Comparison And Contrasts Of The Colonies

1141 words - 5 pages


Comparisons and Contrasts of the Colonies of Virginia and Massachusetts

Vincent W. Daquilante

Excelsior College



This paper will discuss the differences between the colonies of Virginia and Massachusetts in colonial America. I will discuss the differences between the early peoples who migrated to each colony as well as their relations with the Native Americans in the region. Additionally I will discuss the reasons each migrated to the new world. I will also discuss the economic, government and social differences in the regions.


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An additional problem with early southern immigrants was that most were male. This caused the population to be increased only by additional immigration.
The government of the southern colonies was run from England by a thirteen-man royal council. This council empowered a thirteen man local council. This council was to ensure that all people enjoyed the same liberties as if they resided in England.
Following about three years and understanding the economy was failing the Virginia Company recruited farmers offering 100 acres of land for anyone who would immigrate. They also shipped unmarried women to America to help improve morale and allow the population to rebuild it. This was viewed as the only way to keep the colony going.
With the issue of population answered the question was how to build the economy. Francis Drake provided the answer with his importation of tobacco to the region. Now to be prosperous two things were necessary land and labor. Many farmers were able to acquire thousands of acres of land, but were able to work only part of it due to labor. The answer was in England and indentured servants.
Indentured servants were offered passage to America in return for up to 7 years of service to the plantation owner. These were normally the poorest people in England and lived a hard life in the New World. They suffered a high mortality rate because of malaria, malnutrition and their demanding work routine. Most plantation owners treated them as property to be treated and sold as they desired. If they completed their service they were normally given a barrel of corn, tools, a gun and fifty acres of land. Although this occurred, few were prosperous following their service.


The economy also relied on the fact that most plantations were on the bay. This allowed ships to travel up several rivers to trade with local plantations. The result was the large plantation owners gained the most political power in the region.
Relations with the Indians were tenuous. The Indian Pocahontas was kidnapped in order to ensure a continued supply of corn as well as the return of guns and tools which had been stolen, but her death, as well as the increase in the immigrants’ population still threatened the Indians. The result was an Indian attack on the Virginia Colony. The attack did not kill everyone and William Berkeley led an offensive that broke the Virginia tribes and drove them from their land.
Northern Colonies
The peoples of the Northern...

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