The first Englishman to
come to America was John Cabot in 1497. He was looking for a
way to get to the Indies by sailing west. Cabot claimed most
of the east coast of North America for England.
The Golden Hinde, John Cabot's Ship
New Albion. English galleon
"Golden Hinde" by Sir
Englishmen to come to the New Word were traders; however,
the Spanish government did not like this. They wanted only
Spain to to trade.
Francis Drake, a British sea captain, often traded with
the Spanish. In 1582 his ship was sunk in a port in
Spanish America. Most of Drake's men were killed in this
attack. Drake gathered a new crew in England and began
pirating the Spanish treasure ships. He also attacked the
Spanish settlements in America.
British sailors joined Drake in his mission. The British
government did not stop the ships from pirating because
they thought the Spanish was getting too powerful in
America. Spain became angry and put together a fleet of
ships called the Spanish Armada to stop the pirates.
Spanish Armada planned an attack on England. Due to a
storm which blew most of the Spanish ships off course, the
British defeated the Armada. This made the English
colonies safe for British colonists.
While the French
came to American to explore and the Spanish came looking for
treasures, the English came for different reasons.
Some English came to America to have a
chance to practice the religion of their choice.
Some religious people came to America to
bring their Christian faith to the Native Americans.
British judges sent some people to America
instead of placing them in British prisons.
Businessmen came to America to buy products
such as tobacco and furs from the colonists.
Farmers came to America to have a chance to
be land owners.
Return to the Colonial America Index Page.