According to Norton, Chapter two expresses the influence of the British (and other) colonizers in the North American people’s religion, culture, form of governance, economy, and land ownership. The colonizers had success in converting the Indians and the Native people to Christianity. Europeans moved to North America to own and start farms while the British had an interest because of their need to reform the church, improve government and to settle their surplus population by transferring their homeland societal and political environments to North America. In 1607, Jamestown, a swampy town in Virginia, the first permanent settlement was established; it survived through aid from Algonquin Indians who had problems with the English settlers because of their cultural superiority attitude. Opechancanough attacked Jamestown sparking war leading to subjugation of the Powhatan Confederation. In 1624, James the first revoked the Virginia Company charter making it a royal colony.
The chapter also shows that the rebellion from the Puritans religious institutions led to the development of religious diversity tolerance and equality for the American people. The author acknowledges that although the Puritans fled Europe to seek freedom of worship, they did not accord the same to their subjects in North America. Maryland was founded in 1632, being the first establishment that tolerated all Christian faiths and gave freedom to Catholics under George Calvert leadership through the 1649 act of tolerance for Christian religion. From the chapter, “Williams denied authority of civil government to regulate religious behavior.” In addition, Virginia was divided into proprietor colonies between George Calvert and Lord Baltimore having loyalty to the crown. The Plymouth settlement was established by Pilgrims who were the first immigrants under the Joint Stock Companies which marked economic development. John Winthrop, the fist governor of Massachusetts Bay Company established a communal society based on Christian charity which contributed to acts of mercy on the natives. The Puritan's advocated for the Puritan orthodoxy that had strict unfair rules which some people like Roger Williams dissented. Roger Williams fought for Indian's rights; separation of the state and the church, and religious tolerance. He was banished from Massachusetts Bay Colony and founded the Rhode Island (community of providence) in 1635 where all religions were tolerated.
In conclusion, the British colonialists in North America succeeded in bringing significant changes in economic activities, development of the American constitution and governance, religious tolerance (by dissenting members), social organization, equality and land distribution.
Norton, Mary B. A People and a Nation: A History of the United States. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 2001. Print.