has been discovered the Europeans saw it as like an evasion from
political and religious oppression. In addition, between 1620 and
1635 England have seen economic difficulties due to it many people
couldn't find work even skilled artisans. An other determinant fact
is the growing textile industry created by the industrial revolution
of that time, this activity demanded an over increasing supply of
The rate of immigration to the new world has grown from a few
hundreds of English people to a flood of millions of new-comers.
Several nations encouraged their people to move to America. The
first immigrants to what is now the United States of America came on
board of over crowded ships.
The movement to the new world in England was not sponsored by
the government but by private groups of people whose chief motive
The first of all British colonies was Jamestown, established by the
Virginia Company, in 1607, which had been granted a charter from
king James I for the Chesapeake bay. Lots of problems occurred in it
and the Virginia Company couldn't maintain order there soon after it
had become around 1624 a royal colony.
Another settlement the actual Massachusetts which was established
around the year 1620 by the puritans. This religious group was
oppressed in Europe so they decided to move to the new world on
board the Mayflower.
Other colonies were established by the Dutch such as the New
Netherland by the year 1607, settlements in the island of Manhattan
begun in 1620 which was completely purchased from the local Indians
on 1624 for the reported amount of 24$. The Maryland with its first
established town in 1634 near where the Potomac river flows into the
between the colons and the Indians was a mixture of a friendly and a
hostile attitudes. The first settlers couldn't survive unless the
help of friendly indigenes who taught them how to cultivate local
crops. The eastern tribes developed trade relations with the
colons. therefore those tribes had access to technology they traded
for knives , weapons cooking utensils, fish hooks... so the tribes
who traded with Europeans had significant advantage over their
rivals. The Europeans demanded fur pelts.
But that didn't mean that there were no skirmishes between
them, series of wars had occurred the first most important one
took place in 1622 in Virginia, then other clashes occurred like the
one between the pueblo Indians with the Spanish and the Pima
Indians with the Spanish in what is now Arizona.
As settlers move deep into the western part skirmishes with Indians grow.
The Iroquois, who inhabited the area below lakes Ontario and Erie
in northern New York and Pennsylvania were more
successful resisting European advance. The Iroquois were a
league composed of five tribes formed in 1570, In addition the
league was a strong power in 1600s and the 1700s they traded with
the British and fought with them against the French for the war of
the dominance of America from 1754 and 1763, the British might not
have won that war without the support of the league.
the mid-17th century the problems in England caused a lack of
attention toward the British colonies. So defense measures was not
provided to the colonies. Therefore, the Massachusetts, Plymouth,
Connecticut & New Heaven colonies formed the New England Confederation,
it was the first attempt at regional unity.
Further more, various rebellion movements have been seen in the British
colonies. The most significant revolt was the Bacon's
Rebellion in 1675, its main motive is to defy Virginia's governor
William Berkeley and so to defy the British empire. However, the
revolt wasn't successful because of the death of Nathaniel
Bacon in 1676.
All those clashes returned the attention of the British
government to America. Therefore new colonies were
established New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania.
In addition, the Dutch have been driven out of New Holland.
The privates who sponsored the movement to America used all kind of
methods to persuade people of the benefits to immigrate to the new
world. As an example,
William Penn the founder of Pennsylvania publicized The
Opportunities Awaiting Newcomers To The Pennsylvania Colony.
Those who have prison sentences to do they had been given a second
chance to go to the new world instead of going to jail.
The poor colonists who couldn't finance their travel they have come
to America under the Indentured Servants System. The system
works this way: If one person can not pay for his trip, one of the
Colonizing agencies such as The Virginia Agency Carry him , In
return indentured servants agree to work for the agency as
contract laborers, usually for four to seven years. Free at the end
this term, they would be given "freedom dues" sometimes
including a small tract of land.
There is one exception, is the case of Africans, the first Black
people who stepped on America was brought to Virginia in 1619, at
the beginning they were regarded as indentured servants who could
earn their freedom but it wasn't the case and they were brought to
America for a life time of involuntary servitude.
Most of the
people who moved to the new world, by the 17th century, were
essentially English but there were also Dutch, Swedes, German,
French, Africans, Spaniards, Italians, Portuguese...In 1690 the
American population was estimated to be a quarter of a million, it
reached 2.5 million in 1775.
To follow this demographic expansion, Colonies developed by
created towns which played the role of big commerce centers such as Philadelphia
in Pennsylvania. Even towns have developed to comply with the needs
of their inhabitants. Therefore, shops, markets, town halls
were created, in deed Lots of docs have been built to ensure
linking between the colons and the mother nation England.
The most important factor that helped the development of the
colonies is that although those colonies' citizens were from different
origins ( English, Swedes, French, Danes, Scots, Irish, German,
Bohemians, Portuguese, Norwegians...) they forces their
efforts together lived in harmony under a unique government.
Therefore, they developed a sort of synergy that helped the economic
development of the colonies. This synergy was seen especially in the
middle colonies ( Pennsylvania, Delaware...) which were more
cosmopolitan and tolerant then New England. The southern colonies
were predominantly rural ( Virginia, Maryland, North & South
Carolina and Georgia) their economy is based on the great planters
and the yeoman farmers.
colonial period, colons gave a major importance to education; so
they begun establishing schools and colleges, Harvard in 1636 in
Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the same period of time the of William
and Mary in Virginia, the collegiate school of Connecticut which
became later Yale collage.
In the Massachusetts in 1647, the Puritans required from each colony
in the Massachusetts Bay having more than 50 families to establish a
Grammar School( to prepare students for college) and shortly all the
New England colonies followed its example. Further more in
Philadelphia numerous private schools taught languages, mathematics,
In addition, many booksellers have made good commerce since 1680
especially in Boston. And in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 1704 the
first newspaper in English was lunched, by 1745 there
were 22 of them.
The most important cultural event of that time was a religious
movement known as the Great Awakening. It was a religious reaction
to the the prosperity of the towns, which prompted fear that the
devil was luring society into pursuit of worldly gain.
Along the colonial period in North America, there were lack of
control by the English government. Therefore, the colonies learned
bit by bit how to institute a self-government system. On major
factor that helped establishing this system is that the proprietors
of the colonies such as the Virginia company issued a instructions
to its appointed governor providing that free inhabitants of the
plantations should elect representatives to join with the
governor and an appointive council in passing ordinances for the
welfare of the colony. So the free men of the colony had a voice in
legislation affecting them. That was the case of most of the
colonies, the king of England had transferred his immediate
sovereignty over the new world settlements to stock companies and
proprietors but they must be residents in England so
settlers have no participation in electing the members of the
From an other side the colonists have inherited the tradition of the
Englishman's long struggle for political freedom. So the orders from
the outside withered away. In addition, the broad distance
separating America from the mother nation and wideness of the
colonies helped with generating a self-reliance of the settlers so
soon they felt the difference between American and English
Colonial politics in the early 18th century resembled English
politics in the 17th. The Glorious Revolution
(1688-1689) that deposed James II affirmed the supremacy of
parliaments. So the colonial assemblies attempted to assert their
rights and liberties by holding tow significant powers by the early
18th century: The right to vote on taxes and expenditure, and
the right to initiate legislation instead of following merely the
proposals of the governor. In this way, the colonial legislatures
established the way of self-governing.