Massachusetts and Virginia Colonies

Topics: Slavery, Indentured servant, Colonialism Pages: 2 (624 words) Published: September 16, 2013
Massachusetts and Virginia Colonies

Massachusetts and Virginia were two of the early colonies in the new world. Although these two colonies originated from the same place they are very different. Virginia needed slaves for labor while the citizens of Massachusetts worked in production and had less slaves or indentured servants. Virginia traded cash crops such as tobacco and the colonists in Massachusetts build ships and traded fur among other things. While Massachusetts and Virginia were both British colonies, they differed greatly, from what they were able to grow to the religions they practiced, both thrived in different ways. Virginia settlers lived in a very fertile environment favorable for growing large quantities of crops such as tobacco. Settlers living in Massachusetts had a completely different environment with longer, colder winters and shallow rocky soil making it hard to farm. Unlike Massachusetts, in Virginia farming became the basis of the colony with common exports of the staple crop: tobacco. Massachusetts had a very short planting season so the economy in Massachusetts was based on production such as ships and the exploitation of natural resources such as fur, timber and fish. With the ship building industry in Massachusetts the colony had a formidable trading fleet. Such a fleet could trade furs and meats with other European nations, not just Britain. However in Virginia trans-Atlantic crops were traded with Britain. Such items as tobacco proved to be a huge source of capital for the mother country. So much so that Britain’s King Charles I said Virginia was “founded upon smoke”. With the huge agriculture estates in Virginia, known as plantations, labor was needed to prepare, sow and harvest the crops. Which caused a slight problem; more men were needed to work the land then there were men that were willing to do it. This problem was solved with indentured servants who worked for a period of 5 to 7 years to pay for their voyage over and...
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