Comparison Of Colonies Essay

This essay has a total of 1828 words and 9 pages.

Comparison Of Colonies

There were various reasons why the American Colonies were established. The three most
important themes of English colonization of America were religion, economics, and
government. The most important reasons for colonization were to seek refuge, religious
freedom, and economic opportunity. To a lesser degree, the colonists sought to establish a
stable and progressive government.

Many colonies were founded for religious purposes. While religion was involved with all of
the colonies, Massachusetts, New Haven, Maryland, and Pennsylvania were established
exclusively for religious purposes.

Massachusetts's inhabitants were Puritans who believed in predestination and the ideal
that God is perfect. Many Puritans in England were persecuted for their nihilist beliefs
in England because they felt that the Church of England, led by the Kind, did not enforce
a literal enough interpretation of the Bible. Persecution punishment included jail and
even execution. To seek refuge, they separated to go to Holland because of its proximity,
lower cost, and safer passage. However, their lives in Holland were much different than
that of England. The Separatists did not rebel against but rather preferred the English
culture. They did not want their children to be raised Dutch. Also, they felt that Holland
was too liberal. Although they enjoyed the freedom of religion, they decided to leave for
America. Pilgrims, or sojourners, left for America on The Mayflower and landed in Cape Cod
in 1626. They had missed their destination, Jamestown. Although the climate was extremely
rocky, they did not want to move south because of their Puritan beliefs. They thought that
everything was predestined, and that they must have landed on this rocky place for a
reason. They moved slightly north to Plymouth Rock in order to survive more comfortably.
Also because of their Puritan beliefs, they had good relations with the Native Americans.
Their pacifist nature led the Indians to help with their crops. In thanks, the Pilgrims
celebrated the first thanksgiving in 1621. A second group of Puritans in England, the
Massachusetts Bay Company, came to Massachusetts for more economically motivated purposes
due to their non-minimalist beliefs.

New Haven and Connecticut were two other colonies founded exclusively for Religious
purposes. Many of the Separatists in Massachusetts felt that the religion was too liberal
inside of the colony. They felt that the beliefs were not being enforced enough and that
the people were not living through literal interpretations of the Bible. These Separatists
further separated themselves from Massachusetts and formed a new colony, New Haven.
Connecticut was founded by those separatists in Massachusetts who felt that the religion
was too strict.

Yet another colony established for exclusive, religiously motivated purposes was Maryland.
Roman Catholics, under George Calvert, the First Lord Baltimore, fled religious
persecution in England from the Protestants. Due to the immediate wealth from tobacco
harvesting, Protestants came over to the new colony seeking some of the wealth.
Ironically, the Protestants began to outnumber the Catholics, therefore once again making
them a minority although the Catholics had been trying to flee from the Protestants. In
immediate response to the Protestant immigration, the Catholics set up the Maryland
Toleration Act, which stated that all Christian religions would be tolerated. This was to
ensure the survival of the Catholics in Maryland.

Pennsylvania also was founded for the sole purpose of religion, but unlike the other
colonies, it began to increase toleration of religious diversity later on in the
progression of its settlement. King Charles owed William Penn, the founder of
Pennsylvania, a favor. Penn asked the King for some land in the colonies, in return the
King gave Penn a piece of the woods (Sylvania) in the New World.

The Quakers, like the early Puritans, were pacifists and minimalists. They believed that
God is perfect and had a strict interpretation of the Bible. Their beliefs included that
mankind is evil and that every man is born a sinner. At the start of their settlement,
they only accepted Christian beliefs. However, once settled in, they quickly proclaimed
that all religions would be tolerated in Pennsylvania in order to populate their colony.

Many colonies were founded upon diverse religions because their primary focus and purpose
was to make money or to populate the country. These economically motivated colonies
include New York, New Jersey, the Carolinas, and Pennsylvania after its change in

New York was established by Charles II's brother, the Duke of York. He announced that
every Christian religion would be tolerated in New York in order to populate his colony
and maximize his profit. New Jersey, in addition to New York, was also founded for
economic reasons. It was owned by proprietors, and therefore had diverse multiple
Christian faiths. There was a three-way division of Quaker, Puritanism, and Protestant
beliefs because of the three different proprietors who had their own original Christian
faiths. This division of the three different Christian faiths continued until 1702, when
all Christian faiths were accepted. This new toleration act was in order to populate the
colony and to increase profit. New York and New Jersey were not religiously motivated

Other colonies that were not solely based upon religion were the Carolinas. The people in
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