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Steven Bucher
Mr. Herrmann, Mr Rutherford
AP U.S History
2 August 2015
Crossroads of Empire Review
Chapter 1 - The Origins of the Middle Colonies
In the beginning I found it a pleasant surprise that the Native Americans of the region
were included with such detail. I was expecting to just have a small section on the Native
Americans and just their location, but instead their lifestyles, warfare tactics, and trade with
neighboring cultures were included. The wars these Natives went into were also mentioned,
During the middle years of the seventeenth century, the Five Nations battled their rivals in what
became known as the Beaver Wars, both for access to the European markets and for the
possession of furs (Landsman 18). I did wonder however what happened to some of the Natives
after the first European settlers came to the Delaware area? Although some conflicts between the
Dutch and the Native Americans are mentioned, the outcomes of the Native American were very
brief and they do not mention the specific tribes or cultures of the Natives involved. The Dutch
launched a series of attacks in which they slaughtered more than one hundred villagers in what
would become New Jersey and Westchester County (Landsman 25). Nowhere is the names of
the tribes attacked mentioned. Overall I found this chapter very interesting and well written in
explaining the first Europeans in these areas and their initial effect on the natives.

Chapter 2 - The Dukes Dominions

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The beginning of this chapter consisted of good background knowledge of some of the
big powers of England and those who controlled the colonies in America. James spent his
formative years in Catholic France. Ever after, he displayed many attitudes that would have been
recognizable in that kingdom(Landsman 34). It gave me a better understanding of their actions
towards their colonies in America. I also found the use of real citizens of the time interesting.
Giving examples of a real person living in that time to get a better understanding of what is going
on helps me better grasp the situation of this time in New York. When the author was trying the
explain the Covenant Chain, he made it clear that it was something that could not be explained as
a set of regulations but how it was interpreted many ways between the cultures involved. I found
this surprising and interesting how he actually said that it was something that could not be
explained in his text. Giving details of some revolutions in England also really helped explain the
repercussions the revolutions had in the colonies, specifically New York.

Chapter 3 - Penns Proprietary


I really enjoy the fact that this chapter focuses on one major person alone, rather than
multiple in chapter two. I found that only really following one main person in this chapter easier
to follow and really understand why they did the things they did. William Penns charter in the
Middle Colonies was really in depth and informative. There was a good section in this chapter
about the Quakers, why they immigrated to America, the religion itself, what the majority of
people thought of it, and even giving examples of some of the first Quakers in America. At a
very early point in Quaker history, two Quaker women turned up in Massachusetts
Bay.Puritan authorities were not pleased to see them and had them imprisoned and then sent
out of the colony(Landsman 59). Before reading I had very little knowledge of this religious
sect and found this background info quite helpful. I also found the detail into the government

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Penn tried to create in Pennsylvania very interesting and well explained. Towards the end of the
chapter I also learned how William Penn lost his charter for a number of years and found that
quite surprising and expected because I had never heard of that before.

Chapter 4 - The Commercial Crossroads of the British Atlantic


I found this chapter to be a well-needed break from the development of colonies. I really
enjoyed how it went in depth into the economy, and lifestyle of the colony and the colonists.
Another thing I liked about this chapter is that each of the different countries perspectives and
goals with the colonies in terms of trade and commerce were explained in their own sections.
The Dutch West India Company never planned extensive settlements within the mid-Atlantic; it
was not land they were after. Theirs was to be an empire mre of trade than of territory
(Landsman 80). Also including what the Quakers contribution and effect they had on the
economy was very informative and interesting. One thing that the author does that helps me
picture the area is included overview pictures of the area of the time. I found it very interesting
having a city blueprint of Philadelphia at the time.

Chapter 5 - The Crossroads of Cultures


I really like how this book sticks with a section of history and in each chapter seems to go
through it chronologically explaining about each culture and group of the time. I also like how
each chapter splits up a different part of life and lifestyle of the colonists. Splitting the different
religions and ethnicities into different sections of the chapter really helped clarify things and
keep everything organized. It also gave me a better sense of what kind of tolerations each
religion had towards others. Even going into the history of some groups to better understand
where their toleration or lack of came from made things more explained and believable. Even

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for Protestants in the Netherlands, toleration was not universal (Landsman 114). There was one
thing that was not explained very much which was the Edict of Nantes. So I looked it up on
http://www.britannica.com/event/Edict-of-Nantes and found out more about it.

Chapter 6 - The Crossroads of Philosophy and Faith


I found the background and history of the European Enlightenment a good refresher of
what was going on at the time. It also gave good insight onto what kind of things went on in
Europe that affected the colonies. I liked how there were divided sections of each religion or
nation that was a direct cause for the Mid-Atlantic Enlightenment. Having also included a big
part of the enlightenment's affect on women was very interesting. The kind of literary culture
Smith encouraged extended not only to men but also to women. (Landsman 155). Before
reading this chapter I had no idea there was an Enlightenment in the American. I also found it
interesting how the author included a big section to the establishment of colleges in some of the
colonies as a result of the Enlightenment.

Chapter 7 - Politics at the Crossroads


As the last chapter of this book, I actually found it my least favor of them all. However it
did go indepth into the politics of the era and the area very well. I felt like there were too many
different names mentioned getting me confused on who did what when. When Alexander and
his law partner William Smith Sr. sought to defend the jailed printer, the judge, James DeLancey,
had Alexander and Smith disbarred.(Landsman 186). It was these kind of statements that made
me go back through the text again to remind myself who was who. That is my only criticism with

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this chapter and otherwise it was a very good detailed chapter like the previous ones. I did find
that fact that it did give a really good feel of how citizens were affected and how they affected
the politics as well really interesting. Like previous chapters the author splits up the regions own
experiences with the topic of the chapter into different section, giving more structure and clarity
to what is going on. Overall I found this book a very informative and detailed work describing
the Middle Colonies during the pre-Revolutionary Era.

End of Book