Although New England and the Chesapeake Region Were Both Settles Largely by People of English Origin, by 1700 the Regions Had Evolved Into Two Distinct Societies. Why Did This Development Occur?

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Although the New England and Chesapeake regions were settled by basically English, each region was clearly different than the other. This could have happened for many reasons, but difference in how the families were structured and the effect of religion on each region were probably two very big influences on the different developments of the societies. In New England, people who immigrated there came mostly in the form of families. In 1635, "Ship's List of Emigrants bound for New England," showed that the majority of emigrants were part of a family or a servant coming with a family (document B). There was a fairly low death rate and a reasonably balanced sex ratio very early in colonization in New England. All of these factors contributed to a pretty stabilized family structure; consequently the family was much more traditional and closer to the family structure in England. In the Chesapeake, very few people had come with family. In fact, very few women came at all. Most of the immigrants were men or boys. In 1635 "Ship's list of Emigrants Bound for Virginia" showed that there were more than sixty men and boys from ages fourteen to fifty-one. There were only eleven women on board, meaning that very few men were able to marry and very few children were born (document C). Many women died during childbirth and children were most often not expected to survive childhood. Since so many people died and at such young ages, it stunted the population growth. Here, where the sex ratio became very unbalanced, it gave the women a lot more power. Unlike England, the woman of the household had a reasonable amount of control over her husband. Eventually, the sex ratio balanced out and family structure stabilized, but it took much longer than New England and affected the way society developed. In New England, religion was very important to the people. In fact, life in the colonies basically revolved around religion. The government leader and the church leader were one and the...
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