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During the late 1700s and the early 1800s there were the first settlements of Scots-Irish people happening in the Americas. In 1693, King Charles II granted 24 landowners settlement in the American colonies and about 700 Scots-Irish settled in the colonies. In the colonies, up until about 1697, every governor of the colonies was a Scots-Irish (Carlisle 14). This meant that most of the colonies were populated with a lot of Scots-Irish people or immigrants.
Scots-Irish had all come to America in order to help start forming the United States of America, our country today. For example, after East and West Jersey combined into New Jersey the Scots-Irish population influenced the economy in the colonies. The political views of Scots-Irish people were very influential in the United States. As a result, many Scots-Irish colonies were formed in the Americas.
In 1736, the Darien Georgia Scottish colony was formed because of the great influence Scots-Irish people had in the colonies (Webb 10). These were the first settlements of the Scots-Irish during the late 1700s to the early 1800s.
Back in Ireland, the people were not able to pursue their religion freely. The Scots-Irish would head into the mountains with the Bible in their canvas sacks. The Scots-Irish were Presbyterians that had left Ireland to come to the Americas in order to have their freedom in religion. The Irish government did many harsh things to suppress Presbyterians by closing churches and schools (Coffey 17). Ireland government wanted to force the Presbyterians in their country and they were discriminating against the Presbyterian religion. The Scot-Irish were forced to pay heavy taxes to support the established church they did not belong in. This was another forceful act meant to make Scots-Irish feel manipulated and wanting to move out of Ireland. Presbyterians and Catholics were banned from holding civil or military offices (Quinn 20). The main reason the Scots-Irish left Ireland was because of religious oppression, but mainly it was because of the economic hardship that they were facing (Dolan 14). All this action taken by the Irish government did indeed succeed and many people began to settle in America.
While in the United States, the Scots-Irish showed no hesitation in pushing into Indian territory and settling on lands that were claimed by tribal chiefs. They came to the United States for freedom, but they were taking away the Native Americans’ freedom from them. However, the territory might not have been the Americans if Scots-Irish did not push out the Native Americans from that territory. The Scots-Irish brought the potato with them, which quickly became a staple crop in the areas where they settled. The potato might not have been grown in the United States if the Scots-Irish did not bring the crop with them or did not settle in the United States. By the time of the first U.S. census in 1790, the total was about 2.8 million people and about 180,000 people were Scots and Scots-Irish descent (Coffey 67). This only meant that Scots-Irish had to have been a major influence on the American people. By the late 18th century, Scots-Irish comprised 50 percent of the white population in the Appalachian region, which stretched from Pennsylvania to Georgia and west to Kentucky and Tennessee (Dolan 41). The number of Scots-Irish population in America has grown so big in such little time. The largest waves of Irish immigration in the 18th century caused many conflicts like crop failures, rent increases, and the decline of the linen industry (Quinn 15). The Scots-Irish settling caused great benefits, but also a great troubles in America.
Charles Smith is a 30 year old Scots-Irish frontiersman that had just moved to the United States. He has a family of three which consists of his wife and two children. They live together in a rural community by owning a small farm. His general diet consisted of salted meats, root vegetables, and seafood. Many of the Scots-Irish people depended on hunting and fishing for their primary food supply and the food was prepared by using techniques learned from Native Americans (Webb 150). If they did not finish his meat, it was preserved by drying, smoking, or salting and during the winter time the fruits and vegetables were canned to be preserved. Charles Smith bet on things like dice and cards and he also passed time by playing chess, checkers, backgammon, whilst or cribbage with his friends or family (Carlisle 35). Charles Smith also had to attend many social gatherings in his rural community because he was the head of the meetings. He was also part of many clubs such as the Irish Club that was founded in the mid-1760s and the Society of the Friendly Sons of Saint Patrick that was founded in 1771 (Dolan 26).
The French and Indian War took place during 1756 to 1763 even though conflicts with the Indian tribes began in 1754 and did not end until after the Revolutionary War (Quinn 35). It was the battle between the British colonies and France trying to claim vast territories west of the Appalachians. The British argued that, the treaties they had with several Indian tribes extended all the way to the Mississippi River. However, the Indian tribes chose to side with the French because of the remote French trading posts (Webb 158) and not the British because they saw them as population explosion (Webb 158). The British ends up conquering the French and Indian War also known as the Seven Years War. The two enemies end the war with The Treaty of Paris in 1763 granted New England all the lands in America east of the Mississippi River (Carlisle 9). It was a great victory performed by the British colonies.
