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New England Chesapeake Differences

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In the first decade of the seventeenth century, English immigrants began to arrive at the newly discovered land called America. Escaping from their poor, decrepit lives in England, these people longed for a peaceful, comfortable existence. In 1609, the first official settlement was established in Jamestown, Virginia, in the Chesapeake Bay area. Separatists with the same origins and the same dreams arrived in Massachusetts in November of 1620 on the Mayflower. Within seventy years, these two establishments grew larger and larger. Those two English groups came for better lives. Although both the New England region and Chesapeake region were both settled by mostly people of English ethnicity, they came out to be two totally different societies. The Reason why? Different intentions in coming to the new world and the population who emigrated here to the US.

An issue that really defined a split between the societies was the slavery conflict. The northerners in New England held true to their belief that every man shall be equal and no one should be enslaved, while the southerners in the Chesapeake area strongly believed in the use of slavery. At the same time the New Englanders worked to help end slavery by preaching to others about the injustices, they worked diligently to make education in their society strong. Most people in the towns were literate so that they could read their Bibles and study them in detail with their friends and family. Some colonists were artisans or merchants. Others were small-town farmers, making sure that every member of the community had a reasonable share of God's land.

The northern colonies were renowned for being rich in furs, timber and fish. They were especially noted for developing into a very successful trading region. The New England colonies made up the middle class society whose focal points were family, education and religion. The society remained non-capitalistic, yet still buzzed with much activity. On the other hand, the Chesapeake region had a "cash crop" get rich quickly mentality. This aristocratic region consisted of Virginia and Maryland, two colonies that seemed to be exceedingly materialistic. Evidently, their lives were based more on their liquid assets than on God or family. The Englanders who saw the opportunity to take advantage of the popularity of a brand new crop they had discovered settled the Chesapeake area. These "gold diggers" were mainly upper-class men of wealthy families who had in mind on coming to the New World to create a large profit for themselves. These colonists were not fleeing England seeking religious or social freedom, but clearly only to add more wealth to their names. Tobacco soon became the primary crop seen growing on almost every one of these wealthy men's plantations, which created tremendous amounts of money to add to their fortunes. Of course almost every plantation had African slaves working on the land. These colossal estates came to depend on their slaves to run their farms and slavery became a common, yet feared, way of life for many Africans

The New England and Chesapeake regions differed greatly on the socially basis. Documents B and C show a random sample of the sort of people that came to America. Emigrants who arrived in New England (Document b) were mostly families with several children and their servants. The original



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