Homework One Answers - Student One

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Which time period or periods in American History do you expect to enjoy studying the most? Why?

I am really looking forward to studying the Pre-Civil War and Civil War periods. I want to learn more about what brought us to the brink of a civil war and learn from past mistakes. I am also looking forward to learning more about our government through the Jacksonian Democracy period and the Reagan Conservatism period.

Those are fascinating periods in American History. The class will reach the pre-Civil War period and the Jacksonian Democracy topic in a few weeks. Full credit.

In what ways did the colonies help build the economic strength of England?

The colonies helped build the economic strength of England in two ways. First, those who came over from England to form settlements and colonies paid taxes to England, thereby supporting England's economy.

Second, the colonies depended on the import of English goods to sustain them and the people living in those colonies. This placed England's trading system in a very good position because they knew the settlers in America counted on England for many of their material needs.

Good points: paying taxes and buying goods from England, which caused money to flow to England from the colonies. The colonies also supplied valuable unfinished goods (raw materials) to England, like timber and cotton. Full credit.

True or false: the Puritans came to America in order to separate church from state (government). Explain.

True. The Puritans came to America because they were seeking religious freedom. It was their intention and goal to form a community where they could practice their beliefs freely without any form of government stepping in and controlling them and their religion.

But the Puritans did not seek to separate church from government. Instead, the Puritans wanted THEIR form of religion as part of government, rather than the form of religion in England from which they fled. Only Roger Williams in Rhode Island supported a separation of church and state. (Minus 2).

Spain settled America before England did. So why is the United States an English-speaking nation, rather than a Spanish speaking one?

America is an English speaking nation for many reasons, but here is the main reason: The first settlers who came to America to establish a new home and life were mostly British (or English).

By having English speaking families who founded English speaking colonies, it is easy to see how America became an English-speaking nation. These families and settlements continued to grow and with their growth came the dominance of the language they spoke-English.

Also, many Spanish soldiers had come to America but there is no evidence that any of them set up a colony or brought their families over. Most of the soldiers went home after their conquests.

Hence, there was never a large Spanish population in America that would have greatly influenced our primary language.

Excellent, and perhaps the English-style of government was more effective than the Spanish monarchy. Full credit.

Christopher Columbus: overrated, or not given enough credit? Explain.

I have mixed feelings about Christopher Columbus. I believe he hasn't been given enough credit concerning his heroic and dangerous voyages. Columbus had much work to do and needed a lot of faith to do it; this is one area of his life that is overlooked. However, it also seems that he has been overrated in the sense that many people aided in the discovery of America, yet we do not hear them mentioned very often because many people just assume all the credit goes to Columbus. Yes, he did "discover" America but there are also many others who came before and after him and they seemed to be ignored because the "spot light" is on Christopher Columbus.

Superb analysis. Full credit.

Pick one of the questions or topics from the lecture, and explain your view. Were the Puritans right to be strict and to expel people of other religions?

My first reaction is to say no: they did not have a right to do that. However, there are a few reasons why they did have the right to expel people of other religions.

First, the Puritans left England because they wanted to practice their beliefs in a way that was contrary to the Church of England. While living in England, they had suffered much persecution and faced great danger for not belonging to the Church of England and the English government was determined to make their lives miserable and difficult. Most likely the Puritans were afraid if other religious groups joined them in their colonies, history might repeat itself and once again, they would find themselves without a home.

Also, the Puritans risked their lives by coming to America. They did not know what America held for them and they did not know the hardships that would come from living here. They had to endure many hardships to survive-all because they wanted to have a community where they could worship God in their own way. For most of them, that was their only reason for coming to this country. If other people from other religions wanted to settle down with them, it would affect the way they worship because now they would have to accommodate many other lifestyles, beliefs, and practices. This would counteract everything they were trying to do and for that reason, they did not like the idea of other people from other religions coming into their community and colonies.

However, I would like to add that the Puritans were wrong in their treatment of those who did not see eye-to-eye with them concerning religion. If they were truly following Christ's commands found in Scripture, then they would have treated the Baptists, the Quakers and others with such cruelty. Did not Christ say to love each other? I find it very sad that these people, who bore the name of Christ, were such a bad witness to those around them. We, as Christians, are not to persecute those who do not agree with us. Rather, we are to show them God's love and pray for them. The Puritans did not understand the concept of God's grace. The interesting thing is while they were focused on Christian works, they forgot to perform these "good works" towards their neighbors. The two greatest commands in the Bible are: Love the Lord with all your heart, soul and mind AND love your neighbor as yourself. The Puritans forgot the later part of Jesus' command.

Terrific and thorough analysis. As you suggest, Puritans had the right to expel but that does not mean it was right for them to do so. Full credit.

H1. Learning from the experience of the early settlements and colonies, how might our homeschooling community improve today?

Our homeschooling community might improve by examining past history, looking at present circumstances and applying the knowledge of past history and present circumstances to future decisions.

Settlements and colonies were very tight, meaning that the people in those colonies and settlements stuck together and supported each other. In a sense, it was like a large family and everyone counted on everyone to make sure that their colony continued to flourish and thrive. If homeschoolers observed this fact and began to apply it to today, the homeschooling community might grow drastically and it would definitely be strengthened. This would aid in the improvement of the homeschooling community.

Perhaps the homeschooling community should advertise, as William Penn did for Pennsylvania! Full credit.

H2. Was it expensive to establish a colony? If so, who paid for it?

Yes, it was quite expensive because the person sponsoring it had to provide money for traveling, expenses during travel, the material to build the colony, the settling of the colony...and the list goes on.

Countries, kings, churches, wealthy individuals were the main sponsors' for the establishment of a colony.

That seems to cover all the possibilities! Some of the colonies went bankrupt and were taken back by the King.

H5. Discuss any of the debate or discussion topics from the lecture. Did Europeans have a right to explore North America?

Yes, the Europeans had every right to explore North America! There was nothing stopping them and there was nothing wrong with exploring lands that had never been "discovered."

I think of the Israelites after they left the land of Egypt. God told them to explore the surrounding countries and nations and even told them to "spy" on some of them. This was because God was going to give the Israelite nation those lands as their inheritance. Now, if they had not explored the land and took possession of it, they would have had no place to go.

God opened the door for many to come and explore America and He also protected many of those explorers from great dangers. If it was wrong for Europeans to explore North America, I think God would have kept them away.

Excellent.

-Gabrielle D.

Grade: 58+30=88 out of 90. Very well done!!!--Andy Schlafly 21:16, 11 February 2011 (EST)