Immigration is the movement of people from the home nation to another nation with the intention of residing there permanantly. Emigration is the contrasting term referring to the movement of people permanantly leaving a nation. Heavy emigration occured in the 17th and 18th centuries from Europe to North America. There were major pressures from both areas that gave rise to these flow of immigrants, encompassing the push and pull factors which led to this. Push factors are influences that encourage the migrants to leave their place of origin. They include such things as overpopulation, war, social unrest, natural diaster, and lack of economic opportunity. The influences that encourage people to migrate to a specific location are pull factors. Available work, religious or ideological toleration and political stability encourage immigration. These two factors combine with other influences to determine the overall structure of migratory movements. Millions of Europeans migrated, many resettlling in colonies established by their home countries.
The first immigrants to colonial America came almost exclusively from Western Europe. During the first decades of the 17th century, settlers from England colonized Virginia and New England. In 1607, the British presence was established in North America when the London Company established a settlement in Jamestown. (Atack and Passell, pg.29) The English settled into Virginia in the low lying fertile areas around Cheapsake Bay and along the rivers of the coastal plain to the south. This was the largest example of one of the pull factors of North America: the lack of manpower. The earliest New England colonies were financed by commericial inerests with profits foremost in mind. Virgina and Massachusetts were the most important mainland colonies in the mid-seventeenth century. Connecticut and Rhode Island were first settled in the 1630s.
The physical layout of North America established the pattern of...
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