The events leading up to 1700 that occurred in the New England colonies and the Chesapeake colonies made both of these establishments vastly different. While both the New England and Chesapeake colonies can be separated by their culture, and government and religion, their motivations for colonizing was the most significant factor in differentiating the two. The New England and Chesapeake colonies were both settled for different purposes, and this played a major role in why the colonies were both so distinct.
John Winthrop said in A Model of Christian Charity that the New England colonies were intended to be based upon family and unity (Doc A). The New England colonies were obviously meant to be permanent, very close-knit settlements. The settlers that colonized the land of New England were usually families. The Chesapeake colonies, on the other hand, were not intended to be permanent settlements at all. In fact, they were quite the opposite. The Chesapeake colonies were established to make profit.
In the Chesapeake colonies, the normal group of settlers wasn’t at all families, but mostly all single men and some indentured servants. There was much less variety in age, and also the ratio of men to women settlers was 6:1. According to Captain John Smith in History of Virginia, the trip across the Atlantic was brutal, and to make things worse, the settlers didn’t get along with each other (Doc F). Even though both of the colonies may or may not have achieved their goal, their reasons for establishing a settlement made the societies they later became vastly different.
Religion In The Chesapeake Colonies
The very different motivations for colonizing led the societies of the Chesapeake and New England colonies to be even more different, especially in aspects of their culture. The family life in the colonies was determined by the type of settlers that were attracted to the colonies, which was, of course, affected by the motivations for colonization. In the Ship’s list of Emigrants bound for New England, we see that the main settlers attracted to the New England colonies were families (Doc B). There was much variety in age, and the ratio of men to women settlers was balanced.
Their family and unity based lives was the foundation of their strong Puritan religion, and their views of education. Parents taught children Christianity, and also how to read the bible. It was absolutely necessary to have a strong healthy relationship with God. Children became apprentices, lived with other families, and learned another job. As shown in the Ship’s list of Emigrants bound for Virginia, the type of settlers attracted to the Chesapeake colonies were mostly men, with the exception of a few women settlers (Doc C).
The culture in these colonies wasn’t very family oriented, because there weren’t many families at all. This was because of the unbalanced ratio of men and women. The lack of families led to retarded normal population increase. The key to success was owning as many slaves as possible. The wealthy planters who did own a lot of slaves sent their sons to school in England. The culture of the colonies was very different due to contrasting religious, education, and family beliefs.
The differences in culture and colonization influenced the government and religion of the New England and Chesapeake colonies. The settlers in New England were the Puritans. For them, religion and government want hand in hand. They believed that everyone should have a strong relationship with God, and that if you did, you would be among the elect, and you would receive a sign. They also believed that everyone should watch out for each other, so that it would be impossible to have the devil among them. This is why no one could live alone.
Beside from being such hard workers, the Puritans wanted for everyone to be equal. This is where the Wage and Price Regulations comes into effect (Doc E). The people who received signs and were considered elect would also have a position in government. The Half way covenant said election runs in the family. Government in the Chesapeake colonies was less influenced by religion and more influenced by crops. Tobacco was the staple crop. The planters with the most slaves and best tobacco plantations were considered elite and had better government spots.
This led to inequality throughout the Chesapeake colonies. In Bacon’s “Manifesto”, he justifies his rebellion against Governor Berkley by using the fact that people of higher social classes kept getting richer but were still not assisting the state (Dog H). The New England colonies and Chesapeake colonies can be differentiated by their government and aspects of culture, colonization was the main factor. Through their motivations for settlement, we see how different the societies really were, and also how their purposes led to the varying forms of culture and government.