European Colonization of North America

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How did European settlers choose where to live in America?

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There were several reasons that European settlers chose a specific area to live in. However, nearly all of these reasons deal with the resources the land could provide. For example, Jamestown was chosen because it provided security. Jamestown was on a peninsula that protected the Europeans from their Spanish threats. Secondly, there was a vast array of fresh and sea water fishing capabilities. Imagine you were a settler at this time—you would want to place yourself in an area that provided as much protection and food as you could.

As the years progressed, colonies began to evolve and offered many other reasons for settlement, particularly religious protection. If you were Puritan, you would likely choose New England as a destination. Quakers would settle in Pennsylvania. Another reason for settling in an area was the person's career in Europe. A farmer in Europe would probably choose a Southern colony to continue his work. All of these reasons played a role in why Europeans settled where they did.

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