Taking examinations is a skill that requires careful attention. There are generally three elements in developing a good essay answer: understanding the question, planning the answer, and then developing a thorough response. In planning the answer, you should prepare an outline or a list of points for discussion in a logical fashion. Be sure that the points are sufficient to answer the question. The essay should begin with a topic sentence that restates the question in declarative form. You should provide supportive information with specific detail to illustrate your points. References to readings and notes are always helpful. The essay should end by drawing appropriate conclusions. Please be sure to reread and recheck your essay for clarity, construction, errors, and to be sure that the answer makes a clear statement. You should properly cite all your sources, including textbooks and any other sources you use to develop your answer.
You are required to answer all four (4) questions. Your answers should be about 500 words in length.
- What set the Puritans (who arrived in America in 1630) apart from other early English colonists? During the first century of settlement they faced many challenges. Discuss these challenges and the Puritans’ responses to them.
- In 17th century North America the French, Spanish, Dutch, and English all jockeyed to obtain a share in the New World while the Native Americans fought to hang to what had once been theirs alone. The Africans became unwilling participants in this international contest. What were some of the long-term effects of the cross-cultural exchanges among these groups? Discuss both specific benefits and negative aspects in detail, illustrating your answer with examples from your reading.
- If you were a well-to-do 17th century European or Englishman looking to make a financial investment in the American colonies, would you choose to put your money in the New England area or the Chesapeake? How did the two areas differ in terms of family structure, work, class, religion, and state building? What impact would these things have on your decision to invest and why?
- In 1719 Daniel Defoe published his novel Robinson Crusoe. Set in 1651, the hero explains his circumstances:
Being the third son of the family and not bred to any trade, my head began to be filled very early with rambling thoughts. My father, who was very ancient, had given me a competent share of learning, as far as house-education and a country free school generally go, and designed me for the law; but I would be satisfied with nothing but going to sea….My father, a wise and grave man, gave me serious and excellent counsel against what he foresaw was my design. He called me one morning into his chamber, where he was confined by the gout, and expostulated very warmly with me upon this subject. He asked me what reasons, more than a mere wandering inclination, I had for leaving father’s house and my native country…. He told me it was men of desperate fortunes on one hand, or of aspiring, superior fortunes on the other, who went abroad upon adventures, to rise by enterprise, and make themselves famous in undertakings….
Life and Adventures of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe Philadelphia: Porter & Coates, 1870. Digital E Book on Goggle Books
If colonial America differed from England because it offered greater opportunities to both those of “desperate fortunes” or “superior fortunes”, the degree to which one could take advantage of these opportunities depended upon gender, race, ethnicity, and religion. Consider the ways in which three of these factors enabled some people to enjoy the promise of Colonial America more fully than others.