AP US History
17 September 2012
DBQ on the Colonies
Although both the New England and Chesapeake regions were settled primarily by people of English origin, they eventually developed into two distinctly different societies. This occurred because of the stark difference in the environment of the two regions, the economies of the two regions, and the mentalities of the people in the two regions. The Chesapeake and New England regions had many flagrant differences that led to the difference in their development.
To understand the reasons why New England and Chesapeake evolved into two distinct societies, one must take into account the dynamics of each region. Pre-1700, the Chesapeake region was rampant with diseases including malaria, dysentery, and typhoid that took a cruel toll on its settlers. Many people born in early Virginia and Maryland did not live to see their twentieth birthday. Also, the settlement of Chesapeake grew very slowly in the seventeenth century because families were few and far between throughout the region. Most of the inhabitants of Chesapeake were single men in their late teens or early twenties because raising a family in the Chesapeake region was almost unfeasible. The Chesapeake region was also hospitable to the cultivation of tobacco. On the other hand, the New England region was mostly made up of families who migrated together from England. Puritanism influenced the families to form a tightly-knit society based on equality and togetherness. Also, the New England region required towns of more than fifty families to provide elementary school education. In fact, in 1636 the Massachusetts puritans established Harvard University which still stands today as one of the most prestigious schools in the nation. As one can see, the New England and Chesapeake regions had some stark differences in the seventeenth century.
The major differences in the environment of the New England and Chesapeake regions caused...