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

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In the early 17th century, a large amount of English emigrants began to settle on the Atlantic seaboard of North America. It was then that each region of the colonies began to build the foundations of their colonies. The New World was just as the name suggests: new. The colonists hadn't any idea of what to expect until the moment they could see it with their own eyes. And although New England and the Chesapeake regions were settled largely by people of English origin, by the 18th century, the two distinct societies became apparent. The New England and Chesapeake regions took their own paths due to economic, social, and political systems.

The economic differences of the two regions resulted from geographic variations. Due to their lack of fertile soil and the climate, it became apparent to the New England colonists that the cash crop, tobacco, of most of the American colonies would not be harvested from this land. Although the harsh winters and dry summers would not encourage plantations, those of the New England colonies would soon discover they would profit from new industries. The colonists soon discovered that they could utilize the natural resources through fishing, lumber, and fur-trapping industries. On the other hand, the Chesapeake regions of the southern colonies were blessed with an abundance of fertile land. Because of the fertile land, the Chesapeake regions were able to prosper through plantations. Their land would allow large tobacco, rice, and indigo plantations to become their source of staple crops. Their products would allow the Chesapeake regions to become an empire of commercial exportation. But as the plantations of the south continued to expand, the demand for cheap labor hands increased as well.

The social differences between the New England and Chesapeake regions were evident as time went on. Although both regions condoned slavery by the 1680s, slaves in the Chesapeake region were much more indispensable, and the African slaves soon...
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