INTRODUCTION The Americas were a very broad topic to focus on. Before Christopher Columbus discovered the Americas in 1492, the continents weren’t known to the Europeans. However, in general, the continent was just one big territory of European colonies. The 18th century was the time when some countries in the Americas were trying to fight for independence while other countries were still under control of dominant European nations.
Wars French and Indian War This first intercolonial war between France and Great Britain, was a part of “The Seven Years’ War.” The War ended in 1763 as a result of the Treaty of Paris. Through this war, England acquired Canada and Spanish parts of Florida. Consequently, England was the dominant country in North America for the next two years. American Revolution A new nation was created through this war; American colonies announced their independence from the British. On July 4th of 1776, the Continental Congress adopted the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Haitian Revolution The spirit of revolution was also found in Latin America. European powers exploited the African slaves in their highly lucrative sugar plantations. Consequently, mistreated slaves instigate a revolt at the end of the century. The Haitian Revolution in 1791 is a great illustration of the struggle for freedom that permeated many minds everywhere in Colonial America in the 18th century.
The American Revolution The French and Indian War
Religion Many people in the countryside were involved in the Great Awakening, an evangelical religious movement. Famous ministers such as George Whitefield toured around the colonies and preached the Gospel. These religious leaders stirred a sensational emotional response among listeners, as many dropped their work to hear the sermons. In the beginning, the British North American colonies were formed by many who had fled Europe for religious freedom. Of them, Puritans were people who wished to rid the Church of England from any remaining influences of Roman Catholicism. But eventually, the religious energy diminished – until another revival in the mid-18th century. The cities’ skylines displayed an increased number of churches. The buildings reflected the wealth, social status, and traditions of the denominations that built them. During American Revolution, Americans were convinced that their revolt against the British was “justified in the sight of God.”
GOVERNMENT In July 1766, the Declaration of Independence was read out. The Second Continental Congress thought that the Declaration of Independence wouldn’t make the nation united. Therefore, they started to write the Articles of Confederation. In 1781, the Articles of Confederation become official. However, the Articles turned out to be ineffective and left the Confederation Congress powerless. As a result in September 1787, leaders began to work on the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia. Since the Articles turned out to be ineffective, they decided to write the Constitution to create a government with power and authority but without brutally controlling the citizens. The Constitution has been the heart of U.S government.
Latin America was colonized and it had been under control of Spain and Portugal before the 18th century. The Spanish king would send two governors to the colonies and divide the lands into two portions, but the territories would still be under the Spanish government’s control. One governor of the governor generals reigned all Spanish colonies on the mainland from Florida to California--Spain also ruled a part of the US at that time--, all Spanish colonies down to Venezuela, and the “West Indies.” The capital city of New Spain was Mexico City. The other, who would have been the governor of New Peru, was in charge of every Spanish colony on the lower part of the Americas, except for Venezuela. In the 18th century, the number of governors doubles and becomes four. Until the rebellion in the 19th century, four governors ruled the Spanish colonies in the Americas.
CONCLUSION From the time the Americas were found centuries ago, dominant European countries started colonizing the countries there. Most of North America was under Britain and France’s control. Most of South America was under Spain and Portugal’s control. Canada, the United States, Mexico, Peru, etc--countries in North and South America are now independent countries living with their own laws, their own national government, and living with religious freedom. Although the Americas region was very broad to research on, all the countries had something in common during that time. Basically, the 18th century was the time of revolution, wars and development in the area of the Americas.