The Causes Of Conflicts In Early Colonial America

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The struggle between insiders and outsiders has been a central thread in American history. One could point out that it stems from the history of the Americas as a place where a man could win power, wealth, and glory, even if he had to steal it from someone. The United States is also rare as one of the first places where a rebellion actually worked. Outsiders rising up to try to improve their lot in life has been common. But they rarely if ever worked. Inevitably, those in power would keep it, and after winning victories would move to consolidate their power. This paper will explore how conflicts in early Colonial America were driven by tensions between insiders and outsiders, and how the insiders won out in these conflicts and consolidated their power. Four conflicts show this point: Bacon's rebellion; King Phillip's war; the Salem Witch Trials; and the Scarlet Letter; a work of historical fiction. The first conflict was Bacon's rebellion, a rebellion in Virginia in 1676 which Nathaniel Bacon led. It shows the historical trends of conflict between those on the frontier and insiders, and elite consolidation of power, excellently. Bacon’s rebellion had many proximate causes, but no main objectives or driving cause. The story of it is inextricably tied up with the situation in Virginia and the facts on…show more content…
Second and third generation colonists suffered far more from the war than the earlier settlers. On the other hand, the insiders, especially in the center of the colonies, suffered little, and the losses of their opponents led to a general consolidation of power under the elites. Elites in Britain, too, moved to consolidate power under themselves, limiting Colonial power and autonomy after the war. The King of England revoked the Colonial charter of Plymouth and attempted to do so for Connecticut. King Phillip's war shows how conflicts lead only to further elite
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