Apush: Virginia vs. Massachusetts

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Virginia vs. Massachusetts

Two of the first two regions of America to be colonized, Virginia and Massachusetts had many similarities. However, their differences are what defined their society and economy and made them unique. Virginia and Massachusetts differ socially in terms of religion and demographics and economically in terms of production focus and labor usage.

A main societal difference between the colonies in Virginia and the ones in Massachusetts is religion. Whereas the Virginian colonies were declared as Anglican, the colonies of Massachusetts were Puritan. An important point to be made here is that Massachusetts’ colonies were actually founded for religious reasons. The Puritans came to America to escape religious persecution in Europe. Another difference is that while other religions were tolerated to a certain extent in Virginia, there was basically no religious toleration in Massachusetts. All other religions were banned in Massachusetts and people were forced to convert to the Puritan religion.

Another societal difference is in the area of demographics. For starters, when colonists first arrived in Virginia, they were pretty much all men. This was because Jamestown was founded for economic purposes. However, in Massachusetts, whole families voyaged across the ocean because the establishment of colonies in Massachusetts was based on religious reasons. Ultimately, this meant that there were many more women and kids in the Massachusetts colonies in comparison to the Virginian ones. Another demographic difference was the colonist vs. slave ratio. In Virginia, slaves were commonly used for labor, so the percentage of slaves in the total population was much higher than it was in Massachusetts, where slave labor was not used. This caused society in Virginia to be more diverse, not only religiously, but also racially.

An economic difference between Virginia and Massachusetts is the production focus of the two areas. Originally, Virginia was...
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