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New England And The Chesapeake Region Before 1700 Essay, Research Paper

New England and the Chesapeake region before


Essay submitted by Unknown

Although New England and the Chesapeake region were both settled largely by the

people of English origin, by 1700 the regions had evolved into two distinct societies.

The reasons for this distinct development were mostly based on the type on people

from England who chose to settle in the two areas, and on the manner in which the

areas were settled.

New England was a refuge for religious separatists leaving England, while people who

immigrated to the Chesapeake region had no religious motives. As a result, New England

formed a much more religious society then the Chesapeake region. John Winthrop

states that their goal was to form “a city upon a hill”, which represented a “pure”

community, where Christianity would be pursued in the most correct manner. Both the

Pilgrims and the Puritans were very religious people. In both cases, the local

government was controlled by the same people who controlled the church, and the

bible was the basis for all laws and regulations. From the Article of Agreement,

Springfield, Massachusetts it is clear that religion was the basis for general laws. It

uses the phrase “being by God’s providence engaged together to make a plantation”,

showing that everything was done in God’s name. The Wage and Price Regulations in

Connecticut is an example of common laws being justified by the bible. Also in this

document the word “community ” is emphasized, just as Winthrop emphasizes it saying:

“we must be knit together in this work as one man”. The immigrants to New England

formed very family and religiously oriented communities. Looking at the emigrant lists of

people bound for New England it is easy to observe that most people came in large

families, and large families support the community atmosphere. There were many

children among the emigrants, and those children were taught religion from their early

childhood, and therefore grew up loyal to the church, and easily controllable by the

same. Any deviants from the regime were silenced or persecuted before they could

start any movements that would be a threat to the authority of the church. Even

people like Ann Hutchinson and Roger Williams, who only slightly deviated from the

teaching of the Puritan church were expelled and forced to move to Rode Island. As a

result of this tight religious control the society became very conservative in New

England, and life evolved to be simple and not elaborate as in Virginia. In the

Chesapeake region almost everything was exactly opposite of New England. The

immigrants were not idealists, but materialists, most of whom sought money. As John

Smith mentions in his History of Virginia, many sought gold. As it can be observed from

the ship’s list of emigrants bound for Virginia, the immigrants were mostly young people,

most of them men, and like it is stated in the same list they were all conformists of the

Church of England, and unlike the Puritans, were not discriminated against back in

England. As John Smith points out, many attempted to go back when they found

difficulties instead of opportunities to get rich. Many others died of hunger when the

Corporations that brought the settlers to America abandoned them, and the difficulty of

the situation is described in Document G. The population was very small and the

dangers were huge. The pioneers had to defend themselves against both, the Dutch

and the Indians. As a result, the people who survived the first few years were all young

ambitious and ruthless pioneers. These were not the type of people who would be

easily controlled.

The independence of the pioneers of Virginia can be seen in Bacon’s Manifesto. These

people were not afraid to challenge authority and believed that they had the full right

to say in the governing of the colonies. These people believed that if they had survived

the hard times with no or little help from authorities, those authorities had no rights to

impose laws upon them, especially if those laws were seen as unfair.

As a result of these differences two totally different types of people formed in New

England and in the Chesapeake region. New Englanders were faithful followers of the

teachings of their church, and the southerners became independent citizens, with the

ability to organize and the will to fight to get what they wanted.

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