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The New England And Chesapeake Colonies

1377 words - 6 pages

The New England and Chesapeake regions were two of the major areas for colonization in the 17th century. From the early 1600's into the early 1700's, many English immigrants left their homeland to explore an uncharted territory. The two geographic regions, one nestled in the warm muggy weather of the South and the other in the harsh climate of the North, lead to various different experiences and obstacles for the settlers to face, and to different lifestyles in the colonies. Through economy, religious persecution, and geographic location, the colonies became distinctly different. But even through all of their differences, the colonies in both of these regions did have some key aspects in ...view middle of the document...

Though the colonies in the Chesapeake region were mainly created to generate revenue in finding silver and gold and producing cash-crops like tobacco and rice, Maryland was formed as a haven for Roman Catholics (Brinkley; pg 38). Virtually all of the New England colonies (more importantly Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth and Pennsylvania) were formed by Quakers, Pilgrims and Puritans who were not allowed to freely practice their own religion in England. Even if the colonies were vastly different in many ways, religious persecution was one of the main reasons that the New World was created, and therefore is one of the most important similarities the colonies could have.

One thing that the New England Colonies and the Chesapeake colonies also had in common was that when settlers initially arrived to the New World, they were not prepared for the conditions of the land. Automatically assuming that the entirety of the New World was similar to Central America, where the Spanish had created colonies, the settlers in the Chesapeake and New England regions had come to the new land with preconceived ideas of what the conditions would be like, and the resources it would have to offer them. One prime example of this would be Jamestown, where the sole purpose of the settlers was to find gold and silver like the Spanish colonists had found. Instead, they discovered marshy land that spread diseases like malaria (which settlers were highly susceptible to contracting), and poor soil that they did not know how to grow crops in. Jamestown barely scraped by, and experienced a "starving time" where hundreds of settlers died. And much like Jamestown, the early settlers of Plymouth landed in New England without knowledge of the cold winder climates, and they too experienced a "starving time" in which many of the colonist did not survive (Brinkley; pg 35). The early settlements did not have the ability to know what the New World would be like because they were the first Englishmen to step foot on the soil and had only the previous ventures of the Spanish to base their judgments on, making it virtually impossible for early settlements to be successful.

The differences of the Chesapeake and New England colonies seem to be more evident; mainly the purpose of the colonies in each region and their economies. Though Maryland was a colony of the Chesapeake that was created for the Roman Catholics to escape persecution, most of the other Southern colonies were created to produce revenue. Much like Jamestown, which was created in hopes of producing wealth for England, the colonies of the Chesapeake were an attempt for England to gain more money and a monopoly on trade. The Southern colonies were a major source of tobacco, which was a product that had become popular ever since the Spanish had colonized Central America. Virginia and the Carolinas were key areas that produced these products, along with rice and other soil-depleting crops. As a result of poor crop rotation, colonists...

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