Colonial Ideologies: New England and Chesapeake Contrasts

Categories: New England

Considering that most of the Puritans had ran away from their homes in England for fear of being prosecuted, they wanted to create an ideology among their children that despite being castaway, they were still Englishmen by birth. However, the message that they wanted to relay to their children was that they were persecuted due to faith. This is why they sought a new life at the Plymouth colony. The expansion of their colony was meant to ensure they had land for sustenance and to accommodate dissidents or those who ran from England.

John Winthrop was one of the first puritans to run away from England and to settle in America, and he would later become the governor of Massachusetts Colony. Most of the decisions and arguments that Winthrop made were supported by the bible as he considered that equality in society was not realistic because God made different groups and types of people. Winthrop considered New England to be based on better rules and governance models than their country.

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Despite his Puritan beliefs, he was one of the people who openly disagreed with Anne Hutchison, and he wanted her to be prosecuted by accusing her of heresy.

Anne Hutchison had practiced Puritan beliefs, and she supported the welcoming of women to the church so they could preach equally and worship like men. Most of the Puritan males considered worshipping and guidance in religion as the sole duty of men. Therefore, they felt threatened by the growing power and influence that Hutchison was gaining, and they devised ways of expelling her in their midst.

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Through a manipulated court system, Winthrop, together with other ministers, argued for the banishment of Hutchison from their region due to heresy. Despite her innocence, her growing number of followers and dissidents who did not want to follow their new commanders made Hutchison an easy target.

New England and the Chesapeake regions, despite being inhabited by people from England, evolved into two distinct societies. Both regions had their motivations for coming to the new world, and due to these reasons, their approach to matters of governance, politics, religion, economic activities, and individual rights were different. New England was inhabited by Puritans who wanted to run away from religious intolerance that they were experiencing in England. The motivation that the settlers in New England had was that they could practice religion as they wished without being prosecuted. The Chesapeake region was inhabited by people who came to America to get rich quickly by either finding gold or cultivating tobacco fields that would generate them good economic returns. The motivation of the settlers was to get rich and powerful like their counterparts in England. These different approaches by New England and Chesapeake regions created conflict among the settlers as they sought to exert dominance over the other as they had different economic development models.

The settlers suffered from poor nutrition and lack of clean water and food as they could not plant food in the marshy and swampy land which they had settled. Jamestown was a place where the settlers based their camp, and it did not have clean water, which caused an outbreak of diseases like dysentery and typhoid, which left the settlers weak (64). However, the broader southern region was geographically situated in such a manner that the settlers could engage in large scale plantation.

The Virginia Company invested heavily in tobacco plantations, which was a new frontier for getting rich and gaining economic wealth. The economy depended on agriculture where the settlers planted, farmed, and tended large farm animals (73). The land was fertile for an agricultural economy, but when calamities hit, the settlers became devastated because they would lose their crops, and they did not have any backup plans on their investment. Subsequently, the settlers who were in the south did not own the land or the produce that they generated, and instead, they relied on the Virginia Company to compensate them.

The south thrived on the slave trade as they required servants to work on the big plantations without payments or with little maintenance. The rise of the slave trade was necessitated by the involvement of the monarch, who were shown the immense opportunities and economic benefits that they would accrue. African slaves were transported from British colonies abroad like Barbados and the Caribbean Islands and the African continent (73). Some of the slaves were also acquired from Pequot's who were given or sold off after they lost wars to defend their territory.

In New England, Puritanism played an integral role in shaping the region as the inhabitants were more organized, literate, and they had control of the land that they owned. The geographical location also favored them because they could get fresh water from the surrounding rivers while the cold winters ensured that they were not affected by malaria and other tropical diseases (78). More so, the Puritans believed in the existence of families, and when they migrated, they traveled as a group, which enabled them to increase in numbers and progress economically and spiritually. Most of the Puritans had proper background settings in England, and they could afford to buy the essential commodities that made their lives better. By changing the landscape of New England, the Puritans practiced their religion peacefully because they hated engaging in conflict (80). Religious freedom and their banishment from England had prompted the settlers to co-exist with each other peacefully while they encouraged people to read the bible to understand it better. New England was one of the regions in the new world that had one of the highest literacy rates during that period. These are the positive impacts that made New England one of the most prosperous colonies, as they showed that tolerance, peace, and co-existence supported their ideals.

The different approaches between New England and the Chesapeake region prompted the various ideologies that they believed were supposed to change their fortunes. Geographical locations played a role in the progression of the new colonies as New England was more habitable than the south from the weather, clean water, and ability to share land and duties equally. Literacy ensured that New England was more peaceful as they practiced their Puritan religion while the south was composed of people who had self-interests on their relocation to the new world. These social, political, and economic reasons ensured that the regions had different approaches to establishing their territories as well as the long term goals which they had for remaining there.

Updated: Nov 30, 2023
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Colonial Ideologies: New England and Chesapeake Contrasts. (2021, Oct 08). Retrieved from

Colonial Ideologies: New England and Chesapeake Contrasts essay
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