Colonists came to America because they wanted political liberty. They wanted religious freedom and economic opportunity. The United States is a country where individual rights and self-government are important. This has always been true. Colonists first came to America for more freedom. Governments in Europe ruled the colonies. But the colonists were free to decide many things for themselves. Some colonists came to America for religious freedom. In Europe, the government punished people for practicing certain religions. In America, there was more freedom of religion. Some colonists came to America for political liberty. One example of political liberty is the government in Plymouth Colony in Massachusetts. The men in the colony voted to elect a governor. Later, they elected representatives to their government. Some colonists came to America for economic opportunity. In the colonies, people had more opportunities to trade goods and farm the land. America was a place where colonists were free to do things differently. It was an opportunity to have a better life.
Section "Learn and Explore" uses official instructions and media files of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, US National Museum of American History, The Smithsonian Institution and other governmental and public organization.