Social Studies - 2017-18

VS.3a - Reasons for English Colonization

The student will demonstrate knowledge of the first permanent English settlement in America by

a)  explaining the reasons for English colonization.

Bloom's Level: Understand

Adopted: 2008


Learning about a person or group's motives (reasons) for doing something can help us understand the results of their actions.

Countries have many reasons for establishing colonies.

A desire for more wealth and/or power is a major motivation for individuals, groups, or countries.


Some European countries, including England, were in competition to increase their wealth and power by expanding their empires to America.

The first permanent English settlement in America was Jamestown, founded in 1607 as an economic venture.

What were the reasons for English colonization in America?

What were the reasons why the Jamestown settlers came to America?


Compare and contrast historical events. (VS.1c)

Draw conclusions and make generalizations. (VS.1d)

Interpret ideas and events from different historical perspectives. (VS.1g)

Analyze and interpret maps to explain historical events. (VS.1i)

Reasons for English colonization in America
England wanted to establish an American colony to increase its wealth and power.

  • England hoped to find silver and gold in America.
  • An American settlement would furnish raw materials that could not be grown or obtained in England, while opening new markets for trade.


  • Jamestown was primarily an economic venture.
  • The stockholders of the Virginia Company of London financed the settlement of Jamestown.
  • Jamestown, founded in 1607, became the first permanent English settlement in America.


Colonization, competition, permanent, wealth, raw materials, stockholders, Virginia Company of London, economic venture, peninsula, King of England, charters, settlement, General Assembly, House of Burgesses, burgess, legislative, governor, governor’s council, Portuguese, African, diverse, hardship, marsh, agriculture, Captain John Smith, Powhatan, Pocahontas, tobacco

Updated: Apr 29, 2016