Choosing a Colony

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When deciding what colony would have been the best to settle in during the late 1600s and early 1700s, there are many deciding factors to weigh. Pennsylvania would clearly be the most favorable colony to settle because of their good relations with the Native Americans, the religious freedom given to colonists, and their liberal government. First, and possibly foremost, is the colony’s relationship with the natives.

One of the most important factors when it comes to deciding where to live, whether in modern times or colonial times, is safety. And in colonial America, the biggest safety threats in most colonies were attacks from the natives. This is because the settlers of these colonies believed they were superior to the natives, and often intruded on their land, upsetting them and causing conflict. This mainly occurred in New England, the Southern colonies, and New York. Pennsylvania, on the other hand, had very good relations with the natives during this time period because of the Quakers’ belief that all people are equal in the eyes of God. This belief applied to the Native Americans as well. According to Richard Townsend, “as our worthy Proprietor (Penn) treated the Indians with extraordinary humanity, they became very civil and loving to us” (“Early Settlers in Pennsylvania”, American Spirit pg.64). Without the threat of imminent attacks by the natives, like in the other colonies, Pennsylvania would be by far the safest colony, and therefore the one most preferable to settle.

But safety is not the only factor when making a decision like this one, and Pennsylvania had other important things for settlers, such as religious freedom. During the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries, religion was very important when colonizing because in the South, colonies were almost exclusively Anglican, while in New England, Puritanism was the dominant religion. In Pennsylvania, Quaker was the dominant religion, but Quakers were tolerant of all peoples, so religious...
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