I have to write an essay over the summer for my class starting next year, here it is:
"Historians sometimes view the first hundred years of the colonial experience mainly as preparation for the last fifty." (quoted from White, pg. 209 12th edition American Pageant)
In reacting to this sentiment, discuss the changing character of the American colonies from Roanoke and Jamestown, through the 17th century (1588-1700).
IN OTHER WORDS...........------> When "we" settled Jamestown, we were British--approximately 100 years later, we had become "American" with distinct cultural features that distinguished us from the British Mother Country. Discuss how you can perceive this change.
I DON'T KNOW WHERE TO START!!! Anyone with thoughts on this, please, it would help me so much.
Look at what was distinctive about the last 50 years of the colonial experience - identify some key features that are notable within the American colonial experience. Once you have a few of those nailed down, explore the forces that caused these changes. Just think about what would be needed to effect these things and write a paragraph on it.
If it just says to "discuss how you can perceive the change" then you're pretty much set at that point - if it's not asking you to do any outside research, it shouldn't take too terribly long to pick out three or so interesting facets of late colonial America and just note how they came into being.
One easy one would be how they handled military matters - the idea and execution of a local militia is really interesting and quite in-depth if you take a little time to look into it.