Even though the Chesapeake Bay Colonies and New England Colonies would share ethnic roots they would differ greatly in their development. With New England’s society centered on religion and Chesapeake Bay’s around profit both came to the new world with their own intentions. Other aspects in which these societies differed was in economy and social structure. However regardless of differences and similarities both colonies would find their own way to thrive. When it comes to religion, the colony of New England was influenced to a much greater degree than Chesapeake Bay.
Their whole reason for being there was because of religion. The main religious group in New England was the Puritans. The strict aspects of the Puritan way of life made the colony a very stable place to live. In comparison to the Chesapeake Bay Colonies where religion did not play a very big part there was not much political stability. The sect of Christianity practiced by the Chesapeake colonists was the Anglican Church. The Anglican Church was not nearly as strict or influencing on life as the Puritans’ practice.
Without a strict set of rules in place from religion the only time the Chesapeake Bay colonies would enjoy stability in its early days would be under the military like rule from James Cook. The reason why religion usually would bring stability would be from the moral code embedded inside the teachings of the bible. From this people were able to humble themselves resulting in a stable society. Stability would eventually come to the Chesapeake Bay once it would become a royal colony.
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In addition to this tobacco would also become a major staple product for the Chesapeake Bay. Overall religion would be a bigger player in the development of New England as a colony. Economy was very different in both respective colonies. Economy in New England would be very simple. Mainly family units would each have their own farm in which they would become self sufficient on. On top of this there would also be small local and international trade among New Englanders. Early on in the Chesapeake Bay colony was not very expansive.
With a little bit of local trading with Indians the Chesapeake Bay colony would not have a big export until James Rolfe would bring tobacco to the colony. Tobacco would have a great impact on colony life. With the Crop being a very profitable export the plant would soon dominate the economy there. Soon however as exports increased the price would decrease the market would deflate. The tobacco market would breathe life into the Chesapeake Bay and also increase the amount of slaves needed to support the demand. Economy in both colonies although different would both manage to flourish in their own way.
Social structure was also very distinct in both colonies. For instance Jamestown of Chesapeake Bay‘s population consisted mainly males upon its founding. Throughout its life men were discouraged to arrive in family units because of its harsh conditions. Also a hostile attitude towards Indian populations also stopped population in the colony to be self replenishing. Also altering its early development was the attitude of work from early settlers. Original settlers were of higher class and had distaste towards manual labor.
Settlers would eventually grow past its original misgivings on manual labor and find economic stability from tobacco. In order to feed the labor needed to keep up with the tobacco industry indentured servants and then eventually African Slaves would find its place as a social class. Politically, the House of Burgesses was a form of self representative government in the colony of Virginia. Social Structure in New England was a bit more commonplace. Arriving in family units was much less discouraged and many small towns would pop up.
With very local government life in New England was very structured. Family decisions were made by the father due to the patriarchal social structure. The big differences in social structure were very evident in American Colonial society. Overall despite their roots the Chesapeake Bay colony and New England were completely distinct societies complete with their own economies, religions and economy. Living life in both colonies offered a different culture unique to its area. In the end both would attribute to the diversity in life found on the east coast of colonial America.
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