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Early American History

            Although European colonies in America were founded on the basis of European culture, America spawned an entirely different society. One of the most dramatic examples of this antithetical development was the inability for the feudal system to develop in this novel setting. Since feudalism is a political and economic system based on a lack of useable terrain, it was unsuccessful in the "New World" due to its wealth of land. Hence, its failure in the "New World" forced "Americans" to derive their own culture from a European one which had been driven by the feudal system. The abundance of land and the consequent failure of feudalism to take root in America had profound consequences for the development of Anglo- American culture. .
             The Feudal system, which was hugely successful in Europe, failed to take root in America for many reasons. The feudal system is where the lowest echelon of society, the peasants also called "Serfs," worked a "Lord's" land in exchange for protection and a place to live. This system relied on the scarcity of land in Europe. "For centuries the problem in Europe had been that of securing enough land for the people, but in the New World the elements in the equation were reversed." The abundance of land in the "New World" gave poor Europeans a chance to own their own land. In Maryland, Lord Baltimore tried to erect a feudal aristocracy. His efforts did not work due to the fact tenant farmers knew of and could obtain free land to the West. .
             The "New World" enjoyed its new culture in contrast to the old ideas of European Feudalism. Massachusetts Bay's code of law "The Body of Liberties" stated an out right refutation of feudalism. The code proclaimed that, "All [Americans] lands and heritages shall be free from the fines and licenses." The end of feudalism marked an uprising of many new ideas. Class mobility, which was nonexistent in feudal Europe, was a reality. Without restrictive hierarchy and class immobility, a staple of feudal Europe, Americans were free to elevate themselves in the world as a result of hard work.

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