In early colonial America, there were thirteen colonies. The English started them all, but those colonies varied indefinitely. The two primary regions of the colonies were the Chesapeake and the New England Regions. In the very beginnings of these regions, there were ample amounts of differences to create two very different American cultures. The first permanent English settlement in America is Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown began as a business venture and then failed. Later a Virginia Company of London, which was a joint stock company, organized and sent one hundred and four colonists into Virginia in 1607.
In a ship’s list bound for Virginia it is shown that there were no families aboard, just primarily single men and a hand full of single women. Also the list shows that the people aboard had no history in mining, instead there were people sent over that were perfumists and other needless expertise. The New England region had quite a different attendance, on a ships list bound for New England; there were many families with relevant work abilities. Having many families attributed significantly to the survival rate being much greater than Chesapeake Bay’s.
John Winthrop, a leader of the puritans wrote “God almighty in his most holy and wise providence hath so disposed of the condition of mankind [that in all times some must be rich, some poor, and some high and eminent in power and dignity, other mean and in subjection…[yet] we must be knit together in this work as one man”. These words spoken by John Winthrop show how the New England region was prosperous from the beginning. The New Englanders acquired ability or was established in their daily religion to form together and work as one. This unity was not embedded in the culture of the Chesapeake area. Captain John Smith wrote, on the history of Virginia ” the worse [among us were the gold seekers who] with their golden promises made all men slaves in hopes of recompense. There was no talk… but dig gold, wash gold refine gold, load gold”. This was the primary goal, to mine gold.
One defines the religion in the New England region. The New England region was primarily consisted of Puritans. The Puritans initially left England in search of a refuge to “purify” the religion. Other than the Puritans there were the Pilgrims, which were derived from the Puritans. There weren’t many differences at all between the Puritans and the Pilgrims. The only difference between the Pilgrims and Puritans is that the Pilgrims were not only against the Anglican Church but they called for a total separation from the church. In the New England Region the Puritan oligarchy was in place until the great awakening. In the Chesapeake region there were many religions from the beginning. For instance, Catholics, originally Protestants, settled Maryland. In result, New England was a lot more established and put together.
Geography had many importances in colonial life. There wasn’t any mountains in Jamestown therefore the colonists were susceptible to many attacks and invasions. Governor Berkeley and his council wrote on their inability to defend against the Dutch attacks in 1673. “We thought it our duty… to set forth in this our declaration, the true state and condition of this country in general and our particular disability to engage in war at the time of this invasion… therefore do humbly beseech you most honorable council to consider that Virginia is interacted by so many vast rivers as makes more miles to defend than we do have me to defend them”/. The Chesapeake region were not the only ones to run into trouble due to their geography, the New England region also had problems defending themselves. For instance in King Phillips war.
Geography is also a major factor in any civilization’s economy. The Chesapeake region primarily grew tobacco on there land. We all know that tobacco eventually ruins the soil, from draining all the vital nutrients from the ground. In order for the Virginians to generate a profit, they had to have an ample amount of land. The need to harvest tobacco resulted in a need for “free-labor” or indentured servants. Indentured servants were made to pay for there passage to colonial America by service instead of money. This source of service resulted in the Chesapeake Region having extremes of classes; meaning that the wealthy were becoming wealthier and the poor were becoming poorer.
In Bacon’s rebellion a wealthy landowner, Nathanial bacon of Virginia finally got fed up the aristocracy or that ran the government because he wasn’t inducted. This is an exert from Bacon’s Manifesto “We cannot in our hearts find one single spot of rebellion or treason or that we have in any manner aide at subverting the settled government”, document H. These mean formed a government called the “tide water aristocracy”. Eventually Bacon started a riot. The poor in result were forced to move out to the western frontier.
By them moving, it created tensions with the Native Americans. The Native Americans soon revolted and attacked the colonies. Bacon dies, and the rebellion were put to an end. This only occurred in the colonies and not England due to many things. One, there was more land to farm, two there was no tide water aristocracy, there was only land owners that were members of the church and established in the clergy. In the Chesapeake region’s economy there was more than one variable, tobacco wasn’t stable.
In conclusion, New England and Chesapeake Regions were both settled largely by people of English origin but became to very distinct societies. There were many political, economical, religious, and cultural differences between the two regions. These differences resulted in two very distinct societies.
Courtney from Study Moose
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