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History Exam Custom Writing Sample

Essay Guidelines

Exam II (Roark, Chapters 3-7; you may also use Gastil, Section III)

Please write essays of about 1.5 pages each on four of the following questions.  As much as possible, please avoid repeating the same information in more than one essay.  Provide a picture for each of your essays and explain how the picture helps us understand key points.


  • Southern Colonies.  Describe some of the Southern settlements that became English colonies in the 1600s.  What do you find most remarkable about Virginia and other early colonies?  How did slavery become such a major part of the society in the South?
  • Puritans.  Why did Puritans come to America?  What was their society like?  What do you find notable about the Puritan colonies at Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay?  What impact did the Puritans have on America?
  • Puritans and Quakers.  Compare the Puritan colonies in New England with the Quaker colony in Pennsylvania.  What similarities or differences do you see between these two religious movements?   Do you think religion was a factor in the success of both areas?
  • Eighteenth Century America.  Using insights from Chapter 5, describe how life was changing in the British colonies in the 1700s.  What social, political, economic or cultural changes do you see?
  • Spanish Missions.  What do you find remarkable about the Spanish mission era in California in the late 1700s?  Do you see California in the 1700s as similar to the British colonies of the same era, or do you see California as a different strand of our history?
  • Colonial Crisis.  Explain how the political consciousness of Americans changed in the two decades leading up to Independence.  Mention specific events or leaders in Chapter 6.
  • Britain v. America.  How did the colonists manage to gain independence, fighting against the powerful British Empire?  Mention specific strategies and key events in Chapter 7.
  • Three key terms.  Develop an essay connecting three key terms from the handouts. Show how these terms are related to major events or concepts we have discussed.

Keys for Success:

  • Explain your points simply, like you would to another student.
  • Write in simple sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Use specific examples from our readings and class discussion.
  • Relate your answers to major concepts and trends we have covered.
  • Mention specific things you see in the pictures that relate to the essays.



Puritans. Why did Puritans come to America? What was their society like? What do you find notable about the Puritan colonies at Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay? What impact did the Puritans have on America?

According to Hartmann, Stage, Cohen, Johnson, and Roark, the Puritans comprised of section of English pilgrims whose mission was to spread Protestantism. The primary objective of the Puritans was to reform the Church of England from the corrupt practices that the Roman Catholic Church had introduced. Although the focus of the Puritans was religious reformations, their escapades in America had many impacts. The First Puritans to inhabit in North America came in the early 17th century. Although the English Puritans who first came to North America were purely religious reformists, they turned out to be the colonizers of the Continent with time. The puritans held unique religious beliefs that were diversionary, considering that many of the European Churches conformed to the doctrines of the Roman Catholic Church (86).

The society of the Puritans was characteristic of a non-separatist movement because all their actions and involvements promoted the Church of England. The puritans believed that the Church of England would help spread their message in North America. Concerning the migration of Puritans to North America, most of the Puritans arrived in 1630 and the mass migration lasted almost a decade. The Great Migration of the Puritans that occurred between 1630 and 1640 transformed America significantly, considering the distinctive nature of the Puritan society. In essence, the Puritan colonies at Massachusetts Bay and Plymouth were occupied by non-separatist and separatist Puritans respectively. The separatist Puritans that occupied Plymouth were known as Pilgrims because they promoted independent views. However, the non-separatist Puritans who occupied Massachusetts promoted the doctrines of the Church of England. However, the coming of Puritans to North America has a significant impact on North America (Hartmann et al. 89).

The puritans played a significant role in North America because their settlement led to the economic, religious, social, and political transformation of North America ((Heimert and Delbanco 41). Such Puritan preachers as John Eliot led to the conversion of many American Indians who lived in Massachusetts. The puritans had a significant religious effect on the Native American tribes. Besides, the coming of puritans in North America paved way for the colonization of North America by the imperial British government (Hartmann et al. 91).

Spanish Missions. What do you find remarkable about the Spanish mission era in California in the late 1700s? Do you see California in the 1700s as similar to the British colonies of the same era, or do you see California as a different strand of our history?

Hartmann et al. state that the Spanish missionaries played a substantial role in making of the history of America, particularly California. Indeed, the Californian history cannot be read without mentioning the Spanish mission followed the European exploration period (Hall 4). Although the English and Mexican explorers also influenced many aspects of Californian culture, the Spanish had a lasting effect. The Spanish colonial period of the 1700s had remarkable features that are worth discussing. In essence, the Spanish colonized California between 1769 and 1821 just after the European exploration era that established the Spanish trading route. It implies that the Spanish explored California twice although the second time it was a colonization mission rather than trade (134).

