New England vs. Chesapeake Colonies
When Columbus first landed on the shores of the Bahamas, he thought he had discovered a new passage to the Indies. However, what he had discovered was even more valuable. With the discovery of an entirely new and unique world came the greed and competition from European countries. This competition, paired with the uncertainty of life in Europe, led to many explorers following in Columbus’s trail to discover North and South America. Eventually, England seemed to dominate in North America, and created colonies such as the New England and Chesapeake colonies. These colonies, while both English in origin, evolved socially, economically and religiously into two completely different regions by 1700.
The Chesapeake and New England colonies attracted different types of settlers and, by 1700, the populations differed greatly. In New England, society was made up of mostly white and English settlers. As shown in a ship’s list of emigrants (Document B), most emigrants were families with husbands and wives, along with their children and some servants. Many of these people came for the religious freedom that was offered in the New World. The Chesapeake colony, on the other hand, was focused on tobacco, and therefore attracted single men who could work as indentured servants. Later on, the majority of the population would become African Americans. In Document C, a ship’s list of emigrants to Virginia, it shows seventy five emigrants, all of which are single, and sixty four of which are men. The lack of women eventually led to more cultural diversity in Virginia as well, because many mulatto children were born.
Along with their social differences, the two colonies differed in their economy. The Chesapeake colony was more focused on profit than New England. As stated earlier, the Chesapeake colony was dependent upon their tobacco plantations. This led to the evolution of slave trade, and an increase in the number of indentured servants....
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