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American Revolution
The Colonies

The Colonies
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 6 to 8
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   7.15

     challenging words:    jamestown, tenacity, uncivilized, acceptance, finding, riches, tolerance, courageous, droughts, govern, settlement, profitable, advantage, based, route, power
     content words:    Jamestown Colony, London Company, Only God

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The Colonies
By Jane Runyon

1     Can you imagine circumstances which would cause you to leave your native country? You would have to leave your home and your friends. You might even have to leave your family. Many young people dream of growing up and living on their own. But, most are able to communicate easily with those close to them. What was it, then, that drew the early settlers to this new land called America? What was it that made leaving their homes, family, and friends a positive decision? There are many answers to these questions. In fact, there are probably as many answers as there were people who immigrated to this new land.
2     Jamestown Colony in Virginia was established for trade. The trip to create a settlement near the coast of Virginia was sponsored by the London Company. It was their desire to take advantage of the abundant natural resources and set up a profitable trade route between the new land and Europe. Sturdy, courageous men would be needed to tame the area. These men were recruited from the streets of London. Some were adventurers who wanted to go for the thrill of exploring an uncivilized new world and perhaps finding riches for themselves. Some were taken from debtors' prisons. They had not been able to earn enough money to support their families. They were willing to work hard and jumped at the chance to restore their freedom while, perhaps, building a new life for themselves and their families. Some were criminals trying to keep one step ahead of the law. They, too, did not like the idea of being imprisoned. The promise of freedom and riches was enough for these men to leave their homes and start all over again.
3     Other settlements were started for another type of freedom, religious freedom. We've all heard of the Pilgrims and the Puritans. The Pilgrims felt that they were being persecuted because they did not hold the same religious beliefs as the king. They tried living in the Netherlands but still did not feel they were free. Coming to a completely new land where no religious restrictions were in force was enough to bring this entire group to the Massachusetts shore. The Puritans wanted to start a community based on the laws of God alone. They didn't believe a king had the right to make rules to govern them. Only God had that power. A land with no laws seemed to be the perfect answer to them.

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