New England vs. the Chesapeake

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New England vs. the Chesapeake

The discovery of the Americas gave a ray of hope to promising settlers who would migrate from England to begin a new and improved life. Most of these settlers ended up in either the New England colonies or the Chesapeake colonies. These two colonies could not have been more opposite of one another. The fact that they were so different makes it no surprise that by the 1700’s the New England colonies and the Chesapeake colonies had evolved into two distinct societies. There are numerous reasons why these differences in development occurred.

Life in the Chesapeake colonies was far more harsh than the lives of those in the New England colonies. Many of the settlers in the Chesapeake did not live to see their twentieth birthday due to such ravenous diseases as malaria, dysentery, and typhoid. Document “F” further sustains this premise. It asserts that when the settlers first reached the Chesapeake, they were living from “hand to mouth” and with the “extremity of the bitter cold frost” many of them perished. While in the New England colonies, the settlers were blessed with longer life spans due to cleaner water and cooler temperatures, which lessened the spread of the killer diseases. The fact that New England did have a better head start when it came to developing a healthier society did make it easier for them to adapt to their new lives.

Most of the English settlers who ended up living in the Chesapeake migrated to the New World alone as indentured servants, independent artisans, or as the young members of upper-class English families, while many of the New England inhabitants migrated in families and groups. With the idea that family should and would be the center of life, the New England colonists were able to thrive together and build a stable, tightly knit family society. Document “A” more than reinforces this claim. It states that as a community people should “delight in each other, make others’ conditions our...
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