Shining City on a Higher Hill: Lessons from the Last Colonization of a ‘New
Rev. James D. Heiser, Publisher, Repristination Press, 3555 Plover Drive, Decatur, IL 62526
The colonization of the New World provides examples of three possible motivations for colonization of Mars: (1) military expansion or competition between colonizing nations, (2) economic exploitation of the natural resources of the colony, and (3) pursuit of political and religious freedom. The first motivation, international competition, played a crucial role in the early development of the Soviet and American space programs, particularly in the race for human exploration of the Moon, a situation roughly analogous to the competition between Spanish, Portuguese, French and English colonization efforts in the Americas. However, the end of the U.S. - Soviet ‘Cold War’ eliminates this motivation for colonization of Mars, although some experts hope that cooperation between the two nations might yield exploration of mars, a crucial preliminary step to colonization. The second potential motivation, economic benefit, is even more tenuous, since the success of such an approach rests on profits from hypothetical scientific advances or economically feasible exploitation and/or exportation of Martian natural resources, while relying on a transient population of workers motivate by a desire for a quick profit, not permanent settlement. A similar situation can be found in the early Virginia colonies that were financially disastrous until he beginning of the exploration of tobacco and the importation of slaves. The third motivation - freedom - is the most fruitful motivation for colonization in terms of stability, steady growth, and cultural cohesion. The desire for religious self-determination was the guiding motivation for successful English settlement in New England, efforts that were initially quite meager in terms of personnel and financial resources. The pursuit of freedom - particularly religious freedom - is a motivation powerful enough to move men and women to leave behind land, home, family - even a world - to build a new life.