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Colonial Reasons for Settling in America

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Throughout the colonial period, the British settlers in North America had more reasons than just economic. Religion was a huge component in the settling. The New World offered not only vast riches and land, but also religious freedom.

The Puritans and the Quakers traveled to the New World to escape persecution. James II tried to restore Roman Catholicism in England and jailed or killed any other religious sect that got in the way of total conformity. The Puritans originally got a charter to venture out economically, but once other Puritans heard about this migration, they made a plan to go for religious freedom. Once in the New World, the Puritans established Massachusetts. This guaranteed religious freedom to practice openly. The Quakers established Pennsylvania after they traveled to the New World and were fined. Many English people of religion frowned upon the Quakers because of their beliefs in no predestination, original sin, and salvation only through God.

Economics was the first reason to colonize the New World. The lures of the New World included vast riches and an abundance of land. The first attempts to colonize failed, but finally, the London Company colonized Jamestown after three tries. Jamestown didn't make a quick profit as was expected, but it eventually did after tobacco and indigo, two major cash crops of Virginia, were cultivated. Another reason that a quick profit wasn't made was the Native Americans. When the colonists first arrived in the New World, they didn't know people already inhabited it. Fights started occurring periodically because the English would go on their land without permission. This destroyed some goods the English would grow and thus lessen the exports, which gave them a profit.

As my final point, economics was one of the major reasons that the British colonized but they did not outshine the religious reasons. Most of the colonists were religious immigrants and many established colonies, like Massachusetts and Pennsylvania, were based on religious freedom.



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