Ever since knowledge of America reached Europe (possibly as early as the Viking period, whose maps fell into the hands of the Sinclairs of the Orkneys and from there may have gone via the Templars to the Knights of Christ in Portugal according to speculative research. See Discovery of America) the British had designs on America. The first records of America on Elizabethan maps refer to it as Atlantis
The court Magician and proto-Rosicrucian John Dee was the first to voice plans for the colonialisation of North America, envisioning an 'Occult British Empire' that would rule the world from there! He tried to convince the virgin Queen Elizabeth I to lay claim to the land based on its discovery by her ancestor King Arthur! The colony was to be named Virginia after her. A secret faction of the British elite, the School of Night latched on to this idea and soon many joined the band wagon. Including, according to Peter Lamborn Wilson, Shakespeare, whose play the Tempest can be interpreted as a propaganda piece for this cause (see Caliban's Masque, in the book Gone To Croatan from Autonomedia and T.A.Z.: "Gone to Croatan").
This project was shelved when the Stuarts took control of England after the death of Elizabeth, and her loyal supporters including Dee were ousted. But it was revived by the statesman and philosopher Francis Bacon said to have been a member of the Order of Athena with Shakespeare) who encouraged the founding of the first colony, on the more pragmatic grounds of the 'Spanish threat'. Bacon's real aims were revealed in his book the New Atlantis, which was his blueprint for America, a utopian democracy, based on universal freedom. It was this book that encouraged waves of colonists from puritans to pagans to travel to America escaping persecution in Europe and attempt to create their own utopias there. But the most powerful player remained those in the British establishment (with the assistance of their Masonic allies) carrying on Dee's original plan, with the polish of Bacon's New Atlantis. When the colony was founded it was called Virginia.
Again this project was suspended with the demise of the Stuarts, but the new Hanoverian regime would soon take it up and put their own spin on it. While the British monarchy (and its friends in the new reformed Grand Lodge of Freemasonry) desired America as a colony within a wider British Empire, a dissident faction of the elite had other ideas and with the help of irregular masonic lodges and groups like the Hell Fire Club set out to get it. Little is known about this period but more might be gained from a study of these groups.
Of course this is not to sanction ideas of grand conspiracy, history is shaped by large numbers of people at the grass roots, but there cn be no doubt that the elitist activity of this time would shape the political evolution of America.