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Massachusetts and Virginia Essay

According to Lodge (1881) in his A Short History of the English Colonies in America, from the onset, the comparison between the colonies of Massachusetts and Virginia in how the beginnings of the settlements came about and developed are nearly as different as night and day. A Contrast in Founding Ideology The Plymouth settlers arriving on the Mayflower to escape religious persecution from England founded Massachusetts.

Virginia on the other hand, was an adventure quest of English gentlemen who put up the money for the journey to the New World and the establishment of the colony of Jamestown by the London Company to gain riches. Thus, the establishment of the two colonies had similarities in the momentum to take an action by a group of vested people but contrast in the underlying motives. The success in terms of both of these colonies becoming established and maintained again is a contrast.

The Plymouth colony of Massachusetts worked hard among its members and overcame many hardships of lack of promised supplies from England, and only through determination and commitment prevailed as a colony. Whereas, the determination and hard work of one man – Captain John Smith – is how the colony maintained itself for the first two years. The Revolutionary War Brings a Comparison Philosophically, both ideals of the Puritans of the Plymouth colony and the ideals of those founding Jamestown are based on freedom.

With the Puritans, it was the freedom from religious persecution and with Jamestown the freedom, that acquiring wealth brings. In terms of the American Revolutionary War Virginia was the first to raise dissention against the English Stamp Act (a precursor to events leading to the Revolutionary War). With Massachusetts, the die had been cast with the Mayflower Compact, which is historically recognized as a milestone in the North American continent lauding democratic ideals. The Contrast in Basics

Massachusetts developed into a region of centralized communities and with the growth of the shipping industry and with trade outside the continent wealth came to the region. Unlike Massachusetts was established after the hard work of the colonists to found townships and trade, Virginia became and remained a dispersed group of tobacco farmers with no established towns or cities and no centralized populations throughout the state. Virginia had no outside trade because of the population spread over the state and therefore depended on import goods (this was later remedied by laws enacted by leaders).

The Impact on the Civil War of the United States Massachusetts was the leader of the Abolitionist Movement (a common theme of the arguments leading to the Civil War of the United States). At the time of the original secession, Montgomery, Alabama was the designated capitol of the Confederacy. However, with the onset of troops called together for the Union by Lincoln in response to the firing on Fort Sumter, the Confederacy Capitol was moved to Richmond Virginia. Conclusion In conclusion, Massachusetts and Virginia were founded as colonies by people looking for freedoms in the New World.

Massachusetts – freedom from religious persecution and Virginia the freedom that wealth brings. The contrasts are in the development of the colonies. Massachusetts is populated with centralized towns and has a strong international trade with the development of shipping. Virginia develops into an agricultural colony with no centralized populations and no outside trade, which causes an economic hardship that only after becoming a state, does the lawmakers take action. Massachusetts sets the pulse of its citizen’s view of democratic ideals with the Mayflower Compact.

Virginia lauds independence from tyranny with its first to take the stand against the English King’s imposed Stamp Act on the colonies. Massachusetts leads the nation during the precursor years of the Civil War in the Abolitionist Movement whereas Richmond, Virginia becomes the second capitol of the Confederate States. The contrasts and comparisons are in part a picture of the diversity of the founding fathers and the underlying momentum towards the ideals of freedom. References Lodge, H. C. (1881) A short history of the english colonies in america. Harper & Brothers. New York. (Pgs 560).


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