The Great Migration

Christopher Columbus arriving in the New World with the ships - the Santa Maria, the Nina and the Pinta

Picture of the explorer Christopher Columbus who started
the Great Migration

This article contains and overview of the  Great Migration providing facts and information at a glance in respect of:

  • The Great Migration
  • History Timeline of the Great Migration
  • Stats and facts about the population during the Great Migration
  • Definition of the Great Migration
  • Puritans
  • Religious freedom
  • Reasons for the Great Migration
New England ColoniesReligious Beliefs & Religions
American Colonies Index

History of the first 13 Colonies and how they became the United States

The colonization of America and the fascinating events that led colonists and patriots down the Road to Revolution

Great Migration Definition
Definition of the Great Migration. The Great Migration was the period in American history when twenty thousand English men, women, and children crossed the Atlantic Ocean to settle New England between 1620 and 1640.

Great Migration - The Puritans
The Great Migration began when religious sects, primarily the Puritans, undertook the 3000 mile sea voyage and migrated to the New World in search of religious freedom. The Puritans believed that they would be able to establish a pure church in the colonies, in the lands known as New England,  that would offer a model for the churches in England and reform the Anglican Church and cleanse it of any vestiges of the hated Catholic religion. Refer to Religion in the Colonies

Great Migration - Separatists
The Separatists were a group of Puritans who advocated total withdrawal from the Church of England and wanted the freedom to worship independently from English authority - the first Separatists to migrate to America were the Puritans, or Pilgrims, who travelled on the Mayflower and landed in America on December 21, 1620.

 

Picture of a Puritan Girl

Picture of a Puritan Girl -  The Great Migration
 

 

Reasons for the Great Migration - Religion in England
During the period between 1620 and 1640 England was in religious turmoil. The religious climate was so hostile and threatening that many Puritans were forced to leave the country, many of whom fled to the Netherlands. Religion in England was dictated by the monarchy. King James I (19 June 1566 27 March 1625) was a Protestant  and during his reign the English colonisation of North America began with the foundation of Jamestown, Virginia, in 1607. The Puritans presented him with the Millenary Petition requesting reforms in the Anglican church, particularly the abolition of confirmation, wedding rings, and the term "priest". King James I banned religious petitions starting a sense of persecution among the English Puritans. The situation became far worse when King Charles I (19 November 1600 30 January 1649) ascended the throne in 1625. King Charles I had a Catholic wife and leaned towards the Catholic religion. The Puritans were classed as dissenters and persecuted for their beliefs. The scene was set for the Great Migration.

Facts about the Great Migration
Discover interesting  facts and information about the Great Migration via this fast source of information - a History Timeline of the Great Migration. For additional facts and information about the people who were part of the Great Migration refer to the links and articles indicated.

Facts about the Great Migration

 Great Migration Fact 1On April 10, 1606 King James I of England issued the 1606 First Virginia Charter which created the Virginia Company authorizing eight Englishmen to colonize "that part of America commonly called Virginia". The establishment of the Virginia Colony starts the Great Migration to America
 
 Great Migration Fact 2In 1616 John Smith publishes his book "A Description of New England" The congregation of the Puritan Scrooby separatists decide to leave England to escape religious prosecution and set their sights on New England, as described by John Smith
 
 Great Migration Fact 3December 21, 1620: The Pilgrim Fathers after their  Mayflower Voyage set foot on the new land and establish the Plymouth Settlement
 
 Great Migration Fact 4The Winthrop Fleet of eleven ships, led by the flagship Arbella, delivers 700 passengers to New England in 1630

 
 Great Migration Fact 5The Massachusetts Colony is founded in 1630 by John Winthrop and other Puritans
 
 Great Migration Fact 6During the time period between 1630 and 1640 the four New England Colonies of New Hampshire, Massachusetts Bay Colony, Rhode Island and Connecticut are established
 
 Great Migration Fact 7Thomas Hooker (1586 - 1647) was a prominent Puritan clergyman and theologian who grew dissatisfied with the rigid practices and government of the Puritan church in Massachusetts and lead a group of followers to start a more liberal Connecticut colony in 1636
 
 Great Migration Fact 8In 1636 Roger Williams and Anne Hutchinson were banished from the Massachusetts colony and establish the Rhode Island Colony
 
 
 Great Migration Fact 9A charter for the land which would form the New Hampshire Colony was obtained by John Mason (15861635).

 
 Great Migration Fact 10In 1630 the population of the colonies totalled 4,646
 
 
 Great Migration Fact 11By 1640 the population in the colonies had increased to 21,634
 
 
 Great Migration Fact 12Only 1.6% of the population were Catholic
 

Facts about the Great Migration

 

Colonial America - The Land of the Brave

 

The Great Migration - Population of the 13 Colonies
The population of the 13 colonies (European and African) following the Great Migration increased dramatically in a relatively short number of years as can be seen by the following population chart. The number of slaves in the colonial period increased from 10,000 in the 1600's to 400,000 in the 1700's.

Year Population of the 13 Colonies

 1630

 1640

 1650

 1660

 1670

 1680

 1690

 1700

 1710

 1720

 1730

 1740

 1750

 1760

 1770

4,646

21,634

50,368

75,058

111,935

151,507

210,372

250,888

331,711

466,185

629,445

905,563

1,170,760

1,593,625

2,148,076
 

Year Population of the 13 Colonies
 

Great Migration

  • Interesting Facts and information about the Great Migration
  • Fast Facts and info about the Great Migration
  • Great Migration history resource for kids
  • Social Studies Homework help for kids on the Great Migration

Colonial America - The Land of the Brave

 

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