Factors Leading to the Development of Two Distinct Societies: New England and the Chesapeake Regions

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The people of both the New England and Chesapeake region came from the same English origin, however, by 1700; their social, economical, and political differences led them in two different directions. They adapted to their region, and evolved in a way where they can benefit from their geography and region. They constructed their society based on circumstances and conditions that needed to be met in order to prosper and survive.

The Chesapeake settlers had a difficult time surviving in America’s wilderness. Many settlers died from diseases such as malaria, dysentery, and typhoid. Life expectancy for the Chesapeake settlers was very low; around forty or fifty years old. Women were very scarce and men often fought over them in order to expand their families. Eventually they acquired immunity to the diseases, and more women were present and allowed more families to be formed. The Chesapeake settlers slowly expanded and fought off diseases, while, the New Englanders were prospering in the American wilderness. They didn’t have to worry about disease because clean water and cooler temperatures decreased the disease-infested bugs. Settlers from the Old World who moved to New England increased their lifespan by ten years. As opposed to the Chesapeake, New Englanders tended to migrate as families, and family was the source of New England life. The birthrate increased due to early marriages and the fact that women had multiple babies. These social factors contributed to the difference between the Chesapeake region and the New England region.

The tobacco crop was a large economic factor for the Chesapeake region. They planted tobacco before planting corn to eat in order to make money; however, tobacco depletes and exhausts land, so a growing demand for more land started. More tobacco growers moved up the river valleys, provoking more Indian attacks. The growers used indentures servants in order to plant and harvest the tobacco; about 40 million pounds of tobacco was...
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