Were there 5 times, 10 times or almost 20 times as many English colonists as French colonists? With one million inhabitants, there were almost 20 times more English colonists than the 55,000 French colonists. The colony of Massachusetts alone had three times the population of all New France!
Like in New France, the majority of the population lived in the countryside, but there were also large towns like Philadelphia and Boston.
These people had come from all over Europe. The majority of them were English, but there were also Dutch, Scottish, German and French people. We must not also forget the thousands of Africans who had been forcibly brought over to America as slaves. In the southern colonies, one in every five people (one out of every two people in Carolina) was a slave.
The rapid increase in the population was due to the economic attractiveness of these colonies. The poor could find work or a plot of land to settle on. The rich could grow richer through trade or by cultivating large plantations. The Thirteen Colonies were also a haven for religious groups who had fled their homeland to escape persecution: English Puritans and Quakers, German Mennonites and Marovians, and even French Protestants.
Author: Léon Robichaud