Economic vs. Religious

As the English civil wars commenced, the Great Migration and harsh persecution between Catholic and Puritan powers made religious concerns the primary cause of settling the British colonies; after the intensity of the British economic problems died down, the settling of the British colonies for economic concerns further died down; as a result, the statement that economic concerns had more to do with the settling of British North America than did religious concerns is somewhat invalid.

As the civil wars commenced, colonies were founded as a haven for religious resection back in England. Puritans want a “New England”. Separatists created the Plymouth Colony because they wanted to completely separate from the Church of England. Also they wanted a haven to live peacefully as English subjects and purified Protestants. Moderate Puritans create Massachusetts Bay, because they felt reform was too slow. Persecuted by Charles II and James I previously who felt resentment towards Puritans. “We shall be that city upon a hill” – Winthrop, founded to be a model religious society.

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Great Migration of Puritans. When there was a Catholic crown. Bloody Mary slaughtered Protestants. Wanted a place for them to create their model society. Connecticut founded by Puritans who wanted more church- government alliance, a religious concern. Maryland, a Catholic Haven In Protestant dominated England, Catholics persecuted. Lord Baltimore founded it for Catholics to have a haven. “Act of Toleration” created, settlers moved there for religious concerns. Colonies were founded to form an opposition against other religious policies like Rhode Island.

Roger Williams was a radical Puritan, who questioned Massachusetts charter. Rhode Island where there would be religious freedom for all. Was created to bread his beliefs. Quakers William Penn wished to undergo his “Holy Experiment” Attempts to make Pennsylvania haven for Quakers and had religious toleration for all besides Christians and Jews. New Jersey, Delaware dominated by Quakers, founded based on similar religious concerns Georgia Created as a buffer against Catholic Spanish by Protestant England Also for strategic reasons.

Economic concerns Promise of better economic mobility 90% of peasants in England landless, 90% in America had land Many under poverty line that they would risk their life (even though 40% of indentured servants would never make it) Economic depression hit the woolen trade Landlords had to close down lands for sheep grazing TFH small farmers had to move down to tenancy or lose Jobs. Population growth in addition to the failing economy, unemployment rates skyrocketed.

Perfection of Joint-stock companies Were a hope for those previously failed early enterprises Enabled large numbers of investors to invest in explorers Were designed to make “profit”, therefore for economic reasons Virginia Company of London soon starts colonization process via Jamestown 1607 British Economy and Mercantilism Were suffering from gold/silver for lumber trade with Russia Gold and silver was hard cash” while lumber turned to ashes British was slowly losing their “slice” of the pie of wealth Therefore needed to find more resources, therefore settled in North America Headlight System Those who were poor could take a chance at a new life and 50 acres of land if they work up their dues. Became especially noteworthy in the English civil wars, or as an opposition against other religious policies; economic concerns were more focused primarily on the Chesapeake and some other corporate colonies while the British economy was declining. As a result, the statement is somewhat invalid.