Chesapeake Vs. New England Essay, Research Paper
Chesapeake Versus New England
While both the New England and Chesapeake regions of America were settled by Englishmen, each developed into two very different regions with their own cultures, laws and ideas. The three main differences in each region were economy, living conditions, and religious fervor.
First, the two regions differed economically. In Maryland and Virginia, settlers began to establish large tobacco plantations during the 1610s and started exporting large tobacco crops after 1617, as they were a more wealth-driven society than New England. In contrast, New Englanders established small farms, on which they raised corn and wheat, sheep, beef cattle, vegetables, and dairy cattle. Moreover, unlike Virginia and Maryland, New England teemed with small shopkeepers. New England also created towns with a sense of togetherness, whereas the Chesapeake region was made up of loosely scattered independent tobacco plantations.
Second, living conditions differed in the Chesapeake and New England regions. In the Chesapeake, hot, humid summers, the grueling trip over from England, and the poor water supply all facilitated the spread of diseases. Moreover, landlords overworked, beat, and even killed their indentured servants. Consequently, the life span in the Chesapeake region was somewhere under 40 years. In contrast, New England’s weather made it less likely to house disease. Furthermore, the labor requirements of New England were much less than that of the indentured servants of the Chesapeake, thus limiting fatigue. In New England, one would expect to live to the age of 60.
Third, the degree of religious fervor differed in New England and the Chesapeake regions. The Pilgrims came to Massachusetts in 1620 to establish an ideal Christian community. Likewise, in 1630 John Winthrop and other Puritans had settled in the Massachusetts Bay are to establish a “City upon a Hill,” which Winthrop hoped would be a pious and ethical community. To serve in the Massachusetts Bay government, one had to have experienced God s grace. In contrast, inhabitants of the Chesapeake were indifferent toward religion. To serve in the House of Burgesses, one simply had to believe in The Trinity.
One easily sees that, though the Chesapeake and New England regions spawned from the same people, their individual differences in economy, quality of life, and religion caused them to be completely different by the 18th century.