What were the reasons the colonists left Britain?



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People left Great Britain for its American colonies for a number of reasons. Many were indentured servants, who went to places in the colonies to work for a certain period of time in return for land or other compensation awarded when they completed their terms. Some others were compelled to leave, and became indentured servants, out of debt or indigence. Others were "transported," i.e. sent to the colonies as punishment for a crime. Some came willingly, out of a desire for cheap land. A relatively small proportion came seeking religious freedom. These included, most famously, the Calvinist settlers in New England, but many Quakers also settled throughout the colonies. There were also communities of other religious dissenters, Mennonites and Moravians for example, who settled in pockets around the North American colonies. Some young men, especially those who did not receive a suitable inheritance, came to the colonies to attempt to make their fortune as land speculators, merchants, or other similar occupations. Above all, those people who had a choice came to the colonies from Great Britain because they saw economic opportunities that were simply not available at home.

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