Development Of The Virginia And Massachusetts Colonies

Topics: Massachusetts Bay Colony, Thirteen Colonies, Slavery Pages: 6 (2407 words) Published: April 26, 2001
Wealth is powerful when it is obtained by someone, but even more powerful when it is not. When people are striving for riches they tend to put that need above everything else. People will go through all sorts of difficulties and obstacles to make it in life. Striving for wealth and power is something that brings both positive and negative results. During the colonial period the development of the Virginia and Massachusetts colonies was greatly influenced by the effects of the search for riches and power. Each area had common basic interests, but the ways in which they went about attaining these goals were in most views different. Prosperity was the major goal of everyone, but each settlement had its"˜ own idea of the kind of prosperity it wanted and the way in which it was to be accomplished.

Early Virginian settlements themselves revolved around making money. This was mainly due to the fact that the early settlers were predominantly a group of disorderly single men. They had little interest in families or society, they were there simply to make money. They were not interested in building lives in the colonies, they planned to make money quick and go back to Europe wealthy. Their motives were selfish and individualistic, due to this they became extremely competitive and suspicious of other men's motives. The settlers kept to themselves because they feared that everyone was out to get them and their wealth. Trust was hard to come by in the colony, if you trusted someone it was seen as weakening your defenses. This was a vast contrast to the foundations of the early Massachusetts Bay Colony. In this northern settlement the main concerns were built upon the needs of the community as a whole, not the individual. Families comprised the main population of the Bay colony. They had come here for many reasons, but ultimately for a better life. There goals included obtaining prosperity, but for the survival of the community, not for personal gain. There was a strong sense of communal responsibility, which was not present in the Virginia colony. The Bay settlers worked together to built a lasting and functioning society. They were driven by a common goal, to create a religious haven. This connected the settlers and offered an interpersonal connection between them all. In the Bay colony churches were built and community gatherings were created, the Virginians did not participate in either of these events. Helping a neighbor in the Bay area was seen as assisting in the colony's prosperity, in Virginia it was seen as taking away from your individual wealth. This difference in social structure causes many problems for the Virginian's.

The first years of the Virginia settlement were very harsh, because instant riches were not found and the men were unwilling to work together. The values of the colony were nothing but dysfunctional and were leading it straight to ruin. There was no gold or spices to be found in the area, therefore there was no instant wealth. Instead of working together to survive the times, the settlers resorted to violence and anger. This caused even more of a gap between each person, there was no community, just a collection of individuals. Eventually the colony found it's version of gold, the tobacco industry entered the area. Tobacco cultivation rescued the settlement, and ultimately ruined any possible form of society. Since tobacco could be grown almost anywhere, it was planted everywhere. The construction of churches or any other communal building was deterred simply because its development took away land which could be used for planting. The tobacco plant depleted the land of nutrients quickly, so the people spread out in search of new land to use. This put more space between each settler, there was no sense of community or society. The tobacco market was one of instant return, settlers could make good money quick. The individualistic ways, which were at first bringing down the colony, were now boosting its...
Continue Reading

Please join StudyMode to read the full document

You May Also Find These Documents Helpful

  • Massachusetts and Virginia Colonies Essay
  • How the Colonies of Virginia and Massachusetts Differ. Essay
  • Virginia and Massachusetts Colonies Essay
  • Massachusetts vs Virginia: A Tale of Two Colonies Essay
  • Apush: Virginia vs. Massachusetts Essay
  • Massachusetts Bay / Virginia Colony Comparison Essay
  • Massachusetts Bay Colony vs. Virginia Colony Essay
  • Essay on Comparing Massachusetts bay and Virginia colonies

Become a StudyMode Member

Sign Up - It's Free