Ap History Essay Economic Development and Religion

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Although many people think of the seventeenth century as having no variation from place to place, this is not true. Many settlements during this time were different in several ways, such as the English colonies in New England and the Spanish settlements in the southwest. Economic development and religion proved to be a key difference between the Spanish settlements in the southwest and the English colonies in New England during the seventeenth century.

The two main religious groups in New England were the Puritans and the Pilgrims. The Puritans, a strictly religious group of the Anglican church, were bound together by a covenant. This caused all residents of this community to be tightly knit together in a religious and social commitment. They used theocracy as their form of government, which meant they saw God as their absolute ruler. Also in New England’s religion were the Pilgrims. They, also, were a very religious group, but they wanted to separate from the Church of England. They sought religion by moving from place to place.

The Spanish settlements in the southwest, however, had a much different religious system. First of all, they practiced Catholicism very heavily. One of their biggest goals was to convert the natives to Catholicism. To help in their persistent efforts, they created missions; through the work of missionaries, they were enabled to spread Catholicism rapidly throughout South and Central America, Mexico, and into the south and southwest region of present day United States.

Another major difference between the Spanish and the New England colonies was their varying economic development. Mercantilism was huge in the New England colonies. The major trade nations used mercantilism to gain national wealth and power by vastly increasing their exports and receiving precious metals in return. Also, New England had Navigation Acts which limited the colonies control over their economy. These acts were set into place in order to...
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