Colonization in the New World
Justin P. Wilson
With growing populations, limitations on land, and religious persecution, the desire and need for expansion to new lands was critical. Reasons for this are many, but the economic benefits and religious freedoms provided by this migration are extremely important to understand.
Over time and through exploration, the New World was discovered. As migration took place, many benefits were discovered by the colonists and western expansion took place. Though there were many reasons for this movement, the economics of these new lands along with religious freedoms were two of the main reasons for migration. War and limitations on land use caused a dire need for expansion. Persecution for religious beliefs made it desirable to seek new homes to freely ...view middle of the document...
“Second, the discovery of the Americas provided the Old World with vast quantities of relatively unpopulated land well-suited for the cultivation of certain crops that were in high demand in Old World markets.” (Nunn & Qian, 2010). With the migration, crops were traded between the Natives and the settlers. This exchange also allowed for an extension of current trade markets and the establishment of trading companies, versus trade between individuals. “Crops such as sugar, coffee, soybeans, oranges, and bananas were all introduced to the New World, and the Americas quickly became the main suppliers of these crops globally” (Nunn & Qian, 2010).
Religion in Europe was a sensitive subject. Years of religious difference created tears between the people and the Catholic Church. These differences, over time, began to lead the people to desire stronger changes than what was afforded to them.
Though the Church of England was established through the differences, the people wanted more. “To English people, however, the new Church of England was not reformed enough” (Brinkley, 2010). Puritans were established because of this, and though they were suppressed at times, had a desire for the new practice and began the process of migration to the new lands.
Though religious freedom had a significant impact on the reasons to migrate to the New World, economics had a far stronger affect. The prospects of open land, new crops, and profitable trades made the Americas a very attractive and worthwhile adventure for many willing to embark on it. Though many reasons shaped the eventual colonization of this region, religion and economics had a leading role in the push for discovery and expansion.
Nunn, N., & Qian, N. (2010). The Columbian Exchange: A History of Disease, Food, and Ideas. Journal Of Economic Perspectives, 24(2), 163-188. doi:10.1257/jep.24.2.163
Birkley, A. (2010). The Unfinished Nation: A Concise History of the American People. New York: McGraw Hill