Guest Author - Rebecca Graf
The English colonies succeeded because they found what would bring them success in each of the colonial areas. The Chesapeake colonists found that tobacco would give them the edge. Through this product, they were able to supply Europe with their smoking supplies. Discovering how to raise and manufacture sugar also proved to be lucrative to the colonies. In the end, this also helped them to expand as they began to ruin the environment in the West Indies, they moved to the Carolina area to start over but not learning enough from the lessons of the Indies.
The ability to practically take in an unlimited amount of people also helped them expand. Unlike the West Indies, the mainland had thousands of acres to offer the settlers and even more beyond the Appalachian mountain chain. (1) Europe had become cramped and the land had become stripped. Trees were not as plentiful and wild game was only for the royalty. In the New World, the common man could have meat which in the end led to healthier people and more robust settlements than could be found anywhere else in Europe.
It all came down to the fact that they had the manpower and the ability to give back to Europe enough commodities to increase the monetary status. Many died from disease and wars with the Indians, but more came to replace them and not just from England. There were more freedoms in the New World, more food, more room, and more opportunity. Instead of focusing on God, the English focused on putting down roots and creating a civilization. This gave them the advantage over the Spanish and even the French.
(1) Alan Taylor, American Colonies: The Settling of North America, (New York: Penguin, 2001), 137.
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