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The Distinct Differences Of New England And Chesapeake

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George Sotereanos



Unit 1

The Distinct Differences of New England and Chesapeake

By the year 1700, the New England and the Chesapeake regions were both settled largely by people of English origin, although the regions had evolved in two distinct societies. The people who made the epic voyage to the new world came here for many different reasons. They wanted to lead the lives they wanted. Some were poor and needed money and saw America as a place to strike it rich. Others did not have the religious freedom they needed to practice their religious beliefs. The distinctions between New England and the Chesapeake region occurred because of religious, social, and economic differences.

The settlers of New England came mostly for religious toleration. Many people that settled in New England were Puritan separatists who disagreed with the cruel religious repression of Charles I. The Puritans came to plant a godly commonwealth in New England's rocky soil. The settlers who immigrated to the Chesapeake region had no intention of finding a place to celebrate their religion. Therefore, New England became a much more religious society than the Chesapeake region. John Winthrop, a Puritan priest states in Doc.A "We must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all people are upon us, so that if we shall deal falsely with our god in this work we have undertaken, and so cause him to withdraw his present help from us, we shall be made a story and a by-word through the world". This shows that their goal was to create a wholesome Christian community, where Christianity could be worshiped in proper ways. It also shows that they believe if they do not do the work God has given them, that he will refuse to help them and they will perish. They felt that they needed to do their work, and because they did, the harsh times were not as bad as the Chesapeake settlers. The Chesapeake settlers mostly came to get rich quick. They would start searching for gold before they would search for food and make the proper provisions they needed. John Smith wrote, "The worst [among us were the gold seekers who] with their golden promises made all their slaves in hope of recompenses. There was no talk... but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold, load gold..."(Document F). They would plant tobacco to sell before they planted corn to eat. This created a very hellish time for the settlers, whom a lot of them died.

A second reason New England and the Chesapeake region developed into two distinct societies is because of their social differences and their social classes. As stated in Doc.D, "2. We intend that out town shall be composed of forty families,... rich and poor.

3. That everyone inhabitant shall have a convenient proportion for a house lot, as we shall see [fit] for everyone's quality and estate...5. That everyone shall have a share of the meadow or planting ground..." These quotations show that New England, based the amount of land and how big of a share of the meadows or planting ground you received on whether someone was in the rich class or was in the poor class. Many New Englanders came to settle their land with their whole family unit, such as Doc. B " John Hull, of Somerset, a minister, age forty" who came along with his wife daughter and son. This shows that New England had many families who settled there, which enabled them to sustain their population through their own birth rate where as the Chesapeake region settlers were mostly young men as shown in Doc.C, "Edward Towers: age 26, Rowland Sadler: age 19, Rich Bulfell: age 29, Henry Carrel: age 16". Many of these young men went to the Chesapeake region because of primogenitary, where the eldest brother of the family took the father's land and wealth. Since their fathers had given all their property to their brothers, they came to the Chesapeake region for money and land. Many of them became indentured servants in hopes of one day to acquire their own land. The fact that most of them were young



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