Compare and Contrast Virginia Colony to Massachusetts Colony

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During the 17th and 18th century, English populace felt that England was over-crowded and oppressive. They longed to mitigate the problems that arose because of the exaggerated population boom and to establish a government that would allot them the freedom they thought they deserved. The English believed that the best way to go about this was to colonize the New World. Subsequently, many colonies began to develop, and of these colonies, Massachusetts and Virginia were the most well-known. The early settlements of the Massachusetts and Virginia were both established by similar groups of people at the same time; however, their contrasting beginnings as a colony, views on religion, and means of economic stability created two different politics and economic systems.

The settlements of Virginia and Massachusetts were both established during relatively the same time, but the ways that they were established differed tremendously. Virginia had difficulty establishing itself; there were many errors and failures, especially in the beginning. Massachusetts, on the other hand, was extremely successful. The settlers made smart decisions in provisions and planning that resulted in a prosperous colony. Virginia and Massachusetts also differed in their leadership quality. Virginia, initially, had weak leadership until John Smith who established a much more rigid government system within the colony. Massachusetts enjoyed successful leadership from the beginning with Joseph Winthrop. Joseph Winthrop was able to successfully develop the settlement, and a respected, well thought out society. Virginia and Massachusetts also differed in their work ethic. Virginia produced slothful workers and relied heavily on labor from the Natives. The Puritans of Massachusetts held onto a rigid lifestyle and were very hard-working. The differences in the settlement’s upbringing were not the only thing that divided the two colonies; the differing views on religion helped to shape the economy of...
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