The Influence Of Colonization In America

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When Christopher Columbus voyaged to the Americas in the late 15th century, many European nations saw the New World as an opportunity to expand their empires. A common factor between the four main colonizing powers, England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands, was a desire to grow economically, seeing the New World as a land of prospective wealth. However, these powers did not always share the same viewpoint as one another, especially when it came to religion. In both cases, these various takes on colonization can provide an insight to the beginnings of the United States and how its future history and present identity came to be.

One of the driving factors behind colonization for all four powers was wealth. In the 16th century, England experienced an economic crisis (Powerpoint). With widespread poverty and unemployment, people looked to the New World as a way to try and escape their low-class status. The first English settlement to arrive was Jamestown, sponsored by the Virginia company. The purpose of this settlement was to advance England economically. John Smith, one of Jamestown’s leaders, argues the various economic benefits the New World provides in his work, Description of New England. He says, “I should doe here [New England] to gaine wealth sufficient” (Smith, 133). The same was apparent in Spain, where most settlers went to the New World to improve their economic status (Powerpoint). In addition to the Spanish Conquistadors, the Spanish crown was also
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