Causes Of Early Colonization Of North America

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Early colonization of North America can be categorized by three distinct groups: English French and Spanish. Between the years 1598 and 1763, all three of these groups settled into new territory in the hopes of gaining wealth and power. Each group had an approach to the problems faced in the New World. Factors such as native relations or religion played their role in shaping each colony. However, when the French decided to compromise with the Natives over land, their colonies failed; as opposed to the British and Spanish who exploited their Native populations and achieved successful settlements. From the moment English settlers arrived in America, there were conflicts between them and the natives. One of the earliest examples was the mystery of the lost colony of Roanoke because “[the English] had gotten into some trouble with the natives there” and the colony ended up missing (Herman, lecture). Years after, the Puritans arrived and established Plymouth and later the Massachusetts Bay Colony. However, at this point, English settlers were aware of native peoples and that their colonies was disrupting existing settlements. The Puritans used both their religion and the concept vacuum domicilium to justify this. Under the idea of vacuum domicilium, there is a “claim that the one who develops the land owns it,” which applies only to the European definition of “developed” (Herman, lecture). Religion was a justification used not just by the Puritans but other English settlers
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