Economic & Religious Factors Critical to Colonization

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Early settlers had a variety of reasons for seeking a new homeland. The Pilgrims of Massachusetts were spiritual, self-disciplined English people who wanted to escape religious persecution. Other colonies, such as Virginia, were founded principally as business ventures. Colonists viewed America as a place they could go to practice their religion freely. However, most people looked badly upon religions outside of their own. One of the most close-minded settlements in America was New England, this was both a good and a bad thing as it brought the settlers closer together, but also pushed outsiders away. The Middle Colonies accepted many more churches, as there was a greater amount of ethnic and religious diversity. This shows the importance of religion by highlighting how it brought people with common religions together to form colonies and gave incentive to people who lived in England to immigrate to America for more religious freedom than they previously had. Colonists were provided with even more reason to practice their religion and continue their work in America for a better, more liberated life. England's success at colonizing, what would become the United States, was due in large part to its use of charter companies. Charter companies were groups of stockholders, usually merchants and wealthy land owners, who sought personal economic gain. While the private sector financed the companies, the King provided each project with a charter conferring economic rights as well as political authority. The colonies generally did not show quick profits. However, the English investors often turned over their colonial charters to the settlers. The political implications, although not realized at the time, were enormous. The colonists were left to build their own lives, their own communities, and their own economy. What early colonial success there was resulted from
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