European Groups’ Motives to Migrate to America
The beginning of European migration with Americans resulted in numerous factors such as escaping political subjugation, seeking freedom of religion, searching for opportunities they were rejected at home. In the early 16th century, economic challenges rocked England.
Many people, even trained artisans, were unemployed and had poor living standards. In addition, the textile industry also created a high demand for wool. For these poor peasants, the only solution was the expansion to new territories. These immigrants introduced fresh ideas and new religions in America. The Americas eventually adapted these new contributions to society leading to significant changes. English Protestants were solely responsible for forming the Quaker Colonies of Pennsylvania and Massachusetts with an aim of building a place to worship their religion without interruptions and with social order. These individuals came to America in search of asylum.
The Caribbean islands were also the main target for European immigrants. They formed distinct colonies in these areas. While the Spanish mainly claimed settlements in Hispaniola, Cuba, and Puerto Rico, the English mainly settled on Jamaica, St. Kitts, Barbados, and Antigua. Their main economic activity was growing crops. This followed failed attempts in growing tobacco and cotton. Their main crops were sugar cane, which made them wealthy while in the Caribbean.
Distilled sugar founds its way to the mainland and parts of Europe, in the form of rum. Sugar spurred significant competition between the French, the Spanish, and the English. Each of these nations aimed at expanding their societies to other territories, creating a massive empire with a grand economy and wealth. These countries became fearful of encroachment by other countries into their land. The Native Americans most likely felt the same when Europeans initially landed in The New World.
Throughout history, immigration was due to social factors rather than natural phenomena. These factors include insufficient food supply and the quest for religious or political autonomy. Migrations of the Jews, Puritans, Huguenots, Quakers, and others to North America were mainly in search of religious independence.