Religion was a key factor for the European colonization but these events were all started by the Protestant Reformation. The Protestant Reformation triggered the events leading to the persecution of many people in many European countries. The Protestant Reformation was caused by Martin Luther and he opposed the church and made his own Lutheran Church. People all over Europe were inspired to make their own churches and religious beliefs which made religious persecution occur in many of the countries because they tried to suppress the rebellion of the Protestants.
Religion had a profound effect on colonization because the Protestant Reformation caused great turmoil which lead to the persecution and conversion of the New World. Certain groups of religions were persecuted for the way they believed such as the Puritans and Huguenots after the Protestant Reformation. The Puritans arose after King Henry split from the Catholic Church because he could not get a divorce from his wife so he made the Anglican Church which led to the creation of these Puritans.
The Puritans wanted to purify the Anglican Church of all the Catholic beliefs which caused much of England furious with these people and lead to the persecution of these people. The Pilgrims were a group of Puritans who were known as Separatists who wanted to break away from the Anglican Church and found the colony of Plymouth. Another group of Puritans followed John Winthrop who was convinced there was no future in England for Puritans made a joint-stock company called the Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded the colony of Massachusetts with several towns and a capital named Boston.
This lead to even more colonization as conditions worsened in England which made thousands flock to the colonies which is known as the “Great Migration”. Even in these colonies which were found to stop persecution and have religious tolerance there was still persecution and this led to the creation of more colonies and so forth many people were banished from Massachusetts and made colonies of their own due to this religious persecution.
The Huguenots were French Protestants which led to colonization of the New World by the French because in that time France was mainly a Catholic country and under King Louis XIV one million people settled South Carolina, while other found sanctuary in Rhode Island, New York, and Virginia. The religious freedom of some of the colonies brought many other people from different countries which increased colonization as well such as the Scots-Irish, Germans, and etc.
Religious persecution brought people from all the European empires to the New World. The Spanish and French wanted to convert these “Indians” in to Catholicism so they could be favored by God as a holy country and were inspired to spread. This was also one of the main reasons the Spanish Monarchs wanted to colonize the New World. There were missions built all over New Spain so they could convert these Natives which indirectly made the Spanish colonies spread throughout much of what is now Latin America and the South-west region of the U. S.
There was also a road that linked these missions together is what is now modern day California known as El Camino Real or the Royal Highway which spread the Spanish Colonies. There were also Jesuit priests who went to some of the farthest reaches or most hostile parts of New Spain to convert these Natives which spread these colonies further as the Jesuits built more and more missions in various places that were not yet colonized. These Jesuits also worked with the French to convert these Native Americans to Christianity in the New France region.
They were known as “black robes” by the Natives and the Jesuits tried to live with the Natives and convert them to the Catholic Faith. They also built missions in the New France region making New France larger as they converted more Natives. This increase in land allowed the people to spread and populate more land so more settler arrived. The Spanish and French kingdoms were driven to convert these Native Americans and this allowed them to spread in more and more land available so more people came and colonized New Spain and New France.
This urge to colonize and convert was caused the Protestant Reformation. The Reformation made the events and steps which caused the church to be severed and caused conflict and persecution all over the European empires. People were inspired by Martin Luther bravery and made their own churches to defy the Catholic Church as it got weaker. This created the urge for most of the empires to convert the natives and spread. Religion had a profound effect on colonization because the Protestant Reformation caused great turmoil which lead to the persecution and conversion of the New World.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 21 September 2016
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