The British colonies of North America took their beginnings in the early part of the sixteen hundreds. At that time Virginia and New England became the first regions to be settled by the English. It was the birth of America as a whole, but it also was the beginnings of two distinct ways of life. The colonies were founded on Independence, but from the start there were two completely different ideas of what that Independence was and what it would mean over time.
This paper will examine the two conceptions of Independence to the Virginian and to the New Englander. Using primary documents of the time it will explain how each idea changed over time from settlement to the American Revolution. It will show how the two distinct societies divided so much since settlement came together under a common American theme. It will finally explain why the theme of independence played such a great role in the development of Colonial America and how is a central idea of their culture.
The settlements of Virginia started as an economic venture to reap the land of its resources for the mother nation. It started very slowly due to the lack of preparedness of the colonists and investors. It took sometime before the colony took off. Its first years were filled with death and famine. George Percy worte,
“The fourth day of September, there died Thomas Jacob, sergeant. The fifth day, there died Benjamin Beast. Our men were destroyed with cruel diseases, [such] as swellings, fluxes, burning fevers, and by wars, and some departed suddenly, but for the most part they died of mere famine. There were never Englishmen left in a foreign country in such misery as we were in this new-discovered Virginia.”
The colonists believed that by coming to the new land they would have a chance for an independent wealthy life. They came on the belief that riches would “fall into their laps.” The Virginia model of Independence... [continues]
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