The Importance Of Colonization Of North America

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The seventeenth and eighteenth centuries were characterized as the age of exploration and colonization for Britain. The relatively recent “discovery” of the Americas attracted a lot of prominent nations. Among these nations were France, Spain, and Britain. To make a country’s presence known in the New World, they’d have to colonize. All three governments took over their own swatches of the Americas, Britain claiming a slice of North America. A slice meaning its East coast. This slice was split into four different regions: The New England Colonies, the Middle Colonies, Chesapeake, and the Southern Colonies. The colonies that made up the New England region were “New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island” (Olson-Raymer). …show more content…
Colonists “realized that they had lots of land to care for, but no one to care for it” ( 1) and the system of indentured servants came about. Indentured servants were “freemen (from Europe, mostly) that signed contracts to offer free labor for a number of years (5,7,10) in exchange for free passage to the colonies” (Dockswell Slide 22). A common thought would be that because indentured servants and slaves did the same work, they were all equal. This was not the case. Indentured servants eventually earned their freedom after a number of years and were given a severance package of sorts that contained “corn, tools, and clothing” (Stratford Hall). Many African slaves, on the other hand, gained their freedom from successfully running away or …show more content…
“The earliest settlers soon realized that they had lots of land to care for” ( 1) and the way they came to own so much land was through the headright system. “The headright system encouraged additional immigrants by giving 50 acres to anyone who would pay his own fare to Virginia and 50 additional acres for each person he brought with him” (Cornell, et al 40). If land was not enough of an incentive, political gains were included in landowning in America. “In the eighteenth century, the right to cast a vote belonged largely to white, male property holders” (Crews). On top of this, in the colonies, white property owners made up “about 10 to 16 percent of the nation 's population” (Infoplease 1). Therefore, moving to America for those who could pay their own way and did so of their own free will, they could be a part of the economy and had some influence in politics.
The significance of the British settlements in this New World ran deeper than its contribution to trade. It also paved the way for better lives for the oppressed and less fortunate from the Old World. There was residual effects of the Reformation in England in the 1600s creating various sects of Christianity. A faction of Puritans called “Separatists, bent on further reformation, argued for complete separation from the established church” (Cornell, et al

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