Essay On Virginia Vs Massachusets

865 words - 4 pages

Virginia vs. Massachusetts Both Virginia and Massachusetts were places of early British settlements in North America, however they differed strongly in some instances, such as settler demographics and their organizational structure. This paper will analyze the differences of settler demographics and organizations of both the Virginia and Massachusetts settlements.

Out of the two settlements, Virginia was founded earlier and bred the first "successful" British colony in North America, Jamestown (Brandt). Jamestown was founded in 1607 by the Virginia Company of London in search for same riches of gold that the Spaniards had found in South America. With this being said, most of the settlers in Virginia were men with no families that came with the Virginia Company to work in North America by the form of indentured servants (Instructions, by the Way of Advice). Other settlers included high end aristocrats that came for the riches were believed to be in North America. Because there were no riches to be found, most of the settlers began to take up farming tobacco, which was very high in demand at the time, and thus with this shift to farming, came the slave trade from Africa (Waterhouse). However, one cannot forget the various native tribes that resided in Virginia at the time of colonization.

This settlement was far from perfect, however, as there were various instances of issues with the economy, location, land, and warfare. The economic status of Jamestown at its start could be categorized as a complete failure due to incapability to find and ship the gold it was supposed to find (Brandt). At least that was the case until farming tobacco became the norm. Jamestown was also located in swap land areas, meaning that the spread of disease was rampant. Mosquitoes carried the deadly Malaria virus that killed several colonists (Brandt). Along with this was the poor land management of these new farmers. With the rapid expansion of tobacco farming, also came the rapid decrease in rich soil, causing food shortages and a need to expand neighboring native lands (Brandt). This, of course was met with retaliation and violence from the natives, that was then met with violence from the colonists, leading into increasing tensions between the two groups and causing many casualties on both sides of the spectrum (Waterhouse).
Because of the ties to the Virginia Company of London, the settlers of Jamestown, Virginia mostly followed the rules and regulations set by the company and the crown in England (Instructions, by the Way of Advice). However, there was a small government that formed in Virginia led by the settlers in 1619, which was called the General Assembly. The General Assembly was the first democratically elected legislative body in North America (Smith).

Not so similar to the Virginia settlement was the ...

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