During the French and Indian War, Charles Smith was not even in the United States because those were the times where there were the first Scots-Irish settlements. Scot-Irish settlers ignored the decrees that King George all the way from New England gave to them (Webb 159). After the Treaty of Paris was given along with King George’s decree, they thought that it would not matter if they followed the laws the King all the way in another country gave to them, so they did not care. The Scots-Irish brought few beliefs with them to the Appalachian Mountains (Quinn 43). However, everyone knew that the colony had to start forming militias to patrol distance woods for Indian parties and fight or blend into their surroundings like the Indians did. The Scots-Irish had to start protecting themselves after the French and Indian War.
On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was adopted. This was when the colonies of America decided to declare independence against Great Britain. At this time, relations between the Americas and Great Britain were at the worst. America wanted absolute freedom from Great Britain because of the heavy taxes on almost everything and the stationed troops in the colonies. Many Scots-Irish became successful merchants, artisans, or professionals and played an active role in revolutionary politics (Carlisle 40). This meant that the Scots-Irish was very active in America when the Revolutionary War began. The Declaration of Independence was essential for the United States to become an independent and strong country today. The Declaration of Independence was even printed by an Ulster Scot and it was read in public (Dolan 145). There is a lot of evidence that shows how Scots-Irish took a big part in creating the Declaration of Independence.
Since there were many Scots-Irish: governors and immigrants, they were a great impact when the Declaration of Independence was signed. Charles Smith was one of the first public generations of Scots-Irish to read the Declaration of Independence. It is known that fourteen out of fifty six signers of the Declaration of Independence were Scots-Irish (Carlisle 40). This is how much Scots-Irish were an impact in the Americas during this time period. As a result, the American Revolution took place after the Declaration of Independence and Scots-Irish who were Presbyterians came to the Americas during this time period and about 200,000-400,000 continued to come to the Americas (Webb 116). It was believed by many that most of the Scots-Irish were loyal to the King and they did not want freedom from Britain. However, their experience in being discriminated in Ireland led them to side with the the colonies because they understood how the American people felt. Charles Smith very much supported the American Revolution because he believed it was right to be free from the English and have the American government stand on its own.
The Battle of King’s Mountain was a battle between the Patriots and Loyalists in South Carolina. It took place in October 7, 1780, they found Ferguson on a narrow hill that the locals called King’s Mountain (Webb 169). The steep slopes and bare rocks of King’s mountain could have been used by the Loyalists for cover and to see clearly down the mountain so they can fire at their attackers. However they decided to encircle the mountain. And then they fight Ferguson Indian-style. The battlefield was about the length of six football fields on top of a mountain a few hundred feet high and there were only about a thousand people involved on each side (Quinn 16). However this battle was still a big victory for the Patriots at that time because it showed the different ways the sides approached this battle.
Scots-Irish Virginia and North Carolina militia won the critical Battle of King’s Mountain because their skill was their unique ability to combine family homesteads with military expertise and to adapt to a battlefield on which they and their families actually lived (Webb 140). Charles Smith was new to the Americas at this time and he was in his very early 20s. This battle could have affected any of his family members or near his home since the battle was in the United States. The commander, Ferguson, put forward a classic defense by calmly and bravely controlling his troops while riding on a horse and using a silver whistle to blast instructions to his soldiers (Dolan 12). The Scottish majors seemed to be everywhere along the ridge, shouting instructions, blowing his whistle, and commanding a relocation of his soldiers. Major Generals from the enemy side even agreed that, “British major general ‘half the rebel Continental Army were from Ireland’. Hessian Officer ‘call this war by whatever name you may, only call it not an American rebellion; it is nothing more or less than a Scotch Irish Presbyterian rebellion’” (Carlisle 16).
According to these quotes, there was a significant support of Scots-Irish for the American Revolution. As a result, this battle caused the British to abandon their Southern forts. Charles Smith lived in the time period of discrimination against religion, declaration of independence, and winning battles in Ireland. The Scots-Irish people being treated this way in Ireland knew how they wanted to help United States be formed as a country. Charles Smith wanted to have freedom above all things because back in Ireland he and his family could not pursue the religion they wanted. The cultures and religions that not only Charles, but other Scots-Irish people brought with them were going to be influenced in America. He believed that America in the future will be a country that favors the people’s rights and does not discriminate against people because of any differences. Charles Smith very much wanted a country that was different than most other countries in the world. After the United States won in the American Revolution there was more certainty for Smith on the belief to pursue a different type of government.
Since America was free from Great Britain the future of the country was going to be made wholly new and it was believed by Smith that the new country would be a place that everyone would have freedom and a voice to present their ideas.
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