Trying to determine what the motives of the migrants to the new world were is a difficult quest because motivations were diverse depending on the colonies. The migrants could be motivated by economical considerations. They thought they could have a better life, to be richer in North America by escaping hard times in the mother land. There were also religious considerations. Leaving to North America was seen a new start, as a way to build a society more conform to religious behaviours.
We can wonder if religious purposes were the determinant factors or not of immigration in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and as a consequence if religion lies at the heart of Early American identity. As New England was a good example of this paradox between economic and religious purposes in emigration we will focus on the Puritans to point out their motivations.
[...] In 1629 Charles began a campaign of persecution and repression against them. This led to the migration of thousands of Puritans to New England. In 1629 a group of wealthy Puritans created a Company, the Massassuchets Bay Company and 200 settlers left for Massassuchet Bay. They wished to establish city on the a New England model of reform for old England. The Puritan migration was called the Great Migration because more than 20000 people migrated to Massachusetts between 1629 and 1643. [...]
[...] Moreover Europeans used American Indians and Africans to do the difficult and arduous employments. It made life in the colonies less taxing for European settlers. As a consequence more and more people started to believe that they could improve their circumstances by emigrating. Moreover there were more and more from the mid-eighteenth century single women and family units who decided to migrate to America. Obviously men still remained a distinct majority. It revealed that the settlers started to emigrate with the idea of migrating permanently to America. [...]
[...] Religion lies at the heart of early New England identity. Finally, reasons for emigration were very complex and various. There were differences among colonies in America. Indeed tobacco and sugar plantations of the South were more attractive, at least at the beginning, for those who expected to make their fortune. That is why many young people all over England made their way to the South. Moreover these motives could changed even after the settlement because migrants understood that their voyages might offer others kind of opportunities Concerning New England religious purpose was the most significant factors, especially in the seventeenth century. [...]
[...] Finally New England's society in seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was quite different from others North American societies. Early New England displayed a distinctive social character. Other colonists tried to create social harmony as well but it was not as religious as Puritans one. Puritan heritage set apart New England society. Religious and social ideals were closely linked. Early migrants imbued their society with a deeply spiritual significance. Puritanism played a great role in it. The emigrant population in New England was socially homogenous. [...]
[...] They do that and accepted these ideas because the majority of emigrants responded to a common spiritual impulse in moving to New England. Emigrants only concerned with their own material improvement would scarcely have acceded to an ideal of mutual cooperation. Most colonists, at least those of the seventeenth century, placed above all the good of their souls. Virginia Anderson, a professor from the University of Colorado wrote an interesting essay (Viginia Anderson. Religion, the common thread of motives in Karen Kupperman. [...]
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