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Why did the first European settlers come to America?

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November 21, 2011 5:19AM

Some wanted the opportunity to practice their religion without danger of being jailed or worse (such as the Puritans in Massachusetts and Quakers in Pennsylvania); some wanted to make money by trading manufactured things from Europe for the valuable natural resources of the Americas (such as the Dutch in New York State and the French in Canada), some wanted land and a home of their own, which they'd never have a chance for in overcrowded Europe; some wanted adventure; some were scoundrels who avoided jail only be agreeing to sail to America and founding a colony (Georgia's first settlers were all convicts, for example).