New England and Chesapeake

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Elizabeth FinkAP American History

1993 DBQ Essay

Question: Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies. Why did this difference in development occur?

In the mid-1600's, when both the New England and Chesapeake regions first began to colonize, each had the same goals and hopes for the ‘New World'. Both sought freedom, money and power but, instead of finding their dreams they found hardships such as Indians, unfarmed land and weather much different from England. In order to stake it out, each colony began building and working.

Just as they settled, the differences formed. In Virginia there were few women and without women the men had little of a home to work for, therefore many men weren't motivated to work and so many died (Document B). However, in New England, mostly families had colonized, therefore giving the settlers reason to work and civilize their surroundings (Document C). The women factor made the schism between the two regions even larger, since the Virginians didn't feel stability they looked for companionship with Indian women after which Virginian women held more power, due to their scarcity and so many stayed single.

Due to the different lands in each region, the south learned to depend on their farm crops such as rice, tobacco and etc. While the north relied on livestock, furs (traded by the Indians), apples, corn, pumpkins and other various crops. Since the lands were so unlike, the North settled into communities of religious unity bound by the church. As it shows in Document D, Massachusetts made a covenant that bound them to believe in their God, to allot property convenient to all inhabitants and to share the farmland amongst them. In New England region, the community was much more communal than that of the Chesapeake region. As shown in Document F, many of the settlers came to the ‘New...
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