The American Journey © 2009 New York Edition
Section 1: Early English Settlements
After defeating the Spanish Armada, England became more interested in establishing colonies in North America. The first colonists arrived on Roanoke Island in 1587, but within three years, they had disappeared. Colonists with the chartered Virginia Company of London arrived in Chesapeake Bay in 1607, and built the first permanent English settlement in North America. Under the leadership of Captain John Smith, the Virginia colonists of Jamestown grew tobacco, improved relations with Native Americans, and began to prosper.
Section 2: New England Colonies
Unlike the Jamestown settlers, the Separatists who settled the Plymouth colony considered themselves religious pilgrims, and came to North America to practice their beliefs freely. The Pilgrims drew up the Mayflower Compact to establish laws for themselves, but would have perished if they had not received help from Native Americans.
To escape religious persecution in England, thousands of Puritans migrated to North America. Most settled in Boston under the leadership of John Winthrop. These Puritans had little tolerance of different beliefs, leaving those who were persecuted to establish new colonies in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Conflicts with Native Americans over land led to King Phillip’s War, which ultimately left the Native Americans in New England powerless.
Section 3: Middle Colonies
After seizing the Dutch colony of New Netherland, the English renamed it New York and formed the New Jersey colony. The land that became the colony of Pennsylvania was given to William Penn as payment for a debt to his father. Penn intended the colony to be a home for the pacifist Quakers, negotiated treaties with Native Americans, and designed the city of Philadelphia.
Section 4: Southern Colonies
Maryland began as a safe haven for Catholics who were being persecuted in England. Many Protestants settled there as well, which led to religious and political tensions. Meanwhile, Virginia settlers continued to push westward, in defiance of agreements Virginia’s governor had made with Native Americans.
Although originally intended to be one colony, Carolina split into North Carolina and South Carolina. Georgia was founded in 1733 for poor people and debtors. The Carolinas and Georgia developed into major Southern Colonies.
The French were able to establish good relations with Native Americans as they gradually expanded their lands, along with their fur trade, towards the interior of the continent. Spain founded settlements in the Southwest of the present-day United States. The Spaniards built missions to convert Native Americans to Christianity. Native Americans were forced to labor in fields and workshops.