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Essay/Term paper: New england and the chesapeake region before 1700

Essay, term paper, research paper:  Humanities

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Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled

largely by the people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had

evolved into two distinct societies. The reasons for this distinct

development were mostly based on the type on people from England who

chose to settle in the two areas, and on the manner in which the areas

were settled.

New England was a refuge for religious separatists leaving England,

while people who immigrated to the Chesapeake region had no religious

motives. As a result, New England formed a much more religious society

then the Chesapeake region. John Winthrop states that their goal was to

form "a city upon a hill", which represented a "pure" community, where

Christianity would be pursued in the most correct manner. Both the

Pilgrims and the Puritans were very religious people. In both cases,

the local government was controlled by the same people who controlled

the church, and the bible was the basis for all laws and regulations.

From the Article of Agreement, Springfield, Massachusetts it is clear

that religion was the basis for general laws. It uses the phrase "being

by God"s providence engaged together to make a plantation", showing that

everything was done in God"s name. The Wage and Price Regulations in

Connecticut is an example of common laws being justified by the bible.

Also in this document the word "community " is emphasized, just as

Winthrop emphasizes it saying: "we must be knit together in this work as

one man". The immigrants to New England formed very family and

religiously oriented communities. Looking at the emigrant lists of

people bound for New England it is easy to observe that most people came

in large families, and large families support the community atmosphere.

There were many children among the emigrants, and those children were

taught religion from their early childhood, and therefore grew up loyal

to the church, and easily controllable by the same. Any deviants from

the regime were silenced or persecuted before they could start any

movements that would be a threat to the authority of the church. Even

people like Ann Hutchinson and Roger Williams, who only slightly

deviated from the teaching of the Puritan church were expelled and

forced to move to Rode Island. As a result of this tight religious

control the society became very conservative in New England, and life

evolved to be simple and not elaborate as in Virginia.

In the Chesapeake region almost everything was exactly opposite of New

England. The immigrants were not idealists, but materialists, most of

whom sought money. As John Smith mentions in his History of Virginia,

many sought gold. As it can be observed from the ship"s list of

emigrants bound for Virginia, the immigrants were mostly young people,

most of them men, and like it is stated in the same list they were all

conformists of the Church of England, and unlike the Puritans, were not

discriminated against back in England. As John Smith points out, many

attempted to go back when they found difficulties instead of

opportunities to get rich. Many others died of hunger when the

Corporations that brought the settlers to America abandoned them, and

the difficulty of the situation is described in Document G. The

population was very small and the dangers were huge. The pioneers had

to defend themselves against both, the Dutch and the Indians. As a

result, the people who survived the first few years were all young

ambitious and ruthless pioneers. These were not the type of people who

would be easily controlled.

The independence of the pioneers of Virginia can be seen in Bacon"s

Manifesto. These people were not afraid to challenge authority and

believed that they had the full right to say in the governing of the

colonies. These people believed that if they had survived the hard

times with no or little help from authorities, those authorities had no

rights to impose laws upon them, especially if those laws were seen as


As a result of these differences two totally different types of people

formed in New England and in the Chesapeake region. New Englanders were

faithful followers of the teachings of their church, and the southerners

became independent citizens, with the ability to organize and the will

to fight to get what they wanted.


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