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Colonial Immigration

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Question: Why did so many people move to colonial America?
In the 1600s, immigration began. Throughout the 1600 and 1700s, the population in colonial America increased rapidly. This was caused by a variety of reasons: enslavement, economy, exportation, religious purification, and freedom from the English government. One of the main reasons Africans immigrated to America was because they were either coerced or forced to come to the colonies from Africa as slaves. In Olaudah Equiano’s The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Odudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African, Equiano was sold into slavery unwillingly and came to America. This is just one of the many stories of the slaves who were brought there. Another reason many people immigrated to the colonies was in order to make a better life for themselves in a land of opportunity. William Penn’s “Some Account of the Province of Pennsylvania in America” promoted immigration the colonies by advertising that the land was cheaper in Pennsylvania because it was unsettled and that, because of the scarcity of labor in the colonies, the wages for labor are higher there than in England. This appeal brought many small farmers and laborers to the New World. In Clarence Ver Steeg’s The Formative Years, 1607-1763, yet another reason for immigration is mentioned. According to Ver Steeg, political economists in England decided that their country was overpopulated, and they determined it was necessary to export people to the colonies. Of course, they exported the criminals and those in debt to the colonies so that they no longer had to worry about them or overpopulation. In 1630, John Winthrop, leader of the English Puritans, gave a sermon titled “A Model of Christian Charity” to a group of his followers. In this sermon, Winthrop stated that the main goal of their group was to purify the Church of England, and the best way to do that was to be free of the Church and come to New England to settle their new religion. Thus,...

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