New England vs. Chesapeake Dbq

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Document-Based Question: New England and the Chesapeake Region

Alec Brevé
AP US History
September 13th, 2011
7th Period

The Chesapeake Region and New England both started as English colonies, but by the 1700’s they had already become two completely different societies. The so-called “Chesapeake Region” was born with the foundation of Jamestown in 1607, the first English colony in the New World. In the area of New England, it all started when the colony of Plymouth was founded in 1630. New England also included colonies that were founded in the following years like the Massachusetts Bay Colony (MBC), Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut. The Chesapeake Region and New England grew into two distinct societies by the 1700’s because of their different incentives to come to the New World, the methods of income they used, and the structures they used for family unit and social organization.

With the foundation of Jamestown in 1607 by the Virginia Company (a joint-stock company) it was evident that the whole purpose of Jamestown was to create wealth, because that is what joint-stock companies seek. Conversely, the foundation of New England didn’t have an economic motivation, but a religious one. Part of the attraction of the New World was its newness, its contrast to their own troubled land. America seemed a place where perfect society could be created without the flaws of the Old World. The first MBC’s governor, John Winthrop, embraced the idea of creating a “city upon a hill”, a utopia, a heaven for Puritans in New England. His ideas of making the MBC a model of Christian charity make it evident that the major focus of the New England region was strictly religious (A).

Social organization and family unit were also fundamental differences between the areas. In the Chesapeake Region, a “House of Burgesses” was established to create order. This was the name for a representational assembly that took control of the economic, military, and all...
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