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According to "Land of the Free and Home of the Brave", by Eliot Clarke, all the American colonies were privately financed. On the continental mainland the first twelve English colonies were paid for by private entrepreneurs. Same with the English island colonies in the Western Hemisphere. These investors did so because they fully expected a return for their money invested. If the Stuart kings and monarchs had financed the colonies then they would probably have installed autocratic govts instead of representative ones. The other non-English New World colonies (French, Dutch, Portuguese, Spanish) did indeed install autocratic govts. Thus, these English colonies were accompanied by English institutions supporting certain individual freedoms. And the separation in distance form the home country encouraged self-reliance since each colony had to produce products that they could export in exchange for need products that they imported. The colonies also needed to supply their own defense since the King didn't offer any. Self-government among the colonies tended to thrive since it was hard to depend on getting answers from England--dispatches took months sometimes to send and receive. Individual colonies competed economically with each other by trying to attract settlers who would then buy portions of undeveloped land grants. At first, all new settlers were basically employees of England and there was no private land ownership. This was soon determined to be an ineffective incentive. It all changed with Jamestown , Virginia when they adopted a system n which a bonus of land was given to those who attracted new settlers to the colony, and in 1616, Jamestown went even further by allowing all indentured servants to receive free land grants when their term of service (4 to 7 years usually) was completed. Thus those Europeans in Virginia could now anticipate one day owning land on which they could grow tobacco for instance and make money.

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โˆ™ 2008-08-30 17:58:10
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Q: Who financed the earliest English colonies?
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