The New England and the Chesapeake Regions Dbq

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Throughout the 17th century, the newly settled colonies in North America continued to identify themselves as Europeans. But as colonial expansion progressed they assumed different identities. By the 1700’s, the typical religious spirit and family oriented lifestyle in New England set itself apart from the Chesapeake region, whose fertile land and extended growing season attracted a distinct group of diverse settlers who had different political ideas about government. These unique societies had different reasons for coming to the new world as well. The New England and the Chesapeake regions differ in social, economic, and geographical aspects.

The Individuals who settled the Chesapeake region were prompted by the rumors of gold and quick wealth, whereas the New England puritans fled the “The Protestant reform” in order to achieve religious freedom (Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen 42-43). The Joint Stock Company landed in Virginia in search of gold in order to match the riches of the Spanish Empire (Document F). Even though no gold was discovered, the development of Tobacco by John Rolfe as a cash crop in 1612 would ensure that wealthy profiteers would continue to settle the Chesapeake and mold it into a mercantilist society (Bailey, Kennedy, and Cohen), while the New England society was representing a flawless society of families and religion, “a city upon a hill” (Document A). Although the Puritans grew out of the English society, they sought solitude from their mother country and they were less concerned with their ties to England as the settlers of the Chesapeake were.

Firstly, the New England Puritans fleeing from England to avoid religious convictions held close ties to their faith. In their society, they believed that they were obligated to do god’s will and create morally right, Christian communities who led strict lives devoted to god. John Winthrop expresses these responsibilities when he states, “We must uphold a familiar commerce together in all...
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