Which was the stronger motivator for English colonization of North America, religion or profit?

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Although the answer to this varies from colony to colony, profit was the stronger overall motive for colonization.

It is true that religion was an important motivator in some places.  This was particularly true in New England where the Puritans colonized largely for religious reasons.  However, none of the other colonies was created so purely for religious reasons.  In the other colonies, religion was either absent as a reason for colonization or was only a minor reason.  Since most colonies were founded for economic reasons, we have to conclude that economics was the more important overall motivator.