"Economic concerns had more to do with the settling of British North America than did religious concerns"- Assess the validity of this statement.

Topics: Colonialism, North America, British Empire Pages: 5 (1527 words) Published: December 5, 2006
Despite the fact that both religion and economics played a part in the colonization of America, the statement that "economic concerns had more to do with the settling of British North America than did religious concerns" is valid. These economic concerns, as a cause for the colonization of British North America, outweighed the notable religious concerns that arose, and dominated colonial life during and up until the very end of the British colonial era in North America.

The vast economic concerns that caused British settlement of North America included the opportunity to discover gold and silver, to find a North American waterway that would lead directly to China and the Indies, and the hope of countering Spain's dominance in North America. In addition to these economic reasons for colonization, the English were also seeking to obtain the essential "raw materials" in America that they had been previously buying from other European countries for ridiculous amounts of money and gold.

Many Englishmen wanted to go to America in search of gold in order to better their lives. The economics in Great Britain were not great, some classes were falling and some were rising on the economic scale. The change from Feudalism to capitalism in Great Britain, in addition to the changes in classes and fluctuations on the economic scale, was upsetting the conditions in England greatly. Due to these changes, many people thought that a new start would be a good idea. They figured that they didn't have much to lose, so they might as well adventure to America with hopes of a better future.

Great Britain also sought to solve other economic problems through American colonization. For example, England needed to multiply and find more of its diminishing materials and resources, create another "market" to export its goods and merchandise, and maintain its powerful navy through business with new American colonies. In addition, New England wanted to provide a new place for the unemployed in their country to settle, rather than escalating crime and the economic burden in its own cities.

Many poor people in Great Britain were desperate and wanted to immigrate to America. They had hopes of starting a new life in the new world and becoming rich. These people primarily did this by becoming indentured servants for a set number of years. This was mainly during the seventeenth century, in which indentured servants made up three-quarters of all the English immigrants going to the Chesapeake region. Most of the indentured servants were originally English farmers who had been pushed off their lands due to the expansion of livestock raising and overcrowding in the countryside. At first many could not make the trip to America because they didn't have the money for passage. However, eventually people gained more hope because American landowners were in need of laborers and were willing to pay for a laborer's passage to America if they served them for several years. By selling passage for five to seven years worth of work, many poor people from England had the opportunity to go to America and eventually start a new life.

Though there were religious concerns that contributed to the settling of British North America, the economic concerns outweighed the religious concerns greatly. Some examples of religious reasons for the settling of America included the British wanting to have the Indians of North America converted to Protestant Christianity. In addition, specific groups that were looking for religious freedom used the British colonizing as a site to achieve this objective. Such groups included the Puritan separatists who had begun to lose their freedoms in England, and thus they became colonists in New England.

The Puritans, however, were able to immigrate to America not only for religious reasons, but economic as well. Many religious reasons for immigrating to America had an underlying reason that was economically related, the Puritans are a good...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Economic and Religious Concerns Contributing to the Settling of British North America Essay
  • Religious and Economic Concerns on the Settling of British North America Essay
  • Essay on "Throughout the colonial period, economic concerns had more to do with the settling of Britich North America than did religious...
  • Economic Concerns vs. Religious Concerns in the Settling of British North America Research Paper
  • Economic Concern in South America Essay
  • Essay on Concerns That Caused the Settlement of British North America
  • Essay about this is it
  • To What Extent Did the Political and Economic Effects of the Seven Years War in North America Help Cause the American War of Independence?...

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free
Small Dog Pet Puppy Hoodies Jumper Knit Sweater Clothes Coats Costume Apparel Us | Venom.German.DL.AC3.Dubbed.7... | The Incredible Hulk 1982 (13)