French and British America

French and British America

Settlement by these two colonies began as early as the sixteenth century, with the French being the first to enter Native American colonies. The French came to America as explorers seeking a route to the Pacific Ocean (Bigourdan 111). Later on, they majored in trade capitalization because they wanted to supply France with cash crops. The French king was also offering money to go to America so as to establish an empire, and overall, they wanted to start a new life, as during that time the land was free. The British, on the other hand, explored America as a result of forced religion. They were oppressed and persecuted on their own land for failing to worship in the Church of England, hence, they wanted to leave the church and start a new religion.

Advancing into new lands meant that they had to interact with the native owners, who in this case were Indians. The French acknowledged that these people deserved to be on their own land, thus, lived together with them with mutual respect and a spirit of concord (Bigourdan 113). They positively contributed to the Indians lives’ through trade, building trust that endured. The British, however, belittled the natives, treating them as servants. All they wanted was work to be done for them and then threw them away. They felt superior, creating unresponsive and misunderstandings between them, and the native Indians.

The two colonies exhibited different forms of labor. As for the French, labor was statute. Workers were obtained from the poor, who were considered lower classes of people. They were then imposed to work under no payment. These laborers only worked on French farms as they had no land, cash, or crops. The British exercised indentured servant as a form labor (Bigourdan 114). Here, the was a sort of debt bondage whereby they would obtain slaves from poor British families and other ‘low class’ citizens who would work for a particular duration, like a few years, and then later on be freed to work on their own. The only common thing was that, in both cases, the workers were exploited for cheap labor and maltreated (Black 620). The major French American economy was agriculture. One of their initial reasons of immigrating was to capitalize on trade. They majorly dealt with the production and supply of cash crops to France and other countries (Black 620). They exported products such as fish, sugar and furs. British Americans depended on industry for their economy. They manufactured iron, built ships for sale and made finished products from raw materials such as deerskin.

To the French, religion was held in high regard, and Catholicism was the premier choice (Black 621). It was recognized as an authority by the monarchs, hence had considerable autonomy. The church, to a greater extent, was the government. For British America, the church was a symbol of persecution and oppression, hence religion was merely a scapegoat to venture to new lands (Bigourdan 111). The French system of government was majorly republican. It upheld the rule of law for all, with no dictatorship and mutual respect for every citizen. There was liberty and non-domination from those who were in power. The British had a dictatorial government system. Their plans were to create long term settlements; thus they held themselves superior, and the people inferior. They dictated everything that was to be done, and other citizens barely had rights.

From the discussion, it is quite eminent that the two systems had completely diverse ideologies from the beginning right to the end. It, however, helps establish the rich and dynamic American history that is there up to the present day.

Works Cited

Black, Jack. Changes in time and space. The Nation’s Nature: How Continental Presumptions Gave Rise to the United States of America. (The First Panoramas: Visions of British Imperialism) (Time and the French Revolution: The Republican Calendar, 1789-Year XIV) (Book review): American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies 45/4(2012): 620-621.

Bigourdan, Nicolas. Almost a French Australia: FrenchBritish rivalry in the southern oceans [Book Review] Great Circle: Journal of the Australian Association for Maritime History, 35/1(2013): 110-114.

Slavery in American Colonies

Slavery has existed throughout history on almost every continent. The most commonly known example is probably the African slave trade that was initiated by Europeans who were in search of riches. In fact, this was not a new concept to the indigenous people of Africa. Enslavement of fellow Africans and prisoners of war was already rife. Europeans, however, helped spread it, making it more popular and significant than before. The discovery of the Americas around the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was revolutionary as it impacted on major parts of the world, making European countries develop vested interests in the new colonies. The Spanish, Portuguese, and British, being among the first to explore North and South America gained control in these regions and begun participating in slavery, enslaving the natives as well as importing others from Africa (Davidson et al. 87).

African slaves, even so, were treated differently from native slaves. The native slaves were considered indentured servants. This meant that the natives could be laborers over a particular period after which they would be set free to work on their own will. They could be paid for services rendered, in addition to having farms on which they could grow their crops and make some little money. African slaves, on the other hand, were imposed. They never had rights, and they worked tirelessly without any compensation. They never had land, and only worked on colonial farms. They were seriously mistreated and mishandled, exuding the depth to which racism was at during those particular periods.

The South America was occupied by the Spanish and Portuguese, while the North America was conquered by the English. The south had more fertile soils that allowed an all-year round growing season for plantation crops like rice and tobacco. The north (New England), on the other hand, lacked in this. Such a great variation, therefore, meant that these two factions had different labor and agricultural needs. New England could not sustain agriculture throughout, diminishing the efficacy of slave labor. South colonies required labor; hence, slaves were a vital component as their plantations grew all year round and required constant labor.

Slave labor in both colonies had several different duties. The work on plantations in order to sustain them meant intensive labor, hence slave were many. In New England, having many slaves was a financial constraint as they did not require much work to be done, since they did not have plantations. Their slaves, in essence, predominantly involved in domestic related works.

Slaves in New England were indentured servants. They could not be kept on the farms permanently. They worked for some time and left to venture into their own activities as land for them was readily available. In the south, slaves had no other option and their job description were defined. The only difference was in terms of skill whereby slaves with considerable skill were sought out and taken to different plantations. However, no one was elevated beyond the title of a slave (Berlin 33).

The slaves were introduced into the system already having their own beliefs. Their religious beliefs were derived from Africa, though the colonial chiefs and slave were never convinced that such beliefs were genuine religions (Matthewson 221). They were forced to adapt to new religions. The new English slaves, on the contrary, were allowed the freedom of worship and participated freely in their religious practices.

Based on the above analysis, it is evident that a large gap existed between the southern and northern slaves. In spite helping economically, it was not and should never be an option today. According to Jefferson, as he echoed a Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal”.

Works Cited

Berlin, Ira. The Making of African America. New York: Penguin Group, 2010. Print

Davidson, John.W. et al. US: A Narrative History, Volume1: To 1877. New York: McGraw Hill,  2009. Print.

Matthewson, Tim. “Jefferson and Haiti”. The Journal of Southern History 61/2 (1995): 221.