English Colonization

Topics: Thirteen Colonies, United States, Colonialism Pages: 2 (578 words) Published: October 10, 2013
Early settlers had a variety of reasons for seeking a new homeland. The Pilgrims of Massachusetts were pious, self-disciplined English people who wanted to escape religious persecution. Other colonies, such as Virginia, were founded principally as business ventures. Often, though, piety and profits went hand-in-hand. England's success at colonizing what would become the United States was due in large part to its use of charter companies. Charter companies were groups of stockholders (usually merchants and wealthy landowners) who sought personal economic gain and, perhaps, wanted also to advance England's national goals. While the private sector financed the companies, the King provided each project with a charter or grant conferring economic rights as well as political and judicial authority. The colonies generally did not show quick profits, however, and the English investors often turned over their colonial charters to the settlers. The political implications, although not realized at the time, were enormous. The colonists were left to build their own lives, their own communities, and their own economy in effect, to start constructing the rudiments of a new nation. What early colonial prosperity there was resulted from trapping and trading in furs. In addition, fishing was a primary source of wealth in Massachusetts. But throughout the colonies, people lived primarily on small farms and were self-sufficient. In the few small cities and among the larger plantations of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia, some necessities and virtually all luxuries were imported in return for tobacco, rice, and indigo (blue dye) exports. Supportive industries developed as the colonies grew. A variety of specialized sawmills and gristmills appeared. Colonists established shipyards to build fishing fleets and, in time, trading vessels. They also built small iron forges. By the 18th century, regional patterns of development had become clear: the New England colonies relied...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Analyze the Impact of European Colonization on Africa’s Social, Economic and Political System Essay
  • English Colonies, North and South (1993 Dbq) Essay
  • English Colonies Essay
  • English from being a national language to a global language Essay
  • Colonization of the New World Essay
  • European Colonization of the Americas and What It Meant for Native Tribes Essay
  • English vs. Spanish Colonization Essay
  • The Spanish, French, and English Colonization. Essay

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free