During the 17th century there were many colonies settled in the New World. One thing most of these colonies had in common is the fact that almost all of them were settled by the English. If one were to focus mostly on the New England and Chesapeake colonies, one would find that although they were settled by similar people, they ended up splitting for very different reasons. The New England colonies were searching for religious freedom from the Church of England, whereas the Chesapeake colonies were striving for economic growth.
The New England colonies consisted of the settlements of Massachusetts Bay Colony, Connecticut Colony, Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations and Province of New Hampshire. Most, if not all, of these colonies were mainly settled by religious motivation. They did not want to be told by what means they could or could not worship, that was the reason they left England in the first place. Now in this new world they were being given the same rules. They wanted to control their cities by the rules of God that they believed.
They wanted to elect their own faithful minister to make the laws and divide up their real estate (Doc D). They also wanted to follow John Winthrop’s idea of a model puritan city, the “City on a Hill” (Doc A). The first name on a list of emigrants coming to the New England was Joseph Hull of Somerset, he was a Minister. His name was the very first name on the list, therefore his name was the most prominent name on the list, and he was a minister (Doc B). This shows that the New England colonist truly respected members of the clergy.
The Chesapeake colonies were settled for very different reasons. They were mainly settled for economic development and prosperity. In many of the Chesapeake colonies, such as Connecticut, the prices and wages were set and agreed upon by the court. They did not have any religious figures decided laws or actions to carry them out. Many of the tradesmen, as well as the laborers, in Connecticut were told to “consider the religious ends of their calling” and to “[not] live in the practice of that crying sin of oppression, but avoid it” (Doc E).
This means that they were told to end their religious practices but to also avoid the life of sin. By doing this, they made room for more work which would in turn help the settlement prosper economically. There were also many plantations in the Chesapeake colonies. These plantations grew tobacco which inclined many workers to uphold the demand. This helped to draw in many English workers, as well as African Slaves, which ended up helping the economic growth of the colony overall. Lastly, both settlements were colonized by two different types of people, with extremely different motives.
The Chesapeake colonies, such as Virginia and Maryland, were colonized by single men looking for the potential development of economic growth, and the ability to make a profit. Whereas the New England Colonies, such as Rhode Island, were colonized by family men looking for a place where their family could be free from religious oppression. Virginia was colonized by John Smith, a single man who saw the opportunity to make some money and did everything in his power to keep the colony alive in order to do so.
Maryland was colonized by Lord Baltimore, another single man who granted real estate to his friends which paved the way for economic growth. Although the New England colonies and the Chesapeake colonies were both settled by Englishmen, they split for very different, but equally legitimate reasons. The New England colonies were searching for religious freedom from the Church of England, whereas the Chesapeake colonies were striving for economic growth.
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