New England Colonies Essay

622 words - 2 pages

Many of the New England colonies were formed as solutions to escape religious pressures in England. The European religions, or lack of, affected the social relationships and in certain cases, the economic links that the settlers had with the Native Americans. Many of the European settlers did not understand the native people's religion and the differences between the two religions impacted their relationships. Pennsylvania, Jamestown, and Florida are all examples of these impacts.
Founded by William Penn as a haven for Quakers and other members of The Society of Friends, the colony of Pennsylvania serves as an example of how religion had a positive influence on the settlers' relationship with the natives which led to a successful economy. Victims of religious persecution themselves, the Quakers strived to maintain a peaceful relationship with the natives. Because the religion they practiced called for religious tolerance and a life of nonviolence, the Quakers and the Native Americans were able to peacefully coexist. Their religion also prompted Penn to do right by the Indians: paying them for their land and forming regulated trade with them, which positively impacted both their economies and societies. Overall, the Quaker religion had a large impact on the success of the colony and their relationships with the natives.
An example of how important religion is to having a successful relationship with the natives would be the colony of Jamestown. The settlers of this colony were all adventurous men who came to seek fortune, not convert others or escape religious persecution. The members of their colony were not priests or holy men, and this lack of religion made it harder for them to form bonds with the natives. The settlers did not understand the native's different religion and concept of land ownership; they stole natives' dead's ceremonial food and disrespected them. Their actions and misunderstandings led to skirmishes and an overall rocky relationship with the Indians, until...

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