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During the Colonial period, as settlers trickled in from the Old World, it was only after many years of economic unrest that this became possible. The New World was a prosperous land for change. There, settlers had the freedom to pursue aspirations that were far less tangible in England. One of the most pressing issues that led to the colonization of the New World was the need for more and cheaper products beyond the Mediterranean; this was ultimately the first step in the many ways that the New World created economic prospects for those yearning for a more prosperous future.

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Economic concerns of the settlers in North America were notably greater than religious concerns during the colonial era, due to the decline in the British economy and lack of financial opportunities. Economic concerns were also what ultimately led to the colonization of North America as the desire for silver and gold, and the need for a passageway to the Indies and China became a must for England. Queen Elizabeth herself sponsored voyages over to the New World in hopes of rivaling Spain’s control. Before the colonization had even actually happened, economic concerns were what got England n North America in the first place.

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In 1606, the Virginia Company of London received a charter from King James I of England to create a settlement in the New World. The main thing to be taken away from this opportunity was, of course, the promise of gold. As the settlement of the New World continued, more and more young men filtered in. The agonizing tradition of fortune being left to the oldest son was not satisfactory for many second sons, and so the prospect for fortune, land, and recognition commenced in America. While many did not have land in the Mother Country, it was ass to come by in the New World.

Opportunities for wealth were bountiful and run rampant as cash crops swept the settlers. Tobacco, the “brown gold” was cheap and in-demand in England. This crop was literally turned into instant revenue for the colonists. Even more cash crops such as indigo, corn and wheat attracted many settlers to the land. The slave trade was also an example of how economy was a more pressing issue. Africans were brought as early as 1617 to support the masses of crops growing throughout the colonies. The slaves helped make up an economic system, where they ere paid for by money, and produced crops that were turned into money.

When the Royal African Company lost its monopoly, Americans were presented with yet another opportunity to cash in on the slave trade, making the economic system that settlers had built to thrive on, even more complex. While religion did have an effect on the settlers, the economic prospects were what kept much of the settlers in America. And while maintaining a strong, united religious community was important for many colonies, it always came down to whether or not it was possible to uphold a prosperous lifestyle.

Economy and religion were the two sole reasons for colonizing America. Religion d play a role in the lives to settlers, but as more and more colonies emerged permitted religious differences (such as Rhode Island) it seemed the thing that united the colonists together was not the need for a similar belief system, but the need for firm economic foundations that could be built upon. As a result of this, economic concerns far outweighed religious concerns as more and more settlers of different belief systems came to call upon the New World for a new set of standards.

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Kylie Garcia

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