Social Studies - 2018-19

VS.3a - Reasons for English Colonization

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

a) explaining the reasons for English colonization.

Adopted: 2015


  • 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 British North America was Jamestown, which was founded in 1607 as an economic venture.


Reasons for English colonization in America

  • England wanted to establish an American colony to increase its wealth and power to compete with other European nations.
  • England hoped to find silver and gold in America.
  • An American settlement would furnish raw materials, 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 British North America.


Updated: May 18, 2018