British Colonization

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Britishcolonists came to America for different reasons. Some individualscame for commercial profits while others entered the New World forreligious freedom. For the colonies that were started for profit, theBritish administration granted charters to joint-stock firms orventuring proprietors. When the British arrived in America, theyfound the French and Spanish settlers, as well as Native populations.In the early 1600s, the African slavery contributed to changingAmerica’s demographic profile. The English settlers’ initialattempt to colonize America was witnessed at Roanoke in 1584 (Peskin&amp Wehrle, 2012). However, the venture led by Sir Walter Raleighwho was seeking to expand the British territory was unsuccessful. The explorer had earlier led a voyage across the Atlantic andestablished novel discovered land for the British crown. Between 1585and 1590 the British made attempts to settle in Virginia, an areanamed after the unmarried Queen Elizabeth I who was commonly known asthe “Virgin Queen”.

Agroup of businesspeople identifying themselves as the VirginiaCompany of London made a decision to settle in Jamestown in 1607signaling the first wave of British settlers in the new world (Peskin&amp Wehrle, 2012). The company was highly optimistic of acquiringprofits by discovering gold and silver in the colony. However, thefirst settlers, who were around 104 people in number did not do wellin the new colony as they encountered distress, hungry, and illnessesbecause of a different climate. The Jamestown colony survived as itwas always receiving supplies from England to foster its sustainment.The hardships encountered by the first settlers of Jamestown resultedin the introduction of the first prominent British leader in theregion in the name of John Smith. With Smith’s leadership, moresettlers arrived in Virginia and its environs and spurred a rapidexpansion of the British colonies in America.

TheVirginia and Plymouth companies, which were assigned to the Atlanticseaboard of America by King James I oversaw the introduction of thethirteen colonies of America. The settlements included Massachusetts,Plymouth, New England, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, NewJersey and Pennsylvania among others (Peskin &amp Wehrle, 2012). TheBritish had come to colonize America as they were looking for newlands to support their shipbuilding industry as England had becomehighly deforested. Tobacco was also another cash crop that attractedBritish settlers to America as it offered agricultural boom for thecolonizers.


Peskin,L. A., &amp Wehrle, E. F. (2012). America and the world: Culture,commerce, conflict. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

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