The vast majority of immigrants to the original thirteen colonies in the early 1600s came from England. Initially, these were primarily Puritans fleeing religious persecution, as well as some risk-tolerant merchants who wanted to set up commercial colonies. The former settled in what became the Massachusetts Bay Colony and then spread out over New England, while the latter started to settle in Virginia, and soon spread to the Carolinas.
Joining the English settlers in the 1600s were the Dutch, who settled what later became New York and New Jersey, when the British seized that land through military conquest in the mid-1600s. Originally, however, the fertile farming land settled by the Dutch in the Hudson River Valley was named New Amsterdam. Aside from the English and Dutch, Scottish and Irish laborers also came to the colonies in the late 1600s and early 1700s, often as indentured servants. Some of the more affluent Scottish settlers were Presbyterians (essentially Scottish Puritans), who had also fled religious persecution in their home country. Finally, in lesser numbers, there arrived French Protestants, called Huguenots, who had fled religious persecution in France. This latter group should not be confused with the French Catholics (Jesuits), who first settled in Quebec (Canada) in the late 1500s.