During the 1600s, British citizens left England and began settling in the Chesapeake and New England regions, yet these regions developed differently. Migrants came to the New World with distinct motives that, in effect made the regions develop differently; the New Englanders came in search of religious freedom while the Chesapeake settlers came in search of economic prosperity. The New Englanders search for religious freedom caused them to develop a diverse economy, societies with tightly bound communities that stressed education and finally a political system based on church membership; meanwhile in the Chesapeake settlers search for economic prosperity helped them to develop a farming and trading economy, a society with spread out plantations whose owners ruled over the black slaves and a political system with all the power in the hands of wealthy, land-owning, white men. Thus, New England and Chesapeake regions developed different socially, politically and economically primarily because of their motives.
The primary factor in why the New England and Chesapeake regions developed into two distinct societies were their initial motives. The colonist that settled in New England went in search of religious freedom and to flee persecution by King Charles I and Arch Bishop Laud. As preacher John Winthrop stated in A Model of Christian Charity in 1630, the Puritans wanted to become “a city upon a hill”(A). By becoming this “city” the Puritans wanted everyone to look at them as a model for a perfect society. In contrast, the Chesapeake colonists’ motives were money and land. Initially all the colonist came with gold tests instead of supplies with the thought of striking it rich, as John Smith said onboard the Arbela, “There was no talk…but dig gold, wash gold, refine gold load gold…”(F). This obsession for gold was the main reason for the “starving time,” where all the gentlemen refused to hunt or gather, thus starving and dying. Eventually, as a result of the lack of gold, the Chesapeake colonists developed a strong economy based on cash crops such a tobacco. Hence, the primary factor why the New England and Chesapeake regions developed distinctly was their motives.
The New Englanders developed a very distinct society unlike any of the other colonies. The New England colonist’s main goal was to develop a perfect society. As shown in the ship’s list of emigrants bound for New England in 1635, the majority of people participating in the Great Puritan Migration were families with men who had diverse professions (B). Therefore, these emigrants came with the thought of permanent settlements. This settlement would later develop into communities with tightly bound communities that stressed education; so all the children could read the Bible. The Puritans also spent the majority of their life in the colonies trying to prove that they were part of “the elect,” that they were favored in Gods eyes. The New England colonist also developed a distinct political system, based on church membership. In the articles of agreement of 1636, it states that the “town shall be composed of forty families,…rich and poor” (D). The Puritans Christian charity and family based society showed through their political system. Due to the New Englanders geography they developed a diverse economy in addition to their diverse social and political systems.
In the Wage and Price regulations in Connecticut it’s shown that in Puritan communities religion is placed above profit (E). The Puritans thought it was their responsibility to make sure everyone in their community was prospering. All in all, the New England settlers developed and economy based on diverse professions and “the Puritan work ethic”; a society with tightly bound communities that stress education; and finally a political system with town meetings and congresses based on church membership.
The Chesapeake settler’s economic motives caused them to develop a society like no other. In the Chesapeake society, there were many men coming initially in search of gold, but eventually switching gold for cash crops. The first group of settlers of the Chesapeake were employees of a joint stock company called the Virginia Company. In the ships list of emigrants bound for Virginia of 1635, the record shows that there were very few women and that the majority of the men were in their twenties (C). A majority of these men were the younger sons that suffered from the effects of primogeniture, a law that said that the eldest son should inherit all of the family’s wealth and land. These young men eventually came to the new world instead of staying in England mainly because of the head right system, where anyone who paid for the journey to America they would be granted fifty acres of land. These men needed people to work on their plantations, originally they used indentured servants, but after Bacon’s Rebellion the work force shifted to slavery.
In Bacon’s “Manifesto,” Bacon justified his rebellion against Governor Berkeley in 1676; he showed the corruptness of the House of Burgesses (H). Before this rebellion there was always fear of a servant uprising. In 1673 Governor Berkeley and his council talked their inability to defend Virginia against Dutch attack because the rich were unwilling to “leave their estates…while they were drawn…to defend the borders”(G), because of their fear of servant uprising (G). The economy of the Chesapeake region was based off of slave labor on large plantations that produced cash crops. Conclusively, the Chesapeake settlers established a society with spread out plantation’s owners ruling over black slave, a political system with all the power in the hands of wealthy, land-owning white men, and an economy based on farming and trading.
In conclusion, motives were the primary factor in why the New England and Chesapeake regions developed differently. As a result of the Puritans fleeing religious persecution, New England developed into a very strict Puritan society. New England had tightly bound communities, diverse economy and a political system based on church membership. As for the Chesapeake region, As for the Chesapeake region, the settlers want for economic prosperity caused them to develop a society with the main focus of making money on cash crops. The Chesapeake settlers were mainly white men whose slaves worked on their tobacco plantations. Thus, Motives were the primary reason for the difference in development between New England and the Chesapeake.