English Colonies in North America (Ap Us History)

1253 WordsOct 1, 20126 Pages
AP US History English Colonies in North America Before the seventeenth century, countries such as Portugal and Spain had controlled the rich lands of the Americas, and England was left out of the race due to religious conflict back home. However, when Queen Elizabeth came into power, England’s power also rose in the colonial game in the America. Some of the first colonies they gathered are the ones of Virginia and Carolina. They also acquired the colonies of Massachusetts Bay and Rhode Island. Pennsylvania and New York were other colonies that they gathered too. These six colonies are a part of the famous first thirteen colonies that we know of today, and their formation and purposes helped to form America into the nation it is today.…show more content…
John Winthrop was a prominent figure with his formation of Boston, the “City upon the Hill.” While the colony did not have universal suffrage, all “freemen” (Puritans) had the right to vote, and that represented about forty percent of the population. Religious leaders then, had great power, but they weren’t allowed to hold public office, which was one of the first representations of separation of church and state. While the Puritans came to America for religious freedom, they had little regard for religious dissenters, which led to the formation of another colony, Rhode Island. Roger Williams, a minister, disliked how Puritan morality was seeping into laws and government, as well as the colonists’ treatments of natives, and because of his beliefs, was banished from Massachusetts Bay in 1635. After his banishment, he established Rhode Island, a colony built upon total freedom for all people, including the unpopular Catholics and Jews. Since Rhode Island was open to all religions, “outcasts” and refugees from Massachusetts and other colonies followed Williams to Rhode Island, leading to the colony being nicknamed “Rouge’s Island.” An uncommon difference in Rhode Island from other colonies, was that it was self-governing, which meant little interruption from the crown back in England. This allowed Rhode Island to remain its ideals of religious freedom for all, and also to be called the “traditional

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