Essay about History: Thirteen Colonies and Goldfield

Submitted By terrinchacko
Words: 1620
Pages: 7

Chapter 4 & 5 Guided Reading Questions

1. Define the policy of mercantilism in your own words and describe whom it benefited (and how) and whom it hurt (and how). What were the benefits and drawbacks of the system of easy credit between British merchants and American colonists? Mercantilism was basically a system to improve trade between the colonies and England. It gave favor to the idea of more export and less import. Under this idea, trading is balanced. Colonies made commodities that British consumers can buy from the colonies instead of from foreign markets. Mercantilism benefited colonists and England because the trade system was mainly circulated around them. All the trade had to be done in English or colonists ships under the Navigation Act of 1651 (Goldfield 87). The Dutch were the ones who go hurt from mercantilism because they lost their dominance in overseas trade. Under the system of easy credit, many colonists would by British products from British merchants by using credit the merchants provided. Most tobacco planters lived under easy credit. British merchants would provide them British goods and in return, the merchants would market tobacco. The drawback was when these tobacco planters adored the system of easy credit too much that they became in debt (Goldfield 91). These debtors only realized later how dependent they were on goods and credit.
2. Using the document entitled, “The British American: William Byrd in Two Worlds,” answer the following in three paragraphs, making sure to use facts and details from the document AND the textbook to support your points:
a. Compare and contrast British influences and American characteristics of Virginia (mention pertinent customs, interests, institutions, and objects). Compare and contrast the aristocratic aspects of Virginia society against the democratic aspects.
b. Describe in detail the distribution of power between husbands and wives, masters and slaves, local gentry (landowners) and average colonists, Virginia and England.
c. How does Bryd’s being a British subject conflict with his being an American colonial? 2. a. It was a custom in Virginia to send children to England for school because, according to article, young Byrd had to be sent to England when he was seven for school. Virginian aristocrats believed that children should be sent abroad not only for education, but to see a broader world (William Byrd in Two Worlds 31-32). By studying outside, Byrd’s knowledge expanded. He got to learn new languages, read ancient texts, and study law. All these were not possible in Virginia yet. In England, men were wealthy and had higher status than Byrd, however in Virginia; he was looked upon as one of the wealthy families. Another custom in Virginia was that women could pluck their eyebrows (William Byrd in Two Worlds 35). A similarity between Britain and Virginia was that power had the same meaning in both places. Byrd takes in this characteristic as he is getting wealthier in Virginia after his father passed. b. Once Byrd got married to Lucy Parke, he started to act like an Englishman. He started governing his wife. Even though he looked after his plantation, he would come also intervene with domestic affairs. She was in charge of the servants. They took care of the children and did household works (William Byrd in Two Worlds 35). But even then, Byrd would not let Lucy have a free hand. Their relationship was bipolar. They would get very mad at one point and then would be romantic with each other. Byrd treated his slaves in a mixed behavior. It was a combination of sensitivity and brutality (William Byrd in Two Worlds 36). He would care for them but at the same time, if they acted lazy, he would beat them up. c. Byrd’s two worlds basically clashed together. He tried to seek the highest position, even thinking that he was a king. He kept on failing to get high positions. I think that he was trying to use the same method as what