The most remarkable aspect of the Spanish mission is California is the cultural influence of the Spanish colonizers on the Native Indian tribes. The religious and secular policies of the Spanish colonizers had a long-term impact on the Native American tribes of California. The Spanish colonizers were the last of the colonizers in America, which was a remarkable feat, considering that the French and the British had been driven out of America. However, the nature of exploitation and oppression by all the colonizers was largely the same in California (Hartmann et al. 149)

The California of the 1700s was similar to the British colonies of the same era, especially in terms of how they were treated by the colonialists and their reactions. In both scenarios, the native tribes of the colonies were separated and forced out of their land to be settled in specified areas. Besides, the British and Spanish colonizers exploited the resources that belonged to the local people by expatriating most of the resources to their mother countries. When it came to territorial ambitions, the colonies of Britain and Spain were subjected to territorial wars that led to the demarcation of land according to the political and economic interests of their colonies. Fundamentally, the California of the 1700s was reminiscent of the British colonies during the same era in the nature of the inhabitants of the colonies(Hartmann et al. 152). In both scenarios, the colonies comprised of native tribes who used primitive methods to go about their way of life. The cultures of such colonies were so distinct that the coming of the civilizations became a culture shock

Colonial Crisis. Explain how the political consciousness of Americans changed in the two decades leading up to Independence. Mention specific events or leaders in Chapter 6.

According to Hartmann et al., the American Colonial Crisis took place between 1754 and 1775 when the Americans were struggling to expel the British Colonizers. During the two decades of crisis, major events took place, leading to the independence of America from the British Empire. The inauguration of King George III as the new King a young age of 22 was a remarkable event in 1760. At the time, the British Empire had many colonies that had run her into huge debts. The intention by the British Empire to make her colonies help her pay off her debts sparked outrage within most regions of North America (287).

In the two decades that led to the American independence, the Americans’ consciousness had changed considerably, especially in the political sense. During the seven years of war was famous as the Indian and French war because it involved the allies of the Native Indians and their English colonizers. The English emerged winners in the war, which enhanced their political and economic might in the United States. The seven years of war precede the Proclamation of 1763 in which King George III played a key role. The King announced that the Great Britain had acquired the territories that were initially held by the French. The proclamation cemented trade and settlement agreements between the Indians and the British colonizers (Hartmann et al. 276).

Although King George III made a number of pronouncements and changes in America, the Sugar Act and the Stamp Act were some of the introductions that sparked outrage Among the Native American, which created a consciousness towards independence. George Grenville played a key role in the introduction of the Revenue (Sugar) Act that would generate revenue to pay off the debt that had been accrued during the seven years of war. Additionally, the British parliament passed the Stamp Act in 1756 required more revenue that it raised by way of stamps (Hartmann et al. 372). However, the stamps were charged in all the British colonies, including America. This move, coupled with other oppression policies, led to the colonial crisis that took place in the events that culminated in the American independence (Hartmann et al. 289).

Britain v. America. How did the colonists manage to gain independence, fighting against the powerful British Empire? Mention specific strategies and key events in Chapter 7.

The American Revolution occurred to end the protracted standoff between the British colonialists and the Americans. The British colonizers were superior in terms of their weaponry, political and economic might. However, the American managed to stage a revolution that would coerce the British to give in, leading to the independence of America. Although the British had triumphed over the Spanish and the French, they lost the final battle to the Americans, which led to the independence of America. In essence, the odds were against the British because the war was fought from overseas (Hartmann et al. 423).

The American colonists managed to attain independence from the powerful British forces by employing unique strategies. The Americans were fighting for fundamental reasons, which included human rights. The eagerness to liberate themselves against the oppressive British regime took center stage in many American territories, with the British colonialists losing validity in many areas. Although the British were a dominant force during the struggle, the Americans had a cause that was stronger than the British intention to retain their territories. In essence, the Americans were fighting for their fundamental freedoms rather than just winning a war. As the war gained momentum, more Americans got involved, leading to their triumph (Hartmann et al. 424).

Besides the strong determination for liberation, the Americans had many sympathizers that helped them win the war against their British colonists. The British settlers had exploited the Native Americans and their resources to the extent that they made enemies within America and beyond. Furthermore, the Spanish and French colonists could not help the British colonizers because the British had forced them out of their territories during the European exploration era (Hartmann et al. 425).

Works Cited

Hartmann, Susan M., Stage, Sarah, Cohen, Patricia Cline, Johnson, Michael P., Roark, James L. The American Promise 5th edition A Concise History, Volume 1: To 1877. Bedford/St. Martin's, 2014.