and Great Britain struggled to control eastern North America (Davidson, 2006). The area between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian mountain range was contested, as both nations claimed it.
When the British won the Seven Years’ War, their colonial holdings doubled in size and they gained control of North America. Conflicts over trading rights and the control of the Ohio country was the primary cause of the French and the Indian War (Davidson, 2006). British control over North America and the Seven Years’ War led to many issues and problems as the British struggled to maintain their supremacy. The French came out behind in each of these struggles, they lost position as highest colonial power for the next generation, their position would not be restored until French Revolution of the 1970’s.
Since each colony had to run its own military campaigns for many years, the colonies were isolated from each other. While the Seven Years’ War did determine who would control the North America continent, conflicts caused by the war would still continue. The British Parliament was determined that the colonists obey trade regulations, and passed the Sugar Act in 1764 (Davidson, 2006). The British colonists were taxed on molasses imported to the colonies because of the Stamp Act. In 1765 the Stamp Act extended the tax to included colonial taxes on newspapers and legal papers (Davidson, 2006).
The American Revolution found the American colonist challenging the most powerful Empire in the world, which was the British Empire, after repeated conflict. The Americans won the battle of Yorktown, in Virginia, on October 19th, 1781 (Davidson, 2006). After thousands British soldiers surrender the British Empire eventually decided to make peace with the colonist. The American Revolution ended on September 3rd, 1783, when the Americans and the British signed the Treaty of Paris (Davidson, 2006). The Revolution War brought about revolutionary social, political, and economic change.
American colonial society was never the same after that. The colonial society became more egalitarian rather than socially stratified. While the North did not approve of the continuation of slavery, the South did continue to hold slaves. The war also practically affected the lives of colonial women. Women in the colonies gained the right to divorce their husbands. The right for women to divorce was not accepted in every colony. Reference (Davidson, 2006) Davidson, J. (2006). Nation to Nations; A concise of the American Republic (4th Ed. ). Boston, TX: Davidson,Gienapp,Heyrman,Lyte