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The 13 British colonies along the Atlantic seaboard had an immediate and lasting influence on New France and English settlement in Canada. In 1607 The Jamestown colony in what would come to be known as Virginia was established as the first permanent English settlement in North America. By 1620 the Plymouth colony is founded by the Pilgrims in Massachusetts.

The area of New Hampshire and Maine are colonized and the Massachusetts Bay colony is established at Boston which is to become the most important city in the New England colonies. From 1634 to 1636 Maryland, Connecticut, and Rhode Island are established.

The initial colonies were mainly charted by the king or were groups looking for religious freedom. Some were established with indentured servants who were colonists that had agreed to take a subservient role almost approaching that of a slave, for a period of time in exchange for their passage to America or for a sum of money. The period could last anywhere from a few months to several years. This structure allowed richer colonists to assure themselves manual labours to build up their interests in America.

By 1670 the practice of indenture servants was dying out in the colonies and was being replaced by slavery. African natives were captured - sold into slavery, transported to America and sold at auctions. The popularity of tobacco and growing demand for cotton required many labourers in the south although slavery was initially present in all of the colonies.

The English colonies were sandwiched by the Spanish settlements to the south and New France to the North. Colonial relations were merely an extension of European politics and when war was declared in Europe, it was also conducted in America. The English colonies grew very quickly in America and were much more diversified the economy of New France which really revolved around the fur trade. A brief examination of the population growth shows that the French colonies were always on the verge of being overwhelmed by the English colonies.

Population In Thousands in America

  1770 1750 1740 1720 1700 1690 1670 1650 1630
English  Colonies 2780 2148 1170 905 466 250 210 111 50
French Colonies 70 55 42 25 16 12 3.2 3.1 3

Population in Thousands

The American colonies were not as closely controlled by Britain as New France was by France. This resulted in an open dynamic economy in the British settlements with religious, economic and political freedom somewhat above that of New France. Initiatives in the British colonies were usually undertaken by the colonists and this built up an independence, confident ruling class that were prepared to take action and in fact more then willing to in situations such as the taking of Louisbourg during the War of Austrian Succession. New France was able to compete with the English colonies for land, influence of the native people, on the battlefield and in commerce and it was a tribute to New France that they were able to expand as much as it did until the final confrontation in 1759 which was a close run thing.

By G Scott staff writter,  2012 - Canadahistory.com - section:eras, subsection England Arrives




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Reference: www.canadahistory.com/sections/eras/eras.html