Which was more a reason for the colonies, economic or religious?

Essay by puddlesuyeji January 2007

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The statement "Throughout the colonial period, economic concerns had more to do with the settling of British North America than did religious concerns." Is a valid statement. Religion also had to do with settlement, but economic concerns were the more important to England.

British first turned to America for profits alone. They began trips to the New World after other countries had for new materials and trade ports. Although some countries may have initially turned to America for religious reasons, England was more concerned about competing with other nations economically.

Some companies were founded to make profits specifically, in the New World. More specifically, companies such as the Virginia company, and the Dutch East and West India companies, were made for collecting gold and silver. These companies may have given more religious tolerance, but only if it benefited those companies, respectively.

A large amount of the population came from indentured servants and slaves.

Indentured servants voluntarily came to the New World, and were hired for someone else to make money. Slaves were forced to America for someone to make money. They were also forced to accept some form of Christianity, which is not a reason for someone to come to America for religious reasons. Their old religions were in no threat in Africa, so they had no religious reason to come to America.

In conclusion, economics were more important than religious reasons, for British settlement of the New World. The fact that England profited has a lot of significance to the fact that the economics were more important. Also, many of the trade port cities became important for the American Revolution.