What Is One Reason Colonists Came To America

What is one reason colonists came to America?

Asked on by bianca1993

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mmartin382's profile pic

mmartin382 | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

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There are numerous reasons colonists chose to settle in America.  The most obvious reason was for an opportunity at a better life.  Many colonists came from Europe, and Europe during the colonial period was quite stagnant in terms of social or even economic growth for the individual.  By coming to settle in America, colonists could expect to find opportunities not present in their native countries, such as jobs, owning land, religious freedom, and even social advancement.  America was the ultimate chance to start new and to create an existence that was entirely crafted by individuals for themselves.  Of course there are a number of other reasons why colonists settled in America, but the reason of opportunity is perhaps the most obvious.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One reason why colonists came to America was to escape religious persecutions.

Those who settled on coming to America did so because they faced intolerant attitudes towards their faith.  Essentially put, the people who came to America from Europe did so because they were being bullied.  Their belief systems were different than what was accepted in England. The society from which the colonists left stressed a homogeneity in religious belief.  Different religious expressions were not seen as socially acceptable.  Nonconformists were harassed for their beliefs. Some of this harassment included imprisonment and, in some cases, even death. 

Those who would not sacrifice their faith set sail for the new world.  For many, undertaking such a difficult journey was a small price to pay for being able to worship the divine in the way they saw fit.  They felt that their attempts would constitute "a city on a hill," a place of sacred worship where religious expression could be fully realized.  Some saw their endeavors as a "holy experiment" of their faith.  Even colonies like Jamestown which were founded for economic motives, still held religious institutions. This shows how spiritual expression was a major part of colonial life.

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sellefsen1 | College Teacher | (Level 1) eNoter

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The early British colonization efforts focused on finding wealth in the form of gold and silver. However, the British colonists found natural resources and land, which held riches through settlement, agriculture, and exploitation.

Appalling economic conditions in the "Old World" and the lack of religious freedom contributed greatly to immigration and colonization. With the unknowns and dangers the North American continent possessed, the will to establish a new beginning proved exceptionally steadfast among immigrants. The continent offered vast opportunity to establish an effective existence amidst the American wilderness.

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