Explain how the English colonies became the most populous and powerful region in North America by 1700.

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pholland14 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Simply put, the English colonies became more powerful than the Spanish and French colonies because more English people made their homes here.  English colonists created cities and lived on large farms.  These people needed finished goods from Britain as well as military protection from Indians and potential invasion by the Spanish and French.  England saw opportunity in the New World; it was a place to send religious dissenters (New England) as well as debtors (Georgia).  These people could in turn send back tobacco, cotton, lumber, and foodstuffs to Britain.  As the number of English people increased due to immigration and the higher birth rate than in the Old World, they expanded their influence by moving farther inland, thus claiming more land for Britain.  Before 1700, people in Britain and the colonies agreed that expansion was a good thing; expansion would slowly drive out Spanish and French influences.  England was also able to possess the land by virtue of having the most powerful navy and merchant marine in the world to protect and resupply its colonies.