June 14, 2013
Part One: Early Settlers of the American Colonies
Early settlers of the American colonies came to the future United States for a variety of reasons. Settlers set off to the new world and left their families, friends, and homes to start new lives. Under those circumstances, why would they still go? Religious oppression. Both the Protestant and Catholic churches were fighting for power in England. When Britain was under catholic powers, the protestant people were persecuted, and fled to the new world in hopes of being able to worship in their own ways freely. Another reason was economic struggle in Europe. Due to economic struggle, people were losing ...view middle of the document...
Journals of many explorers described their findings of wealth, which the Europeans were enthralled by. Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella desperation to spread Christianity throughout the world and acquire riches led to Christopher Columbus to set sail from Palos, Spain on August 3, 1492 with the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria. On October 12, 1492, Columbus arrived at the Bahamas, although he was confident he reached shore of the East Indies ("Study Notes - Free AP Notes," n.d.).
Christopher Columbus’ initial endeavor to America led to many power-hungry European leaders to advocate many expeditions in hopes to establish outposts, spread religious beliefs and seek treasure. The Indian civilizations of Central and South America were prime targets because of their abundance of silver and gold ("Study Notes - Free AP Notes," n.d.).
Stories of America captivated French rulers, but they were more interested in finding a westward passageway to Asia. In 1524, the French king authorized Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazano to pursue a passageway through America, where he came to the coast of South Carolina and sailed north as far as Nova Scotia, but found no valuable treasure or passageway. Exploration to the New World by Jacque Cartier began a religious civil war between the Spanish Catholics and the French Protestants, or Huguenots. In 1603, King Henry IV brought an end to the French war of religion, and in 1608 Samuel de Champlain founded France’s first uninterrupted settlement in Quebec ("Study Notes - Free AP Notes," n.d.).
Colonial expansion was ministered by a number of factors. England’s population was growing at a fast pace. Economic recession left many unemployed, poor crop yields added to the anguish, and the Industrial Revolution created a flourishing textile industry. The textile industry demanded wool, which led to enclosed farmlands for sheep grazing and farmers without anywhere to live. The law of primogeniture, or first born, left many younger, entrepreneurial sons to seek prosperity elsewhere. Thus, colonial expansion became an outlet for these deranged populations ("Study Notes - Free AP Notes," n.d.).
In 1606, King James granted a charter to the Virginia Company of London, a joint-stock company, to colonize Virginia. The charter’s motive was to seek out gold and then find a passageway through the New World to the Indies and Asia to establish English influence and power, and spread Christianity. On May 24th, 1607 three ships of 100 male settlers aboard landed near the moth of the Chesapeake Bay where Jamestown was founded, the first permanent English colony in the New World ("Study Notes - Free AP Notes," n.d.).
England’s official church was the Anglican Church during Queen Elizabeth’s reign from 1558 to 1603, there was amplifying tension between Protestants and Catholics at this time. Protestants wanted to restore the “pure” Christianity of the New Testament and rid of the Catholic additions, and became known...