Why England Was Late to Colonize the New World Essay Example

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By the time England established their first permanent colony in the new world, other European powers had already claimed most of the North American continent. Several factors contributed to the delay of England in colonizing the new world. In the 16th century, England was not the most powerful European nation; other countries like Spain were more influential (Paicu, 2017). England had also made several unsuccessful attempts to start colonies in new regions. Other European nations like Spain and Portugal, France, Netherlands, and Sweden had greater interests in the western hemisphere than England. Since England did not have as much power and influence, its ambitions to conquer the western hemisphere were delayed leading to late colonization.

In the 1500s, there was major religious turmoil in England that caused division. Henry III separated from the Catholic Church in 1533, prompting several decades of religious unrest in England (Paicu, 2017). When other European nations set their eyes on the western hemisphere, England was still trying to unite and recover from the religious divisions. Without unity, it would have been difficult for England to conquer the new world like other countries. The religious divisions subsided under Elizabeth, Henry’s daughter bringing the country to calm and ready for the western hemisphere. Therefore, the religious divisions were vital in delaying England’s entry into the new world.

In the initial years of colonizing the new world by European powers, England had little interest in the new world. English investors sent John Cabot on a voyage to the new world to evaluate for them the prospects of the new world (Paicu, 2017). Cabot’s voyage did not bear any significant positive feedback and failed to ignite great interest in the new world. The people in England, especially investors, did not perceive the new world as profitable and thus were reluctant to venture into the region. England’s interests in the new world grew later after other European powers had begun their conquests.


Paicu, A. (2017). The History of American Colonization-A New World. Annals Constantin Brancusi U. Targu Jiu, Letters & Social Science Series, 79.