The New England Colonies Questions and Answers

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Explain why people accepted the New England Federation.

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The main reason why settlers accepted the New England Federation was that it was a means of providing for their mutual safety. By banding together, the colonies of Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Connecticut, and New Haven agreed to support each other if they were attacked by indigenous or outside groups. It is important to remember that the region was still a largely unexplored wilderness in the 1640s, and these settlers were living on the edge of the known world. Other European powers, particularly the Dutch, also had designs on the region. By banding together, they hoped that they would be less vulnerable.

There were other reasons why many of these early colonists supported the federation. It united them together as fellow Puritans (that is why Rhode Island was not admitted). It also gave them the opportunity to settle land and border disputes between the member colonies. They agreed to also extradite runaway indentured servants and fugitive criminals to each other. All this mutual support in their uncertain circumstances made the federation attractive to many.

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