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Under Elizabeth the need to diversify trade became ever more important but other motives were also present. Increasing patriotism and nationalism as a result of Protestantism and the war with Spain demanded that England should not stand back and take second place. Attacks on Spanish ships and colonies led easily onto the idea that the English had every right to establish their own colonies. Anxieties about over-population and attendant problems of disorder also led some to see colonization as a useful way of reducing social pressures at home.
The fates of the first colonies were equally dismal. In 1 5 8 5 Sir Walter Raleigh settled colonists in Virginia but they swiftly returned home after suffering food shortages and failing to establish good relations with the local peoples. In 1587 Raleigh established another colony. The 150 settlers simply disappeared. Raleigh returned in 1 5 9 0 to find a deserted site. Their fate has never been discovered. These failures brought a temporary end to colonizing ventures, to be recommenced when the Virginia Company was established in 1606.
They enjoyed great prosperity in the eighteenth century, principally because the Delaware River valley developed into a rich agricultural area, producing grain, hemp, flax, and livestock. Quantities of timber and iron contributed to the growth of manufacturing as well. 3. The Southern Colonies. These were Maryland, Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. The economic mainstay of these colonies was tobacco and rice, which were grown on large plantations worked by Black slaves imported from Africa.