As the English began to settle in the New World, several groups of Europeans found regions in which they could govern and form their own societies upon. All foreigners had different motives for settling in North America; all foreigners also faced the same obstacles as they settled. These obstacles included contagious diseases, discord from native tribes, anarchy in their governments, and the settlements of other foreigners on the continent. Each settlement faced similar obstacles; however, their backgrounds, ideas, and hopes for the future structured the way they handled complicated situations.
The first permanent English settlement in the new world was the Jamestown Colony, named for King James I. It did not begin prosperously. Early troubles included lack of profit, diseases throughout the colony, internal discord with the native peoples, and confrontations with the Powhatan Indians. The Pilgrims of the Mayflower crossed the Atlantic to escape Anglican persecution in their homeland. Hoping to leave a lasting imprint on the coastal region of New England, the Puritans formed a strict society rooted in fairness. They acquired land and attracted settlers with their beliefs.
The Jamestown colonists, along with the Puritans, created societies that held true to their previous beliefs; their beliefs would be their purpose for their future. The Jamestown Colony was situated on the Chesapeake Coast of Virginia. The Colony was chartered by the Virginia Company of London in hopes of developing profit. Unfortunately, the investment did not create the profit they had hoped. Settlers were not familiar to the diseases of their new land. Cases of dysentery, malaria, drought, and malnutrition carried off several settlers.
A program involving indentured serving was advertised in England because their colonies needed settlers. Many signed up to become servants to land owners in Virginia in order to obtain a free passage from England. The “free labor” eventually lost popularity, as it simulated the concept of slavery. Black slaves became more economical for plantation owners. Slavery became acceptable as the years passed, as the ideals of colonists were changed. Slaves had absolutely no rights. Eventually, the House of Burgesses, a form of government with a regional body, was formed to lead the colonists.
Puritans traveled to Massachusetts to establish a society. They wished to live apart from the guidelines of the church. Similarities between the Catholic Church and the Anglican Church were not recognized by this group. They were influenced by John Calvin, the Swedish protestant leader. These Puritans found land to create church-governed societies ruled by ethics. They also carried diseases that spread among the native peoples. Unfortunately, they faced internal discord and violent confrontations with the natives.