Colonial America

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In the year 1620, a group of religious English Separatists sailed to what we now know as Massachusetts, hoping to find a land in which to establish a home, a place where they could worship God the way they wanted to. The settlement they created, the colony of Plymouth, would become just the second British settlement in all of America. Though their original ship, the Mayflower, brought just thirty-five people, and only a few hundred lived in the other British settlement, Jamestown in Virginia, these two places were the starting points of an emigration and new society that grew to include millions over the next hundred and fifty years. Despite initial struggles, these two groups persevered, and their colonization is what led to the America we …show more content…
Many people felt oppressed or opposed the ways of life in their homelands in Europe, especially during the religiously turbulent times of the 1600s. In England, which had been switching between Protestantism and Catholicism over the last century, a new movement began of Separatists, or Puritans. Though England was Protestant at the time, they believed the current practices of the Church of England were too Catholic. They wanted to simplify religion, or “purify” it of Catholic practices, making it simpler and more about straightforward worship than the Catholic Church’s symbolic ceremonies. They believed in making a new place where they could practice their religion freely. Ideas such as that were encouraged by Sir Thomas More’s popular book Utopia, which depicted a theoretical “perfect” society, in which everything was shared and the people were treated fairly. Among the many details mentioned in the book was that in the perfect island of Utopia, no religion was banned or criticized, and those who practiced different religions were free to do so in peace (Doc. 2.1.) This idea appealed to the Puritans, who imagined their own American Utopia. Of course, freedom to practice religion was not the only thing that drew potential settlers to America. Two cousins, both named Richard Hakluyt, promoted the advantages of going to America. Their reasons to …show more content…
In less than one and a half centuries, the settlements of Plymouth and Jamestown went from having a total population of barely a few hundred to nearly two million. The colonies grew as more and more people traveled to America, dreaming of creating a better life for themselves and their descendants. It was these dreamers that persevered in the face of countless hardships and were able to stay, letting America grow to its potential. More than anything else, what fueled the beginning of America as we know it was

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