The New England Colonies

Start Free Trial

Why were the New England colonies founded?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The colonies of New England were established in order to provide a home for English religious dissenters. The Pilgrims initially went to Holland but they soon realized that they wanted to retain their English culture but practice their religion the way they wished. In 1620 they arrived in Plymouth where,...

See
This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

The colonies of New England were established in order to provide a home for English religious dissenters. The Pilgrims initially went to Holland but they soon realized that they wanted to retain their English culture but practice their religion the way they wished. In 1620 they arrived in Plymouth where, after months of hunger and attrition, they sought to create their own "city on a hill" which would serve as a model for the rest of the world. The Pilgrims sought to leave the Church of England as they thought it too similar to the Catholic Church. England was more than happy to see them go as it would later become English habit to allow troublemakers to leave rather than persecute them. Over time, the descendants of these Pilgrims became quite successful. They believed in the Elect meaning that God preordained some people to go to Heaven. In order to show that one was in this group, one was successful since it made sense to them that God would smile upon those called the Elect. Through hard work and thrift, the New England colonies thrived. England benefited from this as it got rid of potential problems as well as gained foodstuffs and timber from New England. As New England grew due to population growth, England could also claim a larger portion of North America and have a stronger claim to it than the Spanish or French who claimed large portions of land that were barely inhabited by Europeans.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team