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Seth Ditizio History 67 Short Paper Jan. 31, 2000
England's Colonization of America The seventeenth century saw a huge emigration from England to the eastern coast of America. Religion and the lure of wealth were the main reasons for English colonization of America. The people of England would also find comfort in matching or even surpassing the Catholic Spainard's empire in the Western Hemisphere. Virginia, New England, and Pennslyvannia were the Largest of the English Colonies in the seventeenth century. Each had their reasons for being founded, and would run into different problems once founded. One reason for the slow development of English colonies in America was that no one person had enough money to start a settlement. This changed with the introduction of "joint stock companies". A large group of people could invest their money into a new settlement and have no fear of losing their money. They would also share in any profit that grew out of the settlement. England, in the 1600's, saw a rapid growth in population. Jobs and food were in high demand and short supply. Many people in the large cities and a lot of people in the countryside decided to go to Virginia, specifically, Jamestown. Jamestown was started in 1606, by Sir Thomas Smith, on a tract of land given to him by James. It was to be used to set up large plantations. Jamestown ran into many problems. Disease, Indian Attacks and food shortages were just a few. Most of the settlers died, and since the settlers were overwhemingly male, there was no one to repopulate the colony. Jamestown was an overall disaster except for introduction of a milder tobacco by John Rolfe. All the land in and around Jamestown, including vacant lots, were used to cultivate tobacco. Jamestown failed but did leave a large number of people all over Virginia. Pennslyvannia was nicknamed "the holy experiment". It was started on a piece of land given to William Penn by the King of England. Penn was a Quaker. Quakers were a group of people that came about during England's civil war. They saw no need for religious officials, and felt anyone's opinion was as good as anyone elses. They also disagreed with many protestant ideas. Most Quakers were of the lower classes, however Penn was the son of a prestigious English admiral. People speculate about why Penn was given the land in America. Some say the king wished to get the Quakers out of England. Penn needed people to invest in his settlement, so he had pamphlets distributed all over Europe. He promised religious freedom, and that is what gave. People from all over and a lot of different religions moved to Pennslyvannia. Pennslyvannia was the most diversified English Colony in America. The people of New England were mostly there to exercise their religion. Many were Puritans. The Puritans first left England for Holland, but soon feared that they children were being influenced by Dutch society. The Puritans then decided to move to Virginia and set up a godly colony. Due to poor navigation the Puritans ended up in New England. Before landing at Plymouth Rock the Puritans set up the Mayflower Compact, an agreement to "covenant and combine our selves together into a civil politick". After a lot of long, hard years the Puritans of this colony would eventually be abosrbed by the other religious pilgrams in New England. They all lived in an are called Massachuttes Bay. Rhode Island and Conneticut were founded by religious exiles of Massachusetts.