Seven Years' War
November 13, 2011
Seven Years' War
Many factors led up to the Seven Years’ War and in this paper I will describe the social and political backgrounds existent in eighteenth-century America, explain how the diverse backgrounds and views led to the Seven Years’ War and explain how the outcome of the Seven Years’ War affected me and America. All of this will be explained as you read along in this paper.
In the seventeenth-century before I was born, “the colonies were becoming overrun by various, very different immigrant groups” (Davidson, J., 2006). Famine, warfare, and religious persecution forced many non-English groups to flee their homes in ...view middle of the document...
“Eighteenth-century colonial societies were divided along many social lines” (Davidson, J., 2006). An individual’s political and legal rights largely determined their social class; additionally, clothing was a key factor, as well as a person’s religious affiliation and obligations. “The gentry class had access to the most money and financial power, the highest level of education, and wielded the most political influence” (Davidson, J., 2006). The gentry also owned and controlled most large farms and plantations. White collar occupations, like merchants, lawyers, ministers, or doctors, made up the gentry class. The gentry held most of the positions of community leadership. “The middle class, the next highest class, was made up of farmers, small business owners, and other people who served the gentry class in skilled crafts or trades” (Davidson, J., 2006). This inherent inequality, a fundamental aspect of colonial society, made social relations difficult and cased hardship among the colonists.
During this period, middle class families benefitted from having more children. More children divided the family’s labor, as every family member had to do their part. Women cooked, cleaned, and sewed while men maintained the fields and farm. Husbands and wives fulfilled different duties while they worked together to maintain their household. In the cities, though, women could work in shops, assist their husband in his trade, and keep accounts for their husband’s business. The man, though, always had sole legal authority, even if his wife or family members contributed a great deal of work to his business or home. Our colonial homes, though they were not as impressive as the gentry homes, were full of love, while our possessions and designs were utilitarian. People in my time struggled to gain an education, as parents had to pay all of their children’s educational expenses. People in the gentry class were usually the most educated because they could afford to pay for school. Many middle class Americans taught their children at home as best as they could. In some places where religion was the dominant influence, people did not particularly value education. Most of what a person needed to know they learned at home. Boys learned to farm, build, and hunt while girls learned how to garden, care for the family, sew and cook.
“The spread of Enlightenment ideals was the primary cause of the first Great Awakening and it further intensified conflicts between eighteenth-century colonial citizens” (Davidson, J., 2006). The conflict between superpowers for control of the continent began the Seven Years’ War. Some put the beginning of the Seven Years’ War in 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, J., 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...