U.S. History/early settlers


When the first settlers came to this country, did they have to purchase the land from England, were they given land, did they choose the land when they arrived or was it assigned to them before they arrived?

Different colonies worked differently.  Some, like Pennsylvania and Maryland were given to a single person who then sold portions of his colony to others.  Others had royal charters that allowed private property to be purchased from companies holding royal grants, such as the Virginia Company.

Basically, if you did not have an in with the King to give you a large portion of land by decree, you had to purchase land from the person or company that had royal authority to sell the land.  Most colonists purchased land after arriving, but some larger plantations, particularly in the South were purchased by Aristocrats in England, some of whom never even saw their properties.  Rather, they were managed by employees sent to the colony for that purpose.

I hope this helps!
- Mike

U.S. History

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Michael Troy


I can answer just about any question on early American History. My specialties are the American Revolution through the Civil War/Reconstruction. I also have greater expertise in matters relating to military, political or legal history.


I have lectured at George Washington University regarding the Civil War, as well as several elementary school Civil War demonstrations. I was also a member of a Civil War reenactment group for about 10 years.


J.D. University of Michigan B.A. George Washington University

Awards and Honors
Truman Scholar

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