Essay on English Colonization: Early Virginia and Puritan Massachusetts

3 pages
566 words
Middlebury College
Type of paper: 
Critical thinking
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It is imperative to acknowledge that in the course of the seventeenth century, both the Dutch and the French colonies had developed their colonial ambitions in various parts of North America. It was in direct contrast to the Spanish colossal who had the entire global empire. The Dutch and French mainly remained focused on the small-scale commercial operations on their fur trade, and this made it possible for them not to primarily attract the influx of most of their immigrants into the region (Appleby 67). However, it was until in the 1600s when the Dutch Republic emerged as one of the major commercial centers in the area. The fleets plied most parts of the waters in the Atlantic Ocean as their ships sailed to various portions of the world such as the Far East. The country traded in prized spices such as pepper that would later be sold in the bustling ports such as Amsterdam (Appleby 68). Due to the booming business, the Dutch settled on the Manhattan Island. However, the new Netherlands failed to attract most people to the colonists, and the problem of the shortage of labor made the Dutch to welcome non-Dutch into the region, which included the English. The Dutch West Company later found out that the aspect of colonizing the region was too expensive for it to undertake. The French, on the other hand, made extensive contact with the local natives to avoid perishing and to advance their motive of colonizing the region. The eruption of the Beaver wars between the rival native people, which spread throughout the great lakes region, affected the French in undertaking their colonial programs in the region (Appleby 70).

The English had not established themselves permanently in the region by the seventeenth century. It was their policy that immigration more as opposed to the French, Spanish, and Dutch who made their numbers to augment in the region within a minimal period (Appleby 72). The problems of overcrowding and grinding poverty back in England encouraged the migration process into the colonies. It is important to state that thousands of the English migrants had arrived in the colonies of Virginia and Maryland mainly to undertake their tasks as laborers on the tobacco farms. Another stream of the English migrants from the Puritan families established their settlements in various areas such as Massachusetts and New Haven among other places. The English colonization in most parts of North America was promoted mainly by the need either to import the raw materials that would be used back at home or to provide the readily available markets where English products would be sold. This aspect led to the large increment in the number of English in these regions (Appleby 74). The unemployed, single, and impatient young Englishmen came to the region in large numbers and this enhanced the chances of the colonization of such regions by the English. The Chesapeake colonies of both Maryland and Virginia played the critical role in the enhancement of the English empire in the seventeenth century mainly through their provision of tobacco as the cash crop of the Englishmen and women. The early struggles by the English in the region, which later led to the development of the tobacco economy, played the critical role in facilitating the colonization of the region by the English (Appleby 76).

Work Cited

Appleby, Joyce. Capitalism and a new social order: The Republican vision of the 1790s. NYU Press, 1984.

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