The Colonising Activities of the English Puritans: The Last Phase of the Elizabethan Struggle with Spain

The Colonising Activities of the English Puritans: The Last Phase of the Elizabethan Struggle with Spain

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The Colonising Activities of the English Puritans: The Last Phase of the Elizabethan Struggle with Spain

The Colonising Activities of the English Puritans: The Last Phase of the Elizabethan Struggle with Spain

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The first forty years of the seventeenth century in England, primarily of interest as a period of constitutional conflict, was marked by an outburst of romantic activity that sent hundreds of Englishmen out into the western seas in search of adventure and profit. Coincident with the later days of these half-piratical expeditions and organised commercial enterprises were the migrations of those who, moved by impulses that were partly religious, partly political, and partly economic, sought independence of worship and permanent homes in the New World. Though differing widely in purposes and results, these journeyings into the unknown West were often closely related in origin, and were supported by groups of men, aristocrats, commoners, merchants, and adventurers, who were ready to promote any undertaking, whether commercial or religious, that promised a profitable return. It is difficult to grasp the full significance of the settlements of Virginia, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Saybrook, without a knowledge of the circumstances under which the colonies of Bermuda, Barbadoes, and Old Providence were established; for all represented in different forms and proportions the influences at work in the motherland which were arousing in men of all classes the spirit of adventure and revolt. No single motive governed the men who voyaged over seas during this romantic period. The zeal of the viking and the lust of the capitalist were inextricably interwoven with the hopes of the godly in the task of opening and occupying the great frontier which stretched westward from the maritime states of Europe.

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