Analysis Of The Differences in The Chesapeake Colonies And New England

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The Puritans were religious settlers who came to America, with the reason being that they needed reform of the Church of England. They wanted to purify the religious practices in England and its government. With that failing, they separated from it to create their own, where their practices and way of living would be of that of the bible, as John Winthrop states “We shall find that the God of Israel is among us, when ten of us shall be able to resist a thousand of our enemies”.

Socially, Puritans wanted to rise above the sinners, to purify them and live Christ-like life, as said by John Winthrop, colonists “must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us”, meaning they believed they were doing the work of God by preaching the Bible to others. William Bradford said “but hey cried unto the Lord, and he heard their voice, and looked on their adversity, etc.

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Let them therefore praise the Lord, because he is good, & his mercies endure forever”, enforcing the idea that those who had faith would prosper in the colonies and in life.

Puritan male leaders would preach to families and the community. Women were not allowed to preach or even have a say in decisions made in church or government, as only male church members were allowed to vote. Males were superior in families, they would lead in church, do the hard work, a woman’s job was caring for the homes and children.

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Those who committed an act against their social norm or biblical beliefs would be punished or looked down upon.

Ann Hutchinson was a midwife who came to the Massachusetts with her family. When she arrived she began to have religious meetings held in her home, where she would call out ministers and faults in the religion of Christ, for example, they could not make people saints. During the trial against her, it was stated “You have stept out of your place, you have rather been a Husband than a Wife and a preacher than a Hearer; and a Magistrate than a Subject.” (Transcript of the Trial of Anne Hutchinson), meaning Ann stepped out of her place as a woman by doing such actions. In the excerpt, of The Transcript from the Trial of Anne Hutchinson, Puritans viewed Ann as a threat because they believed she was doing that against God and his work and that it would influence others to believe it and go against the religious life.

The colonists were rebelling against England’s control of them. After Parliament passed unfair taxes without the colonists’ thoughts in mind, colonists decided to fight back During the Revolution the colonists created a set of values and rules for their new government. The Stamp act Congress then created a Declaration of the Rights and Grievances of the Colonists, which declared the colonists had the same rights as those from the mainland of England. The Stamp act Congress stated, “That it is inseparably essential to the freedom of a people, and the undoubted right of Englishmen, that no taxes be imposed on them, but with their own consent, given personally, or by their representatives”, expressing it was a colonists’ right to give consent or their by representatives to any tax made upon them. Since the colonists were not fairly represented under British control, in their new government that would change, as it would be a government for the people by the people.

A declaration of independence was created to inform why colonists desired to be set free from Britain control. Colonist’s new declaration of independence states “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”, therefore, colonists would be created equal with liberty that would be respected by the new government. Also communicated in the Declaration of Independence, colonists have the right to alter or abolish any law or rule that would take away their rights and even change the government if it became uncivil towards them.

The Preamble is a statement made to introduce the constitution, disclosing that in order to keep a perfect union, initiate equality in the legal system, secure peace within the states, be protected by the national government, prosper socially and economically, to enjoy the freedom and opportunity of America, the constitution would be accepted as America’s.

New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled and ruled by those of English origin but by the year 1700, they had both developed into two distinct societies. The elements that the two distinctions derived from the two region’s reason of settlements, values, the geography affecting commerce and the politics.

The Chesapeake region was location included Virginia and New England’s region included Massachusetts. What began these different societies were the reason of settlement. Virginia’s reason of settlement was for economic profit. Economic prosperity in Virginia was influenced by the use of the two companies, the London and Virginia Company. These two companies were joint-stock companies that sold shares to investors, to raise money for the development of the colonies. Those who migrated to the Chesapeake colonies included young and single men, ready for work. Initially, they began for the hunt of gold, hoping to find riches faster, but this search failed and considering that they did not place enough of their focus on the growth of crops, resulted in the colonists not having sufficient food, causing starvation and death. After this misjudgment, they began to grow crops, one of them being tobacco, which became one of the most important crops of the their economy. In contrast, Massachusetts reason of settlement was for religion purposes with a side of commerce as well. Many colonists who settled were Puritans, religious people who sought practice their religion without the intrusion of the Church of England. They wanted to spread the life of purity like that in the bible. Puritans preached and influenced others to convert to their religion, a significance of them being the Native Indians that inhabited the region. Religion shaped the lifestyle in the New England region. The region was formed by families who came together from the mainland. Puritans were strict about maintaining a pure community, if anyone had gone against their belief, they would be punished and even vanished.

