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Emigration from Europe
to the 
13 English Colonies

An American History Web Lesson

18th Century Map of English colonies* 18th Century Map of Europe


The thirteen English colonies that would become the United States evolved from English settlements in Virginia and Massachusetts.  While we have learned about the English colonists that populated these colonies, who else came here?  Why did they leave their homes?  Why did they choose to settle in these English colonies?  Where did they settle?  Why did they settle there?  Is Mr. Goldberg ever going to stop asking questions????  NOPE!  Fortunately, though, Mr. Goldberg is going to provide you with a handy chart and links to resources that will enable you to answer these questions.


Your Tasks
I. Utilizing the links below, on the chart:
    A.  Determine the two largest European groups (nationalities,
          religions and/or ethnicities) that emigrated.
    B.  For each group, list reasons that it decided to emigrate.
    C.  For each group, list reasons that it chose to immigrate to the
          thirteen English colonies.
    D.  For each group, identify the main areas within the colonies to 
          which the immigrants went.  Do not write down all of the 
          specific settlement areas; rather, prioritize and encapsulate
          based on the information provided.
    E.  For each group, explain why immigrants settled where they did.  
          Because the website details do not provide you with all of the
          answers, you must make some inferences.  Do not panic about 
          discovering "right answers;" instead, develop logical reasons. 


Links Description
Overview of European emigration Explanation of ethnic white (Western European) colonization of North America from The University of Bergen History Department.
German emigration Summary of German emigration to the thirteen English colonies from The Thinkquest Library.
German immigration to America Synopsis of German immigration to America up to today from The Embassy of the United States Embassy in Germany
Irish emigration Summary of Irish colonial immigration from The Library of Congress's American Memory Project.
Scotch-Irish emigrants Article on Irish settlers who were originally from Scotland from The Irish at Home and Abroad Journal.
Scottish settlement in the colonial "backcountry" Synopsis of Scottish emigration to the western part of the English colonies from The University of Virginia's America Studies Department.
Jewish emigration Survey of Jewish colonial emigration from The Sherwin Miller Museum.
Immigration timeline  Chronology and brief explanation of groups that immigrated to America from Cindy G.'s Family History


II. Utlizing the links above, directly below the chart, rephrase the 
    following reflective questions into complete answers:
        A.  What were some common emigration and immigration 
              reasons for non-English groups?
        B.  Why have we focused on the migration of all these 
              non-English groups?  What does this reveal about the 
              colonization and heritage of the United States?  

* Copyrighted online image:
Cory, Michael.  18th Century Map of the English Colonies. {Online image]  30 July 2002. 


Created by Brad Goldberg
8th Grade Social Studies Teacher
Humanities and Communications Magnet Program
Eastern Middle School
Montgomery County Public Schools

Last updated: August 28, 2002