Virginia and Massachusetts Colonies

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This essay demonstrates and explains the differences between Virginia and Massachusetts in the terms of society and economy. Both colonies developed their own characteristics based upon the factors of: the economic motivation of the settlers, the political and religious motivation of the settlers, and the natural resources and climate of the region. Although located in different parts of the Americas they shared similarities and differences.

In 1607, James I granted a charter for the settlement of Virginia. The first settlement in the Virginia colony was Jamestown on the James River, named after the King James. Virginia was one of the Southern Colonies. Virginia was a royal colony, directly controlled under the king. Initially the settlers were interested in gold rather than planting crops for food so many settlers suffered from salvation, diseases and poor leadership. The Virginias found their economic salvation in the tobacco plant. Tobacco was a suitable and profitable crop. Virginia was the first plantation colony. In 1619, a Dutch warship sold twenty black Africans to the Virginias to provide the labor necessary to support these plantations, the first of many to harbor laborers from the Africans to America. Also in 1619, self-government was instituted in Virginia. Delegates chosen from each district made up the House of Burgesses, which met at Jamestown to advise the governor on local issues. In 1642 the Virginian governor William Berkeley decided that his colony was to be Anglican, and he wanted all the non-conformist to depart the colony immediately. Overall, Virginia shared a plantation economy where large landowners dominated society. A few staple crops, such as tobacco and indigo, provided income for the colonists. These crops required constant growth westward, as they exhausted the land rapidly. Also Virginia allowed some degree of religious toleration.

In 1620, a group of separatist moved to Holland and left for the Americas on the Mayflower and...
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