Virginia’s main focus was the prosperity from the rising commerce, which influenced their set of values while living in the colonies. Virginians became greedy and disregarded the rights of the colonists or the Native Indians. Virginians attempted to find loopholes between their relationships with their fellow inhabitants, the Native Indians, in order to conquer more of their land, resulting in angered Indians feeling betrayed and sparking conflict. Because labor was significant in Chesapeake colonies, colonies could not maintain good family structure throughout colonies, as there was an uneven ratio of men to women, women had to be brought from the mainland for marriage and many wives and children died due to disease. Although death broke families apart in the beginning of colonization, intact families still existed in Chesapeake colonies.

Family and religion were the backbone of the values of the New England colonies. Families migrated together from the motherland and brought their Puritan lifestyle with them. New England colonies had tight knit communities. Services would be held, where preachers would deliver sermons about the sovereignty of following God and having a purified life in order to go to heaven. Men were superior to women, and they were the head of the family, who could participate in politics, by voting. Mothers were in charge of raising their sons to live the life of a Puritan. New England colonies were able to have schools for their children and build churches. The geography of the two regions affected the colonies economy. The New England region was infertile provoking them to go completely into the crop industry. New England source of economy was diverse, they commenced in fishing, lumberjacking, and self-sufficient farms.

The Chesapeake region had sufficient amount of fertile soil, owning an industry formed of a variety of crop plantations and farming. To succeed economically in Chesapeake, the colonies managed indentured servitude and slavery, while New England relied on family labor. Politically, the two regions had a considerable difference. In contrast, from the Chesapeake colonies, New England involved their religion into their government like every other aspect of their life. The New England colonies government was that of theocracy where religious leaders, also known as clergymen, had political power. The Crown of Great Britain would appoint their governors, but the colonies were self-governed, churches would do their own affairs and also taxed their own community. The Chesapeake colony governmental structure favored that of England’s court. The Chesapeake colonies adapted the House of Burgess, group of representatives for the colonies and a fixed Governor’s council. The Chesapeake colonies did not have fair representation, when Parliament controlled them, which caused them to be mistreated of their rights and abused taxes. Only those who owned land were allowed to participate in voting rights.

In conclusion, the Chesapeake colonies and New England had an important amount of differences in their colonies, ranging from their societies, economy and political structures. Many factors contributed to these changes, some of many, including the colonists’ relationship with religion and their locations. The New England colonies revolved around religion; as Chesapeake colonies focused on money, economy gain. These differences shaped today’s America.

Works cited

  1. Morgan, E. S. (2007). The Puritan Family: Essays on Religion and Domestic Relations in Seventeenth-Century New England. Oxford University Press.
  2. Bremer, F. J. (2009). The Puritan Experiment: New England Society from Bradford to Edwards. University Press of New England.
  3. Hall, D. D. (2013). Worlds of Wonder, Days of Judgment: Popular Religious Belief in Early New England. Harvard University Press.
  4. Hutchinson, A. (1991). The Trial of Anne Hutchinson: Liberty, Law, and Intolerance in Puritan New England. University Press of New England.
  5. Bailyn, B. (2012). The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution. Belknap Press.
  6. Maier, P. (1997). American Scripture: Making the Declaration of Independence. Vintage Books.
  7. Wood, G. S. (1991). The Radicalism of the American Revolution. Vintage Books.
  8. Middlekauff, R. (2005). The Glorious Cause: The American Revolution, 1763-1789. Oxford University Press.
  9. Fischer, D. H. (1991). Albion's Seed: Four British Folkways in America. Oxford University Press.
  10. Greene, J. P. (1999). Pursuits of Happiness: The Social Development of Early Modern British Colonies and the Formation of American Culture. The University of North Carolina Press.
Updated: Feb 21, 2024
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Analysis Of The Differences in The Chesapeake Colonies And New England. (2024, Feb 21). Retrieved from

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