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Southern Chesapeake and Northern New England Colonies

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 Cody Palladino

The Colonial Paper

During the end of the 16th century into the 17th century, European nations briskly colonized the freshly discovered Americas. One country we know of today as England back then sent out massive amounts of groups to the North Americas, this was then separated into two regions known as new England and Chesapeake areas. Later in the 1700's the new England and Chesapeake areas would unite to become a single nation. From the very begging these two areas had many different ways of settling but struggled in similar ways. This essay will go through and explain what there many different methods were and also compare the historic process of settlement and developments were. These similarities and differences that is going to be talked about during this essay is the very reason why the settlers came to the new world such as for land, labor and religion. The colonies were affected in many ways including socially, economically, and politically.

The northern New England colonies and the Southern Chesapeake colonies had very different way of settling one of the differences were the land that they had settled on. For the Chesapeake colony, their major interest was in large lands that covered a vast area, including Plymouth, Massachusetts bay, Rhode Island and many more. These areas were in which the Chesapeake were mainly interested in. For the New England settlers were interested in mining mainly of gold and silver. They had hoped that in finding these riches that it would help them in their trading actives. The Chesapeake wanted to find a passage to northwest Asia so it would promote better trading. They were also on a hunt to find a cure for the disease syphilis on the mission in the land. Anything that the Chesapeake found meaningful and possible valuable on the land they would gather and put up for trade in Europe. For the New England settler, they had a different approach for settling of the land. There concerns were for the artisan industries which included printing, carpentry and shipbuilding. As for their concerns, they wanted to find material on the land in which could help them develop the artisan industry better. They also had some similarities when they settled on their land. First when both the Northern New England and the Southern Chesapeake colonies had settled and their land they were both populated by the English, this also meant that both colonies had counited to retain dominance in English culture. Another way they both colonies struggled in similar ways were due to the Powhatan Indians in the book "Visions Of America a History of the United States" by Jennifer D. Keene she states "once the Indians realized that the English were not temporary visitors merely interested in trade, but were intending to settle permanently in the region, relations between the two peoples deteriorated"(36). Both colonies faced conflict with Native Americans in their areas leading to the Pequot war for New England colony and the Powhatan Confederacy fot the Southern Chesapeake colony.

Labor was also a major mission for both the New England and Chesapeake settlers in America. For the Southern Chesapeake region, their land was merely all swampy and not good conditions at all for growing crops. But five years later after settling they caught on to the discovery of tobacco. This crop did extremely well in the condition of their land and flourished in the swamp lands. They used cheap labor in the crop fields, they also made and new type of work service where if and person wanted a free passage to America than they offered them to work for them for free for about five or so years and after your term is complete than you got a bonus of usually a 50-acre plot of land which they could use to produce their own crop usually tobacco. For the New England colony, their region did not consist of huge farm lands, most settlers of New England mainly relied on moderately small farms and also other types of industry work for example printing and carpentry. Since the New England colony were a home based industry they had no need to hire labor because the family was usually sufficient enough to provide the labor needed to complete the work. As a contrasting point the New England colony does not care for slavery being developed as such for the Chesapeake region they relied heavily on the people who wanted a free passage to America and slavery from the Spaniards and later form African Americans. Both the colonies also brought groups of people from all over England in spite for a better life in the North Americas.

Religion was also another difference among the Northern New England and Sothern Chesapeake area, but there was also some similarities with religion as well between the two colonies. For the New England settlers, there religion was mainly composed of puritan separatists in which they were seeking religious freedom. The church of England did split from Catholicism the main religion at the time of Henry VIII. This resulted the major religion to be Protestantism. For the Chesapeake region in the book "Visions Of America a History of the United States" by Keene she states "although he envisioned his colony as a haven for catholic, Calvert knew that its economic success depended on attracting laborer's, so the colony would need to be equally hospitable to Protestants. Maryland therefore afforded religious freedom to all Christians"(41). This basically explains the reason why there was so much religious freedom for the Chesapeake area due to the labors need to farm their land. Most of their similarity fall under how they did not have one religion no matter how much New England was trying to converge everyone over to a single religion.

All in all, the southern Chesapeake colonies and the Northern New England colonies had many different way of settling and running their colony. Both of these colonies also had a similar goal looking for land with better social, economic, and political freedom. As we could see the differences was in which each colony used their land to grow and have a strong economical stands. Both they ran into some similarities with the Native Americans and also with diseases they and encountered and were trying to cure. Their religion was also noticeable different as well due to one colony wanting no diversity in religion and the other having religious freedom. It can also be noticed that both colonies had similar missions but were opposite in which the land they settled on.

Work Cited

Keene, Jennifer D., et al. Visions of America: a History of the United States. 3rd ed., vol. 1, Boston, Pearson, 2017.


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