American History Essay

Submitted By bml0417
Words: 947
Pages: 4

In this essay, I will be discussing 2 major events in American history that have greatly influenced this nation and the citizens within it. My first point of reference is the arrival of the English Puritans to North America. To better understand what kind of people they were, we must recall their tumultuous beginnings. Their roots stemmed from England where they originally practiced Anglicanism, but their people began to suffer religious persecution under the rule of Queen Mary I. This was a result of the English Reaffirmation when King Henry VIII broke from the Roman Catholic Church. In order to satisfy his need for a divorce from his wife Katherine of Aragon, King Henry lusted for another lady in waiting, Anne Boleyn, and in doing so caused a great rift of religion for his country and his people. His daughter, also known as “Bloody Mary” reinstated the Catholic faith in England and set out to persecute all others who did not reform. They were deemed traitors for practicing Anglicanism. Queen Mary only reigned from 1853-1858, and upon her death, she named her half-sister, Elizabeth to be her successor. Elizabeth reinstated Anglicanism, and those who practiced this religion sought out to purify the church, thus the Puritans were born.
Separatist Puritans fled England amongst the religious turmoil and landed in Linden Holland in 1608 where they resided for 10 to 12 years. They eventually decided they wanted to move further west to North America, but needed funding for the trip so they went back to England. They were given two ships, the Speedwell and the Mayflower from the Virginia Company and departed from Plymouth, a southern shore of England on September 9, 1620. They arrived in the area now known as Cape Cod Bay, Massachusetts, laid anchor, and named the area Provincetown on September 20.
The very first representative event of established government occurred on their ship before they even stepped one foot onto North American soil. This was known as the Mayflower Pact. In December of 1620, they came into what is now known as the area of Boston and named it Plymouth Rock, after their point of departure on the southern shore of England. They established the second English colony which lasted from 1620-1691. Their first winter was difficult and due to nearly inhabitable conditions, half of their people died. The following spring, the colonists met a Native American named Samoset, who introduced them to his friend, Squanto. They were both very welcoming of the Puritans and helped them learn the land and grow crops.
In the fall, to celebrate a bountiful harvest, the Puritans and the Native Americans broke bread at the same table in October of 1621. This event was known as the first Thanksgiving and continues to be a National Holiday in our country today. We celebrate not only the things we are thankful for, but we celebrate the Puritans as well. Their bravery, perseverance and generous nature will continue to set the moral standards for Americans in generations to come.
Another event that has greatly influenced our country and its people occurred during the Jeffersonian era. A prelude to this event was the X, Y, Z affair, which took place during the presidency of John Adams. The name was coined after a newspaper reported on the event not knowing the names of the men involved, simply referring to them as X , Y, and Z. After the Revolutionary war ended in 1783 with the Treaty of Paris, France became unhappy with America and began attacking merchant ships traveling to England. Even though Alexander Hamilton said this act is a cause for war, Adams wanted to remain neutral, knowing he hadn’t the resources to compete in yet another major