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THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION -Prelude to War- The Development of Americans The American settlers had early become used to taking a share in government Every colony elected an assembly The Virginians set up their House of Burgesses only 12 years after Jamestown was settled The Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact before building their first log cabin in 1620 This was a set of rules for governing their colony Many settlers came to America to be free to worship as they pleased Two of the colonies--Rhode Island and Maryland--offered almost complete religious freedom The settlers also believed firmly in the benefits of education Harvard College was founded in 1636 only 16 years after the Pilgrims landed In 1647 Massachusetts required its towns to provide primary education The protests against British injustice printed in papers pamphlets and books could be read by most Americans Land was free or cheap In the border wilds a man needed only to build a cabin and clear a planting space and he was a landowner Even a bond servant could look forward to owning a farm once his period of service was over Timber was plentiful and some port towns had shipyards American ships visited and traded American goods in foreign ports Small industries milled grain wove textiles and made leather and metal articles The Americans were inventive hard-working and prosperous The 13 colonies all had grievances against the mother country But each colony was jealous of the others Farsighted leaders in England and America tried to persuade the colonists to take united action on common problems but they failed One of the efforts was the Albany Congress It was called to meet in Albany NY in 1754 at the beginning of the French and Indian War In spite of the danger to all the colonies only seven sent representatives to discuss plans for unified action in relation to the war and the government
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