Choose one of the following topics
Essay 1 – 150 points on colonial America. The Chesapeake region, New England, and the Middle Colonies showed great diversity in colonial America. For this essay, write about two (2) of these regions. You should describe, explain, and analyze the following categories. Make sure to account for both the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.
• Push and pull factors that led the colonists to those regions
• The relationship between their economy and society
• Characteristics that defined their culture (including religion)
• Their relationship with slaves (especially in the Chesapeake) and/or the Native
people (esp. in New England)
• Daniels, Coming to America, Chapters 1-5
• Kolchin, American Slavery, Chapters 1-2
• Slideshows 2 & 3
Essay 2 – 150 points on groups of people. Choose any two (2) groups for this essay.
• Native Americans
• Indentured servants
• African slaves
• Planters in Virginia
• Puritans in New England
• Non-English immigrants from Europe
Describe, analyze, and compare their experiences in the colonial era – plus the early and/or revolutionary eras, if applicable. Here are the kinds of questions that you should consider. Where did they live? How did they adjust to the geography of where they lived? How did they work? Where was their place in the society that they lived in? How did they interact with other groups in this society? In which ways did they shape this society? What were the challenges that they faced? What was their identity?
• Your sources will depend on the groups that you choose. Whichever the case,
comb through the slideshows and check out potential illustrations, ads, and links (maps, charts, video clips, etc.) Use these sources for general information as well as in-depth analysis.
• The two textbooks provide a great deal of information about most of the groups above. The Daniels book, for example, is important on indentured servants and other European immigrants. The Kolchin book is essential on African
slaves. (Reading #1, of course, is important for writing about Native Americans.) You’d probably use one or both books for this essay. But beware of over- reliance on them at the exclusion of non-textbook sources. The bottom line is that you should aim to utilize a variety of sources.
Essay 3 – 150 points on diversity in early and colonial America. Diversity is commonly heard concept, but is not always well explained or articulated. In this essay, conceptualize, explain, and analyze this concept in early and colonial American history. You should offer at least three categories of diversity, and explain and analyze them in depth. This topic is more wide open in scope, and I recommend that you see or email me if you’re interested in writing it. Let me know of your plans to shape and organize this essay, and I’d be happy to offer feedback.
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