New England And The Chesapeake Region Before 1700

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New England and the Chesapeake region before 1700

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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


Related Topics

American political philosophy Human migrations DudleyWinthrop family John Winthrop Pequot War Puritans Chesapeake Virginia USS Chesapeake Virginia Anne Hutchinson Loyalist Colonial South and the Chesapeake religious separatists chesapeake region john winthrop religious motives community atmosphere city upon a hill common laws english origin word community springfield massachusetts correct manner large families religious society emigrants puritans emigrant deviants pilgrims two areas new england

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