Early American Colonial Period Essay Topics

The early American Colonial era encompasses the period between the establishment of the first English colony in North America in 1607 and the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The European settlers were beginning a completely new life, while the lives of the indigenous Americans would be changed forever. This was therefore a rich period of history with plenty of scope for different types of essay topics.


By moving to a new land, the settlers had to adjust to a completely different topography, while also affecting it by planting their new settlements. Essay titles can explore these issues by focusing on the geographical conditions of the settlements and how they affected the settlers. The settlements' effect on the geographical and environmental conditions the indigenous peoples had been used to could also be an essay topic.


The economic policies pursued by the British regime that ruled Colonial America affected the development of the settlements and the economy of the North American continent in general. Essay topics around this may include an examination of the pre-1763 British mercantilist policy or a comparison between the continent's economic position at the start of the early Colonial period and toward the end.


The social dynamics of this era are fascinating and therefore produce a number of potential essay topics. Essay titles could focus on the role of different social classes in founding the settlements, the emergence of new classes as time went on, the social position of indigenous Americans, evolving definitions of social status and opportunities for social mobility. Essays may also explore subsets of classes, such as intellectuals, professionals and laborers.


Diplomacy, political policy and military conflict all played their part in defining a new North America. Potential essay topics regarding the period's politics are the colonial wars fought between the French and British, the reasons behind England's ultimate winning of control over North America, the political measures the British took in order to rule the continent effectively and comparisons between the political views of the settlers and indigenous peoples, or between the views of different settlements and regions.


Many religious settlers saw North America as a haven from persecution and other problems they encountered in the places of their birth. Upon moving to the continent, they began to shape its development in ways that were motivated by their beliefs. Essays on this might discuss the New England Puritans' attempts to create a model society, the effect of religious movements on the social landscape and the effect of the Enlightenment on the popularity and intensity of religious belief.

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