16th and 17th century America
Ever since the 16th century, America has undergone on a massive scale, a sustained process of fusion of the cultural values of peoples of different ethnic origins and of groups. America has been the land of hope and promise ever since its discovery. These promises of hope and a better brighter future have always attracted immigrants from all parts of the world to America. The early 1600s saw the beginning of a great tide of emigration from Europe to North America. Spanning more than three centuries, this movement grew from a trickle of a few hundred English colonists to a flood of millions of newcomers. Impelled by powerful and diverse motivations, they built a new civilization on the northern part of the continent.
Most European emigrants left their homelands to escape political oppression, to seek the freedom to practice their religion, or for adventure and opportunities denied by their homeland.
In the 1600's severe economic difficulties swept England. Many people could not find work. England was a queer country whose main import was woolen cloth. Sheep and people where overcrowded in the land. Landlords enclosed farmlands and evicted the peasants in favor of sheep cultivation. Colonial expansion became an outlet for this displaced peasant population. Poor crop yields, famine and disease added to the distress.
At the end of the period of turmoil associated with the Protestant Reformation in England, the English people became free to turn their attention to some other matters and to seek new opportunities outside their tiny island. Many Puritans in England were persecuted in England because they felt that the Church of England, led by the King, did not enforce a literal enough interpretation of the Bible. Persecution punishment included jail and even execution. Although they enjoyed the freedom of...