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Freedom and Lack of Freedom

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Freedom and lack of Freedom existed side by side in English colonies. Using examples from Pennsylvania and elsewhere demonstrate how greater freedom for some colonists meant less freedom for others. 300 to 600 words Freedom and lack of freedom co-existed in seventeenth century America because of English rule domination over Dutch rule in the colony of New York and the lack of English rule in the Pennsylvania colony. Once English rule spread to New York, it expanded the freedom of some New Yorkers and greatly reduced the freedom of others. Pennsylvania was the last colony to be established. William Penn wanted the colony to be free from religious prosecutions suffered in Europe. He considered the colony a “Holy Experiment”, which he hoped that the Quaker principles would bring equality. The developing colony of New York and Pennsylvania demonstrate how freedom and lack of freedom existed side-by-side. Freedom and lack of freedom expanded together during the seventeenth-century.

When the English came to New York, they wanted the Dutch to surrender. The Dutch surrendered and the English promised to allow and respect their religious beliefs and property holdings of ethnic communities within the New York colony. Soon after allowing this freedom, the English began to revoke other privileges. The English took away the Dutch tradition of a woman marrying and conducting business and other affairs under their maiden name such as inheriting land or purchasing property during their marriage. Although the English stated they would respect the property holdings of ethnic communities, the English introduced a restrictive attitude toward blacks. Blacks originally worked in various trades, but the reversal of the Dutch practice took away many skilled jobs from blacks. William Penn established the Pennsylvania colony with hopes of religious freedom. He did not consider the consequences. Before Pennsylvania was established, settlers who could afford to pay for their own passage were able to acquire land.

Laborers were needed to cultivate the land. Indentured servants were the working class whites who could not afford passage. They volunteered their freedom for a certain amount of years and were treated like slaves until their “Freedom Dues” were earned. The indentured servants became free members of society. The Pennsylvania colony offered freedom to Europeans which contributed to the downfall of freedom for others. The treatment of indentured servant in Pennsylvania caused a great decline in the number of indentured servants migrating to Maryland and Virginia. Colonies began to rely greatly on slave labor. The English rule and indentured servants illustrates how freedom and lack of freedom existed side by side in English colonies. The English rule in New York took away freedom for women and blacks. In Pennsylvania there was religious freedom but the lack of indentured servants migrating to the other colonies caused the colonies to rely greatly on slavery. Pennsylvania and New York demonstrated how freedom and lack of freedom co-existed side by side.

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