United States of America is a symbol of diversity and freedom since the colonial period. Since that time, Americans’ freedom was affiliated with the mixed beliefs of ethnicity and religiousness. Between 1603-1733, United Kingdom established the new world by creating thirteen colonies (Evan, 2018). These colonies included New Hamisphire, Viginia, Mssachusetts, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, South Caroline, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Georgia. Although these colonies were ranked as New England, But the people living in those colonies were developing a unifying culture. With the emergence of the American culture in the colonies, the colonists started thinking differently from their English partners. The colonial America was displaying characteristics of democratic society and thus they drifted from royal culture of England and acclaimed a democratic society.
American colonies started to agitate as they were feeling unrest under the tyranny of England and were preparing to form a government and declare independence. Americans advocated that all the men are equal and government is responsible for all of them but the colonial Americans were far behind from being democratic. If we analyze that how democratic Americans were at that time, we have to take under consideration many variables. Principles like equality, rights, power of people, revolution etc are the basics of finding that whether a society is democratic or not. The first topic that come into mind while talking about colonial American land is equality.
Equality means that all the people in the society have equal rights and that all of them will be treated on equality basis by the society and by the government. By looking at the data available about the colonial history, we will find out that all the citizens were not treated equally. Colonial America was considered to be a place of only whites (Mira, 2013). People from any other ethnicity were considered inferior.
Another way to analyze the level of equality in a society is to look at the power balance. It might be possible that all the people have equal rights but a person who has power in the society and who can bring changes in the society really matters. At that time, 80% of the total public offices were hold by the people who had the top 20% of the total assessed value of property in the US (Turner, 1893). The more wealthier you are the more power you have. Does it seems democratic?
It is easy for everyone to look at the American colonial history and say that the wealthier people had most of the power so it was not democratic. People having more resources wil have more power in the society. This doesnot means that there is no democracy in the society. The truth is that all the people at that time (white male) had equal chance to earn, voice their opinions, had their own opinions about the world and how they can change the system of their society. This means that there was an equality in the democracy.
Although, all the people in the society were not considered equal by the society nor by the government but still at that time everyone (white male) had the equal rights and equal opportunities and thus we can say that there was democracy at that time. Today, there is much more equality and democracy in the US as compared to the colonial era. Today, not only whites but all the ethnicities are considered equal and are given equal rights and opportunities.
How Democratic was Colonial American Society in 1775?. (2013). Mira’s US History Blog. Retrieved 6 April 2018, from https://mira1217.wordpress.com/2013/09/23/how-democratic-was-colonial-american-society-in-1775/
Liberty, Diversity, and Slavery: The Beginnings of American Freedom. (2018). Digitalhistory.hsp.org. Retrieved 6 April 2018, from http://digitalhistory.hsp.org/pafrm/essay/liberty-diversity-and-slavery-beginnings-american-freedom
Turner, F. J. (1893). The significance of the frontier in American history.