The colonists settled North America for different reasons that included primarily profit and religious freedom. Roanoke was the English's first attempt at colonization in the new world of America.
Roanoke colonization began in 1584 and was an ultimate failure. Sir Walter Raleigh wanted to increase the amount of land owned and ruled by the British Empire, so he wanted to claim more land in America for the British crown. He explored Virginia, naming it Virginia for the Virgin Queen Elizabeth. However, people vanished and it was unknown whether or not the weather, Spanish or Alqonquian tribes hurt the settlers leading to their demise.
Jamestown was the successful English settlement. It was settled in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London. The goal was to eventually turn a profit from the gold and silver discoveries made in the new land. However, there was a lot of disease and many settlers perished. The settlers only survived thanks to the consistent supplies that England sent over.
Women did not come over in a large scale form until 1620. Plymouth was another settlement in the new world, but this settlement was purely for religious freedom. The Pilgrims were tired and upset with the constant persecution that they received and set out to find a new place to live.