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There is little doubt that the earliest English colonizers of New England were beset with significant challenges to their health and welfare in the new world represented by disease, hunger and an indigenous people that did not uniformly accept the invasion of their territory by white skinned trespassers. At the same time, it would soon become apparent to the English colonizers that the region held tremendous possibilities for territorial expansion as well as social, political and economic advantage.
This dichotomous environment would prompt the English colonizers to initiate identifiable agendas of religious and civic intent that would have major ramifications for the Native American Indians. An examination of the research in conjunction with colonization of New England characterization of the colonizer and the colonized reveals that the perception of the intent of English Colonization of New England as a cultural and moral mission may no longer be justified.
While a common consensus propagated by many historians has established English Colonization of New England as a largely moral or religious mission, Memmi maintains that colonial ventures have had no other avowed meaning than in establishing and maintaining economic advantages. In line with Memmi’s claim, Salisbury focuses on the objectives of the English colonizers, especially in regard to the American Indians, in terms of economic, social and political pursuits as opposed to examining their role solely in religious, ideological or racial terms. In fact, Salisbury would suggest that the encounter between the English colonizers and the Native Americans was less about moral missions or racial conflicts than it was indicative of clearly diverse objectives in economic exchange.