During the early 1600s, America was a new land. It attracted many immigrants, most of them from England

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During the early 1600s, America was a new land. It attracted many immigrants, most of them from England. Some of the reasons why these immigrants came to the colonies were for better political, economic, and social opportunities. They hoped America would be the dream land they wanted it to be.

There was not much opportunity for people to participate in government in England. Only rich or royal people could do so, but Englishmen in America changed that. In the New England colony of Massachusetts, Puritan males could vote for representatives and governor. Even before they landed at Plymouth, colonists aboard the Mayflower agreed to create a government (document 1). Some people believed that the governor had too much power, so they created a new colony (Connecticut) where non-Puritans could vote and the governor’s power was limited. America’s government was also different because it was not ruled by one powerful ruler, like England, it was ruled by a group of people (document 2).

There was more economic opportunity in the colonies than in England. In England, laws had been made so that farmland would be used for sheep grazing instead of farmland for peasants. The Englishmen could no longer use the land to farm and make money. However, in America there were no such laws. In the Middle and Southern Colonies, there was rich fertile soil. In the New England Colonies, the soil was rocky, but there were many other jobs available, such as fishing (document 3). In the Middle Colonies, they were able to grow a lot of grain and became known as the “Breadbasket Colonies.” In the Southern Colonies, farmers produced indigo, rice, grain, tobacco, and cotton because they had very fertile soil and a long growing season (document 3). The southerners were usually very rich and owned huge farms called plantations. Slaves worked on these plantations to produce more crops (document 4). Some plantations were located near waterways, which helped farmers grow and trade more goods (document 4).

There was not too much religious opportunity in England. The King of England separated from the Catholic Church and formed his own religion. Englishmen were not allowed to practice their religion freely, unless they were part of this new church, the Church of England. In America, some colonies allowed more than one religion to be practiced. Massachusetts only allowed one religion to be practiced freely and participate in government. Maryland, however, allowed for all Christians to practice their religion freely by passing the Act of Toleration.

There was a lot of opportunity for colonists in America. There were more resources to trade and land to farm on than in England and more opportunities to participate in government and practice their religion freely. England may have created the colonies to support itself, but for those who went, it truly was their dreamland.
Teacher Comments:

This student received 58/60 points. The essay is well developed and follows a logical and clear plan of organization. The task (question) is thoroughly addressed and the student accurately analyzes and interprets most of the documents. There is a wealth of outside information incorporated throughout the entire and the essay is supported with relevant facts, examples, and details. The introduction, though somewhat developed from the historical context, is strong with a good thesis statement and points out what will be discussed in the essay (“Some of the reasons why these immigrants came to the colonies were for better political, economic, and social opportunities.”). The conclusion is strong and the student shows that what they planned to do in the introduction has been carried out. Note the manner in which the student cites (refers to the documents). There is no “In this document” or “As document 1 shows you,” but rather parenthetical citation used throughout the entire essay. Finally, the overall mechanics of the essay (grammar, spelling, etc.) are very well and the student makes very few, if any mistakes.

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