, Research Paper
Throughout history religion and geography have played a major role in the process in which regions have been formed. The New England and the Chesapeake regions were both settled by a large number of people of the English origin. By 1700 the regions had developed into two very different societies. These differences between the regions were brought about as a result of the different beliefs and lifestyles in which the people of the regions accepted. There were two major factors that really influenced the differences in these regions. These factors were the religious differences of the people and the geographical features that there region contained which in effect influenced the way in which the people lived.
New England a strong and constant belief of religion by the Puritans. The Puritans followed the ideas of John Calvin who believed in a powerful God that predestined the lives of every person. For example, from birth the Puritans believed that God had already chosen if you would go to heaven or hell. The Puritans believed in the constant job of judging their own souls and their religiousness. Puritan families prayed together everyday under the leadership of the male head of the family. The Puritans also explored their religion by doing self-examination and bible studies to further enrich their religious lives. The Puritans were often filled with anxiety about their religious state because they were concerned with which behavior was proper and which was not. Two different Puritan groups formed. The Church of England was in very bad shape. Corruption took over the church. The Congregationalists, who wanted to reform the Church of England rather than abandon it. The Separatists believed that the church was so corrupt that it couldn t be saved. The Separatist wanted to start their own religious bodies with membership to the elect Puritans. The same strong belief in religion stayed common through both groups. This religion was very important to New England because it defined the way in which the people lived and what would happen in the future. The religious beliefs of the Puritans directly influenced the way in which they acted morally. The religion had such a strong role in daily life that it made the lives of the colonists, one totally surrounded by religion. All colonists were required to attend religious services, even if they were not church members. All people who tried anything against the church were punished. The religion was directly tied to politics in New England. Laws were taken from the Old Testament, one had to be a church member to vote in colony elections, and people who had different beliefs other than Puritan had no right to worship them. These strict policies of religion stopped many people from worshiping their beliefs but it also kept the people of New England on track. The morality of the people of New England was often tested. People were tried for drunkenness, card playing, and it went so far as stopping people for doing nothing. People were put under so much pressure of behaving in a proper moral and religious manner that the region became very strong.
The Chesapeake region formed very differently in the religious sense. The Chesapeake region was not as strongly tied up in religion as New England was. In 1764, the Rev. Hugh Jones, said: Virginia may be justly esteemed the happy Retreat of true Britons and true Churchman for the most part; neither soaring too high nor dropping too low, consequently should merit the greater Esteem and Encouragement. The people of the Chesapeake region disagreed with the mother country but the Virginians brought English religious life to America. The Church of England in Virginia was a Catholic Church that played part in the community. Religion was not very important to the Virginians even though it might have seemed that way. The Virginians did not establish Orthodoxy and allowed many different religions and different variations of religion. Religion in the Chesapeake region was totally different from that of New England because the Puritans wanted to totally base their lives, politically, economically, and socially around their religion. Virginians were totally opposite because they did not care which religions were practiced as long as they were prospering economically. This difference in religious belief caused a very different outcome in the way in which these regions developed.
The geography of New England also had an effect on the way New England diversified from the Chesapeake region. New England had a cold climate and infertile land that was not to well equipped for growing crop. The major industries of Tabasco and sugar cane that existed in the Chesapeake region were not able to make it in New England due to these factors. The farms that existed in New England were small and did not or could not make as much profit as those in the Chesapeake region. Towns in New England were very compact which also stopped them from growing lots of crops. Towns grew very quickly in New England. People tried to develop diversified family farms on which they could make a living. Seaport towns were also abundant in New England. These towns brought in thousands of migrants and contained a lot of trade on which some people made a living. These towns exported a fair amount of agricultural goods and furs throughout America. The towns in New England became industrialized quickly and people began moving in at a very fast rate making it larger and more industrialized everyday.
The geography in the Chesapeake region was great for farming and profiting off of. The people of the Chesapeake region usually had large slots of land on which they famed. The climate of the Chesapeake region was very warm and the land was fertile and in good condition for farming crops such as Tabasco, corn, indigo, and many other crops. The farmland in the Chesapeake region was so large on each plantation that servants and laborers were needed to help with land. This need for labor brought about the slave trade in which African slaves were sold at high prices to rich plantation owners who needed these slaves to help them prosper and who brought a lot of money to these plantation owners. The not so well off people of the Chesapeake region who could not afford slaves did not make as much money as the richer plantation owners did. The effect of all this was an economic system in which the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. Tabasco by far made the Chesapeake region much different than New England. The Chesapeake region had made much money of Tabasco and it was there major crop. Because the Virginians had the land to do it they could profit immensely off Tabasco which brought about economic prosperity for Tabasco farmers.
There were two major factors that really influenced the differences in these regions. These factors were the religious differences of the people and the geographical features that there region contained which in effect influenced the way in which the people lived. These factors not only influenced those regions but later on in history also influenced many other regions in America and around the world.