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Chesapeake Vs. New England Regions Essay

556 words - 3 pages

Although the New England and Chesapeake regions were both settled largely by people of English origin, by 1700 the two had evolved into two distinct societies. It would be impossible to explain each of the hundreds of reasons for this change in development but, there were many important factors whose effects can be seen. Some of these factors were religious motives, economic motives, environment (for crops) , and social life. These factors are of importance because it distinguishes the characteristics of one colony from the other.The New England region of the colonies included Massachusetts Bay Colony, Plymouth, Rhode Island, and Connecticut. New England was a safety blanket for religious separatists leaving England, and they were called the Puritans. The Puritans wanted two things: ...view middle of the document...

People like Ann Hutchinson and Roger Williams were persecuted this reason. The New England region was NOT formed for economical reasons. So, New England settlers reproduced much of England's economy with only minor variations. However, they did not invest in large-scale farming because their climate and soil were unbearable. Their economy was based on small farming, home industry, fishing, trade, and shipbuilding industry. In a child's social life the parent would generally pick when and whom they would marry.The Chesapeake region of the colonies included Virginia, Maryland, the New Jerseys and Pennsylvania. In this region almost everything was exactly opposite of New England, since they had NO religious motives. This region was based on economic motives and is best represented by the colony of Jamestown. In 1607, Jamestown was founded by a group of 104 men to a peninsula along the James River. These men hoped to find gold, silver, or any other valuables they might take back to Europe and make a profit. Just as things were looking bad for Jamestown, the leadership of Captain John Smith salvaged the colony. Since almost all of his original crew was dying he turned to the Powhatan Indians, who taught them the process of corn and tobacco growing. These crops later thrived and made a big economic difference. Also, most Chesapeake settlers came as indentured servants for work in the tobacco fields. During the first half of the 17th century only a small percentage of blacks were viewed as less than indentured servants. However between 1640 and 1670 blacks came to be seen as lifelong slaves whose status would be inherited by their children. Since people in Chesapeake also had very short life spans compared to the New Englanders. So 40 percent of indentured servants failed to live long enough to gain their freedom.

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