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American society between 1730 and 1776 was defined by the enormous changes that permeated every aspect of colonial life.

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American society between 1730 and 1776 was defined by the enormous changes that permeated every aspect of colonial life. The effects of the Seven Years War, the Great Awakening, new ideas about the relationships between slaveholders and their slaves, and modernized views on one's family all contributed to the political, religious, and social revolutions within colonial society. Politically and economically, the taxes imposed by the British to compensate for their enormous war debt were violently opposed in colonies throughout America. Towns that were originally governed by men of high religious or economic standing were being scrutinized by those who rejected the Halfway Covenant. The relationships of colonial families and their slaves also was a radical change from the previously widely-accepted social standards. These changes encompassed all aspects of colonial life in 1730, and are what initiated the formal separation of America from Britain in 1776. The Seven Years War, fought between the French and the British (with the Iroquois eventually joining on the side of the British), resulted in a British victory. The French surrendered their land in America to the British, as stated in the Treaty of Paris written in 1763. However, this hard-earned victory cost the British a �137 million national debt. (Norton, pg. 124) Grenville's solution to this debt was taxation of the colonies. ...read more.


This rift was a revolutionary change in the previous relationship between the two continents, and only served to further alienate the colonists from Britain. In 1775, at the height of tension, the Second Continental Congress (a colonial body) said that Parliament has, "undertaken to give and grant our money without consent...statutes have been passed for extending the jurisdiction of courts of Admiralty beyond their ancient limits; for depriving us of the accustomed and inestimable privilege of trial by jury; for suspending the legislature of one of the colonies; and for altering fundamentally the form of government established by the charter..." (Doc. D) The colonists' control over their own courts, legal system, and economic legislature as written in their original charter had been removed - a change which the colonists' violently rejected. As profound as the change in the relationship between Britain and America was, the revolution in religion within the colonies themselves was equally as vast. The crisis of religion was widespread, and beginning in 1735, swept over New England and then in 1750, Virginia and the Chesapeake region as well. The Great Awakening was religious "revivalism," a huge change from the previous systems in the Congregational and Anglican Church. In both churches, those who were the highest in the religious order (inherited visible saints in the Puritan religion, priests and bishops in the Anglican system) ...read more.


arisen with Respect to the Punishment proper to be inflicted upon such as have been guilty of willfully and maliciously killing slaves."(Doc. J) The amended law in 1774 stated that,"...if any Person shall be guilty of...killing a Slave, so that, if he had in the same Manner killed a Freeman, he would...be held and deemed guilty of murder..." This more severe punishment demonstrates that the views on slaves' rights changed in the period between 1741 and 1774, and moreover that the condition of the slave as a human being, was starting to take shape. American society had, previous to 1730, consisted of a peaceful relationship with Britain, stable local politics and religious order, and a view of women and slaves that had not changed since the first colonial charter was printed. However, the result of the Seven Years War - unjust taxation and strict trade laws - severed the bond between the colonies and Britain. The Great Awakening caused an upheaval in the ideas of social and local political order in colonial towns. Even the voting and legal rights of minorities were altered, due to changing views on the humanity of different races and genders. America underwent enormous political, economic, religious, and social changes throughout the fifty year period of 1730 to 1776 - such revolutionary changes that the colonies became a country, completely severed from the governmental system and ethical ideals of Britain. ...read more.

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