The Americans uncut
We have a vision of America being settled in 1620 by the Pilgrims. But this ignores the Indians (or past visitors), still even ignoring these, the Pilgrims were not the first. Well then who settled America? In 1526 the Spanish settled a town in what is now South Carolina. The settlement had five hundred Spaniards and one hundred black slaves. Disease and disputes with native Americans killed many the Spaniards, then the Slaves rebelled. Finally the 150 remaining Spaniards fled. Leaving the now ex slaves behind, so the answer would be ex slaves. The Spanish undaunted continued their settling of America. It should be noted some did come here to avoid religious persecution, like the Jews who settled Near New Mexico in the 1500's. The time of the first British settlement was 1607, a London company sent people to settle Jamestown, Virginia (1 ).
Other developments are in 1609 Henry Hudson explored the river that now bares his name this was the start of the territory called New Netherland. Its beginnings were a commercial venture with investors from Dutch provinces of Holland, North Holland, and Zeeland. In 1664 the English seized this territory and it remained in English hands until the revolutionary war (2 ).
What is now America was also used as a penal colony of sorts. Many left, still some stayed behind for various reasons.
Many of those who hit American shore had been convicted of crimes within the Britain and were sent in exile to America as a penal slaves as punishment. This was practice formalized in Britain by as the Transportation Act of 1718 (3 ).
Before this it's estimated that between 1661 and 1700 that Approximately 4,500 people convicted in British courts had been sent to the American colonies as punishment (4 ).
Though other countries also sent people to exile to the Americas, the British seemed to be king at this, sending at 53,200 to American shores of this 76 percent left before 1761 (5 ).
So these were added to the mix of what would become America. Would America have achieve as much as it did without this element? Whatever your feelings is group of people, some with questionable backgrounds created a country on a concept. This country became a force to be reckoned with