A world full of opportunity and riches where anyone can have a good life. This is how the New World was viewed in England before it started to be colonized. It was with this mindset that many people quickly took off to this new land. Some looking for the gold of the new world but only finding hard work in its place(Doc 6) and others looking for what god has in store for them. Sailing across the large ocean over months everyone came from the same place, but ended up all over the continent. Leading to the formation of the New England and Chesapeake regions of the American colonies.
However these colonies, though both founded by Englishmen turned out quite differently. The economic base, importance of slaves, and the reasoning behind the colony’s founding is what lead to the New England and Chesapeake region of Colonial America to develop differently from one another. Economy is important in all communities and having a way to acquire currency to support it is a necessity in any community. Many New England colonies were heavily trade based due to their water access and the natural inlets that allowed for the formation of ports.
The rocky soil of New England though restrictive to the formation of large farming allowed these northern colonies to be heavily involved in lumber production to the used in both the colonies and in England. A lack of agricultural profitability also allowed the New England region to focus more on industry resulting them developing a large and advanced industrial sector of the economy. However in comparison the colonies of the Chesapeake region consisted of land that had very moist and rich soil perfect for commercial farming.
This lead to the Chesapeake economy being heavily based on the farming of a cash crop such as tobacco which prospered in these areas. Due to the Chesapeake region being heavily reliant on their agricultural sector of the economy their industrial sector was comparatively smaller and less developed to that of New England. Truly the Chesapeake region was an agricultural based society being a very lucrative business it was always made to be more and more efficient.
This is where the entry of slaves in the colonies begins. The Chesapeake region was in fact the first place to have slaves in colonial America and in the end it was also the most heavily slave populated region in the colonies of mainland America. This was due to the harsh labor need to harvest the cash crop of the region, tobacco and the fact that slaves were much more inexpensive compared to other methods such as indentured servants who would be mostly young men looking for passage to the new world(Doc 3).
In comparison, the New England region had relatively few slaves. This was because although they had farming, they didn’t have enough large scale agriculture to constitute the need of slaves as a labor force. This is not to note though that there were no slaves in the New England region, there was in fact quite a few in New York due to the influence of the previous Dutch inhabitants of the area. However still in comparison to the Chesapeake region New England had relatively few slave.
The acceptance of slaves can lead to different values of people, but in the end people and colonies are most influenced by the reasoning for which they were originally formed. The New England region of the colonies has a basis founded in religion. The first people to found a settlement in the New England region were the Puritans founding the town of Plymouth who came with their families(Doc 2) to basically transplant a portion of home in the new world.
They came to the New World in search of religious freedom since they had only recently escaped persecution for their religion in England. This has lead to a strong sense of church which can be found if slightly not as strong in the rest of the colonies, but it also lead to a strong sense of community which in turn lead to the basis of religion being found in the actual reasoning behind the formation of their towns(Doc 4). These settlers came with the mindset that they were to create a “city upon a hill”(Doc 1).
On the other hand the Chesapeake region of the colonies can find its basis in economic restitution. The first settlement of this region was formed by a joint stock company known as the Virginia Company. This colony called lamestown was based solely on its profitability as a business venture. Unlike the original settlers of New England these people came in search of the riches of this New World, leading to the colonies reliance on cash crops to replace the riches not found in gold.
The Chesapeake and New England region of colonial America were founded on different principles one of God and one of gold. They found themselves hooked on slavery or the reverse with nearly no slaves compared to the whole colony. They even had completely different methods of supporting their economy through methods, both of the earth and the sea. These simple differences are what have lead to the vast contrasts of what we know as the Chesapeake and New England regions of Colonial America