There was no significant political, economic, or social democracy in Colonial America. Early Colonial America showed no signs of democratic future till near the Revolution. Democracy did not exist in any of these aspects in early Colonial America. Politically democracy did not exist because the colonies were the King’s colonies and was ruled by him. Economically democracy did not exist because there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor. Finally there was no sign of socially being democratic because of the huge inequality between the people of colonial America.
Politically there was no sign of democracy in Colonial America. One might say that the representative assembly is one form of democracy in Colonial America, but this isn’t true. The representative assembly was only attended by certain group of people, not all people were free to attend the representative assembly. Most of the assemblies only allowed male that were in their colony’s religious order to attend and vote at an assembly. Also the colonies were very much influenced by their church they were under. In a sense this was going backwards to medieval times where church ruled the state. Again colonies only allowed active members of their church to vote or be in government. In Virginia the assemblies were carried out under the King’s permission. This meant that the assemblies were limited to what they were able to vote in. Also governmental officials with the most power were assigned by the King like Sir William Berkley. Also the form of freedom of speech was non existent. When people like Anne Hutchinson and Roger William questioned church and government officials they were persecuted and banished from the colony they were originally in. Also only the educated are allowed to be in government which translates to the rich, because only the rich can get education. This strongly resembles old England where only people by noble birth are able to gain a seat in government office. One may argue that the chance for wealth was for all but this is not true due to the fact the poor oppressed by the wealthy and exploited enough that they had little or no chance of gaining wealth. With these ancient ideas still influencing Colonial America how can it be democratic.
Democracy is no where to be found in the economy of Colonial America. Democratic economic should allow all have the opportunity to gain wealth and none should be oppressed doing so, but there was a huge gap between the rich and the poor. The rich often exploited and controlled the poor to their free will. The rich had mass lands where poor people like indentured servants will work under them with little pay. This is more feudalistic than democratic. Even signs of communism were more seen than democratic ideas in Jamestown. In start they were very communal and shared everything. Later they traded in communist ideas for feudalistic ideas where the rich had land and the poor served under them. Its true some poor people owned land but these they owned were worthless much like communal lands in European era of feudalism. Capitalism did not exist, in theory all could become wealthy, but the poor was oppressed by the rich. For example the Bacon’s Rebellion was partly ignited by the oppression poor farmers have faced from the wealthy. Colonial America economics did not retain a democratic idea it was really just a mess of different ideas from old England.
Socially there was no democracy during those times. Even if the traditional class system may have been abolished a new class system has risen to replace it. This new class system was the rich, poor, and the slaves. The rich had the power over all, the poor had little rights but they did have rights, and slaves were nothing more than personal property. With each of these classes with huge gaps between them how could one say the idea of equality from democracy was practiced in Colonial America. Nearly 40% of Colonial America is made up of slaves and almost all farm owners owned slave. The rich in Colonial America is nothing more than a new form of noble class and slavery is the new form of peasantry. In Colonial America there was no middle class, it??s either you are rich or poor. Also the assemblies didn??t allow certain people to vote such as women and people from different religious background. When a woman like Anne Hutchinson gain power and rose to a status with some what power, the government officials oppressed her for being a women that spoke her mind. When there is such big class differences in Colonial America how could it been said it was socially democratic in Colonial America.
To see that there was democratic significance politically, economical, and socially is a false illusion of Colonial America. Even the existence of these colonies is a very undemocratic. Colonial America was certainly not democratic it was more of a national experimentation on what works and what doesn’t work.
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